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Colour change in the ultrasonic


#1

Having received a lovely diamond half eternity ring from my husband
for Christmas, I decided to put my engagement ring through my
ultrasonic to give it a good clean. I noticed later in the day that
the yellow gold shank of my engagement ring was much paler than it
should be - almost having the colour of unplated white gold. The ring
is yellow gold with a platinum head. I use ammonia in my ultrasonic.

I’ve searched the archives and found a couple of replies to the same
problem but they didn’t really answer the question definitively. One
suggestion was that it was plated with silver and that there was
some galvanic effect going on. The silver makes sense as I am only
making sterling jewellery at the moment so that is what goes in the
tank on a day to day basis, with the occasional piece of gold being
cleaned. If it is being plated with silver particles, will a quick
polish and then ultrasonic cleaning in fresh solution restore the
yellow gold colour?

Thanks in advance.
Helen Hill


#2
If it is being plated with silver particles, will a quick polish
and then ultrasonic cleaning in fresh solution restore the yellow
gold colour? 

So Helen, you’re a jeweler, right? So why wouldn’t you just step over
to the polishing machine and see what happens? While I’m sure you’ll
get lots of answers from Orchid, or you could even go do some
research in jewelry books, why wouldn’t you just try it and see what
happens? More than half of my jewelry skills have come from just
trying something (or figuring out how to fix something). Not from
classes, other jewelers, books or anything. Just from trying things.
Have a little sense of adventure and experimentation in your work.
It’s fun too!

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#3
So Helen, you're a jeweler, right? 

Well, I’m loathe to call myself such as I’ve only been making
jewellery (self taught with the great help of Orchid) since July this
year so it would seem a little pretentious to call myself a jeweler!

So why wouldn't you just step over to the polishing machine and see
what happens? 

Well Daniel, I’ll let you into a secret. I have had such a sense of
"I’ll try it and see what happens" once before with my engagement
ring. I very foolishly tried to resize it by stretching it - not
knowing at the time that you can only do that on band rings and that
you have to cut and add a piece to make a stone set ring bigger. So
of course all I did was split the shank at the point it had been
previously soldered. I also polished it a little too heavily and the
white gold prongs failed a few months later which led to my diamond
falling out! All this was before I was confident enough to fix such
mishaps and so an Orchid friend of mine in America fixed it for me
and soldered a new platinum head and set the diamond again so now it
looks better than it did when new.

To be honest, as soon as I asked the question I thought it was a
stupid one, as I since figured that it’ll probably return to its
normal yellow colour after a little wear anyway!

But thanks for the words of encouragement, and yes I do love to
experiment also and have learned most of what I know from such
experiments. Incidentally, I do now attempt such repairs and have
successfully resized a few stone set rings myself, but when it comes
to my engagement ring, I am a little nervous to jump in head first as
it’s obviously very dear to me.

Helen
UK