April 21st, 2009

anvil, ring

Sterling/Pd alloy from H&S

I've now got a couple of Mobius rings almost done, made out of one of the new alloys from Hoover & Strong. This one's the sterling with 3% palladium replacing some of the copper.

I like it a lot. It does not have the porosity issues that the similar alloy from ABI had (sterling with 3% platinum). Regular hard silver solder is an excellent color match- better than it is for regular sterling, I suspect. It's beautifully malleable: I did the forging out and the twisting without needing to anneal, though I did anneal before matching the ends. When it's soft, it works beautifully, though a thorough anneal makes a lot of difference; of the 2 rings I'm making, one was better annealed than the other, and it was really lovely to work, while the second was more resistant.

The color looks nice, too- grayer than sterling, but not as much as Pd itself- though I won't have a really good idea until a ring is perfectly polished and I can compare it to other white metals.

The Pd seems to add a nice heft to the sterling, without making it heavy. Based on its behavior during pre-polishing, I think it'll hold up well in use.

Next time I order, I think I'll get some wire suitable for filigree and try that!

But so far- it looks like a really nice option for a white metal, both for working with and for wearing.

(I'll have more feedback on the wearing part in a while, since one of these rings is going to be a diamond pinkie ring for my husband, at his request. He favors a green diamond if that'll fit, or else a blue one- the greens I have are a bit bigger than the blues. And yes, there will be pictures when it's done.)