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Hole appears in white gold ring shank


#1

I have a question but I think I know the answer as to why it
happened.

My question is: Why did a hole appear in the shank of a white gold
ring I was resizing? Nothing like this had ever happened before
although I don’t work on jewelry that much.

What I think happened was because of this. I am a recreational
prospector and I had some heavy material from my prospecting that I
wanted to see if it would melt. This was this last summer. I put
some of it on the brick I use to do my soldering on and heated it
with my torch. Most of it just melted and I took most of it off. It
melted to quickly to be gold or silver. Now that I think about it,
it was probable lead. Would the lead that might have been left on
the soldering brick have dissolved or made a whole in the white
gold?

If it was lead and if this would be the cause of the hole forming in
the shank of the ring, can I clean the surface of the brick by
rubbing it on the sidewalk until the top coat is wore off?

Thanks for any help in clearing up this mysterious hole.

Larry E. Whittington
15876 NE Holladay St.
Portland, OR 97230
503-760-2149
Larry E. Whittington Lapidary
http://www.jewelrycabs.com


#2

Hello Larry,

If it was lead and if this would be the cause of the hole forming
in the shank of the ring, can I clean the surface of the brick by
rubbing it on the sidewalk until the top coat is wore off? 

Lead would be my guess. Take a hack saw and actually saw a half inch
or so off that firebrick surface… scratch that - saw off an inch
thick slab. You want to make sure there is no trace of that nasty
mystery contaminant left on your firebrick. I’m concerned that just
rubbing the firebrick on concrete would not positively eliminate the
contaminant. Better to actually perform surgery on your firebrick. At
least that’s what I’d do.

Judy in Kansas


#3

You are correct, it does sounds like lead.

As far as cleaning the brick, the only way to remove all traces of
lead is to boil the brick in the acid, but the cost of the acid would
exceed the cost of the brick, so just get a clean one.