Soldering Rose gold

We had some questions as to soldering Rose gold. We can do fine if we
use yellow gold solder, however our customers don’t want any yellow
mixed in. We have to heat up the gold very high to solder with the
rose gold solder and it tends to want to melt, and sputter etc… the
ring or other before it starts to flow. What tips (any and all) do
you have for me when soldering Rose Gold?? thanks in advance Terry

Terry r williams


Hi Terry, you should try Hoover & Strong’s rose gold solder - it’s
great. Many times no matter what you do you’ll have a color match
problem, so I usually try to fuse the piece if it’s a size down
(using the cut out shank material). Good luck, Mike.

Hiya! good luck in finding a true Rose gold solder. I’ve ordered from
several different people and was told the only true rose gold solder
had to have cadmium in order to be rose colored, and it isn’t .
Good luck!! P.S. let me know if you have any luck finding rose gold
solder that does’nt turn yellow after you solder it. Matt the Catt

This rose gold you are soldering…

Is it a sheet?

Indian Jewelers Supply Co. has a 22-gauge rose goldfilled sheet stock
with silver solder flushed onto one side. Solder melts at 1350f, flows
at 1389f. A full sheet of this material measures 3x36", Weighs about
13 troy ounces. Minimum sale is 3x3", weighing approx. 1.06 ozT. Cost
would be about $18.00. No minimum orders, per se, but you can dodge
handling fees of $10.00 with an order of $50.00 in merchandise. We
should be able to fill that with other shop staples like buffs,
compounds, pliers, and what-have-you. Cheers, Dan Woodard

We had a freak thing happen with 18k rose gold recently. We made a
wax for an engagement ring, the center diamond was to be set almost
flush in a platinum bezel with a tapering, half round, comfort fit
18k rose gold band. We carved the wax, all one piece, got it approved
and cut what was to be the bezel out. We cast the bezel in platinum
and the shank in 18k rose gold, both casts were beautiful. We went to
assemble the two pieces with hard rose gold solder. It was a little
hard to flow and it took a couple of times to get the platinum bezel
perfectly straight, but it was fairly routine. We let the ring cool
on a block and then pickled it. When we removed it from the pickle we
notice the rose gold had little stress cracks all over, I mean all
over. It was weird because the casting was so good and the soldering
so routine. I called the supplier of the casting grain (Stuller in
this case) and asked to speak to the tech. department. The guy said
"Oh ya, we have nothing but trouble with that, that is our worst
product, we get lots of complaints about that, you need to heat it
cherry red and then quench it when you solder it to prevent
cracking." We scrapped the 18k rose gold shank and recast it with 18k
peach gold from Hoover and delivered it to a very happy customer.
Apparently the 14k rose does not have this problem. I then noticed
that Hoover recommends this heating and quenching process right in
their catalog. I thought that 18k would be easier to work with
because of the higher gold content, wrong I guess.

Mark P.

Hi Matt, I have given up on 14K rose gold solder. I have found that
10K pink easy solders nicely and stays pink. Give it a try. Tom

We get very used, in working gold alloys, to simply assuming that the
resulting alloy will be a proportional mix of the properties of the
constituent metals. it’s doesn’t always work that way. In steels, and
various other metals, we’re accustomed to the fact that metalurgical
properties can be complex, yet are surprised when we find that in

Silver and gold are completely intersoluable in each other, so
various mixes of silver and gold won’t give you surprises. However,
copper is completely intersoluable in neither gold nor silver. This
is what lets it so effectively harden both metals, even in smaller
quantities. It’s what lets you age harden a finished piece of jewelry
made with a copper containing alloy, by simply heating it carefully to
the right temps. Many jewelers are familier with only the effect of
annealing, or softening these metals with heat, and don’t know that
both sterling silver and many gold alloys can be hardened quite a bit
with a heat treatment.

With 18K rose gold containing only or mostly copper and gold,
however, you have a unique alloy. Although there is 3 times the gold
by weight, this alloy has approximately the same number of gold and
copper atoms (gold is about 3 times the density of copper). At high
temps, and normally at low temps, the alloy forms the usual cubic
crystal system arrangement of a mix of crystals consisting of gold
with some copper dissoved in it, and copper with some gold dissolved
in it. However, there is a region around 700 degrees Farenheit, where
the alloy will rearrange it’s atoms to form what is called an ordered
array structure. This amounts to a layer of gold atoms, then a layer
of copper, then another layer of gold, etc. Because it does not form
the usual high symmetry cubic crystals, with their great malleability
and ductility, but instead this completely different structure, it’s
properties are different. And THIS structure has the general working
properties similar to glass. I mean, it’s brittle as hell, and
unworkable. It’s somewhat similar to the intermetallic compounds
formed by an 18K alloy of gold and aluminum, which gives us purple
golds that are also brittle and unworkable. Any attempt to work this
rose gold alloy if it’s been slowly cooled through that 700 degree
temp range, will find that at least some fraction of it has formed
islands of this structured array, and will be cracky. Might be even
the whole thing, if you cooled it slow enough. I’ve seen castings
that literally shattered into lots of little pieces, just being
dropped a couple feet to a linoleum floor. Once cracks form, of
course, they don’t heal, so a cracked piece must generally be
scrapped. However, you can, if the piece has not yet formed
microcracks, simply reheat to annealing temp, (low red heat), and
quench it from that temp. This then reforms the structure of the
metal, and restores workability. Quenching in alcohol will help to
prevent the quenching operation itself from causing cracks just from
the shock, while still cooling the metal quickly enough to prevent the
formation of that ordered array. You can also stop it by using a rose
gold that isn’t entirely copper and gold, but instead still has
significant amounts of silver. This won’t be a really red color, but
you can still get a decidedly pink cast, without risking this cracky
behavior. And with 14K rose golds, it’s not a problem, as that atomic
ratio between the gold and the copper isn’t right for that structure
to form.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe