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Heat hardening palladium white gold


#1

I know it’s possible to heat harden silver and gold alloys… does
anyone have a process for palladium white gold?

I have ordered 14k and 18k palladium white from:

http://www.imperialproducts.com/

They seem to be good people. The 14k is just about the same cost as
the 18k (as it has a higher palladium content), and is whiter. I
figured I would get both and experiment.

My ongoing concern with this metal is going to be its hardness. I
make tension rings every now and then, and would like to examine the
use of this metal for those purposes. McCreight has some temperatures
for heat hardening silver and gold alloys, but nothing specified for
palladium white.

I was wondering what the collective knowledge was…

Thanks,

  • darcy

#2

Darcy, Heat treating success with precious metals depends on the
alloys that make up the specific metal. Copper is the metal that
allows gold and silver to become heat hardened, and also facilitates
age hardening and work hardening. Since most palladium white gold has
no copper or a tiny proportion of copper, it is not capable of be
heat hardened. It is also won’t work harden to a springy state and,
therefore, clasps, for example, should not be made out of palladium
white gold. Your best alternative for heat hardening white metal is
SK platinum from Hoover and Strong. However, it is more costly even
than other platinum alloys. This may make it’s use prohibitively
expensive, even though pieces can be made thinner and lighter.

18K white gold alloyed with nickel work hardens well, but I don’t
believe you can heat harden it. I may be wrong about this, I have
never explored heat hardening nickel white gold as it work hardens so
well.

Larry Seiger
JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler