What is the difference between gold solder and gold wire?
There are a number of types of gold wire.
Gold-plated wire is copper or some other base metal coated with a thin plate of 10 to 14 kt gold. The plate easily comes off over time, can be scratched off, etc. so I wouldn't recommend using gold-plated wire.
Gold-filled wire is commonly used by jewelers and artisans. Gold-fill usually has a copper base covered in thicker layer of gold, usually 14 kt. The gold does not easily get removed from the base. This is the wire I use when I use gold in my designs.
Another term you may come across is vermeil.
Vermeil is gold-fill with a sterling silver base. to my knowledge, you can't get vermeil wire (Please! if you know where you can get vermeil wire, let me know- I was looking to find some if it even exists)
All wire described above can be used in jewelry making. Wire wrapping, making bead links, making clasps, you name it. If you can make it with silver or craft wire, you can use gold wire. To learn more about wire, check out my Wire Gauge Cheat Sheet
Gold solder is something different entirely. Gold solder is used in the soldering process. Gold solder does come in wire form, as well as sheet, but never use gold solder wire for anything other than soldering. Gold solder is much too soft, and is meant to only be used to fuse gold components of a piece of jewelry together.
I'm not sure if I explained that clearly or not, but the main point is to not use gold solder as if it were regular gold wire.
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