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Gold crystal surface


#1

I just started looking at your group and it is great!
I need some help , I am working on a series of pieces for my
employer in 22K and now 24K. We are attempting to raise up the
crystal surface on the gold. I saw in an e-mail from your archives
about electrostripping, but have not yet bought the equipment. Have
tried Aqua Regia, burnt my throat due to poor safety habits on my
part and was not impressed with the results too pale and sort of
matted. We need this surface to be bright and strong! Does anyone
know if the electrostripping will give me really bright strong
crystals? I know that their size depends on the grain of the metal
but little about how to really show them off. Also, can one
electroform over them to give them more 3-D surface? Hope someone
out there can help , my boss is getting a little impatient even
though he has a heart of gold. Thanks, Dennis in Asheville


#2

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’