I could go on, but the point is, whatever you are used to is
easiest for you. If those from the "gold is easier" camp want to
weigh in here and disabuse me, I'd like to see the comments-- I may
well be missing something.
As someone who primarily works with gold, I think you're right on.
I started with silver; in fact, at one time, I found gold (and
diamonds totally unappealing. When I first started working with
gold, I hated it. Every time I blinked an eye (almost literally), I
melted something. I was just not used to how poorly it conducted
heat in comparison to silver.
Eventually, with a lot of practice, I learned to work efficiently
with gold (most of the time!). Now I love it. The ability to spot
solder compensates for any silver-soldering characteristic you might
name, in my opinion. On the rare occasions I work with silver now, I
always have to make a mental adjustment, but I've found that my
experience working with gold has made me a better silver worker as
A few tips for soldering gold:
1) Keep the flame moving: If you hold it in one place even a
second too long, you WILL melt something.
2) A codicil to the above: Do not let yourself get distracted with
a lit torch in your hand!
3) Consider using higher karat gold for the most delicate parts,
like wire. I usually use 22K bezel wire and 18K round, etc., wire on
a 14K backing. The higher karat golds have a higher melting point.
4) Use lots of heat sinks: I keep broken bur shafts, washers,
nails, bolts, you-name-it, to butt up against or lay over delicate
parts that are vulnerable during soldering processes. I far prefer
using heat sinks to yellow ochre or any other stop-flow preparation.
5) Remember that gold doesn't lose its value because you've melted
it! Your time lost, of course, is another story .