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First attempt at working with gold

May 18, 2015 , In: Culture, Metalsmithing, Mixed Media
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For as far back as I can remember I have always preferred silver to gold, even as a small child when I was aloud to pick out a necklace or ring to wear from my grandmothers jewellery box, I would always pick out the silver pieces. Gold was yellow and I did not like yellow, simple as that, well until recently that is…..

Gold Body-Chain from the Hoxne Hoard in the British Museum

I blame all the recent trips to the Museum’s that I have been to! Seeing all the ancient jewelry, the history, the story’s behind the pieces and the pieces them selves, so much gold and all so intriguing! How could you not LOVE this Roman body chain with it’s garnets, beautifully created shape and it even has a coin on the back…..

Back Join Comprises of a Gold Coin of Emperor Gratian (AD 367-383) 
And just look at this stunning gold bangle, the colours, the stones, the shapes,  just amazing….

In the collection of the British Museum

All of this exposure to this amazing gold jewellery got me thinking, I would quiet like to have a play with some gold, to see what I could create. The most unactractive thing about gold is the price, oh wow the price! So I wanted a design that would not require much gold, light bulb moment, prong studs!

9ct Gold Wire, Ear Pins and Butterfly Backs

6 inches of 0.8mm 9ct gold wire, 6 ear pins and 6 butterfly backs later and I was well on my way to making my first pair of gold earrings. Making them was pretty much the same as making them in silver although there is the slight fear at the back of your mind of how much the gold cost if you mess it up, which of course I did!!!

Prongs Soldered and Shaped

I managed to slightly melt some of the gold, but luckly not too much that I could not use it! One of the things I did notice about the diffrence between working with silver and gold was that after soldering the silver is very soft and pliable where as the gold was still rather stiff and much harder to bend over the stones.

Finished Gold Studs

I have now made these earrings in gold and silver and I suprisingly like the gold ones more! The colour seems less harsh and it seems to suit the stones mores. Which do you prefer?

Gold Studs Compared to Silver Studs

As much as I love the gold studs I don’t see myself work with much gold in the future, the prices is just way too high and if you think soldering is scary, try soldering with gold, I was so worried about melting it that I held my breath the entire time! Still now I have decided that I quiet like gold I may well try some mixed gold/silver pieces maybe even some Keum-boo. As always the best thing about trying some thing new is the places that it may lead! Have a great day.

Niky Sayers Artisan Jewellery

Niky Sayers

Niky Sayers started creating jewellery 6 years ago after stumbling across a jewellery making blog while looking for a hobby. She is a stay at home mum with hermit like tendencies, a mild addiction to coffee and chocolate and a love of all things handmade or antique/rusty. While not raising her tribe she like to keep as busy as possible playing with metal sheet, wire and other treasures and trinkets all at her kitchen table in Surrey, England.
  1. Reply

    These are lovely Niky, the gold provides a really nice warm contrast with the stones, you did a great job.

    • Reply

      Thank you Keren, they look even better when the sun shines through them!

  2. Reply

    Niky, you must must must come to India, if you see goldsmiths on the streets soldering gold with virtually no equipment you;ll be amazed. There is no better place in the world to see that much variety in gold jewelry

    • Reply

      Divya I would absolutely LOVE to go to India, Now even more so because of what you have said!

  3. Reply

    I agree Niki. The gold suits these particular gemstones so much better than the silver. Fully understand the fear of a severe gold melt too. These look wonderful.

  4. Reply

    Niky, you are truly a courageous woman! Like you, I have been entranced by the ancient gold jewelry in museums. Thank you for sharing a few of your own finds. But to realize that you could take a minimalist approach to working with gold by working with studs and prongs…brilliant. I do wish you lived near me in Oregon, but the Internet will have to do. I always look forward to your blog posts.

  5. Reply

    Diana Thank you for your lovely words I'm glad you enjoyed my post!

  6. Reply

    I'm so glad you had a light bulb moment!! You are an inspiration, keep creating your beautiful jewelry pieces.

  7. Reply

    There is some stunning jewellery at the British Museum but I love visiting the V&A as well for the jewellery exhibitions. I have always loved silver especially when I was young and I make a lot of jewellery in silver but I also have a fondness for gold just a bit too expensive to work with hence my Gold Collection in Polymer. Great idea to start with the wire though and I think you have made a really good job of the ear studs, I also prefer the gold with those stones, perhaps its the colour the gold just brings them to life!
    Jackie

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