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Question on Gold Filled wire


#1

I make wire wrapped jewelry in 14K (14/20) Gold Fill and would like a
few opinions on this wire. The pieces seem to hold up really well,
and keep their shine. I know there is much more gold in this wire
than plated, but can someone give me some ideas on the amount of gold
vs plated and their opinions of how it will hold up over time? I was
told there was about 100 times more gold in this wire than gold
plate. Is this an accurate statement? I would like to inform my
customers honestly . If I make these pieces out of solid 14K Gold
it is nearly cost prohibiting, especially if I use my handmade beads.
The other thing is cleaning. Right now I am using a product called
Flitz from Rio Grande. Is this safe for Gold Filled? Thank you for
your help and opinions. Syl (Midi73)


#2

All of your statements are correct, GF wire has 100 times the gold
than Gold Plated, or course there are variations as well. Flitz is a
good product and it should not cause any problem for you. Yes 14k is
much more expensive, besides that unless you are Hercules you will not
be able to wrap with 14k gold, you would have to use 18k gold, it is
more like sterling but still stiffer, 14k gold is impossible to use in
wire wrapping.

Laura


#3

hi syl!

i use the gold filled wire as well, i remember reading maybe in a rio
catalogue that the shelf life is like 20 years or so, for wear with
the wire. i have a piece i usually wear every day, i wanted a pendant
of my husband’s police badge, he is with the government and it is an
odd shape. i used one of the mini badges first, bent the pin back to
be a bale, but it was only plated and looked icky really fast.

i secured the next mini badge into the lid of a haagen daz icecream
lid, (see i told you guys i use the lids for stuff) then used a
piece of round 14K gold filled wire to outline the badge, then used
my round nose pliers to work a slight pattern in the wire, pressed
down on the wire in an almost bead type design… ok, so i made a
couple slips when i was doing the wire bending. now it looks like i
meant to do that.

i then put the outline of the badge on a 14K gold chain i never take
off, and after about 2 years of almost constant wear, it is fine.
course i still want a badge pendant.

i mostly use sterling and fine silver…but i do use gold filled at
times. the smallest crochet gauge i have found in gold fill is 28
gauge. would love to find 30.

pat


#4

Syl,

My wife and I are also wire wrappers with about 15 years of
experience between us. To the best of my knowledge, the 100 times
more gold than plating statement is valid. The number 20 in 14/20
means that 20% of the weight of metal is 14K gold. We have also been
told by several manufacturors that the actual thickness of the gold
is about 5 microns. With average wear and care, 14KGF jewelry should
last quite a long time. Pendants, ear rings, and brooches will
usually last longer because they don’t come into contact with the
skin that much. Rings and bracelets, on the other hand, tend to
start showing wear more often because of constant contact with the
acids in our skin. We have had some customers who have worn their
wire wrapped rings on a daily basis and you can see where the gold
has started to wear off, sometimes within a years time. If they
happen to perspire quite a bit or don’t clean their jewelry
frequently, this also will speed up the deterioration of the metal.
You may want to give Ross of T.B. Hagstoz & Sons a call at
800-922-1006. They manufacture all kinds of wire (one of our main
suppliers of wire). Ross is very knowledgeable and can probably give
you all the you need better than anybody.

The product, Flitz, that you mentioned I am not familiar with. When
we finish making a piece, we hit it with some red rouge and then wash
it with a soft toothbrush and a little bit of Joy dish detergent.
The results are fabulous! We also use an ionic cleaner which does
very well too.

Well, I hope this has helped.

Rick & Kristi Stutt
Wire Wrapping Etcetera


#5

It is my understanding that 14/20 indicates the weight of the 14kt
gold which is 1/20th of the total weight of the wire. In other words,
if you had 20 oz. of 14/20 wire, 1 oz would be 14 kt gold. You can
also purchase 14/10 GF wire. This would relate to 1/10th 14 KT gold.
1/20 =5%, 1/10th= 10%. Rings would last much longer made from
14/10.


#6

Dear Rick and Kristi,

The industry standard for “gold filled” is five percent gold, of the
designated karat value. Ergo, the designation 14/20 means that the
object is made of components which are 1/20 th 14k gold ,which means
five percent. Much gold filled stock is made of 1/20 12 k gold
meaning that it is five percent 12k gold.

The fatal flaw with gold filled wire is that in order to make many
objects it is necessary to cut the wire and expose the base metal
ends. When , for example, a chain or necklace is comprised of
multiple jump rings which have not be gold soldered, the exposed ends
oxidise rapidly and the result is a very dirty looking piece of
jewelry. A French rope gold filled chain is a good example of what I
am talking about. These chains get very “grungy” after a period of
modest wear. There is certainly nothing wrong with making jewelry
with gold filled stock except that you must qualify its limitations
to the customer and you should avoid designs that involve exposing
excessive base metal . Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA


#7
14k gold is impossible to use in wire wrapping. 

I’ll have to strongly disagree. We’ve been using 14K wire for years
in wire-wrapping, as have the “masters” (Fowler, Vaughn, Greene,
Ruether), some of them for decades.

ALL wire comes annealed to different hardness, from dead soft to 8
numbers hard. Half-hard, is annealed to 2 numbers hard. Hagstoz,
Tripps, and Rio, all sell 14K wire that is half-hard and although it
is a bit stiffer, it is certainly workable for an accomplished
wire-wrapper – with outstanding results and longevity.

We utilize several different “numbers” of hardness for our wire,
especially sterling and gold-filled. I prefer 2++ numbers hard for
ALL my sterling silver, and small gauges of gold-filled, but Rick
doesn’t like his sterling annealed past half hard. Keep in mind that
different sellers/manufacturers “numbers hard” scale varies from
supplier to supplier. Tripps’ half-hard gold filled wire is about 2
times softer than Hagstozs’ 2 numbers hard :frowning:

“Inquiring minds wanna know!”

Peace,

Rick and Kristi Stutt
Wire Wrapping Etcetera


#8

One slight correction. In the 14/20 number the 20 means
one-twentieth, or 5%, not 20%. Gary Strickland, GJG


#9

Forgot to mention in my last post, for those who wish to use a better
quality and longer lasting 14k goldfill wire, 14/10 wire (meaning
that 1 part in every ten is 14k instead of 1 part in every twenty) is
available thru Hagstoz and some other refiners. Expect to pay twice
as much as 14/20. Good luck, Suzanne


#10

Dear Rick and Kristi, I too am a wireworker and use 14k goldfill with
great success. I’m having a problem with your math on the 14/20 gold
content. I believe that that means that for every 20 parts, one part
must be 14K. Your statement that it is 20% 14K would mean that it
would be 1/5th 14K. With a approx price of $300 per ounce for gold,
that would make 14k goldfill have to sell for at least $60 an ounce.
It is instead 1/20 14K. Thanks, Suzanne

p.s. I have used Flitz in a pinch, does work O.K., but still get best
results by throwing most stuff in the tumbler.


#11

Wow, whoops, you are correct of course. 14KGF is 5%, not 20% 14K.

Thanks,
Kristi and Rick


#12

Regarding calculating gold fill fineness,pricing etc, just take the
fineness of the karat you are working with, e.g. 14kt is .5833, and
divide that by 5, 10 or 20 depending on the quality of gold fill you
are working with. So 14/20 would be .5833 divided by 20 = .0292 (
approx 3% 14Kt). At a $300 Au market, .0292 x 300 = $ 8.76 actual
gold value. You probably have this all figured out but thought this
might help anyone new to the product. Regards,
Carl


#13

Suzanne,

Do you notice any difference in the look or feel of the 14/10 GF wire
as opposed to regulard GF? I tried doing a ring out of 14kt half-hard
gold wire and it was difficult to work with.

Carol


#14

Dear Carol, I make all my rings in 14K goldfill halfhard (2 gauges
1/2 hard), I do not have a problem with it, although I have had
wireworkers say that it hurts their hands. I suppose that after
thousands of rings, my fingers are strong, but full 14k halfhard is
harder yet, so you may have some discomfort. I do not know what type
of ring you are making or the wire gauge you are using, so it is hard
to give much advise. I will tell you that sometimes when I want to
get a super-nice “flow” or want to work a bit more intricately, I
will use dead-soft wire to achieve nicer bends, then “work-harden” it
by throwing it in the tumbler with stainless shot for awhile. This is
especially useful on bracelets where you have room for more swirls
and bends, but you need to have strength for wearability of the
bracelet. It is easier when in doubt to start with dead soft metal
and work harden it than to try to evenly anneal halfhard when it
proves too hard to work with. Hope this helps. Contact me off line if
I can help further. Good luck, Suzanne