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I'm looking into creating a Damascus steel ring, but using a rose gold and steel mix. Because of the blending of two metals, I'm curious whether or not there would be durability concerns?

I have found one example of this being done on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/listing/616316545/8mm-damascus-steel-ring-mens-wedding

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    Nice edit, would love to see your workshop. ;-) The "Rose Gold" in that ring is probably just rose gold toned steel. Do a google for Rose Gold Steel and you will see many listings for architectural rose gold steel. The fact that there is no karat rating for the gold is a giveaway and the fact that it would be impossible to forge the two together as the gold has a much lower melting point. Any real gold or gold alloy would have to be an inlay. But to answer your original question... forged steel is very durable. – rebusB Sep 27 '18 at 15:58
  • Thanks, @rebusB! I appreciate your feedback! Yes, my workshop is very cool! If you want to respond officially, I'll mark your answer. – Kellen Sep 27 '18 at 18:27
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    Well I am no expert, just did a little digging, so I cannot give a definitive answer. Forged steel is strong but rose gold steel may not be as tough (that is why it etches away differently,) and they may have used some kind of plating technique which could also be less durable. Best to check with the maker. – rebusB Sep 28 '18 at 19:33
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Former goldsmith here. I used to work with gold, a lot, but not so much with steel, and I never did damascus or mokume gane. From your question I'm guessing it may be the opposite for you ?

Before thinking about durability, I would question feasability. Due to their very different fusion temperatures, and different "behavior" when heated, these two metals may be difficult to mix together.

To illustrate this, you usually work gold while it's cold. If you try to hit or bend it while it's red, it will offer almost no resistance. Meanwhile, steel offers quite a good resistance even when it's red hot. How do you forge those two metals together in these conditions ?

But again I am no expert in forging, even less in damascus or mokume gane.

I can only tell you the metals commonly used together are :

  • silver/gold/copper for mokume gane.
  • steel/other steel for damascus.

About the durability, I think, if you manage somehow to make your ring, it would be quite a durable ring, because the steel would prevent rose gold (which is already one of the hardest of golds) to suffer too much from abrasion. The only concern that I see may be the need to change the ring's size (quite frequent after 10+ years).

Other than that, such a ring should last for a lifetime and more, assuming you treat it with care (=> taking it off when doing something that could damage it).

Quick note, just a basic reminder on how to keep your jewelry as long as possible :

  • Don't make any part of the ring thinier than 1.5mm.
  • Don't wear it in bed. Bedsheet are quite abrasive over time.
  • Don't wear it into the shower. Since I assume we're talking about stainless steel, this is not so much about durability than about the risk of loosing it into the siphon.
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I suspect that the example you link to isn't a true gold/steel laminate but rather a steel/steel laminate which has been heavily etched and then gold plated into the low areas of the relief.

I doubt that you could create a gold/steel laminate using the usual pattern welding technique. Forge welding and even forging temperatures are well in excess of the melting point of gold. There is also the issue that when you try to forge it the gold is going to be forced outwards before the steel starts to move.

There are laminating methods for precious metals, often known by the Japanese term mokume-gane

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