System 96 is not Boro glass. Boro is COE 33. System 96 is COE 96.
System 96 is considered a soft glass. Boro is a hard glass, it is
also what people know the original Pyrex by. In America they sell
Pyrex in soda-lime glass now days, which is soft glass. It breaks
easier. The higher the number COE, the softer the glass it is. Boro
is a real low number, 33. I typically like to use COE 104, but have
used the others on my torch; it is a Bethlehem hand torch with a
detachable base, able to do Boro and soft glass, and metal.
Copper and gold are already added in some glasses. They are used in
some as colorants. Copper is used in making brown, blue and green
goldstone. From what I read once, some monks figured it out by
dumping copper into glass.
Gold is used to make some of the red/rubino glass rods. If you go to
price some of the rubino rods they are quite expensive. That is why.
When I make beads, I have a container of copper flakes I often just
dump a molten bead into. I have some silver flakes, but I don’t do
that as much. Costs more. I have lots of foil, gold, silver and
copper (you have to immediately cover them with a transparent rod to
protect them from the flame). I can also put the mesh into the beads.
Silver wire makes interesting “ball” looking pieces on your bead. And
I have cz’s I plunge into them.
For interesting effects I keep a container of baking soda by my
bench and sometimes put a bead into it and melt it in well. If I use
ivory and turquoise together it looks real neat, kind of more like a
turquoise stone than a bead.
And of course you can make your own murini and embed it.
You need to anneal it. I had one lady tell me at a show recently
that her teacher told her you did not need to anneal it, that it
would last for 80 years without annealing and forever if you did.
She’s wrong. Try dropping them and see the difference. Annealing,
shall we say, calms the internal stress of the glass. Just because it
looks fine today doesn’t mean it won’t break the day after you sold
it. So it is best to anneal, and that means a kiln, not vermiculite.
You can’t get vermiculite to 900 degrees.
Alright, enough from me. It’s 1AM. This was supposed to help you in
glass selection anyhow.