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Recycling Investment


Is anyone recycling their investment to remove gold or silver
from it ?.I went to a Sante Fe Symposium and they talked about
removing gold from your quenchings.I would be interested in
hearing others methods.

Happy Trails J Morley Coyote Ridge
Studio J Morley Goldsmiths


Dear J.

Several years ago, maybe even ten to twelve, there was a company
buying old spent investment. Their ads appeared in Am Jewelry Mfg
and others. Then suddenly they disappeared. It could be that
casters are not as dumb as they thought. I have not seen them
since. It seems the shipping cost on the stuff was more than they
could reclaim. Here’s what I can recommend. When you are done
casting a flask and before you quench it, take an old dental
tool or small screw driver and scrape all the metal around your
cast buttom.There is usually some fine flashing of your gold or
silver next tot the button where it has funneled into the spru
opening. Make a small box of this stuff and keep doing it for
about two to three years. You will be totall surprised at how
much money you can get back from a refinery for this stuff. The
caster who taught me back in the 70’s cast primarily 10k and
would regularly get back several hundred dollars from this
practice. Here’s a big legal tip for all you tax payers out
there. If you get money back for your scrap (a check can be
traced), the IRS looks at that as income. If you get metal back,
that is considered you property being returned (not income, you
paid for it once). You can even get gold or silver coins returned
for you scrap and your original metal has now changed forms into
a more liquid asset. This is all legeal info, just thought you
might like to know.

All the best,
TR the Teacher
Minneapolis Community & Technical College


TR and others: As someone fairly new to the business, who is
collecting a substantial amount of silver scrap and is just
starting to have some 18k gold scrap, where is the best place to
refine metal? Do the rates that you get for your scrap vary
dramatically? Would you suggest refining locally (I’m in
Seattle), or is it better to ship to a refinery that will give
you the best bang for your buck?

Lori Bugaj
One-Eyed Collie Jewelry Design


Hi Lori, Everyone will have a personal favorite. Mine is Hoover
and Strong in Richmond, Virginia. It is easy enough to remelt
clean scrap metal yourself, but filings should probably be sent
out. Have fun. Tom Arnold


Dear Lori, I don’t know who is in the local Seattle area, but you
could check the yellow pages as see if you have a local
refinery. You could save shipping costs by just driving over.
Any scrap should be turned into metal you can use again.

If you want a recommendation, I use Stebgo Metals in St.Paul and
have been for about 20 years. Their # is 651-451-8888. They
advertise nationally and have always been honest and helpful to
me and our College.

All the Best,
TR the Teacher

Jewelry Dept.
Minneapolis Community & Technical College


Hi All, When we break out our investment in water, we insert a
stainless steel mesh (custom made, but you can easily make your
own) bucket shaped insert into the breakout bucket… this is to
catch any small pieces of gold or silver that might try to get
away.The mesh is reasonably fine and requires that you press the
invest ment through the mesh . This guarantees that you will
recover almost everything worth recovering.

After breaking out our flask/flasks, we high pressure water blast
the leftover investment off the trees, then run them in an
ultrasonic to remove any traces of investment.The trees are then
dried in ,or, ontop of our oven. We then weigh each tree and
compare our original cast weight. If there is any missing metal,
we lift the mesh out and begin using the mesh as a sifter.Don’t
forget to check your crucibles before doing all this…
occasionaly a gram or two could be left in there as well ! Usualy
we find that if there are a few pieces that did not fill, there
will be small pieces of metal left in the mesh bucket.

Hope this helps. Visit the workshop at
Daniel Grandi