Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Ring of gold and silver


#1

I would like to make a ring using both gold (22gauge) and
sterling silver (20 or 22 gauge). The inner part would be gold,
and there would be a decorative landscape-type form of sterling
silver on part of the outside ring. Will I have success in
forming the circular shape if I solder the silver to the gold
while it is still flat? I am worried about the compression and
expansion of the metals on the inside and outside as the circle
is shaped. I would use a ring mandrel and mallet to do the
shaping. Rather than waste the gold with my trial and error, I
hope someone out there has had experience doing this and can give
me a tip about it.

Thanks to all who responded to my question about the cuff links
of silver and gold. They turned out well, and I was happy for
the suggestion that medium solder would be best for attaching the
findings.

Thanks in advance, Sue Danehy


#2
   I would like to make a ring using both gold (22gauge) and
sterling silver (20 or 22 gauge).  The inner part would be
gold, and there would be a decorative landscape-type form  of
sterling silver on part of the outside ring.  Will I have
success in forming the circular shape if I solder the silver to
the gold while it is still flat?  

G’day Sue; I have made many rings by piercing a pattern through
a strip of 0.5mm sterling and soldering it on to a similar strip
of 2mm sterling, then forming it into a ring using a ring-triblet
and a hide mallet. OK, so you specified gold and silver, but I
really can’t see any problems using the flat-strip method.
Providing of course that you don’t overheat. Cheers,

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#3

Providing of course that you don’t overheat. ,

John, when one ‘overheats’ would the result be that the gold
would vanish into the silver or vice versa?

I once tried to solder some gold to the silver sheet that I
was using and the gold vanished. (Sucked up, into the silver,
never to be found again . … should I have filed a lot?)

Thanks for info!!! xxx & ooo’s


#4

Here’s my 2 cents worth - you definately overheated and the gold
alloyed with the silver. There’s no getting it back. Gini


#5
  I would like to make a ring using both gold (22gauge) and
sterling silver (20 or 22 gauge).  The inner part would be
gold, and there would be a decorative landscape-type form  of
sterling silver on part of the outside ring.  Will I have
success in forming the circular shape if I solder the silver
to the gold while it is still flat? 

I would make the inner gold band to size and polish. Measure the
outside diameter of the gold band x pi to determine the needed
length of the silver to go around the outside. Cut my silver
strip a little longer than needed (to aid in bending). Peirce as
desired, keeping in mind the pattern needs to meet nicely). Then
form the silver into a ring so it just slips over the gold band,
(if the gold band is to be bright polished the silver band
cannot fit too tightly or it will scratch the finish, an easier
solution is to sandblast the background of the gold band after
assembly). Solder the seam of the silver band and polish it. It
is very important that both bands are very round and that they
fit together very snuggly without any gapping. At this point you
should be able to slip the bands together and they should stay
together without soldering (you still need to solder them). I
would solder with tiny peices of easy gold solder in maybe four
places around the band on each side.

Another way, if you have a ring stretcher and you want the
inside bright, is to make the gold band a quarter size too small.
Then you can have a slightly loose fit and stretch up to size.

Hope that helps .

Mark P.


#6
  Providing of course that you don't overheat.  , I once tried
to  solder  some gold to the silver sheet that I was using and
the gold vanished.  (Sucked up, into the silver, never to be
found again . .. should I have filed a lot?)

I wonder if the problem here is the way the metal is laid on the
soldering board? The ring is flat at this stage, right? Two
layers of metal.

The top layer is getting the full heat of the flame and will
tend to heat up first before the bottom layer can get up to
temperature. This top layer may get inadvertantly heated to its
liquidus, especially if there are thin parts to the design. If
it’s stg silver liquidus is only a little hotter than some
solders. Gold’s liquidus is a lot higher.

Good heat control is needed. Here’s what I’d do. Shoot me down
in flames if necessary, as I haven’t done this for a while. BUT
I’m about to do it for a job.

First, I’d do sweat-soldering, rather than trying to add the
solder any other way. Hey, maybe I’d sweat the solder onto the
top piece before piercing it out.

To prevent the soldering board acting as a heat-sink on the
bottom layer I’d interpose some mesh.

Here’s where I’m starting to think … <ulp!> The way you set it
up to solder depends a lot on the relative thicknesses of the
layers. If the bottom layer is really a lot thicker I’d consider
heating from below (big bushy flame through the mesh) in the
main, and coming on to the top (smaller flame size) after the
bottom layer is well up to temperature.

It’s not just thickness, either. Consider the relative bulks of
each piece. The design will have reduced bulk from top layer and
thin parts will heat up really quickly. So if they’re equal in
thickness still maybe I’d heat from below.

Whatever you do:

Watch for signs of overheating and be prepared to STOP

The flux is a great temperature gauge. Watch also the thinnest
parts of the metal. If the solder doesn’t flow soon after
everything has reached soldering temperature, something’s not
right, and prolonged heating or increased heating may not help
matters. If any signs of melting starts to happen, STOP, pickle,
and start again, but change something about what you’re doing.

I add powder flux to the job during soldering, as fluxes can get
depleted and lose their oxide-munching powers. Dry flux doesn’t
cool the job down like wet does. Dirty metal’s usually why people
have trouble soldering. The instinct is to heat her up till
something gives. Choose more flux instead.

Does any of this help?
Brian
B r i a n ? A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r ?
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND
http://www.adam.co.nz/eyewear/ artworks - spectacles
http://www.adam.co.nz/jewellery/ earrings rings NZ jade
http://www.adam.co.nz/workshop/ NEXT: Queenstown NZ Jan 13 1998
http://www.adam.co.nz/ruthbaird/ Ruth makes her jewellery alongside me


#7
   John, when one 'overheats' would the result be that the
gold would vanish into the silver or vice versa? I once tried
to solder  some gold to the silver sheet that I was using and
the gold vanished.  (Sucked up, into the silver, never to be
found again . .. should I have filed a lot?)

G’day Ms Fishbre; I only did it once, and I got it too hot and
yes - the gold ‘vanished’. What happened of course was that the
gold dissolved and alloyed with the silver, Filing wouldn’t help
and the only way to find it again would be to get the piece to
the refiners where it would cost you more than the value of what
you lost. Some lessons are costly, eh? I never tried it again
for obvious reasons, but if you really want to I would suggest
you use Extra-easy solder and stop heating the moment the solder
flashed to liquid phase. He/she who lives learns, eh? You might be
amused to learn that I just made myself a walking-stick from
native NZ manuka, a very hard, tough, wood, and I mounted the
carved handle on the stick using a silver band made from two
strips of soldered sterling, the top strip pierced with three of
my my logos. (Below) This was to conceal the join. Looks quite
stylish! Cheers,

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#8

Brian- I have never used powdered flux. Tell me more,
please… Deb


#9

i’ve never worked with gold, but, when doing layers of silver, I
cut one piece just a bit longer and wider than the second.
Solder the two together . . . then I file the edges and solder
the two ends together. If you cut it to size, you shouldn’t
have a problem, most 20 G sheets can be stretched at least a
size. If you’ve soldered two 20 G’s together (gold on silver -
assuming you’re not using sterling) ((they should adhear without
a problem!)) Or am I assuming the best result?


#10

Greetings John Burgess-

How are things in South Sea Paradise? It sounds as if your
bionic appendages are doing so much the better for wear!
Actually, you should watch how much you lay it on about beautiful
NZ as you could end up with an invasion of immigrants such as
what we have here in the US! I have a friend who lusts after
living on St. Thomas,VI (part of the lovely US, John)- but how to
make a living there? I hope that we all are as fortunate as you
and can retire to some such spot on earth. I was a merchant
seaman in my youth and have seen most parts of it. Texas is
pretty special also, John! Don’t mind the humidity- have A/C!
John, we used to get gold back after something like this by
dissolving the articles in Aqua Regia and applying heat to aid in
dissolving. You would then take this solution and add Ferric
Sulfate. This causes the gold which is in solution to precipitate
as a brown mud on the bottom of the solution. Filter this mud out
and let it dry to a powder. This powder is pure gold and only
needs to be melted again and it will return to a more
recognizable form after cooling. The silver content of the
solution can also be precipitated out, but I can’t recall the
chemical required to do so and will have to look it up. One word
of caution, not for you, but for any lurkers- it is imperative
that you have ventilation and a respirator to do this as the
acids used are very corrosive and will ruin any metal or human
lungs that they come into contact with. I had an co-worker who
did this at his home in the garage. He ruined a washer and dryer,
a centrifugal caster, a burnout oven, and rusted every piece of
metal in the place. The fumes from the acid literally dissolved
the electrical wiring in these things, so be careful and safety
first as always. Good luck and health to you, John or as you
say-Cheers. Regards- Ricky Low


#11

If both metals were equal hardness, the gold would tend to
slightly bunch up/bulge into the open areas of the silver design,
while the silver will be mostly stretch distorted a little as you
bend it. Since the gold is harder, it’s distortion will be less,
and mostly, you’ll find the silver stretching a bit as it wraps
around the gold. Whether this is a problem depends on your
design. So long as the silver part is securely sweat soldered
down to the gold before you bend, you won’t see too much problem
with thinner parts of the silver deistoring more than thicker
ones, but there might be a little bit of that too in any case.
I’d expect, though, that given the thin guage of the gold you’re
using, the overall problem you’ll have with this distortion is
not likely to be a major problem unless youre design is such as
will badly show any slight distortion. Strict geometric
patterns, for example. Round circles becoming very slightly
oval. etc. With a landscape sort of pattern, though, I rather
expect this won’t kill your design. Do be careful, when
bending, to bend it gently and gradually and uniformly into a
circle with a mandrel and mallet, rather than with a series of
stronger bends that later are evened out into a circle, cush as
with bending pliers. The suggestion in Orchid about bending the
two pieces seperately, and fitting the two “tubes” together
certainly will eliminate most distortion, but doing it cleanly is
going to be a royal pain to solder together, as you will no
longer be able to take advantage of the way two really flat
surfaces can sweat together almost seamlessly with little solder
showing or bunching up. I’d guess that though this will avoid
distortion, it’s the harder way to make the bands, especially if
you’ve not done it before. Among other things, in soldering two
flat surfaces, expansion and contraction is linear, and doesn’t
mess up the mating of the two surfaces if uneven from one piece
to another. With two tubes, the gold and silver may
expand/contract unevenly, and if the silver is hotter at all, it
will expand away from the gold. Usually this happens just as the
solder flows (Murphy’s laws of jewelry making), leading to gappy,
sloppy joints.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe


#12
  I wonder if the problem here is the way the metal is laid on
the     soldering board? The ring is flat at this stage,
right? Two layers of metal.  

Yes, both pieces of metal were laying flat on the soldering
board, two layers of metal - one atop the other.


#13
   How are things in South Sea Paradise? It sounds as if your
bionic appendages are doing so much the better for wear!

Yeah, G’day Ricky et al; Still needing the odd painkiller, but
walk further and faster these days.

Don't mind the humidity- have A/C! 

Only the Northern half of the North Island is persistantly
sticky.

Thanks for the of using ferric sulphate to
precipitate gold from aqua regia solution. But are you sure it is
ferrIC and not ferrOUS? The silver content of the

        solution can also be precipitated out, but I can't
recall the chemical required to do so and will have to look it
up.

The chemical is sodium chloride - common table salt! The silver
comes down as a white precipitate (turns purplish with strong
light) When working in a Chemistry Department in the days when
William Bunker Hunt tried to get a corner on silver, and silver
nitrate was 500 dollars a bottle, my wife dissolved the
precipitate in cyanide and electroplated it onto stainless steel,
peeled it off, dissolved the pure silver in nitric acid,
evaporated the solution - and lo! back to recycled silver nitrate
for student use! Oh yes, efficient fume cupboards were
essential. But I still reckon that for very small quantities of a
few grams the hassle might not be worth it - especially to a busy
jeweller who got temporarily distracted. Cheers,

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#14

I’ve been watching this for too long without saying anything. I
don’t work in silver. I work in gold and platinum. Maybe I don’t
carry sufficient experience.
A few months ago I took in a bi-metal band for sizing. Silver on
the inside and gold on the outside. My first mistake was in
trying to stretch it. Snap. I try soldering with an easy 14K
solder and leaving a heavy fillet for strength. I still intended
to stretch it. The next problem was that the two metals have
differing rates of thermal expansion. As I heated the joint, a
the ends would shift. After struggling with getting a decent
seam, as has been noted, I now noticed gold dissolving into the
silver. After a lot of ruminating and further procrastination, I
decided to build a whole new band.
With the new band, to avoid the differing rates of expansion, I
made two flat bands and fitted one inside the other. I still had
a problem with the different expansion rates. The seam was
difficult to solder seamlessly. I feel for the next guy thst
tries to size this ring. I won’t be doing it.
I gotta go to work now. I wish that I could give you a fuller
understanding of the difficulties in doing a ring like this.
Good luck.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
e-mail: @Bruce_Holmgrain
http:\www.knight-hub.com\manmtndense\bhh3.htm
snail mail: pob 7972, McLean, VA 22106-7972
phone:: 703-593-4652


#15

Perhaps you might make the two layers separately, polish, and
rivet the two bands toegether, using the rivets as part of the
design, or hide them as flush rivets. Just a thought… Ruth