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Melt gold over silver for design/texture?


#1

Question,

I have never worked with gold before and want to incorporate it into sterling/argentium. I would like to melt the gold over portions of the silver as a design/texture element.

What is the proper way of going about this, to melt gold wire in cut proportions and slowly melt it down on top of the silver (similar to soldering)? I get the feeling melting points is of great importance, so perhaps melt gold wire and let it drip down onto the silver?
I assume to do this both the gold and silver must be clean (per usual cleaning methods) and heated evenly for the gold to “stick?”

Is there a particular gold (18k, etc) that would work best or is that just personal preference?

I appreciate your time and hope my meaning is understandable; perhaps I am just overthinking this :]


#2

The melting point of 14kt gold is almost the same as sterling silver. You might try 18kt which has a greater window of separation, but it would be gold with lower temperature silver over it. You might try gold solders that have a lower temperature point altogether. The solders themselves have the karat as marked. A solder block like yellow ochre, whiteout or an antacid can help control where it goes.
I tried bi-metal casting gold and silver with smaller elements cast in place. They melt together in some instances. You can’t tell “what from which” in the resulting alloy. I’ve used 18kt medium yellow solder as an inlay in some sterling earrings designs. That worked out quite well, but cleanup of the solder block can be a real bear.
Enjoy your alchemy experiments!
Eileen


#3

They are not going to attach together unless they are both near their melting point. You could create these melted elements and silver solder them to the ring.


#4

No advice but a couple of my own examples. The ring happened when trying to solder 9ct onto sterling. The beak of the bird is 9ct easy solder cut to shape and heated until it just started to flow.



#5

I have fused 24k gold in 35 g onto 12 g sterling silver. Both surfaces must be very clean and the heat is applied with a bushy flame to prevent too much oxidation. Both metals come close to melting point as they fuse. Overheating will make the gold disappear into the heavier silver. It makes a good bond that can be roll printed, etc. I have not tried further soldering on such a piece but I think with an easy solder the silver portions could take some fabrication.