Being two of the most expensive and sought-after metals for more reasons than just jewelry, gold and silver have revolutionized the world.
Their rarity in availability causes their demand and value to fluctuate over time. It would be interesting to see how, if possible, to melt gold and silver together and the effects.
Combining two or more metals to make one metal is referred to as alloying. This is could be done for many reasons such as increasing the strength of metal or to alter or improve its color.
Can You Melt Gold and Silver Together?
Yes, it is possible to alloy these two metals together and the resulting metal is referred to as Electrum.
Though not common or even valued in present times, it was a popular metal in the days of the Roman Empire in the making of coins and also in Egypt for jewelry.
A combination of these two metals makes for a stronger, more flexible, and malleable metal.
Gold does not oxidize and because of this, Electrum will not either.
What Happens If You Melt Gold and Silver Together?
Melting together silver and gold will produce the metal electrum.
This metal is sometimes naturally occurring and can be referred to as green gold. In its natural state, it could contain elements of copper, platinum, and other metals.
The resulting color depends on the amount by the ratio of gold and silver in the mix. If the gold lies well below 50% of fine gold, you will get a white-colored alloy. If the gold is at 75% purity, the resulting color will be a bright yellow.
Silver tends to lighten and brighten the properties of gold metal. The more silver an alloy contains, the whiter its appearance will be.
The addition of copper infuses some red color into the gold to make hues such as the rose gold.
Can You Melt Different Karats of Gold Together?
Yes, you can and actually, this is commonly done to hold two pieces of gold together. Lower karat gold melts faster and this should be the first gold grade to be melted. The other pieces of gold can be added to the liquid gold and heated continuously until the alloy is fully atomized.
Mixing equal parts of different karat gold, you are sure to et a different karat gold alloy. For example, if you mix 24 karats with 12 karat gold, you are bound to get 18 karat gold.
Melting your gold collection is a perfect idea if you have grown out of your old accessories or if they have gotten tarnished. The ball of gold you get after smelting can be molded into a new and shiny piece of jewelry.
Gold heating and smelting are one of the best ways to refine your gold. Though you may lose about 25% in the volume of your original mass of metals, this difference may not even be recognizable and should not bother you.
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Tips and Advice When Melting Gold and Silver Together
Most important to note is your health and safety. Invest in the right gear in terms of gloves, tongs, bonded charcoal bricks, goggles, and a protective overall, and shoes.
Gold melts at a temperature of 1064 degrees centigrade while silver melts at 961.8 degrees centigrade. To alloy the two, melt the gold to the hot liquid and add in the silver metal. This should be dissolved immediately in the blazing liquid gold.
Charcoal bricks are great insulators of heat and they come in handy when needing to melt any kind of metal. They do have to be bonded around the sides with strong wire to keep the block of charcoal together. A cracked charcoal block could cause you to spill your liquid metal.
The heating process is what does the alloying so trying to stir up the liquid metals will not help or quicken the alloying of the two. You must keep the flame directly on the metals and avoid moving it around to ensure the heat stays as concentrated as possible.
Once the flames turn from bright orange to a bright yellow, this confirms that your metal is thoroughly atomically combined which is important to assure a well-rounded metal alloy. If the metals are not well blended, they may be problematic at the production phase.
This is a highly dangerous procedure in light of the heat and the liquid metal involved in the process. Although there are smelting home kits available to help you with the process, it is still not advisable for you to try this at home.
Gold and silver are the most preferred metals in the production of fine jewelry, cutlery, machinery, electronics among other human innovations.
Blending them under high heat temperatures makes an ancient metal, Electrum, that is now not as popular among manufacturers.
Alloying gold with silver is beneficial as it makes both metals hardy in endurance and more flexible in construction. The bright and light color shades are also quite beautiful to look at and adorn.
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