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Depletion Gilding effects

Hello folks,

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Also, I have been trying to do depletion gilding. I can’t tell much
difference before or after the process. I am not heating up the
acids, which may be part of the problem. What I am doing is:

1st. I pickle the piece in sparex. 2nd I put the 22k in nitric acid
[I have been using a premade product from Rio ] perhaps I should mix
new. 3rd After rinsing I put the piece in Sulfuric. I would think
that I would have bright a pure gold look but I see no real
difference. After I enamel my 1st layer I have really black
oxidation on the piece. I would think that this would be gone.
Anyone have any advise?

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So If anyone can help me with the gold alloy or my depletion
problems or my enamel issues I would be very grateful.

Thanks, Dennis

Hi Donna. I have not done depletion guilding on 22K gold, but have
done copper depletion on sterling in order to bring up the fine
silver to the surface. When doing this process on silver, I heat the
silver gently until it discolors, then put it in the sparex pickle,
until the silver is free of discoloration. I do this as many times as
necessary—which will be determined by the fact that when heating
with the torch, the silver no longer turns black. With gold, there
may be two problems you are contending with. One is that part of the
alloy in the gold has zinc, or another metal which is incompatible
with enameling. If the alloy is not the problem, it may be that you
are not heating, picking, heating and pickling a sufficient number of
times to rid the gold of the copper and thereby you are not bringing
the pure gold to the surface. Perhaps some of the other enamelists
may have some other suggestions. It might be a good idea to
contact Tom Ellis or Bill Helwig at Thompson enamel for their advice