Cuttlefish casting 18K gold

A potential customer is interested in one of my Sterling silver rings
that have been cast in cuttlefish, but he wants it in 18K yellow
gold. I have a lot of experience with casting sterling in cuttlefish
and it works fine, but, in my opinion, only just. If the bone is on
the thin side or the silver is just a bit too hot, it burns hrough
the bone, which is why I am trying to cast the silver as ‘cold’ as
possible. The difference between the melting points of 18 K yellow
gold and sterling is 34 degrees (927 versus 893C). I am afraid that
the bone will not stand the heat, unless - perhaps - I find a really
thick bone. Does anyone has experience with this? I know I can make
one in silver and send it to a caster, but I would very much prefer
not to do so.

Regards, Leach

I am afraid that the bone will not stand the heat, unless -
perhaps - I find a really thick bone. 

First, I buy cuttlebone from, and you can buy REALLY
big, thick cuttlebones from them.

Second, I haven’t felt the need to do this, but I understand you can
soak the cuttlebone in “waterglass”-- sodium silicate-- to make it
much more durable. I’ve read that it can stand up to multiple
castings when treated with sodium silicate. Maybe someone has
actually tried this?


What if you packed the cuttlefish mold in a sandcasting setup? Then
the packed sand and metal frame would support the cuttlefish as the
gold flowed into it.

If you have access to Tim McCreight’s casting book, there is
on how to make your own sand casting unit, no metal
frame needed.

Good luck, would love to see pictures of it!

Kelley Dragon

Hello Alicia, I have done a good many castings in 18k using
cuttlefish with no problems. You will like the profit margin much
more. Have fun.

Tom Arnold

Hi Leach,

I have cast 18ct in cuttlefish without problems. I do try to find
the fattest bones in the pet shop and keep as much thickness as
possible when creating flat mating surfaces - don’t sand the bones
right down but just create flat areas maybe twice as big as the piece
being cast. While the cuttlefish chars deeply, it doesn’t seem to
matter as the gold has already chilled and solidified enough before
the bone begins to lost structural integrity.

Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK

Noel -

How long ago did you buy your cuttlebones? I just went there, and
it’s now an ad park site; there’s a notice that the domain name is
for sale.

Kelley Dragon

Hi, Thank you all for your help, I appreciate a lot. Noel, I tried to
go to as I am interested in buying big bones, but
this site seems to be about food. Would it be possible for you to
give me the right url?

Thanks in advance, Leach


I believe Cuttlebones Plus is no longer is business. However, you can
get big ones from Drs. Foster and Smith website. They are vets who
carry bird supplies. They carry 6"-8" sizes and you can purchase 5
pounds for $29.99 plus shipping. The item number is CC-34084.

I have purchased some from Rio and they were excellent quality, so
you might try them. They are a bit more expensive, but worth it as
each one that I got was perfect.