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Working with gold fill

Hi, I’d be grateful if people could tell me what I need to know about working with “gold filled” compared to working with silver. Can you buy gold filled sheet as well as wire and what solder would you use with it. Many thanks, Katie

Can you buy gold filled sheet as well as wire

Yes. It is my understanding that the amount of gold would be the same in either case since it is 5% by weight, but you can get it clad on one side, or on both. In the later case the gold cladding would be thinner on each side.

Since the amount of gold is by weight, heavier sheet should have a thicker layer of gold-clad than lighter-gauge sheet. Something to consider when filing or polishing very thin gauges.

You can solder it with any brazing solder (silver, Argentium solders…) but for a less visible seam I use 14K gold solder.

I have noticed some tarnishing on gold-filled chain I made roughly 10 years ago, which I didn’t expect. It is probably too much to expect gold-clad to respond the same as solid 14K material.

I’ve had no trouble with yellow gold-clad and 14K yellow gold solder, but have had some issues using 14K rose gold solder on 14K rose gold clad wire. Rio doesn’t sell rose gold solder, claiming they’ve found none that is cadmium-free that works well.

Hope this helps.

Neil A

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Hi Neil,
Thanks so much for taking the time and the generosity of giving me the benefit of your knowledge. It’s really helpful. I would like to give it a try bit can’t afford mistakes!
Best wishes
Katie

I agree, I use 14k solder, but you have to be really careful to avoid overheating the metal because the gold layer will melt and mess up the finish. The edges of gold fill sheet will tarnish because of the brass. In general it all tarnishes fairly quickly compared to solid gold.

Hi peg I,
Thanks so much for that.
Katie