I do this all the time. Its one of the requirements in Jean Starks
chain making class.
1) I start off with a Four-Nines (99.99% pure) gold coin. The one I
use is the Canadian Maple Leaf, after 1984 ( I think that is the
2) Before 1984, they were Three-Nines and not pure enough for wire
3) I get the coins at Dallas Gold and Silver Exchange, and usually
pay 5% over spot for them, cash only. You can get them at most coin
dealers or off the internet, just shop for someone who will give you
a low mark-up.
4) I take a NEW charcoal block, and cut a square depression about
1.5 inches x 1.5 inches in the top.
5) I put the coin in the depression and heat it with my torch until
it melts completely. I stir it with bamboo chopsticks (which I
collect every time I eat chinese..) If the gold is pure, when it
cools, it will make a hole in the nugget. Don't know how to describe
the hole, but at the last moment before cooling to solid, bing, a
depression occurs. The surface will be very shiny, like it was just
6) After cooling , I melt it again and add my copper and silver to
get to 22kt. You can find the exact porportions in the back of Jeans
book on chain making.
7) On the other side of the charcoal block, I dig a trench about 1/4
inch wide by 5 inches long, from corner to corner.
8) I heat the gold ingot and push it into the trench, giving me a
rod just about right to go in my mill. At this point, you don't have
to use all of the gold. If you are not going to use all the gold,
heat the nugget in the big depression till it melts a second time,
then pour it into water.
9) Now using the little nuggets from the water, put some in the
trench, heat till they melt, and form the rod in the trench till it
is about the size to go into your biggest rolling mill groove.
10) I roll it out very slowly , annealing after every 2nd pass
through the rolling mill. More annealing is better than less.
11) I stop about 3 sizes larger than the wire size I want.
12) I taper the end of the square wire and start pulling through the
drawplate. On the back side of the drawplate, I keep a black
paperclip with a wad of oil soaked cotton iin it, clipped to the wire
to continuously oil the wire before it goes through the drawplate.
13) I anneal about every 2nd pass through the drawplate.
14) I reguarly draw the wire to 30 ga or less.
15) After the wire gets past 20 ga or thereabouts, I anneal by
putting it in a coil and leaving it in tht kiln for 10 minutes on a
piece of mica so the gold dosent touch the kiln face.
16) With the fabrication cost of gold about 30% of the price of
gold, I save about $150 for each ounce of gold I draw.
If you have any more questions , don't hesitate to ask.
Love and God Bless