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El D???


Rimshot

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Not sure if you ever tried this when dreaming up new ideas for making jewelry, but here goes.

Take some fines and flakes and melt them and pour into a mold that has rock salt inside. Cool down and rinse with water until all of the rock salt has melted.

I'm not sure how much rock salt is required.

I read this on another message board this am and the man who told about it said it makes nice looking nugget's for jewelry pendants.

If you try making one, i'd like to see a picture. Tk's!

Rim

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El D,

Well you would have to list it as imitation but from what this guys says he has been offered well over spot price for some of his works.

The craftsmanship which is seen in the appearance is what sells.

Rim

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There are techniques that use a "wash out" of a soluble filler to create some neat textures. I have done concrete work like this and "cultured granite" is surfaced like this. Aluminum too. Some ceramic textures and plastic coatings use a similar principle.

You might be able to create a really neat textured surface on a piece rather than using a buch of coarser salt to try and replicate a nugget. I think the method is pretty cool and I have seen art using a zinc plate as a background and eletrolysis used to create a very similar effect of "pitting". And I have seen some really neat items using that silver clay stuff mixed with other fillers that create textures that are nothing short of amazing. So maybe the idea has merit even if replicating nuggets is not your bag?

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Hoser,

How do you figure it's fake gold? So is gold dust and gold flakes not gold? I'd take a fake gold nugget with real gold over dust and flakes any day.

As you see, this is a very versatile patent on the process. With many different options including gold plating or making solid gold nugget look alike's.

No one in their right mine would create a patent if there was no chance of making a profit. Last I heard patent's were like 10-12k dollars on average and now maybe more.

http://www.google.com/patents/US5853825

Rim

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No biggie Rim it is just that some of us appreciate the gold for what it is naturally almost to a sickness :ROFL: and couldn't imagine making "fake" patterns on jewelry etc. Once I sell my gold I could care less what happens to it and I too like Bob said have seen some amazing patterns and works done with salt, but just not my cuppa either.

It all has it's place and I enjoy looking, but Mother Nature does it best!

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Rim... just to let you know, most of what I make now is from placer gold I have smelted and when turned into jewelry it sells for much more then spot! The ring in my avatar is made entirely from placer gold found with a detector.

Well El D,

Isn't that a fake pattern on your ring? I'm missing the point here...srry.

Rim

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No, those are all genuine California Gold Nuggets individually soldered to a casting made from placer gold.......The real deal, not something you are used to seeing at department store jewelry counters jokingly called nugget jewelry..........

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Could you please post a larger photo of that beutiful ring Eldorado? It sure is nice! I know you have one out there somewhere already but can you post it again for me to drool over?

The many shapes and patterns of natural placer gold are nothing like the fakes at all. No doubt about that.

Gold makes a nice coin, medallion or whatever type of casting you want. And some folks like salt castings because of the facets that glitter and it does show off the gold. The only thing that is wrong with it is if it is advertised as a real gold nugget. As long as it is known that it is a casting what difference is the shape? The old timers melted fine placer into "shot" that was a better way to handle fine gold. I bet they like the looks of those water cooled "popcorns" a lot better than the natural shape of that dust. So I guess that if you don't have a nugget to begin with what ever shape you want to make your gold into is a matter of personal taste.

I think the salt nuggets make cast gold look beautiful. It looks a lot better than no gold at all. I would not pay any more for a cast nugget than a lump that came out of a fishing weight mold though.

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My point was if all you have is gold dust and flakes, why not make salt nugget pendants if they sell for more then spot. Basically why throw money away? No biggie. Seems pretty simple to do if you have the time and equipment.

I'd like to see a picture of your ring also El D. I'm sure you spent plenty of time making it, and what stone is in the setting?

Do any of you have any pictures of salt nugget pendants?

I can't seem to find them.

Rim

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OK here is a bigger picture so you can see it better. The stone in the center is a cabochon I made from a very nice gold specimen a friend detected. To me making ice, salt, straw castings or any other kind of thing like that is just not what a goldsmith does, but rather is a method that any person that has the capability of melting gold (or silver) can do. I would rather use my gold for one of a kind heirloom jewelry.

IMG_5880.jpg

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That's very nice El D! Do you have any examples that show what you do with your fines and flakes? Or do you just sell it and not mess around with it?

Also is there a special solder you use for sticking the nuggets together?

Rim

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Wow, Steve ... That is truly a beautiful artwork ... I am sorry I am so slow in getting the nuggets to you that I want made into my wedding ring, but I have many associations with the different special nuggets ... But I will do it ... In the meantime, I am weeding through my gold to figure out all those smaller ones to get refined into triple nine ... I'm beginning to think that Trinity AU (Ray) has the right idea about having it refined into smaller configurations, like 1 DWT, 2 DWT, 5DWT, etc., ... Then it's more like spendable coinage ... Steve, do you refine or smelt? Cheers, Unc

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I have herd he smelts after a long day on the end of a shovel. I have a lady friend that smelts pretty good and she will make your crap float too! She has a way with schisty nuggets. If ElDorado does not smelt good enough for you then I can ask her if she can smelt it. Her nose is pretty good so she might be able to smelt it all the way from the kitchen if your schisty nuggets smelt enough.

The ring looks like a doggone brain or something. The nuggets are laid in there like broken tiles. I like the way the odd edges frame the stone. The random lines and the irregular shapes around the setting make shadows and irregularities that keep your eyes busy. That works on many different levels and will appeal to the prospector as well as anyone with an eye for natural patterns.

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The random lines and the irregular shapes around the setting make shadows and irregularities that keep your eyes busy. That works on many different levels and will appeal to the prospector as well as anyone with an eye for natural patterns.

I agree, it looks awesome!! Some day I'd like to get one done as a wedding ring. I'd like to incorporate a meteorite. I have the meteorites and a couple of nuggets, but not enough. Got to work on the band.

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Yes, I smelt gold. Raw nuggets just do not make for a quality casting. Smelting gets rid of the unwanted minerals. My Ca. gold will usually smelt to 22+ Karat gold, then I alloy that down to 18K or 14K for durability. Rim, this is what I do with fines and other non jewelry grade placer and yes about the solder, it is gold solder.

That broom ( I call it straw) casting is pretty, I have done it with silver. Very easy to do. If you have a torch and melting crucible give it a try.........

Mike Greyshock owns that ring he and his brother are good friends and prospecting partners. Some of you may know him for the articles he writes for the GPAA and ICMJ. His latest in the ICMJ was called "Gold to Big to Carry"

Johnno... I have made a few cabochons from the meteorites I brought back form Brazil. They are very very cool!

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El D,

I hate to keep bugging you, but do you have a picture of straw casting? Is it like an ingot? And thank's for the info too!

Rim

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That broom ( I call it straw) casting is pretty, I have done it with silver. Very easy to do. If you have a torch and melting crucible give it a try.........

Steve-

Would you expect much difference between using silver and using gold as far as the final shape goes? There is a big difference in sg and was wondering if that might affect the results.

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It would make no difference in the end product except one is gold and one is silver. The key is the melting points, not SG. Silver is generally about 200 degrees lower than gold but it all depends on purity. Now if you tried to do it with platinum, the straw would probably vaporize at the 3000+ degrees it takes to melt it.

No, I don't have any laying around to show, but could make some(out of silver) just to show. Maybe even take a few pictures during the process....... Or you can just "Google Broom Straw Casting" to find some pictures.

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Ok El D,

I got some info on straw and salt methods.

The first link is using straw method where he uses a pine log for a crucible.

http://pineneedlecasting.homestead.com/Main.html

The second is a pdf on rock salt method.

http://www.utahrockhounds.com/tooelegem/tips/saltcasting.PDF

I thought his 2X4 crucible was pretty neato .

Rim

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