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Gold for Spectacles

I’m starting to investigate gold alloys for spectacle-making and
consider 10k/9k toughest, and from there up the karat rating the
alloys get softer. Question: What’s the toughest, springiest
gold/silver/copper alloy? Anyone have any thoughts on this?


B r i a n � A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s
Auckland N E W Z E A L A N D

18-kt nickel white gold would be a very springy alloy for use in
eyeglass frames


Hello Brian,

there are a few hard and elastic Gold alloys. A nice one is 16K
version. wich can be used for springs.
16.00 Gram Gold 2.66 gr Silver 5.33 gr copper.
Or easier : 16 gr Gold 2 gr silver 6 gr copper
Some deformation is necessary to get the springy effect
And if you need a very hard one, 7 gr Gold 1 gr copper

Martin Niemeijer

Hi Brian,

You might want to contact the opticians Jacqueline Stanley. They are
located in Englewood NJ (USA) (201) 541 8383. There is no website or
email located on their business card. The person you may wish to
speak with is Jacqueline Hashimoto. They have the most unusual
eyeglasses (many unusual European designs, that I have not seen
elsewhere) They do many custom orders and hand paint lenses to their
customers specifications… I did see gold spectacles in their case
and I thought gold content was higher than 10kt. I was impressed
with their eyeglass store.


You can get very hard gold alloys, also in higher karats.

To my best knowledge dental gold alloys are gold and platinum (90/10)
or gold and palladium (same proportion), and these are - for the
purpose - very hard indeed.

Another thing that makes gold very hard is to alloy it with tin (Sn -
Stannum, the major ingrediens in pewter). Use it very clean,
analytical grade and replace some of the silver in your alloy with it
to get the approximately same colour. Tin is considerably cheaper as
Pt or Pa, even in the analytical grade.

I think you will have to try alloying a wee bit till you get a result
that fits your needs.

Happy alloying.

Kind regards
Niels L�vschal, Jyllinge, Denmark
phone (+45) 46 78 89 94

I think Hoover and Strong have Spring Gold, I will double check the
source, but you can give them a call.


    18-kt nickel white gold would be a very springy alloy for use
in eyeglass frames 

Thanks. I have to consider nickel alloys in close contact with the
skin as being a problem for some customers. I should also add that I’d
like a yellow gold suggestion as well. I’m hoping to hear from the
Hoover&Strong info line.


Hi Brian; Just butting in with 2 cents here on the spectacle issue.
You’re right about nickel white gold alloys, definitely a problem for
some. Palladium is too soft. I think Hoover and Strong (if not
them, then Hauser & Miller, or one of the big metals folks) have
Steven Kretchmer’s alloys for sale. Steven came up with a very
springy alloy for his tension set rings (I suspect he adds Berillium
to the alloys, not for the home chemist, by the way). Wish I could
help you with a contact, but I can’t find him anywhere. You could
check with the Reactive Metals folks and see what they know.
Besides, wouldn’t some of their mokume gane alloys make for some
interersting specs?

David L. Huffman