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Nugget Jewelry


#1

Hi, group!

I’m getting tired of turning away customers who want nuggets
made from their gold. Could someone please give me some details
on how to make nuggets? I have heard bits and pieces of two
different techniques but I’m not sure how to do either. One
involves pouring the molten gold into water? and the other
involves using some sort of pick to create peaks in the molten
gold as it is cooling? I am looking for a very deeply convoluted
(sp?) end product that I can add stones or findings for stones
into. Can I get away with just using charcoal block for a
crucible, or do I need to (ugh!) purchase some equipment for this
process?

Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks in advance.

Sharon Ziemek


#2
one  involves pouring the molten gold into water? and the other
involves using some sort of pick to create peaks in the molten
gold as it is cooling?  I am looking for a very deeply
convoluted (sp?) end product that I can add stones or findings
for stones into.  Can I get away with just using charcoal block
for a crucible, or do I need to (ugh!) purchase some equipment
for this process?

hi sharon, you have all the answers already! depends what type of
nugget your customers want made out of there worn out chains and
grannies white gold wedding ring. the quickest way with the most
control that i’ve found is to take two charcoal blocks carve the
middle of one of them in the same ‘convoluted’ way that you
want the nugget to look in ‘negative’. i use ball burrs, then
square burrs to get 'that perfect nugget look" (barf). iplace
the worn out chain and grannies white gold wedding set (i’ve
tried to talk them out of adding grannies rings, but the
customers want it in there because granny is dead and they loved
her so much) next to the ‘form’ i’ve carved in the charcoal
block, melt the gold and prod the gold into the form. you can
melt the gold while it is in the form, but if you heat it too
long your precise nugget form will lose vital details. after the
gold is completely melted take your other flat charcoal block
and press the gold into the cavity. using the charcoal block as
opposed to a steel block is advantagous because the gold will
stay molten longer, therefore registering every detail of your
painstakingly created masterpiece. watch out for the molten gold
that squishes out when you press the two blocks together!

i love to melt things. hope that you do too! have fun.

best regards

geo fox


#3

Hi, Fred here, this is the way I make a mfg. nugget:

I melt the gold on a soldering block. Then, while it’s very
liquid I flatten it with crucible or other object. Then I place
a heavy object on the soldering block next to the flattened piece
of gold. I heat it to the almost slushy state and push it around
with a carbon rod. the heavy object acts as a back stop to push
it against. I push and melt untill I’m happy with it. If it gets
ugly I just melt it again and again untill I like it. It takes
some expermenting to make differant textures and the like but
every one I have made is happly living with someone adorned with
diamonds and such. And to think it was a worn out piece of
jewelry that the person didn’t want to get rid of for
sentamental reasons. Now it lives again…Fred


#4
 I'm getting tired of turning away customers who want nuggets
made from their gold. Could someone please give me some
details on how to make nuggets? 

Sharon,

I will do it one of several ways. One is to melt the material on
a block and shape it with a pick, you partially melt it moving
the torch in and out , using a pick to push it into a pear shape
or whatever. If you get it too smooth you can heat it up to
’sweating’ and force your pick into it separating and creating a
dent, do it several times if ness. Then reheat just enough to
fuse. Another way is to carve a wax nugget and cast it with
their gold, The problem with this you need some of their gold for
the button. This does give you the best looking nugget. If you
melt and pour into a bucket you will need a pretty deep one or
the metal will still be molten when it hits the bottom (and can
stick!). You will have lots of little peices that you will need
to fuse together. Hope this helps, people really love those
things.

Mark P.


#5
Hi, group! Could someone please give me some details on how to
make nuggets?  

G’day, Sharon; It would depend to a certain extent on where
your ‘nuggets’ would be ‘found’, for those found in the ground
from a quartz mine are quite different in shape from alluvial
nuggets. Briefly, gold actually dissolves in water at the
temperatures and pressures existing deep underground, for at high
pressures water can still be liquid at quite ridiculous
temperatures a long way above 100C (212F). At those temperatures
water is literally the universal solvent of mythology. It will
dissolve anything at all - which is why we get quartz and other
mineral crystals which grew from water solutions. Mined nuggets
are almost any shape at all, and might be made by pouring molten
gold into water, though they wouldn’t look quite right and
wouldn’t deceive anyone who had seen a genuine one. But in the
case of alluvial nuggets which were once (and often still are,)
tumbled around for centuries in the bed of a river, you’d expect
them to be rather smooth and shaped like tiny pebbles from the
same area. Most of the rivers and streams of certain parts of
the South Island of NZ contain gold, as does one a 30 minute
drive from where I live. Because any lumps washed out of the
quartz matrix have been tumbled for centuries, it is rare to find
one bigger than one’s thumbnail, and usually they are little
bigger than a grain or two of rice, and fairly flat. In fact, an
experienced fossicker can look at a little nugget and tell one
from what area it came. As you’d expect, most of the gold gets
ground into fine dust, and because the folk who are addicted to
gold fossicking, (believe me - it is at least as addictive as
Orchid Forum!) can get at least twice the price for even a small
nugget than they can get for dust of the same quality. So some of
them cast a ‘nugget’ from a mould made from two bits of
cuttlefish bone and an appropriate river pebble. It is of
course, fraudulent.

So, to sum up, the shape of a gold nugget depends on how it was
formed, but they are usually fairly oval and flattish, with
smooth indentations. I believe one can buy genuine nuggets from
Gesswein or Rio, though I guess you’d really PAY for them. Yes,
Sharon, I do have a few genuine alluvial nuggets - sorry, but I
wouldn’t part with them! Cheers, –

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#6
 I'm getting tired of turning away customers who want nuggets
made from their gold. Could someone please give me some
details on how to make nuggets? 

I’ve tried the water method but have had my best results with
molasses. The results are quite different …soft organic blobs.
Try it in a tin cup or pan. Variations can be had by pouring
anywhere from 1" above to a foot or two above or by throwing at
an angle (safety precautions ) Please send royalties in form of
cash or 8^) If you aren’t happy with the results, just
keep trying till you get a nice blob. Most likely, other liquids
of varying viscosity would give different effects but I have yet
to try them…sour cream, solid or crushed ice, leftover
supper…(well,now I 'm getting carried away)… Don’t try oil
poof! :slight_smile:

                  ...Darryl

#7
Could someone please give me some details     on how to make
nuggets? 

Sharon,

A very simple method and not to expensive for equipment if you
don’t have it is Sandcasting. You can find a small rock of a
shape and size you like for the mold in the sand. If you want
further info, email me. NNelson103@aol Sandcasting was the first
experience I had with jewelry making and I like many of the items
we made better with that method. Arrowheads and nuggets look
better to me with a more natural and rougher appearance.

Nancy


#8

What can you expect to charge your customer? regards, Allan
Freilich


#9

I have used any buggy or otherwise unwanted pasta, dry beans,
and rice. I have used old plastic containers with a layer of ice
covered with the dry mixture. The assorted cast shapes usually
need to be combined and otherwise manipulated into larger shapes.
It helps to have a past history of enjoying cloud pictures.

Marilyn Smith


#10
I've tried the water method but have had my best results with
molasse 

Darryl, what a good idea! Mark P.


#11
 I'm getting tired of turning away customers who want nuggets
made from their gold. Could someone please give me some details
on how to make nuggets? 

Sharon, A couple of tricks I learned: Pour the molten gold over
some rock salt… OR Pour the molten gold over some wet straw Or
Carve the form of the nugget into a charcoal block and melt the
gold into it…It helps if you can take something flat and mash
it in the block while molten. It’s really easy and profitable! Good
Luck! Ken


#12
Sharon, A couple of tricks I learned: Pour the molten gold
over some rock salt... OR Pour the molten gold over some wet
straw Or <snip>

This sounds dangerous to me. Do you wear a respirator.

Marilyn Smith


#13

Greetings Sharon: My method is very simple:

  1. I mounted on a bicycle spoke a 1" diameter paddle made out of
    asbestos paper.
  2. Soakewd the paddle in water.
  3. Melted the gold in a shallow depression scratched into a
    charcoal block and when the gold was fluid I covered it slowly
    with the asbestos paddle, which cooled and settled it into a
    rather nice, irregular, but nearly flat nugget.
  4. I made silver and copper nuggets the same way.

Good Luck

Joe Bokor
@Joe_Bokor


#14
Can I get away with just using charcoal block for a crucible,
or do I need to (ugh!) purchase some equipment for this
process?

Sharon,
I thought gold nuggets went out with the pet rock (lol)! I
still have to make those things after 16 years or so! The
easiest way to make the customer happy and get them out the door
so you can do something fun is the charcoal block method. I use
different size burrs (round, inverted cone) and carve a
non-objectionable shape (pear, oval) in the charcoal. I place
the gold on the cavity I just carved, melt it, and squish it
while it’s molten with my 4" square bench block, solder a bale
on it, you can probably pave’ stones or use heads, polish it (
this is the worst part!), set the stones, collect your money and
you’re all done! Good Luck! Wendy Newman


#15
 What can you expect to charge your customer? 

We charge $35.00 wholesale. Mark P.


#16
Sharon, A couple of tricks I learned: Pour the molten gold
over some rock salt... OR Pour the molten gold over some wet
straw Or <snip>
This sounds dangerous to me. Do you wear a respirator.

Someone showed me a few years ago that one can use almost any
organic substance, rice, noodles, nuts, etcetera. Pour your
noodles into a towel. Use plenty. Melt the metal and pour it into
a depression in the organics. Fold the organics over the metal
and press while the metal is still molten. Very interesting and
clean.

Dangerous? A little smoke. Might burn yourself if you push your
fingers into the molten metal. Respirator?

Bruce D. Holmgrain
e-mail: @Bruce_Holmgrain
http:\www.knight-hub.com\manmtndense\bhh3.htm
snail mail: pob 7972, McLean, VA 22106-7972
phone:: 703-593-4652


#17

I want to thank all of you who responded to my query on making
nugget jewelry. I have begun trying some of the different
techniques and I think I’m going to have a lot of fun with this.
Since this customer has so much gold, I may try to incorporate
more than one style in the same piece. If she doesn’t like it, I
can always try, try again.

Someone had asked what you would charge for doing this. I
really don’t know, but I had estimated $60 when the customer
dropped off the gold and she thought that was reasonable. I will
be adding a Stuller scroll type bail and setting four small
stones into the nugget, so I assumed an hour for labor plus the
cost of the bail. Now that I’m looking at the price on the large
bails, I think I should have charged $75. Live and learn. I’ll
probably find out the jeweler down the street is charging $150.

Once again, “Thanks!” to all, and have a great day!

Sharon Ziemek


#18

I’m getting tired of turning away customers who want nuggets…

Here in the southwestern usa (texas) normally nugget jewelry
means a style. I make pieces in the wax stage then cast as
normal. You may wish to look at any old wax catalogs. Swest
roseco i.e. just looks nuggety however functionaly is same as
any other piece… Larger 2-4 mm raised areas with 1-2 mm groves
,chanells,‘ditches’ with verticles sides between raised areas.
raised areas are flat tops ,whole thing is polished.

good luck 
mgr2

#19

My favorite and very quick way to “manufacture” nuggets is to
melt a puddle on charcoal, perhaps in a depression to prevent
rolling. Begin to let the puddle cool and when it has just begun
to crystalize, poke and prod with titanium poker into desired
shape. The plastic state of the gold will break apart or crack,
revealing very natural like crystalline forms. Can be manipulate
duntil desired form is achieved. G