Robin Phillips Jewelry

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Keum Boo

keum boo earringsKeum Boo (also spelled kum-bu) is an ancient Korean technique of permanently bonding 23k gold to silver, giving the appearance of the two metals being one.

The object is made in sterling silver and depletion plated to bring a layer of fine silver to the surface. This is done by repeatedly heating and then quenching the metal in acid. This process is repeated 4-5 times.

23k gold is placed on the depleted silver while gently applying heat with an open flame. The piece is then placed on a steel block and, using a polished steel burnisher, the gold is pressed down over the surface - fixing it permanently in place. 23k gold will only bond to fine (pure) silver.

Any future soldering can affect the keum-boo so care must be taken not to over heat the piece. After completing the process the piece may be textured by putting it through a rolling mill or using a scratchbrush. The finish is permanent.