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Recovery of Precious Metals

We have about 30 jewelers in our factory all wearing waist length
smocks. I have been asked if it would be worth the trouble and
expense to buy a washing machine with a trap to catch the precious
metals for refining. With time the smocks get pretty dirty, however,
they do not cover the lap which is where most of the metal will fall.
These are primarily bench jewelers and polishers, working with 14k.
Does anyone have experience with this type of recovery? Do you feel
the amount of metal recovered over time will make it worthwhile.

yes, i was prod mgr of a 300+ mfg with 50+
jewelers/polisher/setters/bright cutter/lathe cutters.

the all wore smock. we washed them once a week (having enough extras
of different sizes to cover new employees). you would be amazed at the
quantity of gold recovered (not to mention small diamonds and colored
stones that tend to fly in the setting and polishing shops).

we had a simple 2 tank(55gal plastic drum) settling trap (use a
submersible sump pump to move the water from on tank to the other).
place a old nylon over the spout of the second drum when draining.

remember not to overlook the polishing area - lot (must) of your gold
is remove in this area.

and remember to keep you collected gold seperate - clean scrap and
dust, dirty filings, and sweeps/blower dust. and i hope you are
quantifying the amount of gold (and diamonds) going into you shops
and weighing/counting what is going out. not only for security at you
plant but it is the only way to really know what to expect back from
your refiner.