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Re: [Orchid] Adding gold to silver
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Noel Yovovich Saturday, February 09, 2013
   
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    Your actual question was what is going on. My understanding of what
    happens is, with a little too much heat, the metals form their
    eutectic alloy-- the combination of the metals that has the lowest
    possible melting point. Since the new, local alloy has a lower
    melting point than the surrounding metal, it tends to create a pit
    where the metal has alloyed. 

    I am very familiar with this problem from my own attempts to fuse
    gold and silver. With practice and extreme focus, this can be done
    very successfully, but it is not easy. 

    Soldering silver and brass together is particularly likely to
    produce collapse, since together they tend to turn into a puddle of
    easy solder. 

    This is not nearly as heartbreaking as when it happens with gold, of
    course. 

    Overheating gold-filled even a little causes the gold to alloy into
    the brass-- and you are left with very expensive brass. 

    If I were going to try to solder granules of gold onto silver, I
    think I would do it with plumb gold solder, and preferably by heating
    from underneath the silver. Possibly the safest (though not quickest)
    way to do it would be to bur or dap a little divot where each granule
    was to go, then melt a speck of solder (gold or silver) into the
    divot. Add the granule(s) and re-heat, being very careful to stop the
    moment the solder flowed. 

Noel

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