How to Gold Dip Jewelry

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britwest wrote
on 30 Aug 2012 7:30 PM

Hi,

I've been looking online on how to make jewelry like this:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/102221287/spirit-quartz-druzy-pendant-with-24k

I asked the creator to make sure it wasn't paint, and she said that the stones are heated and coated with a thin layer of titanium, and the stone is drilled and the ring is attached under the gold electroplating, making it very secure. Unlike some imitation pieces I've seen where the stone has been painted and the jump ring is simply glued on...

Can a piece like this be made at home? Unless that coating is a paint, I believe that titanium can only be melted thru a vacuum.

Does anyone know how to achieve this? I'm willing to spend some money buying the necessary materials. I don't have a kiln or access to many tools, but I'm willing to invest in the necessary components needed to complete something like this.

Most of the jewelry like this is priced pretty low (probably because crystals aren't too pricey) but maybe the process of gold dipping (or electroplating?) isn't too complicated?

If someone could help explain this process or point me in the right direction of understanding how this works that would be amazing!

Thanks for your time and help in reading my post.

 

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TammyJones wrote
on 31 Aug 2012 9:12 AM

Hi britwest, thanks for your question.

I'm not sure about titanium, but I know you can electroplate with copper, silver, and gold at home. Rio Grande sells the tools and solutions; Sherri Haab also has a kit that's good. You'll learn more about the supplies in the links below. The setup isn't very cheap but it lasts and lasts. You can learn more about electroplating/electroforming setups in our free video on this page:

http://www.jewelrymakingdaily.com/content/Free-eBooks.aspx

....and about the whole process in these blogs:

http://www.jewelrymakingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2011/11/14/metal-magic-electroforming-organic-and-other-materials-for-jewelry-making.aspx

http://www.jewelrymakingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2012/02/24/electroforming-jewelry-equipment-and-supplies-for-copper-plating.aspx

If you're a Jewelry Making Daily fan on Facebook, you can see some photos of my electroplating adventures here:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.473169026027078.116499.121467317863919&type=3

Hope these help you! It's SO much fun!

Tammy

 

 

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britwest wrote
on 31 Aug 2012 5:19 PM

Hi Tammy,

Thanks so much for responding! All that information really helped! I'm thinking of getting a kit, but the ones from Sherri Haab are all for copper, which is okay, (I'll probably get that one anyway because it is the cheapest I can find) but I wanted to use gold and possibly silver. Do you know where I can get gold or silver electroforming solutions/ anodes?

Also, like in the picture, I only want to have a portion of the crystal covered in metal. Can you achieve this by only painting the portion of the crystal you want covered with the metal conductive paint?

 

Thanks so much for your help! I really appreciate it :)

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TammyJones wrote
on 4 Sep 2012 12:42 PM

Hey britwest, you're welcome! You can get silver solutions from Rio Grande--and then you can use it with Sherri's kit instead of the other solution and copper wire if you wanted to. The rectifier works the same, but you can also buy the larger rectifier from Rio Grande. I'm not sure about gold, but Rio Grande might have that solution, too. I know they have silver and nickel.

Yes, the portion you want plated has to conduct electricity, so if you only paint part of the crystal with the graphite paint, only that part will get plated. I tested this with some buttons and shells when I played around with the copper electroplating, and it definitely works--but the copper solution is sooooo blue that it gave a small hint of blue to the rest of the item. I haven't tried to clean it off--it might come off easily. I bet you could coat the part you don't want to plate with some kind of clear sealant to prevent it from turning bluish. It was very light but I could tell it was there because I knew how white it was before. It might not affect something like a gem crystal at all. I'd test it with various things before using a special piece though. Good luck!

Tammy

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on 9 Jan 2013 11:59 AM

 

I am also interested in electroforming with silver.

I asked Rio Grande and they told me that first I should use their electroforming kit to electroform with copper. After electroforming with copper is done I should use STAINLESS STEEL anode and silver solution to electroplate the piece with silver.

Is there other way of electroforming with silver. Can I electroform with silver without electroforming with copper first? How? What do I need ?

Thank you.

Isa

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