Alloys of gold, copper, silver, and palladium have a brownish-red color and are nearly as hard as iron. They are sometimes (although rarely) used for the bearings for the axles of the wheels of fine watches, as they invite little friction and do not rust in the air. The composition used in the Swiss and English watch factories consists usually of gold 18 parts, copper 13 parts, silver 11, and palladium 6.

Talmi Gold

The name of talmi gold was first applied to articles of jewelry, chains, earrings, bracelets, etc., brought from Paris, and distinguished by beautiful workmanship, a low price, and great durability. Later, when this alloy had acquired a considerable reputation, articles were introduced under the same name, but which were really made of other metals, and which retained their beautiful gold color only as long as they were not used. The fine varieties of talmi gold are manufactured from brass, copper, or tombac, covered with a thin plate of gold, combined with the base by rolling, under strong pressure. The plates are then rolled out by passing through rollers, and the coating not only acquires considerable density, but adheres so closely to the base that the metal will keep its beautiful appearance for years. Of late, many articles of talmi gold have been introduced whose gold coating is produced by electroplating, and is in many cases so thin that hard rubbing will bring through the color of the base. Such articles, of course, are not durable. In genuine talmi gold, the coating, even though it may be thin, adheres very closely to the base, for the reason that the two metals are actually welded by the rolling, and also because alloyed gold is always used, which is much harder than pure gold. The pure gold of electroplating is very soft. The composition of some varieties of talmi gold are here given. It will be seen that the content of gold varies greatly, and the durability of the alloy will, of course, correspond to this. The alloys I, II, III are genuine Paris talmi gold; IV, V, and VI   are electroplated imitations; and VII  is an alloy of a wrong composition, to which the gold does not adhere firmly: