Here’s a brief history of gold filled.
It happened more than two centuries ago…in a little silversmith’s shop on Sycamore Hill…in Sheffield township of Yorkshire, England.
Thomas Bolsover was at work, mending a crack in a sterling silver knife. Finding his bench vise insufficiently tight, he wedged in a copper coin next to the silver blade.
While applying heat to the knife, he suddenly heard the voice of the town crier shouting the day’s news. Bolsover cocked his ear…but more important news was happening before him. For in that precious moment of diverted attention, Thomas Bolsover opened a page in history. The silver blade fused, to the copper coin.
Naturally the knife was ruined. . . but with the loss of the knife, a great discovery was made.
First with silver…
then with gold…
Being a man of enterprising mind, Thomas Bolsover studied the possible effects of his “accident.” He examined the silver knife with the copper coin permanently fused to it and then started experimenting. He put the blade of his ruined knife through his hand rolls and found that the silver and copper elongated as a single piece of metal. He had discovered something that was later to make available to a broader market, products fashioned of precious metals He had found a process of mechanical bonding that was to take its name from its place of origin and was to be looked upon, down through the following centuries as the most popular method of fashioning fine heirlooms within the means of everyone. the “old Sheffield” process.
Soon after Thomas Bolsover’s discovery, Sheffield Silver became a large-scale industry and its fame spread throughout England and all the trade routes of the world. After a time others wondered, “Could gold as well as silver be fused or bonded to copper”?
The “Old Sheffield” process
becomes precious heritage
In 1817, John Turner, another fine English craftsman basing his experiments on Bolsover’s discovery, found that gold could be permanently fused to copper by the Bolsover method…the “Old Sheffield” process. Many other methods had been tried…and failed.
Thus, the “Old Sheffield” process was used to combine gold with other metals. Gold was used only where gold was needed and could be seen and appreciated. Gold was used to provide the beauty that only gold could give. And beneath the layer of karat gold, a strong supporting metal added strength and economy to the finished long-wearing product. Down through the years…through generation after generation…no better basic principle than this heritage handed down by Bolsover has been found to give people fine jewelry and accessories at a popular price.
Today this process provides
The basic principle put down by Bolsover has never changed but the manufacturing methods have. Industrial progress has played a most important part.
Today, carefully prepared karat golds in various colors and shades are available. Depending upon manufacturers’ requirements, wide varieties of supporting metals such as nickel, bronzes and silver are used. Heavy machinery is employed…hydraulic presses, rolling mills, wire and tube drawing machines, and scientifically controlled furnaces.
The present-day method is more advanced…more scientific…than that used in earlier days. It is a method which produces a material by which a fine product can be made on an economical basis. It is a precision process which makes available fine jewelry…jewelry that has the beauty of its actual karat gold plus unusual resistance to wear…at a reasonable price.
GOLD FILLED SHEET
To make Gold Filled sheet, a layer of karat gold of proper thickness is fused to a suitable supporting metal. This fusion is accomplished under very exacting controls of heat, time and pressure so that the bond between gold and supporting metal is flawless and permanent.
Once the gold and supporting metal are fused into a single piece, it is fed through specially designed precision rolling mills where, under tons of pressure, it is rolled repeatedly until it is reduced to the required thickness. Throughout this precision rolling of the gold filled sheet the karat gold layer maintains its proportionate thickness to the supporting metal. Moreover the gold has been densified so that it is hard and durable.
GOLD FILLED WIRE
Gold Filled wire is made by first inserting a core of supporting metal into a karat gold cylinder and then fusing them together into a single round rod.
The round rod is drawn repeatedly through powerful wire reducing mills. Thus the rod is manufactured into a long wire.
The final finishing process consists of drawing the wire through accurately cut diamond dies which reduces it to a desired diameter.
Special shapes and fancy designs may be given to the Gold’ Filled, wire by the additional process of feeding the wire through hardened-steel shaping and patterned rolls.
GOLD FILLED TUBING
Gold Filled tubing is the stock from which pens, pencils, and similar cylindrical objects and parts are fashioned.
The process starts with a flat disc of Gold Filled sheet. This disc is first formed into a cup shape. Then, by further shaping and cupping in specially designed draw-presses and by drawing over hardened steel arbors through a series of dies on horizontal drawing machines, a long, seamless, strong, precision-drawn Gold Filled, tube is produced. In this cupping and drawing process, the layer of gold remains evenly distributed because of the thoroughness of the original fusing and the extreme care exercised in the subsequent rolling and drawing. The precision dies used and the evenly controlled power of the drawing machines produce Gold Filled, tubing with a uniformly hard, durable gold surface.