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Blue Gold

Hi Tobey, Yes, you are totally nuts! I am too, but it never
stopped me from trying a very expensive experiment! Blue gold is
very brittle. Forget the rolling mill(or try at your own risk).
Mostly this fun thing is for novelty items or something you would
set in a bezel. It can be quite interesting but functionally
difficult. Cast it into the final shape you want it to be. You
should use high temp investment. You can get pure iron in the form
of cast iron welding rods at your welding supply house. Expect
pitting and porosity. Don’t bother with pickle, you can sandblast
or finish and then use a little blue flame to bring up the color.
By the way purple gold is fun too (aluminum) Treat it thwe same
way except for the high temp investment. J.A.

John, Have you ever gotten the purple gold to work for you? I
tried severla years ago and failed . Could you outline this
proceedure for me? Thanks, Don in Ca where its been warm for a
while now.


Could you cast rings from the blue and purple alloys you’re
discussing? Or would the brittleness preclude using them as
everyday jewelry? What about setting stones in them? thanks.


Thanks Rick It is very interesting to see the alloys used in the
USA. I was surprised to see that you don’t use any Zinc in the
bright alloys under 22ct. I would have thought that20 1% to 2% in
the 12ct and 10ct alloys would be used. This will brighten them up
to a closer 14ct look and stop them dulling so quickly. Then again
you may use the different colors as contrast I will have to admit
I haven’t seen a lot of the lower carat jewellery from the states.
I would be interested to know. Thanks Phil

Dear Calgang,

What, you want me to ALL of the work?:^) You will notice that
most colors are manipulations of gold, copper, and silver. The
others you will have to source in your area. One place that you
could would be a scientific supplier like one that’s supplies the
chemistry depts of colleges or high schools. They will have these
elements in a very pure state, although expensive. The aluminum or
al-lou-mini-um as they say down under, you can use that stuff that
you have in your kitchen- it’s as good as technical grade, which
is all you need for this. Good luck, and let us know how it turns
out. Rick in Houston

I am looking for any on blue gold. I’m trying to gather
as = much as I can before the experimentation. Any help would be

I understand that it is very brittle and unmalleable. Has anyone
found a = solution to that problem? I have also read that it is very
difficult to = get the alloy to combine when melting? Are there any
solutions to that = problem?

Thanks for your help…Skitz

as far as I know there have been no solutions to the problem with
blue gold…with aluminum for the alloy, its traits carry over. You
may try contacting Hoover and Strong at of course.
They don’t have alloys for blue gold, but their technical medals
people tend to be most helpful.


It may not be the what you are looking for or too weird a lead but a
few months ago I read in one of the fashion magzines published from
India about the “Denim Jewellery”. It featured blue gold and gems and
diamonds were shown studded in it. I am certain that it can be
researched on the internet further with the keywords +India.
Hope this might help…PK

Somewhere I recall reading: blue gold was the combination of gold and
steel,melt.— don’t ask how.


About 10 years ago, Rock & Gem magazine had an article on alloying
colored gold, It was a very detailed piece, covering all properties
of the alloy. I kept the magazine for some years but it seem that it
has gone missing with my move last year. Perhaps you could get a
reprint from the magazine.

Don Rogers

“Gold-iron alloys produce a blue color, with Au-Fe 24% in particular
bearing the name blue gold. This color is caused by a thin oxide film
formed by iron on the surface of the alloy. Since it does not provide
a clear blue color, it is rarely used for jewelry.” from
"Precious metals science and technology" (1991) translated from
Japanese. This is the only on this subject in the 800
page monograph.

This would not be easy to make. A similar surface effect might be
produced by vacuum sputtering a thin iron layer on a gold substrate.


I have made this alloy, but what a pain in the neck. Just melt the
iron, and toss in your gold…and kiss that gold good-by.

What you get is a gold alloy, that looks quite like a gray gold
alloy. Add a little heat with your torch, and it will turn blue on
the surface…just like steel will. But steel is easier to work with
than this stuff. It will not bend, roll out, or draw down. But it is
18k gold.

If blue is the color that you want to work with, why not save
yourself a lot of grief and just use steel. Almost any steel will do,
except stainless. You can make it blue, black, even a plum color.
You can inlay it, cast it in place, or use it as a background for
inlay. And just like 18k blue gold, the color exists only on the
surface. Not the choice of metal for a ring…

I have a great formula for blackening steel, if anyone is interested.
Cartier, and others, used this technique in the 30’s. You can do all
your gold work on and around the steel, even set stones. The
blackening is done last, after all polishing. Only the steel is
blackened. You can control the amount of blackening too, from
hematite gray to coal black. It’s quite durable, but it will
scratch. If it should scratch, you can easily repair it. This is a
lot easier than colored golds.

Unless you have the soul of an alchemist and are drawn to the fire…

Doug Zaruba

Doug Zaruba,

“I have a great formula for blackening steel, if anyone is interested.”

Are you perhaps referring to the wonderful olive oil patina? Ellen
Wieske works with steel has made some beautiful steel and gold
combination pieces with the steel blackened and very glossy, using
olive oil and heat. I’ve yet to read a discussion of the process, I
just know that you’re supposed to heat the oil without burning it off.
Sounds to me like a simple procedure that takes quite a bit of
practice to master.


it’s not really that hard to do. the process is similar to what you
do when seasoning cast iron cookware. clean the piece - put whatever
quality of surface finishing (rough /fine whatever! ) that you wish
to have as an end result - coat what’s to be blackened with oil olive
or mineral oil - put in oven and bake at about 400 degrees. it takes
a while sometimes -keep checking progress turns spotty brown then
various shades of black - but with practice is relatively simple. of
course as with any patina the surface is only treated and the piece
will be susceptible to scratches.

Talk to you later Dave