Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Fabricating in 14K white gold


#1

I am looking for stories, experiences of others who have fabricated
their designs using whire 14 KT gold in their studio. Would you
please share the type of pickle, temperature to hold it at? How
often do you find yourself annealing if bending flat or square wire
to make a 'small ’ size ring?..any thoughts to share would be
greatly appreciated.

Teresa Ellis Cetto
teresacetto.com


#2

Teresa- There are so many different white gold alloys out there with
different properties. Everyone has their favorite.

Just treat white gold like yellow only DO NOT quench it. Let it air
cool.

It is ofter harder and has more spring to it than yellow which is
why I like to use it for clasps.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#3

Hi Teresa, 14K white is easy to work with, easier than silver for
sure. Just use boric acid and alcohol to help prevent oxidation
during soldering or annealing. If you do that you can get by with
just a hot sonic instead of pickle, but if pickling you don’t need
anything aggressive, I use Ciptic if pickling. It does work harden
more quickly than yellow gold, you can tell when it’s getting stiff
and needs annealing. It can be fussy (pits, cracks)if remelting
ingots or the like to roll or pull, better to add 50% fresh when
melting (or casting). Most commercially sold white gold is rhodium
plated when finished. Some people use the super white, high nickle
content white gold alloys to try to avoid rhodium plating. They are
whiter but not as white as rhodium. As in life, everything is a
trade-off. The “no rhodium” white gold alloys are also much harder,
which can be an issue when doing stone setting work or a lot of
bending during fabrication. But if you can deal with that they are a
whiter, white gold. I think most people doing a lot of setting work
or fabrication still use the lower nickle content white golds (which
have a slightly yellow/white color in their natural state) because
they are somewhat easier to work with and the makers don’t have a
problem with rhodium.

Mark


#4

Hi Teresa

Try working in 14k palladium white gold. Avoid nickel-based white
gold. The palladium white gold is really nice to work with, solders
beautifully without much oxidation, polishes really nicely. It is a
great alloy to work with if you are going to fabricate in white
gold. Bends easily, regardless of gauge. If you use nicke-based
white gold, you will be cursing it if you are trying to bend a thick
wire into a ring. I’ve bent 14g. palladium white gold sheet into
rings pretty easily.

Some people like to use separate soldering pads, separate files,
andbuffs, but I don’t bother for I combine gold and silver together
in my jewelry. As for pickle, I just use good ole sodium bisulfate,
but I’m sure other Ganoksin members will have their recommendations.

Have fun working with white gold! Remember, avoid nickel-based white
gold alloys.

Joy


#5

Hi Joy

Try working in 14k palladium white gold. Avoid nickel-based white
gold. The palladium white gold is really nice to work with,
solders beautifully without much oxidation, polishes really nicely. 

Have you used the 14k palladium white gold for casting, and if so do
you also recommend it for that? Which refiner do you recommend for
the 14k palladium white gold grain ?

thank you, Andy


#6

Thank you! Will I be able to reach soldering temps necceary with an
oxy-acetlyene Smith miini torch set up?

Teresa Ellis Cetto
teresacetto.com


#7

Hi Andy

I tend to not cast, so I can’t tell you if casting palladium white
gold is worth it. Ask the other Ganoksin contributers and they can
tell you. I do strictly fabricated work, much of it with
silversmithing techniques. After struggling with nickel white gold,
I thought I would try palladium white gold, and I never looked back
once I started using it. Daniel Grandi of Racecar Jewelry can tell
you how palladium white gold works as casting grain. As for
suppliers, I tend to use Stuller most of the time, and Hoover and
Strong for some things and Hauser and Miller for other things.

Now, if the darn economy ever gets better, I’ll be glad to work more
in gold, so that I’m not cranking out so much silver earrings! On a
ring roll - never made so many rings at once this year.

Joy


#8

I agree with what Jo says except for NOT QUENCHING nickel white
gold.

Most yellow golds (with the exception of the ones containing nearly
equal parts of silver and copper) do not harden whether air cooled or
fast cooled by quenching in water.

However, nickel white golds (no matter how little nickel they have)
when slow/air cooled tend to become harder and lose some of their
ductility.

If they are fast cooled by quenching in water (after the piece has
lost its red heat), nickel white golds will be softer and more
forgiving at the bench.


#9
If [white golds] are fast cooled by quenching in water (after the
piece has lost its red heat), nickel white golds will be softer and
more forgiving at the bench. 

I struggled with nickel white gold for YEARS by not knowing this
simple fact.

My mentor was pleasantly shocked when I told him about this and now
doesn’t hate white gold as much any longer.

I was informed of this fact by Randy Welsh the metallurgist at
Stuller.

(On a side note, if any of you have the wherewithal to go to one of
those workshops/tours put on by Stuller every so often, it is well
worth it! Paf Dvorak