Some Tips For Adding Gold To Argentium Pieces

"I like to fuse gold onto my Argentium jewellery, for the colour contrast."

Annette Petch, Jeweller

Annette runs Argentium classes in her studio in Sheffield, England.

Visit Annette's website for course information.

In the UK we mostly use 9 carat, 18 carat or 22 carat gold, and I have found the higher the carat, the more successful it is. 9 carat, especially the red alloy, can be tricky and has a tendency to flood out into the Argentium surface, or even sink completely, if it is overheated. But with practice it can be done, it needs good torch control and close observation. When you are close to fusing temperature watch carefully for the ‘fusion flash’ and take the flame away immediately.

Here are some examples:

Sunflower studs in Argentium with 9 carat yellow gold

Campanula studs in Argentium with 9 carat red gold

I made a sunflower ring in Argentium with a 9 carat white and red gold flower, and Argentium leaves. I fused the leaves on first, then fused on the flower, then bent the ring round and soldered the join with Argentium medium/hard solder. Fusing on gold should normally be the last fusing process, subsequent joins should be soldered so you don’t risk melting the gold.

Sunflower ring work in progress