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24k Gold Micro Alloy


#1

Have any of you have any experience with the new 24k gold micro
alloy? This is a relatively new metal on the market that is pure
enough to stamp 24k, but is alloyed with a very low percentage of
other materials to give it the strength of more like 18k. Sounds
really interesting, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Any comments from those that have would be much appreciated.

Regards,
Don Friedlich


#2

Don, I have a piece of the 24K microalloy, but have yet to use if
for the original purpose for which I intended…making a ring. The
reason is that it requires a special solder (according to its
producer) and he has not had it available, although perhaps he does
now. I think that if you design something that does not require
soldering, it is safer, unless you have this “special” solder.

I imagine that I am not the only slightly frustrated person who has
encountered this. I’m sure that he heard about it at SNAG.

What I need to do is to experiment with it using regular plumb
solder and just see what happens. I just haven’'t gotten to it. I
have only rolled it down from its original dimension, and it was
quite easy, with no annealing.

Of course, he won’t divulge the secret ingredient. I wish we could
know what it is. Do you know?

Elizabeth McDevitt


#3

Hi Don, From what I understand of this alloy-- after speaking with
the rep at SNAG Denver-- the alloy can achieve the hardness of 18k
after heat hardening. He also sold a special solder, which he said
was a true solder and so melted somewhere around 600F. This solder
alloy was formed into little beads or shot about 1mm in diameter (or
smaller). The gentleman said that this solder matched the 24k alloy
very, very well and at 600 wouldn’t anneal the alloy. I may be
remembering this wrong…

The 24k microalloy came in rod form. When gold was around $300.00,
this stuff sold for something like $400.00.

Talk with you later, Andy


#4

Hi Don, I have used the PureGold micro alloy for a couple of years
now. It is .9985 gold with the remainder being calcium. It works
easily but has a few restrictions. If you want the hardest results
you must do a significant amount of cold work, 80% is quoted in
their literature and then any soldering must be done with a special
22k solder that has a very low melting point ( I think it is about
350C). You cannot cast it or melt it into ingot form in an oxygen
environment as the calcium will burn out of the alloy. I don’t ever
get it to maximum hardness and I don’t use their solder but I do end
up with a harder than fine gold product after heat treating. The
color and heft is the same as fine gold. It can only be sold as 24k
in the USA if you are very careful with the solder as it is very
close to the limits of error already.

If you have any other questions please let me know.

Jim


#5

I have made a few pieces using the 24k micro alloy. I too was
temporarily stymied by the lack of the proper solder-I ordered it
last fall (20ga & 24ga)for a pair of oversized Kidney wire
earrings, a custom order for a fellow artists birthday present and
to see if it had potential for some of the hand-knit chains we
produce. Thedue date had come and I was unable to locate an
appropriate solder in 22k so I rolled out some 18k soft and used as
little as possible to solder the lupe at the bottom of the wires. I
then Heat treated it at 450 degrees for 6 hours and and let it cool
completely in the oven. It seemed to reach full hardness without any
problem. They are being worn 24/7 and it has been about 6 months now.
I will do a show in a few weeks and double check them then. I felt so
relieved that it actually seemed to work that I went ahead and had
Kathryn (my wife &the other half ofour business)knit the 24ga 24k
into a rope (roman weave) that I fashioned into a bracelet and
soldered platinum endings onto it,with a lobster claw fastener held
by 24k links. I have been wearing this 24/7 except when doing torch
work or stone cutting. This has been about 3 months now and the gold
is maintaining its shape and strength. I am still concerned about its
long term structural integrity in small wire sizes and will probably
wait until this fall to begin offering it to the public. I was
pleased to hear that the 22k super soft solder was now available and
will pick some up with my next order-that will make pieces marketable
anywhere.

Russell Spiering


#6

Gentlemen, If I am not mistaken, there are problems with the solder,
and they are unable to supply it at present. Better check that out
before hand. Regards, Susan Ronan Coronado, CA


#7
Of course, he won't divulge the secret ingredient. I wish we could
know what it is. Do you know? 

I dug at that question a bit too, at SNAG. He mentioned one
component that was a surprise to me: Calcium. He either wouldn’t
tell me the other or it went in one ear and out the other. I don’t
know which…

Peter.


#8

I am glad to hear that the micro alloy is working so well. The
answer seems to be in putting it in the kiln for the time as stated
of 6 hours at 450. Sounds great. As an aside, Unique Solutions does
offer a 22k gold paste in soft and hard formulas and will work just
fine if you are going to use the heat treatment in the kiln. This
paste solder is for color match, and can be used in a smaller amount
than the sheet as you get get just the barest amount on the solder
point. Paste solder for those who do not know, does not require the
addition of flux. It is all included in the paste. This is a non
drying formula. Please write off list if you are interested. Beth Katz


#9

Dear Beth, Is Unique Solutions connected with the producer of the 24K
micro Alloy? If not could you please send me their phone number or
email address? Thank you.

Elizabeth McDevitt


#10

Hi Elizabeth, Unique Solutions, Inc. is the producer of the paste
solder in the 22K gold which is available in both hard and soft. It
is a very close match to the 24K color. There are many other paste
solders available from silver to gold, all are the non hardening
form of paste, so you never have to worry about it drying out. All
formulas come in syringes with needles for easy application. Please
Email me off list for a price list which includes flow and melt
temperature of the paste. Thank you. Beth Katz
bethkatz@aol.com