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White gold alloying


#1

Hi Have a question I hope you can help me with. I alloy all my gold
myself. Yellow golds are no problem. White golds are another story.
They tend to be hard. recently I read about using palladium alloy
rather than nickle based alloy. supposedly it will make the white
softer and easier to work. What are the down sides. Does it become
too soft (like silver) does it hold its polish do carbon based
crucbles and charcoal have a negative effect as in platinum.

thanks
steve


#2

You are right, nickel is harder- and there’s no way around using
recipes that contain Nickel unless you use a covering agent when you
are melting it (Karl Fischer makes a Methanol based liquid “covering
agent” used with your melt, which though now has a haz mat charge
tacked on, is far less than buying a Pd containing alloy if they will
still mail it to you via ground shipment).It works great if you
aren’t adding your own de-oxidants to your recipes and will help
prevent tarnish, and other problems nickel based white golds have
-particularly in the 14 Kt. range, even low-nickel white’s(DHFell’s
master alloy "satin white’ for instance), but it’s quite dangerous:
You need excellent ventilation and to wear a NIOSH rated respirator
when using it and no matter what you think you may know about using
it, You must read the entire instructions that come with it before
beginning.(in fact you can download the MSDS for "all the ingredients
in weights and usage instructions from Fischer’s site- but if making
your own, as I think Fischer probably no longer mails it overseas
post 9/11 be sure to use a scale to weigh the other ingredients in
the proprietary formula before proceeding)):

You may want to try a master alloy with a proprietary “truePd” with
de-oxidant from Hoover and Strong, or Legor Pd white, from Rio
Grande and a number of vendors- difference is with the nickel based
white alloys the cost is quite inexpensive $7-10 a troy oz., compared
to the Pd containing alloys that run from about $300-500 a troy oz.
so the haz mat charge becomes more attractive/rationalised if you
don’t make or use a lot of it.

On the other hand, while I too make most of my own alloys I detest
nickel in my studio, and don’t recommend white gold unless the
customer insists on it. And depending on what it is, by weight, just
buying the pre-fabricated stock is the easiest, safest and usually
cheapest way to go. Just adding a Pripp’s type flux to the crucible
isn’t enough to create the “covering” you get with the Fischer
methanol based proprietary formula. There’s always pure Pd too!, it
doesn’t necessarily need a rhodium plating as a high karat PdWhite
alloy may. rer