Pure Gold Wedding Ring

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About: 37 White Male. Canadian living in Australia. Husband, father, pirate.

Intro: Pure Gold Wedding Ring

Some Background information:

I found the hammer and anvil method easier than any casting methods (such as cuttlefish or greensand). After some research and a bit of trial and error, I was able to make our wedding rings with minimal tools (listed in 2nd step).

This method also allowed me to make a pure (24 karat) gold ring so that I could wear gold how it has traditionally been worn by the Egyptians, Greeks and Roman rulers of antiquity; as pure gold.

The colour of pure gold is really ONLY seen in museums these days. Nearly ALL gold jewelry is mass produced and mixed with other metals to give it strength, colour and shine.

Jewelers generally avoid working with pure gold because the soft nature of the metal means easy scratches and less durability. While this is somewhat true, I like the patina that worn-and-adorned gold takes on with time. If worse comes to worse, you will be able to easily give the ring a new hammer finish, or even melt it down and reshape the ring to your current mood and style.

This ring is truly unique. You will have an intertwined bond that only a creator can have with its created. The ring will change with your level of mastery and become more beautiful with time.

Step 1: Melt Scrap Gold

This stop motion video quickly sums up the steps.

All of the tools that I used:

1) Anvil (or any steel plate, smoother is better)

2) Hammer (just flat will work but a smooth and lighter and more rounded goldsmiths hammer is what I used)

3) Polishing material of any sort

4) Heat source (I used a disposable propane torch with a pin head nozzle)

5) Steel Mandrel ( you will need this to size your ring)

6) Jewelers Saw

7) Needle nose pliers (to hold the gold while hammering)

8) Charcoal Block to melt the gold on (or you could use a crucible bowl)

Step 2: Hammer Until You Get a Strip

This step is were you decide the width and thickness of your ring.

Step 3: Overlap the Gold Strip Before Cutting

There is a math equation you can use to get the proper length gold strip needed for a particular ring size. But I just made sure the strip was several sizes too small. It is VERY easy to hammer the gold into the needed ring size once it is fussed together and on the mandrel. But lets not get ahead of ourselves here. All you need to do for this step is make sure the gold strip overlaps itself a bit.

Step 4: Cut to (a Small) Size

A jewelers saw allows for a clean cut which will make the fusing part a bit easier. But you can get away with an uneven cut by using wire cutters.

Step 5: Fuse the Ring Ends

Have a third piece of thin gold to help with the fusing. If it melts into the ring before fusing, just get another piece. The excess gold can easily be hammered into the rest of the ring to hide it.

I find this the trickiest step because sometimes the gold will collapse on itself before fusing. The trick is to fuse quick and stop soon after. You can take assurance though in knowing that if doesn't work out, you just have to do the previous steps again (and you'll be much quicker at them the second and third time around).

Step 6:

Now that the gold is fused, you can just hammer the ring to size while also giving it a hammered finish. If the gold gets hard to mold, just heat it up now and again. But don't heat it up to near the end because you want the gold to be hammered strong.

I used needle files to file the inside edge of the ring. This made the ring much more comfortable to wear.

Various polishes and techniques will bring out the deep dull yellow of the true gold color.

Step 7: Polish

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    31 Discussions

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    nimagharib

    Question 4 months ago

    Thanks for sharing this project: I am troubling to find the torch and nuzzle, where did you get your torch and pin-head nuzzle? any recommendation?

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    RobertB781

    6 months ago

    Nice one! I am running a professional goldsmithy in germany and can add some tips and tricks I hope: I am melting seamless rings for further widening with the anvil and a punch & hammer in a graphite bloc with a carved in ring mould which works perfectly if you get the metal as well as the graphite to a good temperature. Furthermore you do not waste gold by sawing and filing and get all your moneys worth back in metal.

    Please work in a well ventilated area, best pull the gas-oxygen-torch
    and the bloc to the outside if you do not have good ventilation. If the metal starts to smoke you are
    overheating it, and the fumes are harmful. Never use an acetylene torch
    for precious metals, even if the melting speed is tempting.

    You can achieve nice different surfaces if you apply a different curvature to your hammer with a grinding stone or a polishing stone. A hammer does not cost a lot and can be used as a toss away tool if necessary ;-D. High alloy gold is very soft and will easily pick up the structure of the hammer surface should you want that, so you can add some detail to it.

    Historically the gold of ancient cultures was not pure, but somewhere between 920/- and 970/- as the purification methods were not as thorough as today and they used the gold with the alloy that was found in their region which has various amounts and types of additional metals in it. Thats why old gold from nordic european cultures shines a little more greenish (higher silver content) and southern & central american gold rather reddish (more copper). But still very high alloy gold compared to todays wedding bands nonetheless.

    Have fun with this everyone!

    6 replies
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    jfryar30272RobertB781

    Reply 6 months ago

    Good tips! Why don't you use an acetylene torch for precious metals? Does it leave a residue or something?

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    RobertB781jfryar30272

    Reply 6 months ago

    Thats some deep metallurgy I might not be able to explain outside my native language :-D

    Basically the Acetylene makes the precios metals (especially the platinum-group: platinum, palladium, rhutenium and rhodinium) bind carbon within the metal which destroys the metals ductility. You will not be able to form it without getting cracks or surface damages after melting it. As you might have galvanic surface coating with those metals on a lot of older jewellry you can thoroughly destroy your alloy by using acetylene. Always use oxygene/propane or pure propane for lower melting temperatures.

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    jfryar30272RobertB781

    Reply 6 months ago

    From what little I know about chemistry, that makes sense :D. Will precious metals bind with carbon on their own over time (and using heat from a torch just speeds up that process) or is it that acetylene itself causes the binding of carbon? That is a great explanation - at least it made sense to me! Thanks!

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    RobertB781jfryar30272

    Reply 6 months ago

    No, as far as I know this only happens while the metal is molten and only with Acetylene. Propane and Butane are carbon based as well, but it only happens with acetylene. Maybe I should ask a chemist why ;-). I've been working my metals with oxy-propane torches for over a decade now, never had issues afterwards.

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    JohnM1320RobertB781

    Reply 6 months ago

    Actually, the burning of the acetylene steals hydrogen atoms from certain metals and then everything goes to hell in a hand basket... I suppose science would say the hydrogen atoms in acetylene are replaced by metallic elements to form acetylides.

    Okay, this is cut and paste, but it's true! My chemistry/science teacher wife told me so!

    The acetylides
    of silver, copper, mercury, and gold are detonated by heat, friction,
    or shock. In addition to its reactive hydrogen atom, the carbon–carbon triple bond can readily add halogens, halogen acids, hydrogen cyanide,
    alcohols, amines, and amides. Acetylene can also add to itself or to
    aldehydes and ketones. Many of the reactions mentioned here are used for
    the commercial manufacture of various industrial and consumer products,
    such as acetaldehyde, the synthetic
    rubber neoprene, water-base paints, vinyl fabric and floor coverings,
    dry-cleaning solvents, and aerosol insecticide sprays. Acetylene is
    produced by any of three methods: by reaction of water with calcium carbide, by passage of a hydrocarbon through an electric arc, or by partial combustion of methane with air or oxygen.

    https://www.britannica.com/science/acetylene#ref12...


    gold-bars-rows-47665177.jpgcynthiafacebook.jpg
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    RobertC403jfryar30272

    Reply 6 months ago

    The melting temp of 24k gold is low, (just below 2K farenheight) and the temp of Oxy/Ace can be much much higher, you'll vaporize your gold if too hot (most likely) or if your ocy/ace torch is a good working temp you'll probably deposit fine carbon on your gold, will likely result in pits or color differences. Probably best to use a propane torch, it'll be slow to heat but you won't lose any gold to the atmosphere.

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    FrancisK22

    6 months ago

    24 karat gold is believed to be less durable than 18 and 14 karats. When I was in the jewelry business, one of our suppliers decided to start making 24k plain wedding bands. As a test, our sales rep got one of the rings and wore it continuously for a year. It always looked like it needed a buffing but the color was amazing. At the end of the year, he returned the ring to the company and they weighed it. It was still the same weight as at the beginning of the experiment. It had not lost any metal.

    So high karat gold is more malleable than lower karats but is not significantly more likely to lose metal through abrasion.

    2 replies
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    RobertB781FrancisK22

    Reply 6 months ago

    Its quite opposed to what people intuitively believe: The harder alloys wear a lot faster as they are easily scraped off by all harder materials in comparison to 22k or 24k gold which figuratively just "bends" away from the impacting material. Thats why I prefer setting gemstones into higher alloys and shaping the basis of the setting out of lower alloys.

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    AndrewG309

    6 months ago

    These photos are beautiful and the instructions are awesome, thanks! I wish this had been posted when I was researching my 24k wedding ring last year. I had a heck of a time finding pure gold in the USA but after calling a dozen jewelry shops I was able to get a local shop to sell me some casting grain for cash at market price plus a few dollars. I ended up doing a cuttlefish casting in my kitchen.

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    Argyros

    6 months ago

    I really like the color and hammered finish.

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    Sherriff

    6 months ago

    well done, i love that anvil/vice where did you get that?

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    knipgoldSherriff

    Reply 6 months ago

    I found it at a second hand shop just outside of Melbourne, Australia.

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    definingsound

    Question 6 months ago

    How did you get from having scrap gold, to having 24K scrap gold? Is there a purifying method?

    1 more answer
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    knipgolddefiningsound

    Answer 6 months ago

    My scrap Gold is pure, it's just how I roll. There is a purifying method involving acids and basic chemistry.

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    seamster

    Question 6 months ago

    Very cool project! Where do you buy a large chunk of gold like that? (And how much did it cost?)

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    knipgoldseamster

    Answer 6 months ago

    I bought most my Gold from the gold/jewelers district in Melbourne, Australia. This city has a history steeped in Gold. I'm not sure what it cost all up, but a gram of Gold basically costs me 50$.

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    Heidicat

    Question 6 months ago on Step 2

    What kind of charcole block did you use?? I have grill bricks,, but they are in no way smooth like yours.thank you in advance. H