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14K Rose Gold Smithing questions

Hello all!

My wife and I had cast our own wedding rings out of 14K Rose gold from Rio Grande. All went well and her and I have had great rings thus far. My wife was a little harsh on her band and it ended up breaking. I’m also a very novice jeweler and I think my band was just a bit on the thin side. Either way, I needed to replace the shank.

I had some rose gold left over from the casting so I went ahead and melted it in a crucible, poured into an ingot mold, pickled, cleaned, and annealed. I proceeded to roll out the ingot, being very careful to anneal only after 2 rolls. Unfortunately, surface cracks would appear.

I tried this process a couple of times and all with the same results. I am familiar with some of the problems with rose gold so I tried to melt the gold into a groove I carved in my coal block. This way I was able to quench before the red glow had dissipated. Then taking that ingot I started to roll as before…the same results.

When I first received the casting grain I tried hitting some of them with a hammer to flatten them. I didn’t recall seeing any cracks form so I gave it a try on a new, hot quenched ingot. I could lightly hit and spread the metal a few times and then anneal. This process was repeatable for a hand full of times until I got overzealous and it cracked a little bit on the tip.

From what I’ve seen, it looks like maybe the linear rolling action seems to not agree with the metal. The cracks always formed perpendicular to the rolling. Is it perhaps the down and outward from the hammer impacts that are less likely to cause cracking?

Any thoughts or critiques are welcome
-Aaron Silverman

I have not worked in 14K, but I have found that even in 18 and 20K that the gold will crack if it is not air cooled. Quenching seems to be a bad idea for any alloy under 22K.

I would let it air cool rather than quence. Rose gold can be a pain to work with. I’ve had better luck working with stock wire.