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Problems with soldering white gold


Hello everyone,

I am new to Ganoksin, and this is actually my first post :slight_smile:

I ran into a serious problem and I hope someone can help me:

Up until lately, I made only yellow gold jewelry, and everything
worked out pretty well: soldering was pretty easy and all the tarnish
and color changes were quickly removed with acid.

Lately, I started using white gold, and that’s when all my problems

I put Boric Acid on the piece before soldering, and put it in the
acid when finished, but there are spots of decoloration, where the
white gold turns orange/red/black, which I can’t get rid of. Even
deep and excessive filing of the spot doesn’t work!

Does anyone know of this problem and can possibly help me with a

Thank you all in advance,


where the white gold turns orange/red/black, which I can't get rid

Jonathan, there was also a related post lately regarding white gold
heads. You are basically looking at nickel oxides, though the
oxidation of gold alloys isn’t quite that simple. Once you have that
grunge, the only thing you can really do it file it away or whatever
works. Long ago, here on Orchid, was a post about mixing pickle and
hydrogen peroxide about half and half, use it hot. That works pretty
well at removing it, but not perfectly. The main thing is to use a
neutral or reducing flame to begin with. It’s the oxidizing flame
that at least contributes to forming those oxides, and maybe
overheating, too. Some say that acetylene is worse at that than
other gases, which may be true, but I believe it’s user error - GIGO.
I’m pretty experienced with white gold, but I still get that at
times, because of some circumstances in the particular item, or me on
a bad day or whatever. Prevention is the key, as with all things.


The key is prevention. Nickel white gold, in my opinion, is a nasty
metal and unfortunately, I have to work with it all day, yippee, but
I digress…

A slightly reducing flame in conjunction with ample firecoat/flux
should provide a reasonable amount of protection. I combine boric
acid with a compound called “Magic Flame” and mix with denatured
alcohol to around a 2% milk-like consistency. It works well enough
for me. You may even try Prip’s flux. A product you’ll undoubtedly
have no trouble researching through Orchid. It sounds like you’re
just blasting the metal with a much too oxidizing flame.

I read somewhere that nitric acid works well, although I’ve never
tried it.


i recently posted about nicel being the problem in the composition
of white gold- it is a ferrous metal and doesn’t respond to sodium
bisufate pickles… try using your traditional pickle with
hydrogenperoxide or glacial acetic acid added and turn up the
temperature to about 127-130 degrees farenheit ( never let it
boil)…or paint the piece with hydrogen peroxide gel and let that
sit under sn ultra-violet lamp or battery operated uv light ) for
about a half hour. If any signs of nickel oxides remain try 3M’s
pumice grit, radial bristle discs, they work quite well ( may even
get away with using them without the peroxide or glacial acetic
acid)… alternatively a sandpaper mandrel with a very caorse
grit/agressive cutting paper may also do the trick if it hasn’t
pitted a cast piece , for instance ( cast white gold is notorius as
there are micropores if you will, that set the stage for

oxides to embed themselves into the depressions on the surfaces of
white golds… Given the price of gold at the moment, and the amount
of gold actually contained in white gold- I would be derelict in
posting if I did not suggest you buy palladium instead as its less
than half the cost, can be stamped Pt (platinum) and imparts a higher
perceived value to your work, as well as a better white colour with
less intrinsic porosity possible…