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Working palladium white gold

I have always described palladium white gold to my clients as a
pewter like grayish white metal.

PD white gold (both 14kt and 18kt) work best visually for my line
inlaid pieces offering more contrast between the various inlaid
metals. I fuse Pd white gold whenever possible for color matching
with a propane/oxygen little torch.

I also melt down Pd white gold scraps in a platinum crucible for
milling purposes.

Palladium 950 (that I purchase from Stuller) is another metal that I
use a great deal (both fabricated and cast (using Techform in
Portland for my casting) and to my eyes Pd 950 is much whiter than
Pd white gold. Initially I used the 19kt white hard solder with the
Pd 950, but was never really happy with it as far as color matching.
More recently I have been working with some palladium solders that
that I have been purchasing through Otto Frei. These solders are used
like a platinum solder and I use protective tinted glasses because of
their high melting temps.

I hope that this helps.
Jim

The alternative is nickel white gold which is whiter than
palladium white gold, but nickel is a big problem with people who
have allergies to nickel. I don't use nickel white gold for this
reason. 

In 22 years of making nickle white 14kt gold wedding bands, my own
personal experience is that I have not had one customer who was
allergic. Not saying it does not happen.

I have used traditional old school white gold, usually rhodium
plated, and the Winter White alloy from David Fell (that does not
need to be rhodium plated) Andy Cooper man mentioned on this forum a
long time ago. 14 kt made using Winter White alloy is easy to work,
fabricating, or after casting, no cracking, I can forge it, bend it,
easy to set gems in.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.

Visually, whites are tricky, that’s for sure. To make nickel white
behave many alloys that I have seen are quite yellow–the nickel
content cut down. Looks like pale yellow. I treat PW as its own
metal rather than considering it a replacement for “white” white
gold.

It also torch welds really beautifully.

Andy

I have used traditional old school white gold, usually rhodium
plated, and the Winter White alloy from David Fell (that does not
need to be rhodium plated) Andy Cooperman mentioned on this forum
a long time ago. 14 kt made using Winter White alloy is easy to
work, fabricating, or after casting, no cracking, I can forge it,
bend it, easy to set gems in. 

Here here! When I want a “white” white gold, DHF Winter White is the
one. I even forge it. So glad that you enjoy it Richard.

be aware that to cast it, you usually need to be using platinum
investment, not the standrd stuff used for gold. 

Thanks for the heads up! I was afraid of that. Hope all is well.

Scott Verson
www.metalandstonedesign.com

Not true…I’ve been casting 18K PW from Hoover and Strong for years
with Satin Cast. No Problems, I don’t know the exact liquidus of the
alloy, but it is considerably higher than Nickel/Gold alloys…
However, this doesn’t preclude using normal casting investments.

I need my palladium gold to be white, not gray. I alloy it easily
with an oxy-acet torch. My malleable, ductile 18K formula is:

75 gold
15 palladium
5 silver
5 copper

Janet in Jerusalem

Hi there,

When I was in Paris (France) the white gold we used was 18k PW and
yes it has a gray tone to it and that’s why the French call it OR
GRIS (gray gold) and we had to Rhodium plate it.

Vasken

I’ve been casting 14k palladium white with R&R normal gold
investment for years with no blowouts or problems.

Johnny

I need my palladium gold to be white, not gray. I alloy it easily
with an oxy-acet torch. My malleable, ductile 18K formula is: 
75 gold 15 palladium 5 silver 5 copper 

Interesting Janet… I will have to try that sometime soon.

Thanks for sharing.
Jim

I've been casting 14k palladium white with R&R normal gold
investment for years with no blowouts or problems. 

Typically, at least with Satin Cast 20, you find increased surface
roughness of the casting, and some increased surface porosity, due to
a metal/mold reaction.

Peter

 Typically, at least with Satin Cast 20, you find increased surface
 roughness of the casting, and some increased surface porosity, due to
 a metal/mold reaction.

That’s interesting Peter. I do primarily vacuum casting and when
everything is done just right, my palladium comes out smooth enough
to polish up with a few rubs of the thumb, a very light gray, not
mirrored but very smooth and a bit reflective, with no apparent
interaction with the investment. And no porosity with a very crisp
ring to the metal. I use a dead neutral flame… with quick heat in
and out…that seems important too. Years ago, if I lingered with
heating the metal due to too small a flame for the amount of metal or
even just a bit too rich or sharp a flame, I will not get good
results. Now I have certainly had what you describe happen when I get
the metal a bit too hot too. For this reason I often do a two melt,
one to homogenize and mix the alloy thoroughly with the gold which
requires a very high heat. ( I do this in a charcoal block which is
the easiest way for me to control the atmosphere) and another melt to
cast, pouring as soon as my graphite rod says is has melted, which I
monitor closely, keeping the rod in the flame so as not to have a
false cool reading of the stir. I don’t know all the science involved
but this works well for me.

Maybe the mold temp being too hot also contributes to failure,
although those experiments were too many years past for me to
actually remember all the details. But the neutral flame seems the
most important. And definitely overheating the metal just a little
will fuse some investment into the metal and porosity becomes evident
as well, usually to the scrap out point as the porosity often runs
deep and the metal is not sound or dense.

I had these same good results with a standard gold investment from
Westcast, in NM or TX I think, about ten years ago… Rio possibly
distributed it if not mfg it Discontinued quite a few years ago
though. I haven’t used Satin Cast since the early 80s, not for a
particular reason that I recall.

Johnny

Typically, at least with Satin Cast 20, you find increased surface
roughness of the casting, and some inceased surface porosity, due
to a metal/mold reaction. 

We have found that the best results in palladium white gold alloys
were obtained with R & R Ultra Maxx for vacuum casting. The regular
jewelers investment were more prone to breakdown and metal / mold
reactions. The usual casting temperatures for the palladium white
gold alloys run from 1140 to 1150C in 14K and 1220 to 1230C in the
higher palladium content 18K white golds. These temperatures will
push the envelope a bit too much for regular jewelers investments.
The Ultra Maxx seems to handle the higher casting temperatures
better. Several other companies make the higher temperature
compatable investments, you can check with your supplier.

Cheers & Regards
Jim Sivertsen
United Technical Dept.

I enjoy working with 14kt white/palladium…but I am having a hard time finding a color match solder. I have tried 20kt white;plumb;weld which works great with platinum but this metal is grayer and everything I try seems to look warm toned.

What do you solder your 14kt white gold/palladium ally with? I have tried 20kt white plumb/weld but it still shows up, not gray enough

Stuller makes an 18K Palladium WG solder. Pricy, but it. appears seamless when working with Palladium WG