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Dry Gold?


#1

Someone used this term recently to describe 14K castings that had a
propensity to melt suddenly and catastrophically during soldering.

Anyone have an inkling?


#2

A poorly mixed alloy that has not been fluxed properly will absorb
gases which are liberated on cooling, especially if cooled through
the mushy zone too quickly. This means that a good part of the metal
forms a eutectic rather than stable metal or intermetallic phases.
these eutectics are essentially the same as solder in character and
so will melt at a lower temp than they should. Because a casting
will look very grainy and be brittle I suspect that the name emanates
from its appearance.

Nick


#3
Someone used this term recently to describe 14K castings that
had a propensity to melt suddenly and catastrophically during
soldering. Anyone have an inkling? 

A store I worked at many years ago carried a line of 14K gold cast
mountings that were a pain in the rear to solder, because they’d do
just that. The color was a tad paler than the usual, and this stuff
would melt slightly below the normal 14K hard solders we used, so
heads and even sizings, had to be soldered with medium or usually,
easy solder. When this gold melted, it didn’t just start to soften
and slump a little, it suddenly puddled. We in the shop eventually
convinced the owner to stop buying from that company. The problem
was the gold alloy they were using. It had a little more silver than
usual, so the color difference, but also a higher percentage of zinc
to deoxidize the castings. Their alloy formation did indeed give
great castings, with less porosity than sometimes seen, and it was
nice and soft for stone setting or other cold work. But the other
result was an alloy that must have been very close to a eutectic
formulation for those metals, since it melted very suddenly and
completely, rather than over a gradual temperature range going
though the usual slushy state one might be accustomed to with
"normal" 14K gold alloys from most manufacturers. It gave you no
warning when it was about to melt…

But I’ve not heard the term “dry” gold used for that. Frankly, in my
book, that alloy was “all wet”… (grin)

Peter


#4

Neil

While I am ignorant of the term, the effect I am very familiar with.
The same act occurs on Al when mixed with a high ratio of zinc. As
you heat it, it just suddenly falls apart right at the temperature
of repair. The advantage to the manufacturer is that casting is
faster, better and cleaner than a normal casting mix. Immediately
after casting you can see a difference but after polishing you would
see none until you heat it.

Terry


#5

I used to run into this when the traveling re-mount dog and pony
show was in town visiting the store where I was working. It was like
a jewelry carnival, complete with flashing lights, barkers and
portable benches. The only thing missing was cotton candy and corn
dogs. The weird metal in their mountings just seemed so appropriate
and went so well with the bright orange !!!SALE!!! signs and banners
all over the place. I have no idea what they used for alloy. It
tested as 14k, but it looked a little bit lighter in color and acted
for all the world like castings made from old solder. It melted just
before medium solder, with absolutely no warning. Only thing we found
that we could use on that junk was super low melt solder that we
referred to as Ultra Greazie. And even then you had to be careful.
The good thing was you didn’t have to worry about fire-scale. If you
got that far, you had nothing left but a ball anyway. Great stuff for
learning heat control.

My guess is that the castings in question came from a re-mount sale
or some other low-cost high-volume casting firm.

Dave


#6
I used to run into this when the traveling re-mount dog and pony
show was in town visiting the store where I was working. 

Forgive my ignorance but what’s a “re-mount dog and pony show”? It
all sounds a little weird!

Helen
UK


#7
"re-mount dog and pony show"? 

A re-mount show is an “event” at a mall jewelry store where the
store encourages people to bring in their old ugly jewelry to be
remade on the spot, by this jeweler working on a portable bench in
the middle of the store.

So the stones from the hideous old jewelry is “re mounted.”

The original poster was saying that the carnival style barkers in
the mall aisles added to the dog and pony show atmosphere.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#8

To answer Helen’s question about “dog and pony show.”

It’s one of those ubiquitous slang expressions that refers to any
kind of elaborate marketing effort or presentation to a client or
higher authority one is trying to impress. We used to use it for any
canned (“boilerplate”) presentation that was quite boring to us, but
we had to do it anyway. :slight_smile:

Dick Davies


#9
A re-mount show is an "event" at a mall jewelry store where the
store encourages people to bring in their old ugly jewelry to be
remade on the spot, by this jeweler working on a portable bench in
the middle of the store. 

Many times the folks doing the work & selling the ‘remounts’ are a
group from out of town. They bring their own benches & other
equipment as well as an assortment of remounts. The chain contracts
with the company of ‘remounters’ & they are scheduled at the chains
stores in various malls. The chain usually guarantees the work done
by the nomads.

Dave


#10

Hi Helen,

Elaine hit it on the head. There used to be a bunch of companies in
the US that traveled around the country with portable benches,
goldsmiths, salespeople and scads of mountings. The retail store
that hired them advertised in advance, usually quite heavily, that
there would be hundreds, maybe even thousands of rings and other
mountings available to choose from to remount stones from old
jewelry. It was a pretty big thing in the 80’s. They could be very
profitable for the hosting store, at least in the short term. The
goldsmiths that traveled with the shows were usually pretty fast and
could really crank out the settings, doing almost everything
while-you-wait. The only catch was that there were some fly-by-night
companies doing it that used inferior materials and craftsmanship,
and that didn’t really care much about the quality of their product
as they wouldn’t be around to clean up the mess later. That’s what
happened to my former employer. He hired one of these companies,
lured by the fact he could triple key their mountings and still offer
mountings inexpensively. About three days after the event, I had my
first experience with “dry gold”. I think the term comes from what
happens to your mouth as you try to explain to your boss how you just
turned a three day old ring into an ingot.

The “dog and pony show” aspect I was referring to was the dizzying
carnival-like atmosphere surrounding the event itself, as viewed by
the full-timers working at the store before, during and after the
event. A Remount Event could really turn an otherwise quiet and
subdued jewelry store into a three ring circus for a day or two.