Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Soldering gold and silver

 There is so much copper in the 14K that it wants to combine
with the silver to make solder - and will! if you overheat it.

This brings to mind some things I’ve discovered by painful trial
and error. I, too, frequently solder gold to silver, and have had
similar problems. I use 18K for my bezels, and have found that
18K solder works much better to solder gold (14K or 18K) to
silver than 14K solder does. Perhaps this tendency of the
copper to combine with the silver is the reason. I’ve also found
that soldering or fusing 14K elements to silver will sometimes
cause the gold part to meld or dissapear into the silver if it is
pushed too far.

An offshoot to this problem: I just began learning casting
about two years ago. My attempts have been sporadic, as most of
my work is fabricated. I discovered the trick of fabricating a
bezel in metal (or using a prefab setting), then embedding it in
the wax and cast the piece that way. Worked like a charm! But,
only if you are casting like metal to like metal. Silver bezel
cast in a silver ring; gold cast to gold. Once I tried casting
an 18K gold bezel to a silver ring. The area on the bezel where
the gold joined the silver was more or less vaporized, and what
remained of the bezel detached from the casting. Could this be a
similar problem with the copper combining with the silver? (even
though this was 18k, not 14k) Or could I have just overheated my
flask in the burnout? (It could happen! ) I like the idea of
embedding gold into the wax for silver/gold pieces, rather than
soldering it on later. But, since that little disaster I’ve been
reluctant to try it again. Anyone out there have any experience
with this? Can it be done? Or are the metals incompatible in
this circumstance?