I use green gold quite a bit on my pieces. An influential master
jeweler many years ago encouraged me to fabricate my designs in
sterling silver. Then, when I had worked out the concept I would
make the piece in 18 K green gold. Because 18 K green gold is 75%
gold and the rest mostly if not all silver (depending on the alloy
needed), it has the most similar properties to silver than any of the
other gold alloys. Therefore it is very easily deformed when soft
and annealed. It also does not fuse very well. It will, however,
fuse better than sterling silver, which is notoriously difficult if
not nearly impossible to fuse. Watch out when fabricating not to put
too high a finish on the piece until you are sure your done with all
soldering steps. With yellow gold I will polish hard to reach places
in advance of soldering or, prepolish parts with tripoli before
soldering (a bit of influence from working with so much platinum).
Doing this with green gold is a waste of time. Don’t finish with
more than a very light emory.
The color difference between yellow and green is, in my opinion very
strong. But I am very sensitive to color differences. Green gold
next to yellow makes yellow look somewhat red. Some of my clients do
not like the color of green gold. Yet, I have found that if a client
doesn’t have a yellow gold piece of jewelry to compare the green
with, or if they view it up against platinum or palladium white gold,
they have a difficult time perceiving the fact that they are looking
at green rather than yellow gold.
As far as alloying gold, I prefer to alloy my own when I have time or
if I want something that has a subtler or more dramatic color.
However, for most uses the commercial available green gold stock is
fine. If you’re intent on making your own alloy check out “jewelry
concepts and technology” by Untracht. There are 4 alloys listed for
green gold though 2 of them use cadmium (scary).
Hope this is helpful,
JA Certified Master Bench Jeweler