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What's the deal with 19k white gold?


#1

I’ve noticed, over a number of years, many goldsmiths in western
Canada using 19k white gold. Does anyone know why the minor
difference? Obviously there is a very moderate increase in price but
does this improve flow characteristics with castings?? Or is
workability improvement with handcrafted pieces? Does anyone have a
recipe for alloy of 19k white? Not sure if it is nickel free, or if
there is any palladium, or??? Curious…

Thanks in advance, T.


#2
I've noticed, over a number of years, many goldsmiths in western
Canada using 19k white gold. Does anyone know why the minor
difference? 

I cannot specifically comment without knowing precise alloy
composition. In generally it can be said that by changing proportion
of alloy components even to a slight extend, one can change
properties of a particular alloy very significantly. So a small
increase in cost of metal is offset by improved working properties,
and thereby savings in time and overall expense.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#3

We have been using this specific alloy configuration (it’s
proprietary, the refiners won’t give you specifics) for more than 15
years. It does contain nickel, but in a percentage where the extra
gold negates the negative attributes of nickel. It can be safely used
to make earwires with no reaction.

It has very good flow characteristics, welds cleanly, but is a hard
as stainless steel No point in asking anybody south of the 49th about
it, vey few have any experience with it and will only offer narrow
opinions or skepticism. Flat-earth type reactions are all you’re
gonna get. We began purchasing this alloy from Imperial Smelting in
Ontario in the early 90’s but have recently switched to a very
similar alloy available through Argen Corp. in San Diego. Don’t
bother trying to cook up your own version, you will ruin a bunch of
good material and still be lost. It’s the only white gold we use, as
it does everything we need it to do and has a Vickers hardness of
238…meaning stones stay tight where you put them and, after 5 years
of wear, mounts can be polished to new condition in 2 minutes. In
short, it saves a lot of labour which is traditionally wasted on
servicing items made with cheap alloys. Chromium-white without
rhodium. No brown oxidation from welding or soldering. Setting takes
more muscle but the prongs don’t crack or bend where they shouldn’t.
Higher marerial cost worth every penny as the labour savings are more
than significant.

David Keeling
www.davidkeelingjewellery.com