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-   -   Encasing a Solid Gold Nugget? (

essiemessy 2013-07-19 2:10pm

Encasing a Solid Gold Nugget?
Yep, I've been asked to encase a solid gold nugget in a shaped bead.

I really don't know whether to have a go at this or not. I'm sure the person doesn't have a stash of these things for me to practise on!

There doesn't seem to be a lot out there in googleland to help with whether it's a wise thing to try. Apparently this one is roughly 10x15mm, but I'm assuming it would also be roughly that thick. Seems awfully big.

Would it bubble up like silver wire, meaning you couldn't see it anyway?
Would it fume soft glass at soft glass temperatures?
Hell, would it just melt?
Would it just crack the glass anyway, given its density?
Would better results be possible with boro? In which case, I'd be referring the job on to someone with a bigger torch!

I'm hoping the collective wisdom of LE can help me with a decision.
Thanks, all :-)

Denielle 2013-07-19 4:49pm

Maybe you could just make a vessel to drop it in? But if you want to send me a few nuggets to practice!

essiemessy 2013-07-19 4:54pm

Howdy, Stranger :-) How u doing?

LOL too funny. I did mention to the person that he'd doubtfully have practice ones :lol:

I'd suggested maybe add it as a charm to the heart bead he's after. And I've asked for a pic of the nugget on a ruler so I can get an idea of the size. At this point I'm thinking it might have to be quite a large bead. Even off-mandrel.

Denielle 2013-07-19 6:46pm

Lol, I have been gone for a while, haven't I? I'm doing well, you?
A charm is a great idea. A nice dangly one.

Raimond 2013-07-19 9:25pm

I have several one oz nuggets in the bank...

The river bank, just not sure which river...

I do have some nuggets from my prospecting days though. Definitely not an oz...

Listenup 2013-07-19 10:13pm

If the nugget's large enough, you have to think about COEs and the difference in Viscosity.

istandalone24/7 2013-07-20 4:32am

not to mention, upon encasement the nugget will melt into just a blob. it won't keep it's nugget shape.
then you have to worry about coes if it's too big, sounds like a headache.
make a vessel, probably the safest bet.

PerfectDeb 2013-07-20 5:45am

Gold is inert so it won't bubble like brass

Gold melts at about 1000deg
Glass melts t about 1500deg

So the nugget will melt before the glass

krisdaka 2013-07-20 10:35am

maybe drop it into a boro tube, melt it in, and encase it.

steiconi 2013-07-21 11:59am

could you stick it to a mandrel using bead release, coat it with bead release to help protect it from heat, then build a hollow bead over it? That would leave a lot of bead release to clean out.

essiemessy 2013-07-21 1:14pm

Thanks, all. Some good ideas here :-) and Raimond, too funny :lol:

I've decided it's a bit tricky for someone of my skill level, to attempt something of this size. I'd hate to ruin it and present him with a melted mess of gold and glass.
The boro tube idea is great, too, but probably a lot of work for my little torch. I did think of blowing a soft glass vessel, (wants a puffy heart shape), because he wants the heart in the style of my 'cave' beads, with windows to pretty things like Goldstone and silver glass amongst swirls of silvered Ivory on the outside. No way I could do silvered Ivory boro - or even fit the nugget through my 10mm blowpipe-sized top hole, for that matter :lol:

I'd put my concerns to the customer about the fuming, compatibility, melting point etc etc etc, and eventually we've come to an agreement on a method.
I suggested I could try to mimic a gold nugget with a Goldstone chunk, carefully encased. I have to see, though, whether I can still gravity-shape a heart without distorting the Goldstone. If I can, then we're sweet :-)

Thanks again, all. Much appreciated.

mandyjw 2013-07-22 8:42am

Or perhaps you could also mimic a gold nugget using gold leaf? Just an idea.

essiemessy 2013-07-22 12:42pm

Thanks, Mandy. I might just have to. I tried a couple of Goldstone ones, but of course they just melted smooth because of the gravity-shaping eventually. I'd be no good at an aquarium bead :lol:

spotty dots 2013-07-22 10:35pm

Di, Could you make a marble, use the gold as a murini , cover it with big glob of clear and build up to size - then wire wrap as pendant. As Deb said, you won't want direct flame contact, and you won't probably want to fume it either.

I think "Cosmo" encased some opals (Gibson)(SP) and made marbles.

Best of luck wishes,

essiemessy 2013-07-22 11:17pm

Thanks, Mandy. I've seen those gorgeous encased 'opals'. Aren't they lovley?

Gillianbeads 2013-07-23 4:46am

The melting point of gold is 1064Celsius....1947Fahrenheit

When I'm casting gold it actually takes quite a bit of time with my propane/oxy torch to melt the several grams I need for a piece.

If the nugget is relatively spherical it probably wouldn't melt but it will fume the glass, and the COEs aren't compatible so the risk of cracking the glass would be the main issue.

A glass vessel that you could drop the nugget into would be the best idea.

BellaBean 2013-07-23 6:32am


Originally Posted by spotty dots (Post 4367085)

I think "Cosmo" encased some opals (Gibson)(SP) and made marbles.


I've made a couple if pieces with the Gilson opals. They are surprisingly easy to work with. I just smooshed them in where I wanted them to be and stuck a blob of clear on top. Easy peasy.

The gold would be rough since it would go molten before the glass melted.

essiemessy 2013-07-23 8:29pm

Thanks, everyone for your info. It will all be valuable down the track, even though I've not had a go, having opted for an all-glass piece.
Very much appreciated :-) :love:

Here is what's just been approved:
Will be wired up into a pendant, and will have matching earrings, without the gold. Just the blue aventurine ribbon and silvered Ivory.

bexrox 2013-07-24 7:32pm

Wow that's lovely!

essiemessy 2013-07-24 7:34pm

Thanks, Becky :-) I like it, too.

truegem 2013-07-25 1:47am

I like the idea of a vessel with the nugget in it. Maybe make it where it's kind of like the ship in the bottle thing, where people wonder how you got it in there....could easily be done with boro.

Oh, just saw the post on what you decided....can't see the image on this computer, it's just an "X". Oh well I'm sure it will be lovely!

essiemessy 2013-07-25 1:56am

Lol Patti. Bummer you can't see it. But yeah I gave the option of a vessel, and I have the right size tubing. I'm glad the bead option was what we ended up taking, though.

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