Repairing a gold earring from India

Hi all, I have been asked to repair a pair of 24k gold earrings from
India The posts on them need to be changed for various reasons. I
have 14k posts I want to use with 14k solder. These earrings are
high end and well made, but I know that when you are repairing a
piece someone else made, or that was imported, it’s unpredictable as
to what materials were used in the fabrication.

Any advise or stories regarding working on gold jewelry from India?
I am in the United States.

Thank you!


I’m not sure I understand your question, but if you’re asking if
there are any special considerations to soldering 14k to 24k with 14k
solder, I’d just say that 24k has a much higher melting point and so
have at it!

Ray in Tennessee

Hi Phoebe;

Hi all, I have been asked to repair a pair of 24k gold earrings
from India... Any advise or stories regarding working on gold
jewelry from India? 

Take care with that. I have seen and worked on a few pieces from
India, much of it filigree work. The majority of it had the
appearance of high carat gold but was, in fact, much lower karat gold
work. The artist had cleverly raised the karat of the gold on the
surface by repeated heating and subjecting to acids. If that is the
case with your piece, it will be a different color after you heat it.
There may be cases where this is deliberate deception, but I think
that rather, it is a way of working that takes into account that the
local customers love the look of the high karat gold but cannot
afford an article made of solid, high karat gold. You can, as I have
done, raise the surface carat again by repeated heating and pickling,
but in the case of the filigree work, you might experience the
filigree coming apart. Take an exacto knife and try to shave a
little metal from an inconspicuous place. You will have to judge, by
the way it cuts, whether it is the soft high carat metal or not. Gold
testing, with acids or testing devices, isn’t always informative in
these cases. Also, by cutting a bit into the metal, you can then see
what the color of the metal is throughout. If it turns out the piece
is made of lighter colored metal that is harder than one would expect
of 24 karat, it would be best if you found someone with a laser
welder to attach the posts. I don’t mean to scare you, but I’ve had
pieces like this turn into a can of worms.

David L. Huffman


I would be real careful I once repaired a piece from one of the Arab
countries and the dark yellow color disappeared form where I
soldered I could not restore it I had to polish both sides of the
earring to match the color and then gold plated it with 18Kt solution
I was not happy with the final but the customer did not realize it.
may be one of the readers in India could explain what that was all


Its been raining and raining…The Island is showing off its
beautiful green color

Hi Pheobe,

In my experience 24ct jewelry from India is soldered with very high
melting temp solder. I use 18ct yellow gold as the solder for
repairs, and the existing solder on the 24ct item does not flow. The
18ct gold is very quick flowing when used as solder - heat to redder
than you are accustomed to, increasing heat quickly until the
’solder’ flows. Flux is needed for the 18ct. Practice on scraps! If
it is too scary, use 18ct hard solder, but I think that degrades a
24ct piece because it is like using extra easy or easy solder in
comparison. I am also keen to read other replies, specially some 24ct
solder recipies.

Regards, Alastair

For 24 kt. solder, I just make, or use, if I have any on hand, a
little 22kt. gold, usually 50/50 ag/cu - it works fine…

Hi Phoebe,

I hope I can be of some help. Firstly I would not use 14kt gold on a
24kt piece of jewelry, in my opinion the color difference is too
great to look professional unless you 24kt plate after. I would also
try to do the job without soldering, (as I haven’t seen the piece I
don’t know if there are stones or pearls set) but I would try to
attach the part you are replacing by making a loop or drilling a hole
and to attach the post without solder.

I use high karat gold in my pieces and in 24kt you can also use the
fusing technique (this I would practice first before attempting a
high end well made repair!). Wishing you good luck and let me know
how it goes.

Pamela Harari


May be, we can help since we are in Mumbai, India. Please email us
an image or two and, perhaps, we can tell you how to go about it.

Rasesh Chasmawala.
Mumbai, India.

Hello Orchidians,

I’ve been otherwise occupied or would have responded sooner. One
quick question about the earring; is the problem that the post is
too thick? I’ve encountered posts as thick as 16 ga on earrings from
that part of Asia. Wouldn’t fit through my ear lobes without drawing

The solution took some time, but did not involve anything more than
carving down the post to about 20 ga. It took some time and the post
wasn’t perfectly round, but it did work. BTW, if this is the problem
and you reduce the post diameter, you’ll need to change the tension

Glad to be back in the loop, but what a plethora of postings. This
is a gregarious group!

Judy in Kansas, where the rains have finally come. Such a blessing -
especially for the weeds and rogue plants.