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Reticulating White Gold

Hi Folks, Over the years, have done a lot of reticulation with 80/20
silver, sterling, and occasionally 14k yellow gold. Now I have a
customer who likes the look, but wants a piece in white gold. Have
any of you tried to do this? Is it even possible or will it turn
the white gold yellowish? Thanks for the help.

Michael Parkin
955 Killeen Ave.
Ottawa, ON
Canada, K2A 2Y1
(613) 729-9163

Michael, In my experience, the white gold cannot be reticulated I
have, however, made molds of some of my better silver reticulations
and cast them in various metals, including white gold I take the wax
of the thin reticulated sheet and attach it (wax pen) to a 10 mm
sheet of flat wax, makes it easier to cast


Michael, I discovered an easy way to create a reticulated surface on
white gold, even platinum! I simply made the piece using 80/20
silver that I reticulated, made a mold and had the ring cast. It was

Doug Zaruba

I would say do this the easy way. Make your best reticulation
pattern in 80/20 then mold it and cast it in white. K.I.S.S. Why
invent the wheel? Bill

Never having tried reticulating white gold I can’t tell you what
response you might get, but what might be the easiest thing to do
would be to make up a piece in reticulation silver and have a mold
made. Then you can cast it in whatever metal you want.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

Hi Doug, Like you, I discovered something similar. I found that brass
reticulated with a much more satisfyingly crusty surface than the
silver I had been using. I now do all my reticulating in brass, cut
out what I want and cast from that. Kind regards, Rex Steele Merten

Hello Dough, A bit difficult but this is what I do. take a strip of
white gold. Cover it very good with a boric acid solution, or prips
flux. No borax. this will smooth the surface Heat up the white gold
with a small flame partly up to near melting the surface. (shining
surface) Take a steel brush, and push it the surface. The steel wires
are pushing in the surface and cooling it down and given it a nice
crusty surface. The type of brush and how the wires are deformed are
defining the effect. After the surface has been worked with the flame
and brush. let the gold cool slowly down. You need to repair the inner
structure. It depends a bit on the type of white gold you are using.
But heat it up to dull red and cool down in alcohol. do this a few
times. and hopefully the alloy is a bit ductile again.

This brush trick can be done with every material. Also it is and
easy method to make rough nuggets. Take than a very rough steel

Martin Niemeijer

Although being in the industry for many years “Reticulating” is a
term I am unfamiliar with. Perhaps we call it something different in
the UK? Is this an American term and can someone explain what it
means please.

Regards and thanks,

Reticulation is when you heat and pickle silver that is 80% silver
and 20% alloy, 5-7 times and develop fine silver on the surface,
and then heat the piece and the center becomes molten the outside
does not, and the metal deforms in peaks and valleys. Other metals
do not do this. You can deform other metals with heat, but you do not
get the dramatic textures that reticulated 80% does.

Richard Hart
Jewelers Gallery - Custom Designs - Gold - Silver -Diamonds - Colored Gems

Reticulation is when you heat and pickle silver . . . Other metals
do not do this. 

Hi Richard, It may be true that you can achieve more dramatic
effects by reticulating 80/20 silver than other metals, but it is
absolutely not true that other metals and alloys do not lend
themselves to reticulation – and I do mean true reticulation, not
just heat texturing. I managed to reticulate some 14K yellow gold
recently myself, and I remember seeing a chart somewhere not long ago
(wish I could remember where) which showed the results of trying to
reticulate all kinds of alloys, many with great success and some
flat-out failures. Beth

AJM ran an article on this subject in June 1999, with both how-to
and the results of experimentation with a number of gold
alloys, including 10k white, 14k white and 14k palladium white. (This
may be the chart Beth remembered?) Jewelry artist Sara Sanford, who
conducted the experiment, reported that these alloys simply did not
reticulate, and that attempts to do so produced pitting and
discoloration. Of course, a single experiment is not definitive: your
results may differ. If you’re interested in reading the entire
article, you can order a copy from MJSA at (800) 444-6572, or online
at (search the article index for
"reticulation".) There is a fee for non-MJSA members.

Suzanne Wade
Phone: (508) 339-7366
Fax: (928) 563-8255