bo·rax | ˈbȯr-ˌaks
A flux used in soldering
Borax is a chemical compound that you may be familiar with from its many household cleaning uses. In the jewelry-making world, borax combined with water is a popular compound used as a flux for soldering metal in the most optimal and aesthetically-pleasing way. Borax helps jewelers clean, coat, and protect the piece of metal they are working with. Using this white, powdery substance, jewelry makers solder gold and silver metal pieces of jewelry so that they can prevent the risk of metal oxidation and fire stains. Additionally, borax is used as a flux for pre-tinning tungsten, which is a harder metal than gold and silver, with zinc. This allows the tungsten to be soft-solderable, enabling jewelers to form this metal into popular, strong jewelry pieces such as men’s wedding bands for men who work with their hands or otherwise expose their wedding bands to harsh elements on a regular basis.