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Do you Tumbaga?

Where to find Tumbaga wire after 1000's of years.




























Tumbaga, ever hear of this? I had never heard of this in all of my 25 years of making jewelry. I recently discovered this metal alloy copper (80%), silver (15%), and gold (5%) at my local metal-man’s-shop (Antonio) here in Chiapas, Mexico. He is a indigenous Mayan metal artisan and his shop of jewelry making goodies has been in his family for generations.


The look is somewhere between 14-18KT gold – super rich, richer then 14KT Gold Fill. I just started playing with it this past week. It’s quite malleable, as it’s mostly copper, the gold stays on the surface much like gold fill, I can solder and I sense it has a lower melting temperature then gold fill so I am using silver easy solder. I finished a couple of designs, tumbled those and am leaving them out this week to see what happens – tarnish, other? Will post results & pics later this week.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumbaga


metals.about.com/b/2013/02/03/what-is-tumbaga.htm


All I really know is that this stuff is in many a piece in museums here in Mexico and moving south. Evidently, Antonio has been making this metal for as long as he remembers. His recipe has been handed down from one generation to another, that’s what I understand in Spanish with him. His Spanish being much better then mine LOL.


Let me know if you’ve discovered any new metals you’re working with these days :> It’s a great day for hammering! Jacky

  • Lorraine

    Can’t wait to hear about your results!! :)

  • Aleshia Priester Howell

    You’ve got me excited. Can’t wait to hear more about it! :)

    • Jacky Powell

      Helllooo Aleshia, I did quite a bit of soldering this morning on the Tumbaga and tumbling now — took quite a few pics. Let’s see what happens :> whoo hoo

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