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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2009-03-28, 2:38pm
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Default Where to get gold for fuming

So I bought silver for fuming and I absolutely love it. I'd like to try gold fuming, but I don't know where to get gold for it. Anybody have any suggestions? I really don't want to go to a pawn shop. The don't really trust the city here. Any glass suppliers? Or anything?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 2009-03-28, 2:48pm
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Mountainglass arts...generation's glass....they sell gold wire

Also you can go to a local coin shop and buy a gold coin that will last you much longer. If so get the canadian maple gold(best)
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Old 2009-03-28, 2:48pm
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I got mine through a coin place. They sold me a 2.5gr little chunk. It's where i got my silver as well. Just make sure to see what gold is going for on the market so you dont get over charged
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Old 2009-03-28, 4:44pm
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I order casting grains from Rio Grande (in both gold and silver). They work great. Prices fluctuate a lot though, so I just watch the price and order when it's low.
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  #5  
Old 2009-03-28, 4:46pm
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If you go for 22k it's a win-win. It looks just as good, it's cheaper and it adheres to the glass better. In some surface applications 24k gold fume will just rub off..
Not an issue for encased fume-work of course.
I just noticed that you're using soft-glass (nice beads!). I haven't done a lot of fuming on/with soft-glass so maybe the 24k has better bonding ability with it..can't say for sure.
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  #6  
Old 2009-03-28, 10:33pm
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Hmmmm....I haven't heard anything about the difference between 22 and 24k with soft glass. Anyone want to chime in? I'll take a look at all those sources. Thanks everyone for your input.
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  #7  
Old 2009-03-28, 11:32pm
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i tried it the other day and i just used scrunched and sqashed gold leaf - one sheet made the tiniest ball
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  #8  
Old 2009-03-29, 4:39am
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All I have ever used is 22k. Works fine with soft glass.
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  #9  
Old 2009-03-29, 7:35pm
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could you use some gold leaf on a boro punty to fume?
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  #10  
Old 2009-03-30, 2:14am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karrina View Post
could you use some gold leaf on a boro punty to fume?
of course
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Old 2009-03-30, 8:28am
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Mike says he runs down to the local coin shop and buys "stamps", then cuts them into little squares for his fuming punty.
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  #12  
Old 2009-04-05, 3:31am
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To ask a dumb question, looking at the Riogrande site they sell gold by the pennyweight. About how many casting grains does that equate to?
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  #13  
Old 2009-04-05, 7:54am
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I'll know in a few days, mine's on order. I've been reading lots of fuming information over on the GLDG lately. I went with 22 kt casting grains from Rio. Funny, I handn't seen this thread
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  #14  
Old 2009-04-05, 1:53pm
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I await with interest!

I've tried fuming a couple of times in the past week.

Granted, it is probably user error, but in the end I used around five sheets of gold leaf on a rod before I could really see the effect. Took quite a while too. That's going to add up really fast when there are only 25 sheets of gold leaf in a pack.

When I saw it demonstated, Jum was using gold chunk off a coin. That worked really fast.
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  #15  
Old 2009-04-07, 8:12am
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Default Any concerns about mercury in gold for fuming?

Don't know if anyone is still worried about this or not, but some of the old hands like Kevin O'Grady would only use vintage gold coins because they felt that gold wire and other common gold sources carried a risk of residual mercury from the manufacturing process. I asked him about it once, and he said he was personally worried about getting "Mad Hatter's disease" (mercury poisoning).

I don't know anything about how gold is refined and if this is a real concern or not, but I've looked at Rio Grande's casting grains in the past and noticed that they have other constituents besides pure gold (other metals that make sense for jewelry strength and durability). Anyone know if there are any health hazards with these other metals during fuming?

Linda
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  #16  
Old 2009-04-07, 8:27am
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Mercury is used only in 3rd world countries, places where the gold is "mined" through very ecologically destructive methods.

"Old" gold, such as from vintage coins and jewelry made prior to the 1900's probably has a higher risk of mercury contamination than modern gold purchased from a dealer. If you think about it, gold on a ring, in constant contact with your skin, is much more likely to get mercury into your system than a couple of grains being fumed every couple of days.

In the mercury process, gold and mining debris is poured into a vat of mercury. The gold floats because it is lighter than the mercury, but all the debris drops out because it is heavier than mercury. The gold picks up minute amounts of mercury through contact, and when the gold is later processed, the mercury contaminates the gold.

Modern gold processing eliminates the mercury bath by adding lime and cyanide to leach the metal into a slurry. Carbon is then added to remove the metal from the slurry. The carbon is then stripped from the slurry by adding caustic cyanide, and then the remaining metal is precipitated out by electro-winnowing. It is then smelted into bars for further processing. The gold at this point is 99% pure.
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  #17  
Old 2009-04-07, 8:59am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karrina View Post
could you use some gold leaf on a boro punty to fume?
Yes. That is how most of us do it! Also a cheap way to do it!
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Old 2009-04-07, 9:07am
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Thanks, Ed! Very interesting and informative reply. Do we really know where the gold comes from that is used to make foil, wire, etc? A great many of the US gold mines have been shut down over environmental concerns.

Also, what about casting grains? Folks on this thread and past threads have mentioned using them. Don't some of them contain copper? I know that fumed copper is extremely toxic (Amy of Zoozii's found out the hard way from using copper inclusions and posted her experiences a while back).

I'm sure casting grains that aren't absolutely pure gold, or even gold made with the mercury process, can be used for fuming with REALLY GOOD ventilation and maybe other precautions. They seem like an interesting choice, but wanted to be sure about the potential risks.

Linda
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  #19  
Old 2009-04-07, 9:29am
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Honestly, I have no idea. But I do believe that even the smallest amount of foreign content (apart from gold) should be a heads up that you need near-perfect ventilation when fuming AND the wearing of a N-100 or P-100 face mast is required.
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  #20  
Old 2009-04-08, 5:51am
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I use gold leaf for my fuming. I just fold a square up as tight as I can, and then punty it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVC-Ed View Post
In the mercury process, gold and mining debris is poured into a vat of mercury. The gold floats because it is lighter than the mercury, but all the debris drops out because it is heavier than mercury. The gold picks up minute amounts of mercury through contact, and when the gold is later processed, the mercury contaminates the gold.
Very informative post but it left me scratching my head... The way I learned, Gold was extracted from the ore using a process called mercury amalgamation, where the gold ore is ground fine and tumbled with mercury in a large drum. The actual gold bonds (forms an amalgam) with the mercury, while the undesired elements of the ore remain unbonded. After tumbling, the mercury/gold amalgam is drained off and is later separated (distilled) using heat.

I'd be interested to read more about the process you describe - although to me it seems rather counter-intuitive as gold is denser than mercury at room temperature (19.3 g/cc vs 13.5g/cc) so the gold would sink in the mercury. Can you provide any links for further reading?
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  #21  
Old 2009-04-08, 7:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVC-Ed View Post
Mercury is used only in 3rd world countries, places where the gold is "mined" through very ecologically destructive methods.

"Old" gold, such as from vintage coins and jewelry made prior to the 1900's probably has a higher risk of mercury contamination than modern gold purchased from a dealer. If you think about it, gold on a ring, in constant contact with your skin, is much more likely to get mercury into your system than a couple of grains being fumed every couple of days.

In the mercury process, gold and mining debris is poured into a vat of mercury. The gold floats because it is lighter than the mercury, but all the debris drops out because it is heavier than mercury. The gold picks up minute amounts of mercury through contact, and when the gold is later processed, the mercury contaminates the gold.

Modern gold processing eliminates the mercury bath by adding lime and cyanide to leach the metal into a slurry. Carbon is then added to remove the metal from the slurry. The carbon is then stripped from the slurry by adding caustic cyanide, and then the remaining metal is precipitated out by electro-winnowing. It is then smelted into bars for further processing. The gold at this point is 99% pure.
Kinda leaves me scratching my head too... I'd really like to know how gold floats on mercury... I have some mercury here... shall we do a test?
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  #22  
Old 2009-04-08, 8:08am
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Mercury is also used to dissolve gold in a process called amalgamation. Mercury dissolves a lot of other types of precious metals, too. With gold, the mercury is removed. They mix silver and mercury to get a mush to fill teeth. This is why I am slowly getting my metal fillings replaced by composite ones. The mercury and silver are left together and the mercury slowly leaches out into your body.

When gold comes into contact with mercury, it bonds to it. Then, instead of being that liquid rolling ball of mercury we're all familiar with, it becomes a slurry slush. That slush can be distilled either chemically or cooked out where the mercury is vaporized off and the gold metal is left behind. Because the mercury also dissoves other metals, that metal left behind has to be processed further.

Mercury amalgamation for gold is really only used any more when seperating out really fine gold dust from black sand. If you've ever gone gold panning, you'll know what I'm talking about.
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Old 2009-04-08, 8:10am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunyip View Post
I use gold leaf for my fuming. I just fold a square up as tight as I can, and then punty it up.



Very informative post but it left me scratching my head... The way I learned, Gold was extracted from the ore using a process called mercury amalgamation, where the gold ore is ground fine and tumbled with mercury in a large drum. The actual gold bonds (forms an amalgam) with the mercury, while the undesired elements of the ore remain unbonded. After tumbling, the mercury/gold amalgam is drained off and is later separated (distilled) using heat.

I'd be interested to read more about the process you describe - although to me it seems rather counter-intuitive as gold is denser than mercury at room temperature (19.3 g/cc vs 13.5g/cc) so the gold would sink in the mercury. Can you provide any links for further reading?
Nope, you are correct, sorry about that! I went back and checked my source and I mis-interpreted what it said. Sigh
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  #24  
Old 2009-04-08, 8:15am
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LOL, I didn't see Bunyip's post.

When I was a kid, my dad brought some mercury home from work. He thought it was really cool and rolled it over a silver dollar he had. It made it really shiny. He thought it would stay that way so he covered the entire coin with it. Sadly, it ate the face off the coin.
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Old 2009-04-08, 8:20am
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Oh, BTW, the impurities in gold can offer some interesting colors when fuming.

I have some friends who pan their own gold for fuming. If you can ever go gold panning, that's a fun way to get gold with which to fume.
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Old 2009-04-08, 8:25am
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Quote:
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Nope, you are correct, sorry about that! I went back and checked my source and I mis-interpreted what it said. Sigh
That's o.k., Ed, you're only human and you have some mighty big shoes to fill (Mike's).
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Old 2009-04-08, 8:50am
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I used to do a bit of gold panning when I lived in CA. It's fun, and how freaking cool would that be to be able to say my pieces are fumed with gold that I personally mined!

That's an interesting story about mercury eating the face off of a silver coin! I remember playing with mercury when I was a kid, using no precationary measures whatsoever. Just crack open the thermostat, dig out the ampoule of mercury and pour it out into your hand... In hindsight that was probably a bad idea...I wonder what long-term damage I incurred. I know it can affect your brain as well as your other organs. That exposure is one of the reasons I avoid tuna and other possible mercury hazards whenever possible these days.
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Old 2009-04-08, 9:09am
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When I was in college chemistry (back in the mid 70's), I had the misfortune to break a mercury thermometer into my hand while inserting it into a cork.

Mercury everywhere. Prof freaked out, sent me over to the health center where they x-rayed my hand to be sure that there wasn't any mercury in the cut or travelling up my bloodstream.

THEN they picked the bits of glass out and stitched me up. At least they injected me with novacaine as soon as I got there.

Funniest thing about the whole incident was that I was instructed to "run" over to the health center -- fast heart beat, fast moving blood. Yeah. Of course, as a kid, I panic'd and DID run over there, then got scolded by the doctor for doing it. Hell, after the dire warnings about not getting mercury on your hands in the first place.
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Old 2009-04-08, 3:48pm
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Whats wrong with TUNA??????? Do you mean mercury in the water?
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Old 2009-04-08, 4:58pm
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Basically the larger and more long lived the fish, the more toxins they potentially accumulate. Tuna are pretty large and fairly old by the time they're caught.
Tuna once or twice a week is no biggie according to some studies I read.
In all my health studies, it never fails that most things considered to be good for you have a negative aspect or component. Moderation and variety are the only real answer.

As far as gold for fuming I think the purity/content is a moot point in that you should
a. always wash your hands after working with glass etc. before eating, and
b. your ventilation should be good enough that there's no need to be concerned with the purity of the fumes you're breathing, because you won't be breathing *any*
Nasty metal fumes are given off during the melting of many glass color rods so it's really not much different in regards to precautions.


FWIW the last piece I bought was some 22k wire from Rio Grande.
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