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White Gold Solder


#1

Hi everybody: I have had this problem for a while and it is
really getting on my nerves. I am finding the white gold solders
VERRRRRY brittle, it seems like any time I put on a new claw in
either 14 or 18 white as soon as I go to tighten the claw or push
it down onto the stone my solder joint breaks. I have done a lot
of custom work over the years and only performed repairs for the
last three years, and I have encountered this problem quite a
lot. DOES ANYBODY HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS!!! I thought that
maybe I was overheating the solder so I have done the tips fast,
I have even put pallions on the claws instead of balling the
solder but same result. I need help before this 2ct dia ring
bites the dust.

About the F.G.A. course, I am a Fellow of the Gemmological
Association of Great Britain, as well as the Canadian
Gemmological Association. I have seen the course notes for the
G.I.A. course but that is all, so I can’t really compare the two.
I finished the course in 1993, I imagine that it is very much
the same now as then. It is an intense course that explains the
theory behind how everything in gemmology works, I enjoyed the
course and would highly recommend it. The only deficiency that
I see in the course is that it doesn’t teach you anything about
diamonds and grading so you would need to take a supplimentary
course(s). I went to the H.R.D. Institute for a diamond grading
course that was very good.

Sincerely Cary S. James
P.O. Box 336
Manuels,Nfld.
A1W 1M9
(709) 834-4745


#2

Are you pulling the stone? Or are you retiping inplace? Ether
way on a prong you should file a angel like os / maybe a little
less angel. I use square wire for crown work. solder pick ball to
prong then lay wire on prong and solder. The most important part
take a #000. saw blade. undercut at stones edge or use a slot
file. then push prong down. When you pull stone, cut prong lower
than seat, file at angel / a little less. Then use a small
setting burr and recut seat. Cut wire off and file to finsh.
Winter has come to the grate north at last. True


#3

Cary, I would most likely remove the prong, below the girdle,
then you have new solder free metal to bend. Curtis Harmon


#4

Hi Carey, I think you must always expect solder to be brittle
and plan accordingly. Solder a thick spot and bend the thin area
next to it. That sort of thing. Happy holidays! Tom Arnold


#5

True makes a real good point here. It applies to yellow as well
as white golds. The prong should be filed down enough to provide
a diagonal seam. This increases the surface areas of the solder
seam and thereby increases the strength. Personally, I very very
rarely take a sawblade to the inside of the seat. I will
generally influence the way the prong is bending by filing down
the outside. BTW. I used to use files to finish iff prong tips
but have damamged a couple of stonbes along the way. A file may
not scratch the stone, but it can act as a multitude of hammers
stiking facet junctions. Much better to shape a pumice wheel for
the job and finish off the prong with the pumice wheel.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
Maryland’s first JA Certified Senior Bench Jeweler
@Bruce_Holmgrain


703-593-4652


#6
    I have had this problem for a while and it is really
getting on my nerves.  I am finding the white gold solders
VERRRRRY brittle, it seems like any time I put on a new claw
in either 14 or 18 white as soon as I go to tighten the claw or
push it down onto the stone my solder joint breaks 

It seems to be the nature of the nickle combined with the zinc
to create the solder alloy. I use 20k welding solder which seems
to be more tanatious in its bond with the parent metal. Tipping
is a temporary solution to a reoccouring wear problem. Anytime I
have a repair on a stone 1 ct. or above I will change the crown
or claw out to a platinum one which will last much longer due to
the durability of the metal. Tipping may be less expensive at
first glance but you have taken on the job as well as future
laibiliity of your work that you have performed.