I'm wanting to die cut charms from a double-clad goldfilled sheet.
However, in theory, the brass core will be exposed at the cut edges
(more accurately, you will see brass sandwiched by a layer of gold).
When I cut shapes from a 20-22 gauge goldfilled sheet, this sandwich
look wasn't obvious, but I'm concerned if the exposed brass may turn
people's skin green or cause the charm to rust from the edge. This
isn't a major concern when the cut surface is small, such as the cut
edge of a 20 gauge goldfilled round wire, but how about cutting a 20
gauge sheet to make a charm? Should I coat the cut edges with a
I'd appreciate any insight you may have on this issue.
Thank you very much.
Should I coat the cut edges with a sealant?
Another common approach is to gold electroplate to cover the base
metal. Doesn't usually need to be a very thick layer.
Megu- We if they were pins we left the edges alone. For pendants we
just did a quick gold electroplate.
Hello Megu, i f you are going to use gold filled material- always-
use double clad. that said, cutting a wire to solder for say, a ring
band or bezel just in soldering the join will take care of the cut
edge. However, with stamping or piercing for a pendant/charm, etc.
you would have a lot of cut edges that would nee some finishing. A
simple pen type plating set up would do it- you can even rig one
using a felt tip marker blank and battery with a pre-mixed plating
solution you can obtain readily in any karat or metal you need (if
you would like the instructions for a pen plating set-up you can rig
up quickly and cheaply I can send them. just contact me off list).
Using a sealant will make the cuts more obvious and being on an edge
of a stamping or piercing will eventually wear or peel off making the
piece look cheap and perhaps the customer returning to you to report
the problem! Sealants are not a good choice unless it's for an
engraved nameplate/monogram in a base metal alloy that will be
applied to a chest or other furnishing like a fine art picture frame
for example would be more appropriate and not compromise the quality
of your jewelry work. In that situation (the nameplate, etc) a marine
varnish that will not yellow and is totally waterproof is a good
choice for a sealant, but you must use a brush that will not yield
any air bubbles when you lay on the coating-even using a pin to pop
the bubbles can lead to imperfections in the coating. If the charm or
stamping is small-ish you may just leave the edge exposed since it is
very hard to distinguish the base metal from the gold filled layer.
The method of cutting the gold-filled material bears on the situation
as well: some shear cutters leave a bevel on an edge, which in your
situation would be great, if you are doing it by hand and get a flush
cut, not so great !I would highly recommend plating as the solution
to your exposed edges. But consider this -if you are buying gold
filled because of cost issues, you can't easily sell the scrap to
most refineries even though the alloy is essentially 10-20% gold. it
may be better to invest in some 9kt gold sheet, or heat treatable 9kt
sheet in a lower gauge (as it will exceed the same gauge in hardness
once treated).that way refiners have no problem accepting your scrap,
you can reclaim the scrap in a simple melt and pour or increase the
karat by adding 'x' amount of fine gold to yield a sheet or wire of
14 kt or more easily and wind up with a usable and more valuable
alloy for other work pieces.
I hope this is clear enough. If you want more details feel free to
contact me off Orchid Good luck. rer