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Fancy colored gold


#1

I have been seeing a few fancy-colored golds recently, and was
wondering if any of you out there know something about them -
because I certainly don’t. Specifically, I would like to know the
formulas for chocolate gold and blue gold. Are these unicorns, or are
they actually possible to create? I wish the mad genius, SK, was
still around to answer my questions. If I remember correctly, he was
working on a fire-engine red gold before his untimely death. That
would be a sight to behold. In addition, does anyone have any idea
how that man was able to magnetize platinum? Can gold be magnetized?
Inquiring minds want to know…


#2
I have been seeing a few fancy-colored golds recently, and was
wondering if any of you out there know something about them -
because I certainly don't. Specifically, I would like to know the
formulas for chocolate gold and blue gold. Are these unicorns, or
are they actually possible to create? 

The alloys themselves are ordinary gold colors. The chocolate and
blue colors you see are surface patinas or electroplated colors.
Durable enough to be useful.

I wish the mad genius, SK, was still around to answer my questions. 

A loss to the field, indeed.

If I remember correctly, he was working on a fire-engine red gold
before his untimely death. That would be a sight to behold. In
addition, does anyone have any idea how that man was able to
magnetize platinum? Can gold be magnetized? Inquiring minds want to
know... 

Platinum alloyed with cobalt is already magnetic. Not very, but a
magnet will attract the usual platinum cobalt casting alloys. Steve
played with that formula to increase the magnetic properties. Most
likely, by increasing the percentage of cobalt, but knowing his
alloys, probably some other additions and tweaks too. But the basis
of it was/is cobalt. Knowing this is useful, by the way, since if you
work with platinum, knowing when you’re working on cobalt platinum
instead of iridium or ruthenium can save you some hassel, both with
soldering methods, or laser welding. So unspecified bits of platinum
can be tested with a decent magnet. If it sticks, it’s cobalt
platinum. It also suggests that the traditional method of running a
magnet through your filings scrap to get iron out is perhaps not such
a good idea with platinum scrap, since if there are cobalt platinum
filings in there, you will pull them out too.

Peter


#3

Gold + Aluminium gives a truly nice violet. Unfortunately, this
alloy is very brittle and hard to work.


#4

The colors in black, chocolate and blue golds are surface layers not
bulk metal color. So great for things that don’t get much wear.
Formulas and processing requirements are not to hard to get a hold
of but are typically patented. Steven Kretchmer’s patent for magnetic
platinum alloys is here if you want to read the basics of what he
did

http://google.com/patents?id=Ro8UAAAAEBAJ&dq="Steven+Kretchmer"

Patent number: 6869567 - Abstract 

A new jewelry component alloy and articles of jewelry formed
therefrom wherein the components and articles include precious
metal alloys of platinum and cobalt that have magnetic
properties and high hardnesses so that the various forms of fine
jewelry that possess new and unusual visual and functional
properties. When these alloys are formed into jewelry articles
or components, the magnetic properties enable the components to
either be attracted to or repelled by other components of
different or like polarities. The jewelry designer is thus able
to create pieces with levitating or suspended components, or to
make magnetically connected components. The high hardness
imparts exceptional durability to these components. 

it is a platinum cobalt alloy the trick is in the processing of the
alloy not its composition. He told me a little about it the last
time I saw him. Truly a brilliant man.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#5
In addition, does anyone have any idea how that man was able to
magnetize platinum? 

Presumably he had made a cobalt-containing platinum alloy much like
the ones being sold today, which are slightly magnetic.

Helen
UK


#6

I do not know about the colors you are asking about, but it reminds
me of the last time I was in Singapore, I saw purple gold, which
some had developed and patented there. There is brief information
about at this site:

http://www.mjsajournal.org/features/0407/purple.php


#7
Presumably he had made a cobalt-containing platinum alloy much
like the ones being sold today, which are slightly magnetic. 

He developed a method for aligning the magnetic domains in the
platinum cobalt alloy. It is similar to the process used with making
most magnets by placing them in a high power magnetic field but he
tuned it for the alloys he was working with. He was actually able to
make multi pole magnetic platinum that had a whole slew of
alternating magnetic domains. He showed me a ring that had two
halves with 20 odd poles each that would allow the halves to align in
multiple orientations. The magnetic field was quite strong. He
really was a genius and his untimely death was a great loss.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#8

I would like to know the formulas for chocolate gold and blue gold.
In addition, does anyone have any idea how SK was able to magnetize
platinum?

James Binnion had a great post on the subject of colored golds
awhile back, that is worth your time to search. I know that
platinum/cobalt is magnetic but I’m not sure what SK was using.
James was saying that the chocolate gold was a vapor deposition
coating (if I remember correctly) and not something you could
normally do in house. Blue gold is so super hard it is nearly
unusable.

Mark


#9

Peter,

I have been providing my customers with custom coloured gold alloys
for years. They are most definitely not patinas, but metal alloys in
a range of combinations that yield red-orange, olive green, blue,
browns, greens, yellows, purple (a process that we have been in the
process of patenting with partners for over three years and is
difeerent thatn the crystals that are available on the market that
are patented. My process however, yields a purple - not violet, that
is malleable, and is rollable, and is based on an archaic process.
Before gas covered alloying was possible purple gold was produced in
Europe as early as we have found, as the 24th century.), a host of
red shades and other colours as well. They are ordinary, just not
widely distributed as most jewelrs and large manufacturers produce a
standard, palid range as that’s all most jewelers know .Harold
O’Conner published a list of the alloys (now out of print) years ago-
they all are malleable and work well done correctly (weighing the
components is really the most important part of the processing of
coloured golds) Even Hoover and Strong produces an orange shade
called “peach”- that is different than the basic high copper pink/red
that works well with many skin colours. In the green range there are
many colours as well that one can produce. beyond the nickel and gold
alloy that looks washed out in my opinion.The colours we offer are
vibrantly coloured in comparisson and when viewed (or used,) the
metal smith imediatel recognizes a difference in the palette.

In truth, I am surprised more metalsmiths are unaware of these
alloys, as equally as the fact that they are not used - beyond the
pale colours of “Black Hills gold” - which by the way are regulated
as having to be produced in the Black Hills of S.Dakota and Wyoming
to be thus named and marked. Harold O conner’s book, “the Jewelers
Bench Reference” can still be found on Alibris, at the John
C.Campbell Folkschool’s bookstore (limited supply), and from
Amazon.com, ABE books.com, Indigo.CA.com,and a few other sources as
well as public libraries. I recommend it as highly as Tim
McCreight’s “The Complete Metalsmith” as the two most important and
affordable books a novice metalsmith should seek for their libraries
as well as Oppi Untracht’s less affordable publicationsand Charles
Lewton-Brain’s “Cheap Thrills in the Tool Shop”,and a publication
(green cover,oversized paperback) on hinges and clasps, as well as
Tim McCreights “Metalsmiths Book of Boxes and Lockets” which has a
great selection of essential instruction for the self taught jewelery
maker/metalsmiths.

I don’t know that the “chocolate gold” on the market is a patina. I
would bet it’s a brown alloy, as I have a range of browns that we
offer- one resembling a cocoa colour. Nonetheless, from the pieces I
have seen it could be vapour deposited but appears to be an
alloy,based on those I make.

rer


#10
I have been providing my customers with custom coloured gold
alloys for years. They are most definitely not patinas, but metal
alloys in a range of combinations that yield red-orange, olive
green, blue, browns, greens, yellows, purple (a process that we
have been in the process of patenting with partners for over three
years and is difeerent thatn the crystals that are available on the
market that are patented. 

If you wish to share a picture of the different colors of gold alloy
you produce, which i bet will be of a wide interest, please send a
picture to my attention and I will make sure it is distributed to
the group.

best
hanuman


#11

I’d LOVE to find sources for the most intense gold colors for accent
use. David Fell is my main source of gold and silver and I find them
very agreeable to work with. That said, If anyone knows of a source
for purple, blue, brown, black or unusually saturated greens or
reds…or any others, I’d be most appreciative. These would be for
areas of very little wear. I’d prefer to solder the pieces to sheet,
but would “set” them if necessary. Thanks, Marianne


#12
James Binnion had a great post on the subject of colored golds
awhile back, that is worth your time to search. I know that
platinum/cobalt is magnetic but I'm not sure what SK was using. 

Cobalt based, no doubt with tweaks and addtions.

James was saying that the chocolate gold was a vapor deposition
coating (if I remember correctly) and not something you could
normally do in house. 

Yes. Other colors are also possible this way. Surface coating only.

Blue gold is so super hard it is nearly unusable. 

No. Blue gold is also a surface patina, but based on alloy
composition, not vapor deposition. The formulas for the good ones is
proprietary, so far as I know. Some folks suggest it’s iron in the
formula that makes the patina possible, but I don’t know if that’s
correct. The gold itself is not blue, nor all that difficult to work.

What you’re thinking of is purple gold. That’s an intermetallic
compound of gold and aluminum. Not truly an alloy, since it forms a
layered structure (hexagonal crystal system, I think) not the same as
the usual metallic structure. this is why it’s so different in
working characteristics. An 18K gold/aluminum mix is a nice rich
violet, and the color goes through, not a surface color only.
Several other ratios of gold to aluminum also form variant purple
mixes. But they have little in metal like properties, acting almost
more like a ceramic. Very brittle and hard. Can be cast with
specialized equipment (in vacuum or inert atmosphere), can be
soldered, and can be ground and polished to shape. Think of it as a
purple gem material that you can solder in place if you wish.

cheers
Peter


#13

Jim,

I worked in a store that had the magnetic earrings. I want to think
that they were marked 777 vs 950 as typical platinum. They are very
cool. I liked the magnetic mans rings, it was a great sales pitch to
the guys. If it was the three piece ring I would show them how to
play a sort of hockey game with the three parts.

Rodney


#14
I worked in a store that had the magnetic earrings. I want to
think that they were marked 777 vs 950 as typical platinum. They
are very cool. I liked the magnetic mans rings, it was a great
sales pitch to the guys. If it was the three piece ring I would show
them how to play a sort of hockey game with the three parts. 

Steven’s patent covers a range of alloys form 5%-50% cobalt so 777
is certainly covered. They were very cool pieces.

Jim

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#15

Mr Rourke,

thank you for sharing the knowledge you have concerning references
of books available English.

This is exactly the point were two different worlds come together. I
have several books written in german which bring me old but proved
rules and knowledge. However, they never tell anything about "other"
gold colors as we know for years being yellow, greenisch, white, red
or pink. If you go into jewellry stores, this is what you see and
that’s it. What I’m trying to explain is that people don’t know about
other colors and “if” you show them something else, they don’t
believe that this is colored gold in whatever the carat might be.
For this reason, beginning metalsmiths stick to what they know and
try to sell there product by change of design or technics. This is
how they are in Europe as far as I can tell and please correct me if
I’m wrong.

A second point is that not everybody speaks foreign language. Did
one of you tryed to read a german book or french? I lived for 26
years in Germany an gathered a range of books concerning jewellry and
metalworking during the last 14 years. None of them show you how to
get away from the knowing gold colors. This is te reason by the way
why I started with shibuishi to build my own range of colors and
designes. The jonger range of beginning metalssmiths know englisch
but making their own alloy -from reading a englisch book- is a
complete different story.

For some of more fortunate jewellers amongst us -and I’m not one of
them- they have equipment to melt metals in corrected atmosfhere.
This is -in my opinion- a huge advantage and a must in order to try
out more exotic color ranges of gold. Getting a hold on the different
elements to make you alloy is another challenge here in Europe as I
already experienced.

I work with silver and gold and do what I like to do being an out of
line metalsmith. I try to break the line of everyday rules and
habits being different in my design an use of However, I
don’t have this level of freedom to try my freaking expensive gold
stock out for making another color as a “try-out” I think I can speak
for a wide range of people amongst us and they all fight the prices
handled by the metal market today. In this way, I’m not surprised as
you mentioned before in your writting that people are not aware of
"other" colors. This doesn’t mean that I’m not hungry for knowledge
and more then ever, I will dig in to find out what the secrets are of
making a smashing color to change my product line. The limit is not
the sky but my finances are smile

Best regards from Belgium where I can enjoy the Leonida chocolate
and real Belgian fries.

Pedro