Metal refining from carpet & lemel

Hello all.

For about 15 years I have been collecting and refining the lemel or
gold silver and platinum dust collected from making and setting
jewellery. The annual yeild has steadily increased over this time as
has the ratio of platinum to gold. The first years platinum made up
about 15%, fine gold about 60% and silver about 25% with small or
trace amounts of paladium. More recent years platinum has increased
to almost half the total annual yeild. A few weeks ago I moved my
office to another building and had my carpet refined. I got back
633.1 grams of metal, not one single gram of it was platinum. I rang
the owner of the company who did the refining to query it and all he
said was that he did not find any platinum. I think the company
concerned is pretty honest and most likely made mistakes in the
refining process.

Has anyone heard of a legal case where a jeweller has taken legal
action over poor refining results or any dispute relating to similar
matters. I can not accept that there was no platinum in my carpet.
Thank you for your input.

Phil W

Ouch!! Maybe someone here can offer a case of disputing refining
results. I would think that past (documented) percentages of metal
might even help make a case. I figure that 633 grams of fine gold is
something like $12,000. If half of that was platinum, that would be
$11,500 just for the platinum - more like $18,000 total. I had a
problem with refining results once, too - less money but still $1500
or something. He just said, “Are you questioning my honor? What are
you going to do about it, anyway?”, all the while claiming accuracy,
and perhaps he was right. In your case, though, it’s simply not
possible that there could be no platinum. I can offer two thoughts,
though, that won’t do you any good now. One is that there was a time
when refiners wouldn’t do a platinum assay unless told to - it could
very well be that is your case and the owner’s just covering his
The other thought is hindsight - on a job of that scale, hold back a
sample for checking later. My suggestion, though, would be to get
some of your history together and present it to the refiner, hoping
they will be reasonable. If you get 50% of what you might have, it’s
probably more than after legal fees.

I know someone who thought his refiner was not honest, sent two
identical batches to two refiners at the same time, results were
considerably different, sued one, won.

Richard Hart