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How to anneal white gold, The answer may surprise you.

How to anneal white gold. The answer may surprise you.

What is the difference between annealing white gold and yellow gold?

The answer may surprise you because the difference is as simple as what type of alloy is used.

I will break this down into its simplest form for this example. Back in the day 14k and 18k yellow gold were alloyed with copper to make a wearable and workable metal.

14k yellow gold was 58.5 parts 24k gold mixed with 41.5 parts copper. 

18k yellow gold was 75.5 parts 24k gold mixed with 24.5 parts copper.

I am using copper as an example. These days there are many secret alloys created for different types of metal working. Some are for casting, some are for rolling and so on. They may have elements of copper and other metals mixed together to work better under different conditions. Just keep it in mind for down the road.

14k and 18k white gold are alloyed with nickel to make a wearable and workable metal.

14k white gold was 58.5 parts 24k gold mixed with 41.5 parts nickel.

18k white gold was 75.5 parts 24k gold mixed with 24.5 parts nickel. 

Once again, I am using nickel as an example. These days there are many secret alloys created for different types of metal working. Some are for casting, some are for rolling and so on. They may have elements of copper and other metals mixed together to work better under different conditions.

Yellow and white gold are going to have on thing in common and that is the amount of gold in each, whether it’s 14k or 18k.
 

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The big difference when it come to annealing is what is in the alloy. A copper alloy can be heated and quenched while hot. It will then be annealed and the metal will be softened, making it workable.

Nickel on the other hand must air cool in order for it to become annealed or softened and workable.

Copper and nickel are very different metals and must be treated as such.

When annealing white gold it should be heated to 1350 -1400 degrees and held at that temperature for about 30 seconds. I then allow it to air cool.

Some people like to anneal, then air cool till the red is gone and then quench in water. You can try this as well. I do find that air cooling gives me better results.

For a list of steps on boric acid dip and the preparation before you anneal see this blog post.

How to anneal sterling silver – 7 BASIC STEPS

 

Here is a video of me annealing a 14k white gold pendant.

As always take all the proper safety steps to ensure that you do not injure yourself or others. Safety first people. 🙂

I will include a link to my torch set up and tool list. I am using a propane and oxygen mixture. Use a large flame with a feathery end. Using a sharp hot flame will only melt your project.

Remember to go slowly and have fun!

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Do me a favor and share this to anyone you think it could help.

Thanks a bunch.

 
 

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