Jewelry Making – What is Annealing?

Annealing is an important part of the jewelry making process, and is basically where metal is heated to make it soft so that it can be manipulated and worked with. You’ll require some special tools for jewelry making to manage the process, and in this article we run through just what is involved.

The process will vary depending on the metal that you are working with because each metal has a different melting point. For example, if you are working with copper it has a high melting point, and will require a lot of annealing, whereas if you work with gold it is naturally flexible and may require no annealing at all.

The most common tool used by jewelers in the annealing process is a torch, which can be propane or natural gas. When you use the torch the flame should be held over the metal at the point where the blue and yellow parts of the flame intersect. As the color of the metal changes it becomes more flexible, and by using the correct heat this should take no more than 30 seconds. The temperatures at which metals anneal are:

  • Copper 1110 degrees,
  • Silver 1110 degrees
  • Platinum 1110 degrees
  • White Gold 1200 degrees
  • Gold 1200 degrees

If you are using wire metal to make jewelry and you have access to a kiln, then this can be a handy alternative to a torch. But a kiln is not one of the standard tools for jewelry making, and when you first start out you don’t need anything more than a hand held torch.