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Contrast gold and silver


#1

Hi all,

I made a 14 K yellow gold ring with inlayed sterling silver ornament
and brushed surface. The color contrast between the two metals is not
very good. Espescially because the silver inlay is very small. You
really have to take a close look to recognize it. So I would like to
know if there is any possibility of getting a better contrast between
gold and silver.

TIA,
Sabinea


#2

Try using one of the instant patina, such as Black Max by Rio. This
will oxidize the silver, but unless you use a steel applicator in
conjunction with the patina, it will not affect the gold. It will
quickly turn the silver black, so you’ll have to use a brass brush to
"brush back" the finish to a gray. Also, you might want to consider
etching the silver part just a tiny bit with some ferric nitrate (will
not etch the gold), so it will be recessed a fraction. This gives a
visual illusion of depth by itself, and with the addition of patina,
it will create a darker line around the perimeter of the silver, where
your brass brush can’t reach.


#3

Sabinea, I make things with gold and silver also because I like the
contrast. I’ve been starting with the ring in silver and soldering on
18 or 22k gold. I then use some oxidizer around the gold to darken the
silver. It helps to bring out the contrast. If the gold soldered on is
a large enough piece then the 14k looks fine also. The smaller the
piece the higher the karat of gold needed to show contrast in my
opinion. I even bought a little piece of 30 gauge 24k gold to sort of
inlay into the silver in very tiny pieces although I haven’t used it
yet. Then you mentioned you brush the surface of the metal, which I
find helps also. I’ve been polishing the silver and then putting a
satin finish on the gold. Annette


#4
So I would like to know if there is any possibility of getting a
better contrast between gold and silver. 

Either use a higher karat gold than 14K to maximize the yellow/white
contrast or patinate the silver with Liver of Sulphur or another
coloring agent to achieve a yellow/black (or other) contrast. You
could also depletion gild the metals to bring fine gold and fine
silver to the surface of the object but, because rings get a lot of
wear, the gilding won’t hold up very long.

Beth


#5
    I made a 14 K yellow gold ring with inlayed sterling silver
ornament and brushed surface. The color contrast between the two
metals is not very good. Espescially because the silver inlay is
very small. You really have to take a close look to recognize it. So
I would like to know if there is any possibility of getting a better
contrast between gold and silver. 

These are simple suggestions, but how about switching to either 18k
(more yellow) or 14k rose gold?

With indoors lighting, it’s definitely hard to notice subtle changes
between 14k yellow and silver, I think because indoor lighting is
very yellow itself.

  • darcy

#6
        I made a 14 K yellow gold ring with inlayed sterling silver
ornament and brushed surface. The color contrast between the two
metals is not very good. Espescially because the silver inlay is
very small. You really have to take a close look to recognize it.
So I would like to know if there is any possibility of getting a
better contrast between gold and silver. 

Why not switch to 14 K red gold?

An alloy of 585 Au, 40 Ag, 350 Cu, and 25 Zn (analytical grade) gives
you an excellent red gold, a little more red than 24 K. A higher
content of silver will pull the colour towards the yellow. This alloy
has almost the same working properties as 14 K yellow.

A tip: Start making an alloy of the Ag and the Cu, then add Zn, stirr
and pour in water. This alloy (I call it “noble bronze”) can then be
used to alloy with 24 K gold. Here in Europe the 14 karat gold must
have a minimum content of 585/1000 gold, thus the figures.

Kind regards
Betty & Niels L�vschal, Jyllinge, Denmark
@L_F8vschal
phone (+45) 46 78 89 94


#7

Hello: Whenever I am looking for contrast between gold and silver I
use Green gold. White metal will reflect or mirror other colors so
small accents of silver will not be to visible. Another way to make
the contrast is to put a matte finish on one or the other.

Michael R. Mathews Sr. Victoria,Texas USA


#8
    Hello: Whenever I am looking for contrast between gold and
silver I use Green gold. White metal will reflect or mirror other
colors so small accents of silver will not be to visible. Another
way to make the contrast is to put a matte finish on one or the
other. 

Just to add a data point here… I just made a silver ring that has a
section cut out. I hammered in a 24kt gold nugget, and soldered it
into place.

After filing and emery, even with a matte finish in the wrong light
you can’t even tell that the gold is there. With all the reflections
coming off the silver it just looks like another reflection.

Out of bright or direct light the contrast shows up.

  • darcy

#9

People often get disappointed with metal inlay because the high
polish that most demand doesn’t allow the color to show. The best way
I’ve found to show this up is to bring the piece to the best polish
you can and then… take it down! I use a very fine emery pad and
follow up with a small amount of oxidation using potassium sulphide.

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone
www.goldandstone.com
tony@goldandstone.com