Hi Orchid Experts,
A sweet little girl just got her ears pierced and I would like to
repurposean old 14K gold band to make her a set of earrings. She is
only seven and wouldn't know if she has metal allergies, so I think
it is too risky to give her sterling. The gold ring is quite large
and heavy and I'm having trouble locating the solder seam to cut it
out. I did my reseach and found a couple of old archive email
threads that suggested heating a gold ring to find the seam. I've
done this twice, the first time to a soft red glow andthe second
time to a bright red glow, and still no seam. Any other suggestions?
If the band was die struck, as are most commercial wedding bands,
there will be no seam.
Don't use any firecoat or boric acid, and don't heat it until it
glows. You just want to heat it gently until it starts to discolor,
like a tarnish.
The seam should show up as a light colored line while the rest of
the gold stays sort of brown.
The usual method is to heat the ring when the solder seam will show
up with a slightly different colour. If you've done this and not
seen it then its quite possible that it was never soldered. Some
wedding bands are seamless - ie. no solder seam.
Regards, Gary Wooding
Maybe there is no seam....
The gold ring is quite large and heavy and I'm having trouble
locating the solder seam to cut it out. I did my reseach and found
a couple of old archive email threads that suggested heating a gold
ring to find the seam. I've done this twice, the first time to a
soft red glow andthe second time to a bright red glow, and still no
seam. Any other suggestions?
Polish the ring first. Heat it using reducing flame. The right time
to stop is when gold under flame looks clean, but when flame is moved
away, it looks black. When such temperature reached, plunge ring in
water and examine using 10x loupe.
Are you using any type if fire scale such as borax or fire scoff. And
what type of flame are you using. I have by taught to use no
protective coating and use a normal size flame for solder the Ron
together but making it an oxidizing flame. This flame and lack of
coating should oxidize the metal and showthe seam if the is one. The
mill could be machined or die struck which would leave no seam. Check
for hallmarks and do some digging.
Maybe there is no seam........ On my phone so short and sweet. JD
It sounds like it might have been cast. If you brought the metal up
to a reddish color the seam would have presented itself.
Have a great weekend!
It is probably a seamless band
James Binnion Metal Arts
Thank you all for responding. The ring is a pretty standard heavy
men's wedding band from the early 1960s. The only mark is 14K and a
one or two letter illegible hallmark. It was probably die stuck with
a few thousand identical rings. I'm going to follow Mr. Surpins's
detailed instructions to the letter and if I still don't see a seam,
use it is as clean 14K gold. I have a nice little Durston rolling
mill so will have no problem rolling this heavy half round wire into
a little sheet and wire.
sterling is very unlikely to give allergic reactions. However karats
less than 18 kt ARE prone to allergic reactions.
If the solder seam does not show up the ring could have been milled
from gold tube.
I would suggest you hang the earrings from 18 kt diamond cut
sleepers then there will be no problem. And she can wear the sleepers
at night, that is why they are called sleepers.
Put the ring on a blank white piece of paper. Shine light on it.
Usually you can see slight difference in color of solder from metal.
Need the white background.
The ring might not have a solder seam; many bands do not unless they
If the sea does not show up with heating then my guess is that the
ring was made from a tube with no seam to cast. without seeing the
ring it is hard to say. Either way cast or extruded it should pose
no problems doing what you want to do.
I was shown a little trick in using mercurochrome. Brush a thin coat
on item and the seam will show up as a dark grey/black line. If you
can find mercurochrome anymore. Last time that I'd looked for it I
couldn't find any.
From the info on the date of manufacture given, one consideration,
when I was in the downtown Los Angeles jewelry manufacturing area, it
was standard practice there to use 13 1/2kt for manufacturing.
Richard Hart G. G.