the grain size in your metal is probably too small. The matted
surface is most likely due to the crystals being small, about 0.020"
across, or equivalent to about a 120 grit finish.
You can try increasing the crystal size by holding the gold at
550-600 deg F, you can expect a growth rate of about 0.005" per
hour, I think (guessing from experience, I did not actually measure
this). To get bright crystals, you want them about 8 or 10 per inch,
as they will overlap, then you need about 20 or 0.05", so try four
to 8 hours in the oven.
Or, you can purchase natural crystals, reproduce by lost wax.
Or, you can do brightcuts
Or, other surface texturing.
Let us know how it turns out
Mark Zirinsky, Denver
Bsc Mining Engineering, Col School of Mines
’private cutter buying rough and collections’