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Gold alloy


#1

hi everyone,

within the last 6 mo i’ve heard about an alloy that is a
virtually pure .999 gold that is microalloyed with tungsten or
some other element that causes the gold to have the hardness and
workability of 18k while retaining the color of 24k.

i’ve seen it advertised sporadically in jck, and i’ve pored over
my existing old issues to find the advertisement to no avail. i’d
like to use this new product and get any info others of this
forum may have.

thanks in advance

best regards,

geo fox


#2
I am about to start casting small parts in shakudo and would
like to know what is the reason for adding fine gold to the
copper- it seems like there is such a small amount of gold in
the alloy that it would be completely " lost " ? In other
words, is shakudo merely a Japanese word for " silly man's way
to throw away gold" or " silly man's way to make copper sound
expensive" ? 

The pieces I’m about to cast are 6 mm x 6 mm x 1 mm thick. I
would also like to try casting these in purple ( 750 and 250 Al
). Has anyone tried this before and be willing to share their
experience. There was a post awhile back on different colored
alloys by someone named J.A. who told of his expensive
experiment- I’m hoping to find the wise Orchidian and avoid
myself the expense of repeating someone else’s mistakes.

What are the casting temps of these alloys?

                   Thanks,  Peter Slone

#3

I am about to start casting small parts in shakudo and would
like to know what is the reason for adding fine gold to the
copper- it seems like there is such a small amount of gold in the
alloy that it would be completely " lost " ? In other words, is
shakudo merely a Japanese word for " silly man’s way to throw
away gold" or " silly man’s way to make copper sound expensive" ?

The pieces I’m about to cast are 6 mm x 6 mm x 1 mm thick. I
would also like to try casting these in purple ( 750 and 250 Al ).
Has anyone tried this before and be willing to share their
experience. There was a post awhile back on different colored
alloys by someone named J.A. who told of his expensive
experiment- I’m hoping to find the wise Orchidian and avoid myself
the expense of repeating someone else’s mistakes.

What are the casting temps of these alloys?

                   Thanks,  Peter Slone

#4

George :

    The PureGold alloy that is  that is microalloyed with
tungsten or some other element that causes the gold to have the
hardness and workability of 18k while retaining the color of
24k is called PureGold & is sold by 
a company called PureGold. You can contact John E Bernardin at
Ph # (510) 262-9560 or mail at
P.O.Box 20305
El Sorbrante, CA 94803

I am under the impression that it is difficult to cast but they
can supply you with instructions

Best regards;
Robert Remington    Remington Studios

#5

Just alittle info I’ve come across, alloying gold with ANY metal
that is’nt within a certain likeness to gold, ie; steel, will not
work. I was looking for a combination to make blue gold and
contacted a well known supplier of gold and was told it just
don’t work that way. I have heard of this new alloy and it is
with a metal that is compatible with gold.At this time I’m sorry
I don’t have that to give you or I would, I believe
it was something like palladium or irridum, I could be wrong but
I would just start trying different gold suppliers to get more
info.

Sorry I ca’nt be more help, I’ll see what I can find out and
post my findings here, Matt the Catt…


#6

Dear George, I think the alloy you are talking about is 990 gold.
To my understanding the 1% alloy component was Titanium (but, I
could be wrong!). I used the stuff about 10 years ago. It does
have a High karat color, but it definitely is not as workable as
18KY. We could form it or fabricate with it, but it couldn’t
readily be melted without problems. The alloying component
really made this metal more work-hardenable, more like the
standard 18KY alloy than 20 or 22 KY gold. We ordered the
stuff directly from Handy and Harmon in 4 mm square stock so it
could readily be formed into shanks or die-struck heads. We
used it with 950Pt in an attempt to offer a “High Purity” line
of hand-executed mountings. (I recall that H&H had a 100 dwt
minimum order!!!) We used to stamp it “23.75 K”. I believe,
from an old tech sheet supplied by H&H, that it was supposedly
developed for the High Purity demands of the East Asian
market.Traditional Chinese wedding bands are “24K”.
Unfortunately, It proved difficult to sell, our customers
preferred more traditional alloys. Anyway, Check with Handy and
Harmon, that was the only source that I knew of for this rare
alloy.
HTH, Eben


#7

Hi Peter, A little gold in the copper makes it flow better. I
mixed gold with aluminum. 14k is red and 18k is purple. I found
it too brittle to be useful. I didn’t try casting it. I would
sure like to know how it works out for you. Tom Arnold


#8

Hi Matt, I have made an interesting metal by alloying iron with
gold. I filed on a piece of iron and used the filings produced to
make up a small amount of 14k gold. It made up a metal that
looked like a lousy white gold, but when it was warmed slightly
[300 deg. F?], it turned a wonderful shade of black. Not antiqued
, but a black metal. Too brittle to work, but a great color. You
can make a true red gold by using aluminum to make up an alloy
but it too is too brittle to use for much. I did not try to cast
either of these alloys, but it might be worth the attempt.

Have fun, Tom Arnold


#9

I am about to start casting small parts in shakudo and would
like to know what is the reason for adding fine gold to the
copper- it seems like there is such a small amount of gold in the
alloy that it would be completely " lost " ? In other words, is
shakudo merely a Japanese word for " silly man’s way to throw
away gold" or " silly man’s way to make copper sound expensive" ?

This is a real good question. Just a personal opinion, but I
think that if the gold was eliminated it would have to called
bronze.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
Maryland’s first JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler
@Bruce_Holmgrain


1-703-627-8580


#10

The pieces I’m about to cast are 6 mm x 6 mm x 1 mm thick. I
would also like to try casting these in purple ( 750 and 250 Al ).

Whether you will be able to prepare that 18K purple material
will depend a GREAT deal on your equipment. The aluminum very
much wants to just oxidize. If it does that, you’ll end up with
useless crumbly yet hard and brittle gunk, not a nice piece of
purple material. The folks I know who’ve done it successfully
have all used equipment that allowed melting and casting
completely in the absence of any oxygen. Usually, this means
induction melt under inert gas shielding, or better, in vacuum.

Remember, too, that the 18K intermetallic compound of gold and
aluminum is not even slightly ductile or malleable. It
resembles, in working properties, a lapidary material, or carbide
etc. You can solder to it, with proper fluxes, and grind it to
shape and polish it. But you cannot flex, bend, hammer, or
otherwise work it.

Peter Rowe


#11

Dear George,

I don’t know if this will help you but there is an excellent
technical paper in the Summer issue, 1988, #34 of Aurum a
publication that was put out by the World Gold Council.

The alloy is listed as 990 gold. 99 parts pure gold and one part
Titanium.

Douglas Frey
@d.d.frey
www.dfrey.com


#12

hey Matt!!! I ran into a jeweler here in Cleveland (at Dicker and
Dicker Jewelers) who had made a true metalic PURPLE gold…ah it
was really neat…I think he said it was an aluminum/gold
combo…soo maybe its in the OTHER metals, rather than just the
precious, wherein the cool colors lie (lay???low??lawn…oh
well). crux ps: it was just in a cab form and set into a white
gold ring so I don’t know how workable it would be as an
alloy…but the color was great…


#13

Peter, As I’ve stated before, I too was also looking for a “
colored” gold myself. I was looking to make a cobolt blue, and
did some talking to my gold supplier and a few I’ve used in the
past. I was told that mixing gold with any metal that was’nt
compatible would result basically in making very expensive scrap.
I would of had to mix if I remember right iron. He told me it
would of been very brittle and a one time shot at the cast. I’d
do some serious talking to your gold supplier to get their info
before you try it. But on the other hand I have heard of this
purple gold, but haven’t heard how it is worked, cast, finished ,
and so on. Good luck and when you do find out more please let me
know how it all turned out! Mat t the Catt


#14

Dear Peter,

There are a number of different Shakudo alloys that were
traditionally made. The final color is dependent on the ratio of
fine gold to copper in the alloy and the coloring agent used. I
have 3 alloys listed in my ranging from a ratio of
20g of fine gold to 100g of copper to a ratio of 3g of fine gold
to 100g of copper. There are undoubtly more formulations than
these.

The instructions that I have for making these alloys indicate
that they are to be poured under water to avoid oxygen being
absorbed by the alloy. The higher the copper content the more gas
bubbles will be formed if these are cast in metal ingot molds and
I presume also by the lost wax method. I have always used a torch
as a source of heat, I presume traditionally these alloys were
heated using a coal fire which would have provided a nice
reduction atmosphere.

I have cast these alloys using the traditional water method and
had excellent results and also tried to cast these alloys not
using the water method and found the surface to be pitted by gas
bubbles.

I do not know the casting temperatures of these alloys and have
always used color, other visual cues and a graphite rod to
determine when they are ready to pour.

Douglas Frey
@d.d.frey
www.dfrey.com


#15

Peter,

People use shakudo to be able color it with a patina that
produces a very nice black with purple undertones in it, Shakudo
without the patina looks just like copper.

Jim


@jbin
James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601
510-436-3552


#16

Peter,

Gold and Aluminum do not form an alloy. They form what is

called a intermetalic. If you were to look at a piece of this
material under a microscope you can actualy see individual
crystals of gold and aluminum they just do not mix with each
other, this causes the intermetalic to be very brittle and hard.
It is very pretty but unuseable.

Jim


#17

Peter:

You mention induction melt under inert gas shielding. Are you
familiar with a Memco Electro-Vac system? I have located a used
one. Asking price $1900. No flasks or burnout oven, but some
extra thermocouples and misc. extra parts. Do you have any
opinion?

Thanks.
JB


#18

I am about to start casting small parts in shakudo and would
like to know what is the reason for adding fine gold to the
copper- it seems like there is such a small amount of gold in the
alloy that it would be completely " lost " ?

We have bought shakudo from Reactive Metals and love their
alloy. I personally like the color of the shakudo itself and
the colors that you get when you apply the patina that Reactive
sells to use on shakudo. I will admit to being a really big
color person, though and I did not find the public as receptive
to the shakudo color phenomena as I. Liz


#19
I have cast these alloys using the traditional water method and
had excellent results and also tried to cast these alloys not
using the water method and found the surface to be pitted by gas
bubbles.

Douglas, what do you mean by casting with the water method?