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Thread: Cooksongold's new wires can't be depletion gilded or reticulated

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Cooksongold's new wires can't be depletion gilded or reticulated

    The title says it all, but more details:

    I do a lot of reticulated pieces and pieces that combine depletion gilding, fusing and partial reticulation. I've been using Cooksongold's rectangular, oval and sometimes D shape wires. I've been making the same designs with these materials for years and I know my process.
    Recently (months back), something changed. It started with rectangular wires. At the beginning, some batches of wire were fine, some were bad.
    By bad I mean they can't be depletion gilded, reticulated or high heat treated in any way. Instead of the normal expected behaviour for sterling silver, the moment when the surface is going to melt, it starts to bubble instead, it blows up and deep oxidation (an enormous amount of porosities and bubbles inside) appears.
    So I stopped using rectangular wire and move to basic sheet instead, even though it is more work with cutting and finishing edges.
    Then the problem occurred with oval wires too. Only the thinner one (2.5x1.7), the bigger one (4.2x2) is still fine. Round wires and D shapes are still behaving normally.
    With the 2.5mm oval wire, there was a time when some batches were good. I bought small pieces and when they were good, I bought a large length the next day to stock up. Now I run out of all good wire and all my recent orders were the dreaded bubbling stuff.

    I don't know what they did. I assume they somehow changed the mechanical process how their wire is made but I have no idea what can change the properties of solid sterling silver so badly. It feels like the metal is layered or laminated inside somehow but I really don't know. Or maybe some new addition to their alloys? It is still 925 silver, it just behaves so differently and wrongly when heated.

    I don't know what to do.
    Obviously, I could stay with a sheet and replace oval wire with flattened round wire for some designs but there is no exact equivalent and I would need to redo all my product photos. And what if, in future, their round wire also goes bad?
    Should I contact someone in Cooksongold? Is there any point? It probably isn't a mistake but a deliberate change in their manufacturing process. Even if my email gets to someone high enough to understand this, I can't expect they will change their processes back.

    What do you think about this? What could cause this and do you think there is anything that can be done?
    Last edited by Edhelien; 24-11-2019 at 09:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Central London


    That's a thorough nuisance Anna, but you are right: your usage is not mainstream, so Cookson are unlikely to change their process back, although there is no harm in asking.

    Otherwise its time to pause and try small samples from other bullion dealers, who hopefully source their metals elsewhere:

    My list would include Betts metals, Palmer metals and especially Bellore Rashbel, all to be found here: Good luck, Dennis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011


    If you use a lot of wire consider buying in bulk and direct from India? Much cheaper
    Author: Pearls A Practical Guide


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