Your question on the forum was what does “IT” stand for when
referring to silver bearing solder.
Someone had written to the Jewelry Artist Magazine, with this same
query. I was contacted by Tom and Kay Benham who write the “Ask The
Experts” column for this publication, and was asked if I could give
any on the question.
As it turned out, the answer was published in the January 2009
issue. To quote some of my response " It is not common practice to
use this Intense Temperature as a name for the 80% silver formula for
the solder as “IT” is much easier and faster. The periods after both
letters have been dropped in common usage. The solder itself is
composed of 80% silver and other part (20%) of the formula is made of
Please note that the “other part” of the solder does contain zinc,
which is why this formula (IT) should not be used when the intent of
your project is to use vitreous enamel over that particular spot to
which IT solder has been flowed. The zinc does not allow the enamel
to adhere properly; there is a chemical reaction which makes the
enamel bubble, chip or flake. This reaction may not happen in the
immediate time frame, but will more than likely happen in the future,
so it is prudent not to use IT for that particular application. IT
solder, can however, be used safely for the attachments of findings
before enameling is to take place and where enamel application will
not directly be touched by the enamel. IT solder melts at 1345 F and
flows at 1490 F.
When enameling over any join that you wish to hide, please elect to
use the Eutectic formula which contains only silver and copper as the
metals. The Eutectic melts and flows at 1435 F.
If you would like a photocopy of the entire article, please email me
with your request.
Paste and Powder Solder for Jewelers and Metalsmiths