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topic 15926

18K White Gold - Test to tell the alloy content?


Q. I just picked up today from a casting company 2 wedding rings that I had cast in 18K white gold. We don't plan on plating them. I like the "antique-y" white color. However, I just called the casting company here in NY to see what the alloy consisted of, since there was so much mention in this thread of the common mixture containing nickel. They couldn't answer the question on the alloy mixture right away since they outsource it and asked me to call back later. Is there a way to tell if your non-plated 18K white gold ring is with a nickel based alloy or a platinum alloy or other? Also, any comments on how non-plated 18K white gold wears over time? Lastly, if it is nickel, what is the common amount in an alloy?


Susan McKeever
- Brooklyn, New York


A. Susan, the easiest way I can think of is to use an SEM (yeah, I'm probably showing my nerd bias...) because it's fast and most importantly nondestructive. The Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS system) on most Scanning Electron Microscopes will easily tell you a pretty close estimate of the composition, but only of the surface: so a plating would fool the instrument.

You may have a friend at a university, a hospital, or in an industrial lab with access to an SEM- they're surprisingly common. I do this sort of analysis for co-workers all the time.

Good luck!

lee gearhart
Lee Gearhart

Want Soft 18K Gold without Using Silver

March 28, 2018

Q. Is there a way to make 18k Gold without using Silver, and still keep it soft enough to put it under a rolling mill and bend to make bangles? Any shade of yellow gold would be okay.

Jayesh Ghaghada
- Dubai, UAE

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