Hello from a goldsmith in Israel! In the past, I made my own white
gold: 18K high-palladium. I’m now using purchased 14K white for the
first time: Rio Grande’s (nickel-white, I assume) and have been
blown away by how awful it is to work with!! It oxidizes a lot, and
sulfuric acid pickle doesn’t seem to clean it up! Since this piece
has parts which require polishing before soldering (parts not
accessible after), I need a chemical solution to oxidation removal.
What do people who work in this unpleasant material usually do?? I
often have parts that must be at least partially finished prior to
A bit of potassium chromate in a regular sulfuric acid pickle worked
the best. Nitric acid/water (20 to one—suggested by Rio’s
technical staff) did nothing (warmed solution, 10 min. soak) and
required scratchbrushing (glass brush) to see any effect at all.
Anybody have better luck with nitric acid (also suggested somewhere
in Orchid archives)?
How about Rio’s nickel pickle? Will it harm the other elements of
A really heavy coating of boric acid or borax kept the black at
bay, but left a pinkishness (my pickle was fresh and uncontaminated)
which required significant mechanical removal. Normally I would
assume this is copper from the alloy being exposed as a result of
nikel depletion, but the entire surface was pinkish after having
been sucessfully protected from nickel oxidation (no black) by borax
(not boric acid). Normally (eg with silver) I would just heat it
unfluxed to turn the copper to copper oxide and remove it in sufuric
pickle, but I’m afraid this would create more (unremovable) nickel
oxides as well. The pink couldn’t be cuprous (as opposed to cupric)
oxide as there was only very mild heating with a basically reducing
Additional info: propane torch—no air or oxygen; slightly
air-cooled before putting in room temp sulfuric pickle; the sheet
was beautiful material—arrived almost ready-polished! It’s really
upsetting to have to use abrasives on it!
What do those of you who work in nickel silver usually do???
No place in Israel sells paladium white gold sheet. Nor does Rio.
Janet in Jerusalem.