I am looking for some advice. I am a novice to the jewellery
profession and have just received my first red gold commission. It is
to make an old Portuguese rose gold wedding band one size larger
(sizing). It had no stamp but from the weight seems like 18k.
I tried hammering it bigger but a tiny pit appeared in the join So I
realised I would have to size it properly, which I had wanted to avoid
because of colour variations. I couldn’t purchase any 18k red soldier
(apparently it doesn’t exist?) so tried so 9k red soldier. Well, the
ring was fine but the joint warped, bulged and pitted.
In desperation, I was then advised to size it, with the small piece of
new red gold, using 18k medium yellow soldier and use a porosity
hammer to burnish the pink gold over the two yellow soldier joins.
What is a porosity hammer? The ring is half round, surely I will file
or polish all the burnishing off? in my final clean up.
Then I tried to smelt the newly bought 18k red gold (I decided that I
would have to try 18k) for the little filler piece in the sizing. It
smelted really quickly and when I tried rolling it through my mill, it
cracked fairly shortly into the whole process. Time and time again.
I am at my wits end, as the same rules that seem to apply to white
and yellow gold don’t appear to work here.
My crucible is clean. My mould is clean/ I dont over heat the melt. I
anneal painfully regularly. (perhaps too much / too hot?) The pressure
I apply when making my passes through the mill increases only
fractionally.(what is a good percentage between anneals?)
I am now in the situation wheRe: I am not sure what karat I am even
dealing with; the ring is still not sized bigger; the previously
perfect soldier join has created a large moonscape; the new red gold
for the sizing won’t even allow me to roll it into a manageable strip;
Even if I could, I would have to soldier it with yellow soldier
leaving two yellow stripes and I have been advised to use a hammer I
have never heard of, in a manner I am not at all familiar with. And the
wedding day is fast approaching and the starved bride is is very
cranky about this sentimental old ring. Which still has to be engraved
and that apparently takes a week.
Does anyone have any advice on how I should treat this ring, and what
such a hammer looks like. Is this normal?