This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
One hundred parts, by weight, of copper of the purest quality; 14 of zinc or tin; 6 of magnesia; 3/6 of sal ammoniac, limestone, and cream of tartar. The copper is first melted, then the magnesia, sal ammoniac, limestone, and cream of tartar in powder are added separately and gradually. The whole mass is kept stirred for a half hour, the zinc or tin being dropped in piece by piece, the stir-
ring being kept up till they melt. Finally the crucible is covered and the mass is kept in fusion 35 minutes and, the same being removed, the metal is poured into molds, and is then ready for use. The alloy thus made is said to be fine-grained, malleable, takes a high polish, and does not easily oxidize.
An invention, patented in Germany, covers a metallic alloy, to take the place of gold, which, even if exposed for some time to the action of ammoniacal and acid vapors, does not oxidize or lose its gold color. It can be rolled and worked like gold and has the appearance of genuine gold without containing the slightest admixture of that metal. The alloy consists of copper and antimony in the approximate ratio of 100 to 6, and is produced by adding to molten copper, as soon as it has reached a certain degree of heat, the said percentage of antimony. When the antimony has likewise melted and entered into intimate union with the copper, some charcoal ashes, magnesium, and lime spar are added to the mass when the latter is still in the crucible.
This alloy, called Nuremberg gold, is used for making cheap gold ware, and is excellent for this purpose, as its color is exactly that of pure gold, and does not change in the air. Articles made of Nuremberg gold need no gilding, and retain their color under the hardest usage; even the fracture of this alloy shows the pure gold color. The composition is usually 90 parts of copper, 2.5 of gold, and 7.5 of aluminum.
Imitation gold, capable of being worked and drawn into wire, consists of 950 parts copper, 45 aluminum, and 2 to 5 of silver.
Chrysochalk is similar in composition to Mannheim gold:
Copper.......... 90.5 58.68
Zinc............. 7.9 40.22
Lead............ 1.6 1.90
In color it resembles gold, but quickly loses its beauty if exposed to the air, on account of the oxidation of the copper. It can, however, be kept bright for a long time by a coating of colorless varnish, which excludes the air and prevents oxidation. Chrysochalk is used for most of the ordinary imitations of gold. Cheap watch chains and jewelry are manufactured from it, and it is widely used by the manufacturers of imitation bronze ornaments.