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I Forge Iron

Melting & Casting Jewelry


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I had a coworker approach me this morning and ask me about taking old jewelry (supposedly gold, but unconfirmed) and melting it down and recasting it into another piece of jewelry. First thing I did when asked was check the melting point of gold, which according to Google is over 1900 degrees F, which DOES NOT sound like something a first timer who has zero idea what they are doing should attempt. However, I highly doubt said jewelry is straight gold and likely some alloy which would make its melting point harder to determine.

Anyways, could some of you experts perhaps provide advice/resources I could provide to them? I have already explicitly stated that casting any metal is dangerous and really should not be attempted/done without guidance and knowing what you are doing. I am already on the fence about trying to guide them as they did not know some of the basics like preheating the mold. I will likely push them to go to a local smith who does casting and have it done under supervision or just be done by said smith.

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If it's real gold, it should have a karat stamp; that will give you a better idea of the melting point. For example, 14k is1,550F, which can be melted with a standard plumber's torch.

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Most of the Community Colleges I have knowledge of; had a jewelry making course or 5 that will teach one how to work with the precious metals and they generally have one that deals with casting.  I would take the courses *or* talk with the Instructor(s) about having something made.   

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That is what I was pushing them more towards, going to someone who knows what they are doing and can assist/supervise or do it for them but they are very intent on doing it themselves at home.

I will ask if there is a karat stamp on them.

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  Have you operated a new one lately?  It's like rocket technology.  Push button, joystick, lcd screen, you name it.  I had the good fortune a couple of years ago to test out a new Cat front end/wheel loader.  Very few hours on it.  You could program the bucket scooping and dumping positions and then just push a button.  The company bought it to move railcars around with a coupler mounted on the front instead of a bucket.   I recommended that they disable some of that stuff....:)  

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