Can You Weld or Solder it?
Can you solder or weld gold filled jump rings and jewelry components? The popularity of permanent jewelry (aka Forever Bracelet, Sparks Bracelet, welded body jewelry) skyrocketed recently. Many people want to know if you can weld gold filled jewelry. If yes, what happens down the line?
In this video.
First, I explain what is the metal, gold filled . Second, I demonstrate how to weld a gold filled jump ring using the Orion Micro Welder mPulse. I will then show the effects of a welded bracelet. My daughter has worn this bracelet for about six weeks. (Who swam in both a chlorinated and a salt water swimming pool multiple times, who does a lot of outdoor sports while wearing sunblock. She was far stickier and sweatier than we would like to admit).
WHAT IS THE METAL, GOLD FILLED?
Gold Filled is an American metal manufacturing process and legal standard of quality. Gold filled is made by bonding 2 sheets of solid karat gold over a core of brass. (or for wire, rolled in tube). Sometimes it is one sheet of gold over a layer of brass. This woud be for such things as hollow form. For a piece of jewelry to be legally stamped with the telltale ‘GF’ marking, its weight must be at least 1/20th solid gold. This explains the typical stamp you would expect to see on gold filled articles: “1/20 14K GF”. This means that 5 percent of the piece is 14 karat gold. The surface layer of gold-filled jewelry is about 100 times thicker than any plating. Gold-filled jewelry pieces tend to last much longer than other metals. and is considered ‘lifetime jewelry’. Learn More Here
SOLDERING VS WELDING
Soldering requires flame, flux and solder. The area around the seem, must be heated sufficiently . This allow the flux and solder to flow. This gets tricky when soldering around heat sensitive things such as clasps. Spring mechanisms in clasps can warp Gemstones can crack, And, not in the least, skin for permanent bracelets. You can solder gold filled by lowering the heat, using a lot of flux and a lot of easy solder.
Micro Welding, on the other hand, does not require heating the general area. Nor the use of flux or solder. The electrode will run a current through the metal. To this melts the two sides together. However, without the use of gold solder to cover the metal, some of the brass core in gold filled will become exposed. It mixes with the gold in the melting process. The area is very small, especially if you are using lower power settings. I have done this in the video. However, there will be a bit of exposed brass.
WELDING GOLD FILLED VS WELDING SOLID GOLD
After 6 weeks of harsh wear, there is a tiny dot of black on the weld. It is noticeable upon closer inspection. The colour may vary depending on the person’s ph balance. Are welding as a business? You need to keep this in mind.You may not be bothered by this, however, your customer may. If they will be, or you are concerned, you can use solid gold jump rings with gold filled chains. You cannot visually tell a gold filled chain from a solid gold chain. The chain is not the area that you will be welding. The key is the jump ring and the cost difference is not huge because it is small. It is a matter of personal preference and economics.