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22k and Sterling Bimetals

Hi Noel

Just picking up on your thread about 22k/Silver Bimetals from
Reactive Metals, would you perhaps have an email address for them?
I have been getting this stuff here, in Oz but want to see if the
economics of getting it direct are better given it is so expensive!!!
Thanks in advance Christel van der Laan

OK, I admit ignorance. Will someone please explain what is ment by
22K and sterling bimetal. It sounds like the gold and silver alloys
are joined, but how and to what end?

Thanks in advance. Also my gratitude to Hanuman/Dr. Aspler for the
generous devotion of time to the Orchid effort. It obviously
wouldn’t happen without him!

Judy in Kansas where the garden is spilling over with tomatoes,
peppers, okra, squash, etc. Salsa tonight!

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681

22K Gold/Sterling Bi-metal is gold that has been diffusion welded to
sterling. This means no solder, and is done in a kiln like traditional
mokome-gane methods. The gold makes up 1/12 the thickness of the
sheet. However, since the gold weighs more, it can be stamped 1/8 22K.
In addition, you will find that the higher karat gold is much nicer to
work with than 12k gold filled which gets the most unbelievable @#$%
firescale. I also feel the higher karat make a much more attractive
contrast to the silver. Mary

Hi, Judy, Yup, that’s pretty much it. Bimetal is two layers of
different metals fused–not soldered–together. In the case of
gild/silver, the “end” is to allow easier soldering onto silver,
and/or the use of real gold at minimal cost, and/or the opportunity
to take advantage of the two sides in designs involving folding,
bending, carving, etc. In the case of copper/silver bimetal, you can
etch through the copper to get wonderful, high contrast “overlay”.
Consider checking out --they also have shakudo,
shibuichi, mokume gane, metal that crinkles when you heat it, and a
lot of other cool stuff.(Please don’t ask what all that is–go look
at the catalog!) --Noel

   Noel... I agree. However, much as I love Reactive Metals, (I
live 10 minutes from them!), Hauser & Miller in St. Louis sells the
22k/silver bimetal for less. They also carry gold/siver bimetal in
lesser karats. Mary  

True enough. But on the ethical side, be aware that Reactive’s
source, Phil Baldwin of Shining wave metals, came up with the idea and
the product first, and worked out it’s production and created much of
the market. Then along came a well known jewelry teacher and designer
whom I won’t mention, who got irritated at a backlog situation with an
order, and contacted Houser and Miller and asked them to copy the
product. Now, H&M only did as asked, and being who they are, are in a
position to make such things easier and cheaper than Phil who is
after all, working with just a small studio. But it was a cheap shot
on the part of said unnamed designer, has damaged Phil’s business and
income, and I, for one, prefer to still give Phil the business on
those occasions when I need such things. It was his idea, after all.
Our industry is rampant with folks who assume it’s just fine to rip
off everyone elses ideas. And then they fume and spit when someone
has the audacity to rip off one of the occasional and few original
ideas such people now and then come up with in spite of themselves.
I’d like to think that orchid readers have the integrity to be
willing to pay a little more, if needed, to go to the true source of
an idea once they know of such a situation.

Peter Rowe –

There are also somr bimetal products–I’m not sure if H&M 's is one-
whose layers are soldered together rather than fused. I’d much rather
use Phil’s material.

Andy Cooperman

Hello Peter Rowe, Thanks so much for the very clear explanation of
bimetal sterling/22kt. It was also illuminating to learn about Phil
Baldwin and how his creation has been “ripped off” - I do hope that
the larger company hasn’t patented the process and cut him out


Phil's (Shining Wave) product is also better quality than H M's   I

have seen surface defects in HM’s stuff that I have never seen in
Shining Wave’s material.

James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601

 I, for one, prefer to still give Phil the business on those
occasions when I need such things. 

Peter, I have never met Phil and was unaware of the politics
involved. However, I don’t see Phil’s name anywhere in my Reactive
Metal’s catalog. So, do you buy from Reactive Metal’s, or from Phil?

This is interesting!

I haven’t used their products yet, although their catalog has just
arrived. Can anyone tell me how their bimetals differ from the
traditional Japanese and Sheffield products?

For that matter I’ve been making bimetal sheet for enameling on for a
long time - Cu/Ag, Ag/Au. I’ve used an enameling kiln to produce Cu/Ag
laminates. I’ve also sold it to colleagues and this started twenty
years ago. How does their material differ from what we can produce

Thanks Noel,

I’m always glad to learn of suppliers for remarkable materials, and
had wondered where to get the “crinkling” metal - I’ve seen some of
it and liked the slightly different texture as compared to
reticulating “by hand”. This group is an excellent source of never-
ending new stuff… much appreciation to Hanuman and his selfless

Judy in Kansas
Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Extension Associate
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681

Who and how do I get in touch with Reactive Metals, and or Hauser &
Miller and is someone else who also makes the bimetals? thanks jill

    However, I don't see Phil's name anywhere in my Reactive Metal's
catalog. So, do you buy from Reactive Metal's, or from Phil?   

Phil Baldwin IS Shining Wave Metals. One man company. Since he’s
located only a short distance north of Seattle, where I live, I could
get it directly from him, I suppose. and sometimes he’s in town
selling directly, often during one or another of the Seattle Metal
Arts Guild activities or some such. I’ve never really worried whether
his “direct” prices are lower than through Reactive metals. Ordering
direct from Reactive, rather than Phil, is not a problem for me, and
if RM is charging slightly more to make their profit (I don’t know if
they do), then I’m OK with that too, as Bill Seeley (reactive metals)
has done so very much to increase the availability of such products to
all of us. Either way, Phil gets the business.


Reactive Metals Studio is in Cottonwood , AZ -
They have 18g and 24g 22k/sterling BiMetal at about $54.00/$144.00 a square inch.
Hauser & Miller also carries 22k/Sterling BiMetal - contact for pricing - They carry a much wider selection of sheet and discs.

Hi Everyone, following this thread I was surprised to learn that Bi-metal was Phil’s idea first. I have been buying Phils billets through Reactive Metals for several decades and bimetal from Hauser and Miller, not knowing the back story. Sad to say that Hauser and Miller has closed their doors as of 12.23.2020. I can’t find a source for 18K bimetal. Anyone know of any?
Merry Christmas to all!

There is a new company that will be producing the 18k and 22kt gold bi-metal that Hauser & Miller was producing. A group was formed to organize information on this.
Please contact Barbara at and she will add you to the group to receive updated information.
They are organizing an order and are gathering info by Jan 10.

Hope this helps!
Lesley McKeown -

Thanks so much Lesley, I will add my name to the list!