I am a relatively new silversmith and I have recently switched from sterling silver to Argentium. I am really enjoying its working properties, especially the fact that you don’t need an anti-firescale flux. I would like to try my hand at gold and have read somewhere that it is similar to working with Argentium. I am just looking for recommendations on reading or learning about goldsmithing before I dip into my pocketbook and take the plunge. I tried searching in the learning area on this site, but I don’t think I really know how to search. I am really looking for beginning gold soldering information. Thanks in advance for all of your help!
Read Tim McCreight.
Working with yellow gold is much easier then working with silver.
Where argentium is hot short (breaking when handled in a hot condition) you don’t experience this with gold.
Yellow gold is very forgiving and easy to solder. Red gold can trick on you.
White gold depends on which alloy metals are used (nickel, palladium, platinum etc…)
If you solder gold, look at the correct gold solder color to match the color of your workpiece.
Don’t use silver solder to solder gold.
It will solder perfect but the contrast is seen and in time silver solder will turn black i.e. oxidize.
I don’t know if you use several melting temperature solder for silver like hard, medium, easy solder.
I learned to use as much as possible hard solder for silver and for gold.
If you solder gold, you don’t need to heat up your whole piece like you need to do with silver.
Working with gold is straight forward and not difficult.
Get into it and enjoy.
I second both Don and Pedro. The only thing I would add is to not be intimidated by gold. The value is not the important factor that it seems and it’s nothing to be concerned about. If you mess something up, you can send it to a refiner and get back somewhere around 95% or more, so don’t let it scare you. The really good news is that you probably won’t mess anything up because anything you can do with silver, you’ll be able to do with gold.
After you find out how sweet the transition from silver to gold is, just wait until you start messing around with platinum.
If you are serious about learning the craft, buy a copy of Alan Revere’s book Professional Goldsmithing, then go take some classes at the Revere Academy in San Francisco.
Thank you all for your advice. I need to check my bookshelf, I know I have a Tim McCreight book and several others. When I first read them, I wasn’t interested in gold. Your comments make me more excited to try it though.
This is what my Dad told me. If you have worked in sterling get some 14 K
and make something. The gold may be a little less forgiving of too much
heat but the hardest part is the lump in your throat for buying the gold.
If you are doing just gold match the K of the solder to the K of the gold,
some folks will disagree. If you are combining silver and 14 K gold I use
silver solder and pretty ordinary flux. I learned on Battern’s but since
then I have used everything available. I like Boric acid and Alcohol for
some things, Prips for others, Handiflux is a good stand by and I still have
some Battern’s about.
Take the same care as with sterling, Watch your fit, watch your heat, and
keep it clean.
Books are telling you “a” way to do something.
You’ve to find YOUR way to work with a metal and having the best results.
As a flux, I like to use ready flux from rio for gold and for silver.
It has a very long shelf life and works just fine to my opinion.
Succes with your first gold project!
If you can devote a week, take the Gold I course at the William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in north Georgia. It’s a low-cost, low stress environment and the course will take you through alloying, ingot casting, wire drawing, cutting, piecing, soldering, and polishing.