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Questions about Gold Fabrication


#1

Hi Folks – Have some general questions about gold fabrication & I
know there are great resources out there in this group!! I have
worked some in the past with gold, but my experience has been either
using it together with silver or pieces where the work is fairly
straightforward & mostly limited to soldering findings, bezels, etc.
I have just finished a gold pendant in repousse, which was much more
work than I’ve ever done in gold before & I had some results which I
have questions about.

First off, the piece is in 14K, which is what I had on hand (about
1.25" X 1.25" and 24 ga.) I expect that future repousse work in
gold will be either in 18K or 22K. After chasing the front and then
repousseing from the back, the piece was completely annealed and
then worked again on the front. After that, I soldered a post for
mounting a pearl in the front and bail on the back. After pickling
and cleaning, I polished it, mounted the pearl, admired it greatly
and then put it on a chain and wore it outside – only then
realizing how “pink” it was!! Further the copper was just a “rosy
glow”, so to speak – not looking spotty like firescale would in
sterling.

I am assuming that this is copper which has come to the surface in
the annealing process and that I simply did not pickle it enough.
Is this a correct assumption? Or should there have been more to the
clean up than I expected? Do I need to have a separate pickle for
gold from my other metals (primarily silver and sterling, with some
copper). Is there something in the annealing stage that I need to
do differently from annealing silver or sterling? Can I assume that
at a higher karat, that I will run less risk of this “pinking” of my
gold, as there will be less copper content in the alloy?

Any thoughts on this topic will be greatly appreciated!! Thank you
all so much!!

Laura Wiesler
StoneHouse Studio