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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on 30 May 2014 11:25 AM

Hi Tammy!

I was wondering if you knew where to find any instruct able videos about silver-plating? I've seen Sherri Haab's video about copper plating, but she doesn't go into detail about the tools and solutions you need to silver plate, or where to get them. 

I'd also assume that you would need a silver anode, and silver nitrate solution rather then copper sulfate, correct?

Any help would be awesome, you seem like the go-to-girl about everything jewelry on this site! :D Thanks!

Justin

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TammyJones wrote
on 30 May 2014 11:55 AM

Hi Justin!

The process for silverplating is the same, you just need to use the silver solution, which already has silver particles in it. For this reason, I've heard mixed responses on whether you need a silver anode. It seems that you wouldn't, since the silver particles are IN the solution, but I've been told that you do--so--I suppose it can't hurt to use one.

For instructional videos... Here are the blogs I've written about plating/electroforming, in case you haven't seen them yet. The first one links to our free short video about the electroforming setup, and the others link to the electroforming video/DVD that you can purchase from us. That one explains copper plating/electroforming, too--but again, the process is the same, you just need a different solution and possibly anode. I believe Denise does touch on silverplating in her video; it has been awhile since I've watched it.

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

http://www.jewelrymakingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2012/09/12/fun-lessons-learned-four-things-i-learned-while-electroforming.aspx

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

Also I'm not sure if you saw the responses above, but I wanted to repeat that for organic and non-metal objects, I recommend electroforming/plating in copper first and then plating silver over that. It can take quite a bit of metal to cover some pieces, especially organic things, and it might as well not be expensive silver! You can get a good base layer of metal from the copper and then put silver over that to save some money.

Hope this helps! Thanks for being part of JMD :o)

Tammy

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on 30 May 2014 1:58 PM

Thank you so much! That really helped :) I saw in most of the silver solutions that a lot have cyanide in it... :(

do you have any recommendations for a brand or a website that sells it inexpensively? And possibly cyanide free? Thanks again!

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