Gold toning without gold chloride : LUSENET : B&W Photo - Printing & Finishing : One Thread

Gold chloride is very expensive where I live. Is there any way I can get that cold tone I get with gold toners without the use of gold chloride?

-- Xosni (, January 03, 2002



Gold toning is frequently used for protecting prints, i.e. making them more archival. A visual effect of gold toning is usually a shift towards blue, rendering a blue black image on the print. If carefully used, a blue (iron based) toner might yield the same look, but it wont yield the same archival protection. I don't think it matters where you live - gold is expensive!


-- Pete Caluori (, January 03, 2002.

How about using the Cool Tone Ilford paper and Selenium toning... At a high dilution of selenium you will get little toning but it will be archival. Also, use Ethol LPD developer with a straight or 1:2 dilution and it will give you cooler tone especially when used straight. Just a thought.

-- Scott Walton (, January 04, 2002.

I don't believe anything will give you exactly the same effect as gold toning--iron blue toner certainly will not. You might consider experimenting with benzotriazole as a restrainer instead of potassium bromide. The one formula I use that contains benzotriazole--Fein's Amidol--gives lovely cool tones. On the other hand, it is the most expensive developer I have ever used.

There is a way to reduce the cost of gold toning. Most gold toners call for a gram of gold chloride, and generally result in the first print or two being way over-toned. But to tone a single print only requires 5 to 10 milliliters of a 1% gold chloride solution. You can mix a formula with only 3 grams of thiourea, a gram of citric acid, and then add 5 to 10 milliliters of 1% gold chloride for each print just prior to toning. (Or, if you have potassium thiocyanate on hand, just use 6 grams of that and add the gold chloride.) This generally results in more even toning and keeps the usage of gold chloride to a minimum.

-- Ed Buffaloe (, January 04, 2002.

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