22k inlay in Fine Silver

Hey all, I recently carved/cast a very detailed fine silver cross
pendant to be inlayed with 22k yellow gold, as a Christmas present.
After all the hours of detail in it, the 22k barely shows up! I
tried high polish and scratch pad finishes, and the 22k is difficult
to see even close up with either finish. The alloy is from Hoover
and Strong, and the inlay is about .5mm thick. I may bump that up
to as much as .75mm but can’t go wider.

I plan to remake it as a late Christmas present very soon. If
anyone has a solution to this problem (e.g. alloy that shows up
better, finish that makes it stand out, etc.) I would greatly
appreciate it. I don’t want to simply do a surface patina or
something of that nature. I’m hoping theres a gold alloy that will
show up much better.

Thanks in advance,
David Tomich

David, You’re right. When gold is inlayed into silver there’s
insufficient contrast between th two, at least in my experience. The
only solution I’ve found is to antique the silver with liver of
sulphur or Silver Black or somesuch. That would be more effective if
you r gold inlay is higher than the surrounding silver instead of
flush with it. Jerry in Kodiak

David, I’ve been taught that a matte or brush finish (any type of
lustre finish, rather than a high polish) will make the color
contrast in marriage of metals more visible. I’ve experimented with
it both ways and tend to agree that it is more visible in a matte
finish. However, in the sizes you’re talking about, it’s going to be
a bit tough to see anyway, because there just isn’t all that much
contrast between silver and gold in the way the eye perceives them.

Good luck!
Karen Goeller