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Jewelry, Gems, & Minerals/To differentiate brass before and after gold plating


QUESTION: Dear Thomas,

Thank you so much for your reply.

There is one component located between the blade and the jasper that looks reddish, probably copper. I might use that as a basis of post gold-plating looks because it is easily compared.

The linings on the brass component (between the black-colored and the jasper) has some black substances that can be removed by scratching it using my finger nail.

The question are :
Will these substances reduce the quality of gold plating ?
How to remove it ?


ANSWER: Donny,

First, I am happy you are not in Sumatra in the volcano area!  I do hope those people get through the current eruption with the least possible tragedy.

As for the black substance, that should be removed prior to electroplating if that area is part of the area to be plated.  The through cleaning of the area to be electroplated is responsibility of the one doing the electroplating work.  Plating requires the surface which will receive the gold to be as well finished and clean as it should be when the work is finished. Plating does not hide marks but simply colors all a uniform color of the metal applied to the brass.  Dirt, oils, etc., will not allow a proper electroplating contact and adherence of the gold. The one doing the work is responsible to clean the item thoroughly prior to application of the gold.

Did I understand your question and answer properly?  Follow-up please if more is needed.

Again, peace and joy to you and family.  Thomas.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Big islands of Indonesia have volcanoes, except Kalimantan (Borneo).

There are too many volcanoes to be observed. The one that recently erupted in Sumatera (Mount Sinabung) is one of unobserved volcano. Before this year's eruption, the volcano erupted in 2010 after being dormant for about 4 centuries.

I fully understand about your answer and the explanation.

Let me know if you has a plan to visit Indonesia. If time and condition allows, I will show you this rencong so that you can see the actual thing and also the well-known keris dagger from Java from my modest collection.


Donny, your comments are appreciated.  A visit to parts of Indonesia is a trip I would like to do but unfortunately I do not see a means to cover the cost of such a trip in the present economy and slow nature of my business. dream of visting lands far away!


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Have a question about jewelry repair or working with precious metal jewelry and gemstones? For many years up to December 31, 2010, I was a working professional bench jeweler, involved everyday with setting stones in mountings, designing and making jewelry, repairing and limited custom manufacture. If you work with jewelry as a hobby or as a profession, I might be able to help. I deal with the retail business, not mass production. Ask privately if you wish. See the box for that: It keeps your question between us. Please DO NOT ask MAKER'S MARKS, but metal quality marks are fine to ask. Please DO NOT ask diamond prices. See a gemologist for that.


I have extensive experience in design, service and making of jewelry. I deal mostly with precious metals and gemstones but work with many materials as needed and usable to create an artistic design. My experience also includes freelance photography and photographer of jewelry and similar items for a former employer and individuals. Design of custom items requires reading the desires of the client and being clear on what can be done within that framework...then fulfilling the transition of idea to reality. Effective communications is essential in a working designer/producer and customer relationship.

Education is English/Physics! Started in human resources, to advertising, to, what a road. I have had formal training in jewelry work and many shared experiences with top grade jewelers. We just never know were we will go or be. Follow your best, your dreams, with some discretion! Don't let the work tear up your body along the way as it has mine.

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