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[Favorite tips] Annealing White Gold

When annealing white gold, use a bushy flame and heat the gold to a
red color. Then, hold the metal at this temperature for several
minutes by playing the flame across the metal. Heating the metal
for too short of a time will not completely anneal the metal.
Refiners anneal white gold in ovens and hold the metal at annealing
temperatures for a half hour. Always allow the white gold to air
cool slowly. NEVER quench white gold, as this will cause it to
become brittle. Brad Simon CMBJ

Brad, You are correct about maintaining temps when annealing white
gold (and platinum). In the refinery, we sometimes have specific
whites that require an hour…at 1400*. Some of the platinum solders
require an hour at 1600 to 1700*. We call it “the soak”. And always
air cool… Take care,

Doc Robinson
Idyllwild, Ca.

Brad, I agree with you about quenching nickel white golds in water.
But I have found that quenching them in denatured alcohol at “black
heat” renders them quite workable. The alcohol cools them slower and
allowing them to lose their red heat before quenching avoids thermal
shock while taking advantage of a fairly rapid cool. This keeps the
crystal size small and dense. I roll a lot of nickel white gold out
from shot and have found that the alcohol quench-- something that I
was taught years ago by an old timer and recently rediscovered-- cuts
down on cracking by about 75% and allows me to go very quickly to the
rolling mill w/ out danger of rust. It also blasts a lot the oxides
off the alloy. I have a friend who is an incredible technician who
quenches all of his gold alloys in this manner while milling them.

Good luck, Andy Cooperman

Brad, Does that hold true for Palladium white gold, as well? I have
just started working with the stuff and any hints would be helpfull!
It does seem to be its own animal! Susan Ronan in very chilly
Southern California

Andy, I like the sound of “blasting off the oxides when you quench
in denatured alcohol”. My first question is does the alcohol flame
up on the surface when you do this so you have a pot of flames to
blow out? Second, would this work with sterling silver also? Annette

Palladium white gold comes in a couple of varieties…usually
labeled by the refiner as LoPall or HiPall, and obviously has to do
with %. It would be helpful to know whether the pall w you are using
is a high concentration…or a low one. Annealing style is determined
by this. E-mail me back to discuss, Susan. @Marc_Robinson

                                            Marc Robinson
                                            Idyllwild, Ca.
                                 (REALLY cold at 6000 feet)

Annette, I don’t think anyything takes the scale off like pickle. I
quench in alcohol because it yields a stress free metal that isn’t
as prone to cracking. Since I don’t have this problem w/ 925, I
don’t use the alcohol quench (my pickle pot is bigger than my alcohol
mason jar anyway).

Remember that I let the piece cool to “black” heat-- when the red is
gone. I’ve never had a flame out.