Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Gold and Silver sludge


#1

I have a situation where gold and silver are alloying into each other
(eutectic melding) and creating a mess. Lets see if anyone has ideas.

We make an intricately textured sterling silver earring that gets an
18K Yellow Gold bezel soldered into the center. The piece, then, gets
liver of sulfur patina. Liver of sulfur will not color gold, but
blackens the sterling nicely.

The problem is, the gold and silver are alloying into each other
(eutectic melding), so that the gold is crawling into the valleys of
the texture, and these alloyed areas will not patina. I understand
why this is happening. My soldering people are overheating the piece.
They are also using water torches, which I think are problematic. We
are having a bit of a language barrier issue, and they dont
understand what eutectic melding is, so I need to devise a fool proof
strategy.

How can I set this item up for them so that this happens less often?
Lower temp solder? Paste solder? Has anyone else had this problem
with Sterling and gold?

Thanks,
Troy


#2

Troy,

Have them use medium, or easy silver solder for joining the pieces.

Steve Brixner
www.brixnerdesign.com
mail@brixnerdesign.com


#3

Hi Troy,

How about coating the areas outside the part to be soldered with
ochre, rouge, whitening or some such which should prevent the gold
from flowing. You could probably make a ‘mask’ of a piece of brass
the same size and shape as the gold part and solder a wire to it
like a big earring and tell your folks to put it on the silver and
paint round it with water-based ‘Liquid paper’ or some such. Let it
dry before heating it.

Best Wishes
Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#4
   How can I set this item up for them so that this happens less
often? Lower temp solder?  Paste solder?  Has anyone else had this
problem with Sterling and gold?  

My suggestion is lower temp solder, acetylene-air torch (big, bushy
flame) and preheat the piece from the bottom. I would use a tripod,
but there are plenty of other strategies also for preheating from the
bottom.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry
http://www.dosmanosjewelry.com