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Gold granulation and 22kt alloys

Firstly thanks to everyone for all the hints and knowledge shared
through this DG. It is really great.

I have been researching gold granulation. I have been through the
archives and found Cecelia Bauer and Charles LB notes. It appears that
most granulation is done using 22k gold. Unfortunately this is unavailable
in Oz, so I will need to make some. Could someone please send me the alloy
quantities needed to make 22k.Any special tricks?

I notice that “hide glue” is also mentioned. Is that a thick white PVA
type glue used to glue furniture together?

Can one use oxygen and propane flame for the fusing?

Any other hints, sites, resources etc would be helpful.

Many thanks

Felicity in wintry West Oz

Felicity said,

I notice that “hide glue” is also mentioned. Is that a thick white PVA
type glue used to glue furniture together?

‘Hide glue’ is the name applied to the glue made from animal hides (usual
ly horse hide) & colagen. It was one of the earliest glues used by cabinet
makers. Generally it was kept in a heated pot so it would stay thin & cou
ld be applied easily. It was not waterproof. It’s generally transparent &
some shade of amber.

It serves 2 purposes in granulation. 1, it holds the granuals in place
prior to fusing. 2, when heated, because of its high organic content, it
provides a reducing atmosphere in the area of the join, thus perventing
oxidation from occuring.

It’s still available in most well stocked hardware & cabinetmakers stores
in the US. The thick white PVA glues are not the same as hide glues.


Trick for granules:

  1. snip little pieces of gold wire approx size of granule desired.
  2. Mix gold and carbon dust (charcoal) into a melting flask.
  3. Using med./large torch heat up until cherry hot. This makes the gold
    snips into perfect balls.
  4. Empty contents into sane/sifter to remove carbon.
  5. Using a stone sorter cannister (multiple layers of graduated
    holes) empty gold into it and shake, this will sort out balls to size.
  6. Practice makes perfect. The gold is always reusable if you don’t suceed
    the first time.

Here is an alloy for 22k:
91.66 Au, 4.16 Ag, 4.16 Cu.

From the Jewelr’s Bench Reference, by Harold O’connor



Harold O’Connor is running a two week workshop on Granulation in my studio
at the end of September. Check out the details on my page

Brian Clarke
Silversmithing Summer Workshops in Ireland

Dear Felicity,
you are right about the difficulties of getting
ready-made 22ct gold. It’s probably even more difficult in WA than in NSW.

If you want to DIY, you could melt up old sovereigns (shock, horror) or
melt up a batch using any one of the following recipes: 91.6% fine gold
(Au) + 8.4% fine silver (Ag), no copper (Cu) good for enamelling. 91.6% Au

  • 5.5% Ag + 2.8% Cu 91.6% Au + 4.2% Ag + 4.2% Cu. Lovely rich colour.
    91.6% Au + 8.4% Cu. Reddish hue.

Depending on how much you want, there are several companies that will make
it up to order for you. I’m fairly certain the following would have agents
in Perth.

Johnson Matthey Ltd.
Golden West Refining Corp.Ltd
Alloy and Gold Supply

All these supply the industry and would also advise you on 22ct alloys
appropriate to your needs.

Kindest regards from Rex in Sunny Sydney.

I have been researching gold granulation.
I notice that “hide glue” is also mentioned. Is that a thick white PVA
type glue used to glue furniture together?

Dear Felicity,
I am a second year student at the Enmore Design Center, studying jewellery
design and I really like your work(I recently had the opportunity to
admire a brooch you made at the Contemporary Wearables
Exhibition,Quadrivium Gallery). To stick the granules, you can use gum
tragacanthe (I am not sure of the spelling), that you can buy from an old
fashion pharmacy like Newton on York Street, Sydney (near the QVB), they
use it as a binder,to make pills.I don’t have the explanation of how to
use it handy (it’s 3 in the morning) but if you need it, email me and I
will find it for you (it’s somewhere in my papers…). If you cannot buy
it where you live, I could mail some to you. >Can one use oxygen and
propane flame for the fusing? I tried sterling silver granulation,and I
used propane with compressed air which worked fine, so oxygen and propane
should work well too.


bob, look at any old Roman and Greek jewelery… they are loaded
with fantastic work…granules by the thousands… I can buy mine
but they made their granules… calgang