Precious Metal

Words from a Canadian goldsmith

A Jewellers Blog…New From Old.

These days are great for companies buying your old jewellery. They are making a lot of money from people. Everyone is being bombarded with advertising urging  you to sell the  old gold jewellery you’ve put away in drawers or jewellery boxes that  haven’t been worn in years.

Unless you are selling fine gold,  24 Karat, even 22kt, or gold coins. I would like to suggest that you use your old karat gold,             10kt,14kt, or 18kt  to update and redesign your gold into something that you will be proud to wear. If gold continues its upward rise in price,  in the future after you have sold all your old gold you will have to spend a lot more money if you want to wear a piece of gold jewellery.

I am very concerned about the  environmental problems associated with gold mining, but I won’t get into that discussion in this post except to offer a link   from Oxfam to show one example of the effect of  destructive  gold mining practices…… http://bit.ly/5aXlQ

One thing about gold is it doesn’t disappear when it’s melted. It can be reused forever. It almost never ends up in a landfill,unless by accident ( my wife can confirm that, but that’s another story). My policy is to buy re refined 24kt gold and alloy it myself. It saves me money, and I don’t have to worry about where or how it was mined. I would like to show you examples of how I work with clients old gold……………….

Melting old Rings

Melting old Rings

The Pour

The Pour

The next step is rolling out the cold gold ingot, turning the gold into sheet, square, or round wire.
This is done with a rolling mill,  heating  and cooling, or “annealing”  the ingot,  while gradually rolling it out and watching for surface cracking.
If that happens, the process may have to be repeated, remelting and perhaps adding some fresh gold. If the old jewellery was poorly cast originally, it may cause problems when remelting.
Rolling in Mill

Rolling in Mill

This is how wire is made….by pulling square wire through  a round drawplate in decreasing sized holes……

Making Wire

After plate & wire are made it can be fabricated………

Assembled parts

And turned into this…….

Ruby Garnet Diamond Pendant

Ruby Garnet Diamond Pendant

When a client, whom I had done work for previously, asked to have an heirloom ring repaired, I suggested it was going to be very expensive, and that, for a few hundred dollars more, using her old gold I would duplicate it. It had to be an identical piece in every way, but I advised her it should be thicker and more substantial, to last for her family and continue to be handed down over the years.

The process was the same as above, only I had to do a lot more work carving the design from a solid  white gold ingot. I photographed the original ring with the new one in order to show the difference in thickness, so you can imagine how much longer this one will last. Please consider this when buying jewellery….

DSCF0295

DSCF0298 copy

When something  like this is handmade, you may see minor imperfections, especially when blown up in a photo.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, unless it is noticeable or obviously poor craftsmanship, it adds character and uniqueness to the object. In today’s world of computer generated and machined  jewellery,  handmade should be even more appreciated. Handmade perfection may be attainable, but the extra time it takes makes it that much more expensive.

So… if you can find yourself an honest, skilled craftsman… Sorry! ….make  that  skilled  Crafts person, go ahead and recycle your old gold into something beautiful. Enjoy it, along with the compliments you will receive from others.

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