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Filled Gold


#1

What is the difference between gold filled and gold plated? I
know how plating is done . What are the drawbacks of filled
gold? Is it durable and easily worked?

Thanks
Bob B


#2

Gold filled is a laminate of a gold alloy bonded to a base metal
(usually brass) 1/20 14k would mean the gold layer was 5% by
weight of the item. Gold filled sheet can be double sided or
single sided. It is much thicker than the usual gold plate (a few
microns).

Rick Hamilton
Richard D. Hamilton, Jr
http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#3

Filled gold is made from a “sandwich” of gold alloy and base
metal. A billet comprised of a base metal (brass?) sheet between
2 thin gold sheets is formed and then rolled to the thickness
desired. A common designation is 1/20 10k GF meaning 1/20 of the
thickness is karat gold (1/40 on each side). A common item made
from GF is the old 20 year pocket watch, named so because the
gold thickness could stand up for 20 years of usage. Gold plate
on the other hand is generally only a few millionths of an inch
thick. GF can be soldered, worked, and buffed to a very limited
extent, and is excellent for stamping applications, but doesn’t
have much use in the jewelers shop except for some repairs to
watches etc…

       Jeffrey Everett, jewelry craftsman

Handmade 18K, 22K, and platinum gemstone jewelry.
Diamond setting, rubber/metal molds, casting, lapidary
Die and mold engraving, plastic patterns for casting.
Jewelry design, cad/cam, milling, scroll, filigree, & more.
P O Box 2057 Fairfield IA 52556 515-469-6250


#4

<< What is the difference between gold filled and gold plated? I
know how plating is done . What are the drawbacks of filled
gold? Is it durable and easily worked?

Excellent question, I’d like to add that I’m wondering if “gold
filled” can be soldered without losing the gold? Plated - as far
as I know, cannot even be polished without the fear of all the
gold vanishing . . . (am I wrong?) Thanks for any advice.


#5
Excellent question, I'd like to add that I'm wondering if "gold
filled" can be soldered without losing the gold?  Plated - as
far as I know, cannot even be polished without the fear of all
the gold vanishing . . . (am I wrong?) Thanks for any advice.

Yes, GF can be soldered with no deterioration of its qualities,
and even polished. It is actually a thin sheet of karat gold
mechanically bonded to a substratum (usually brass).

Jeffrey Everett


#6

The way I understand it, plating is only a molecule or two thick
of gold or silver and is fairly thin and easily destroyed.
Gold-filled, however is a thin sheet of gold heat pressed or
soldered onto a brass or other metal backing. By law, gold-fill
must be 1/20th karat gold.

I know that Indian Jewelers Supply catalog has tips on plating
gold-filled sheet and stuff. Call them at their 800 number and
see if you can get a catalog (I think it is a group of three for
six follars, and they are very reasonable in their prices).


#7

The way I understand it, plating is only a molecule or two thick
of gold or silver and is fairly thin and easily destroyed.
Gold-filled, however is a thin sheet of gold heat pressed or
soldered onto a brass or other metal backing. By law, gold-fill
must be 1/20th karat gold.

I know that Indian Jewelers Supply catalog has tips on plating
gold-filled sheet and stuff. Call them at their 800 number and
see if you can get a catalog (I think it is a group of three for
six follars, and they are very reasonable in their prices).


#8

Hey all!!!

I do production work with gold fill both 12k and 14k by
themselves and with silver. I have done thousands of pieces over
the past year and a half, Nordstrom’s carries some of my line. I
hope some of my insights will be of help.

  1. Use a low temp solder. I use 56 silver solder (supereasy)
    mostly because if you heat up the gold fill too much the solder
    between the karat gold and the underliing metal will bubble and
    mess up the finish.

  2. Do not use Tripoli or bobbing compound to pre buff they are
    way too aggressive. I have found white diamond to work well with
    the yellow treate d muslin wheels. Also Zam red rogue and
    Fabulustre work fine for the finish with a soft muslin buff.
    Remember though, do not be too heavy handed with the pre-buff,
    you will go right through the gold!!!

  3. When soldering, use a good fire scale inhibitor like
    Cuprinil ( I make my own out of water, borax and boric acid) to
    keep the fire scale down. If you get black firescale on the gold
    you are Um… fritzed, for lack of a better word…

  4. Do not tumble with any other media other than steel shot or
    shell with a finish compound in it. Pre-finish cones and the
    like will take off the gold!!! Yes, this is personal
    experience talking…

General things…

The 12K gold filled is much tougher than the 14K thus making it
much easier to finish but it does not have the same rich look.

The only US manufacturer of gold fill is Stearn-Leach in
Attalborough, MA. Handy and Harmon sold Stearn all the gold fill
equipment they had early las t year.

Check your MSDS!!! Some gold fill products have cadnium in
them!!! And some have nickel.

Hope this helps!!!

Harry Butterfield
HP Trading Co.