This is my first time working with 24K solid gold–one of the most costly metals on the market. And my first piece will be donated to a Tesla-related event in Atlanta that is raising funds to fight human trafficking. The funds raised will be donated to Operation Underground Railroad which facilitates rescue ops for victims of trafficking all around the world.
I write for CleanTechnica and last month, I covered a story about a group of Tesla owners in Atlanta who are aiming to do two things: set a Guinness Record and raise funds for Our Underground Railroad. Atlanta is where I lived once, where I met Daryl who taught me the art of wire wrapping.
Atlanta has a special place in my heart and I have several friends and family there. So yes, I’ll be attending this event and riding with one of my friends who owns a Model 3 in the event. At the end of the event, there will be a banquet sponsored by the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North and at the banquet, my friend Hart Deer will be performing live and there will be a raffle.
I’m donating this pendant and making a few other pieces for the raffle in hopes to help raise funds. All the funds raised will be donated to Operation Underground Railroad which rescues people who are being trafficked–all around the world. They are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and work with law enforcement agencies all around the world. The event coordinator is the Miles Through Time Automotive Museum and you can learn more about the event here.
Working With 24K Gold
24 karat gold is also known as pure gold (100%) gold. Karat is the term used to measure the purity of gold–the higher the karatage, the purer the gold. 24K gold means that all 24 parts in the gold are all pure gold without any traces of other metals. Another way to describe it is 99.9% pure and there is no higher form of gold than 24K. If a dealer tries to sell you 25K gold or 26K gold, know that they are scamming you.
I ordered just 6 inches of 28 gauge 24K yellow gold wire and that was just enough to wrap a tiny stone. Since I’d just gotten some gem grade Elbaite tourmaline in, I picked one of these to wrap in the gold. Elbaite is a variety of tourmaline that is often multicolored and one of the most common shades of Elbaite is rubellite. Rubellite ranges from red to pink
I looked at the cost of 24K gold and got the thinnest wire–28 gauge. For those who work with wire, we all know that 22 gauges and up are thinner than the lower gauges. When I ordered the platinum, I chose the smallest available gauge for that also. However, in the case of platinum, that was the strongest metal at the smallest gauge that I’ve ever worked with.
It was also pretty dull compared to the gold. I’ve worked only with gold-filled wire up until now and at first glance, one can’t really tell the difference between gold filled and solid gold wire. However, handling both, you can easily feel the difference. Solid gold is malleable and softer than gold-filled wire. That’s because in gold-filled, the gold is filled with brass which is a copper-tin mix. This makes that wire stronger.
The pendant is really tiny and can be considered a charm. I had to be careful working with the thin gold so as not to break the wire and did a couple of what I call drop tests to make sure the stone was secure. Drop tests are just what the name suggests–I dropped it on the grass outside and onto my floor. I do this often with my jewelry because I want to make sure it can handle everyday wear.
I shot the photo above with a macro lens in direct sunlight and you can see how the gold just has its own glow. I love that about gold. It’s is warm, magical, and beautiful.