A reticulated silver ring set with a turquoise has just come out of the polisher.
I love the effect of reticulation, unpredictable as it is. It creates a strong surface texture.
After repeated heating and cooling, you end up with a skin of pure silver on top of a layer of copper oxide. The buckling of the surface is due to the different cooling rates of these two layers – pure silver and copper oxide below.
Sterling silver is 925 fine. That means it contains 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. Apparently, if you increase the copper content to 18%, reticulation yields particularly dramatic results.
I must use my new found skills with the crucible to try this alloy out.