Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Scrapping vermeil


#1

I am doing a major scrapping some of it is finished jewelry that I
had vermeil & I was told by hoover who does my refining that I can’t
put any vermeil in the pile. What am I suppose to do with it? throw
it away? It seems like such a waist it is after all sterling under
it. Anybody have any suggestions?

Cecilia


#2

Try some other refiners!

I seem to recall last year they (H&S) were taking gold filled scrap,
so I don’t see how vermeil can be all that different.

Some others to try:

G&S Gold, Precious Metals West, Stullers and the list goes on and
on. I have no affiliation with any of these, other than as an
occasional customer.

Cheers, Thomas Janstrom.
Little Gems.
http://tjlittlegems.com


#3
I was told by hoover who does my refining that I can't put any
vermeil in the pile. 

There is some major misunderstanding here. Run that past someone
else at Hoover & Strong.

Bruce Holmgrain
JACMBJ


#4

Yeah they said they would take gold filled but not vermeil, the
person I talked to said they had no method for separating the
sterling from the plating but it does seem odd to me too


#5
Yeah they said they would take gold filled but not vermeil, the
person I talked to said they had no method for separating the
sterling from the plating but it does seem odd to me too

Very odd… I use a 24K acid based solution for gold-plating, and for
vermeil scrap I usually just torch the gold-plate off and throw the
sterling in with the rest of my scrap. Never had a problem. On
several occasions it’s gotten thrown into the electromelt as is, and
there’s been no adverse effects on the castings.

Lyn Punkari
http://www.darkridgejewels.com


#6
Very odd... I use a 24K acid based solution for gold-plating, and
for vermeil scrap I usually just torch the gold-plate off and throw
the sterling in with the rest of my scrap. 

When you torch it does it get rid of the nickel base too?


#7

Perhaps they are remembering the origins of vermeil, and are afraid
of mercury… after all, vermeil was previously made by applying an
amalgam of mercury and gold, then burning off the mercury. I’m sure
there was some residual mercury left behind to potentially endanger
the recyclers.


#8
When you torch it does it get rid of the nickel base too? 

Yes it all evaporates off the silver.

Also, after re-reading my last post, I think there may be a clue why
they won’t take it. I use an acid based solution, but some solutions
are cyanide based. Burning off cyanide doesn’t sound like a wise
idea, and it may be the issue.

Lyn Punkari
http://www.darkridgejewels.com


#9
said they had no method for separating the sterling from the
plating 

Just a guess here but maybe they thought you wanted to reclaim the
gold from the vermeil so therefor you shouldn’t put the vermeil in
the gold pile. Perhaps you’d call them again and be specific about
what it is you want to reclaim.


#10

I spoke to Hoover again today & it appears that the bottom line is
that if I know sterling is under the plating then I can throw it in
with my silver scrap to refine the silver but I guess they can’t also
refine the gold in the plating. The whole thing seems odd to me
because when I send my polishing sweeps they can separate the silver
from the gold so I don’t understand why they can’t do it on a solid
piece.


#11
The whole thing seems odd to me because when I send my polishing
sweeps they can separate the silver from the gold so I don't
understand why they can't do it on a solid piece. 

It probably seems odd, because the amount of gold necessary to color
a piece of jewelry is almost nonexistent. That is it requires more
labor to put it on and take it off than it is worth. It weighs almost
nothing.

Bruce Holmgrain
JACMBJ


#12
Yes it all evaporates off the silver. 

It does not burn off. It diffuses in to the silver, it is still
there just diffused to the point of being invisible. The vaporization
temperatures for gold and nickle are way way beyond the melting
point of the silver.

Also, after re-reading my last post, I think there may be a clue
why they won't take it. I use an acid based solution, but some
solutions are cyanide based. Burning off cyanide doesn't sound like
a wise idea, and it may be the issue. 

The most likely reason is that unless there is enough gold present in
your silver scrap the cost of refining the gold out makes it cost
prohibitive to separate the gold and nickel from silver. The gold and
nickel are a “contaminant” to the silver and must be removed. To get
the them out of the vermeil the silver would need to be dissolved in
an acid and then the remaining material refined for the gold and
there is just not enough gold in vermeil to pay for all the work and
chemicals needed.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#13
When you torch it does it get rid of the nickel base too? Yes it
all evaporates off the silver. 

Not likely. Neither does the gold. Think about it. If you melt just
a bit of gold, does it actually evaporate? No. Neither does nickle.
Instead, both dissipate INTO the silver. They aren’t being removed
from the silver, just diffused into the mass. The surface no longer
looks plated, but the plating metals are not removed. They still
contaminate the silver. If you wish to remove it, you have to either
electrostrip it, etch it off via acids or other such, or mechanically
remove it by abrasives (tumbling with abrasives, for example)

Also, after re-reading my last post, I think there may be a clue
why they won't take it. I use an acid based solution, but some
solutions are cyanide based. Burning off cyanide doesn't sound like
a wise idea, and it may be the issue. 

Huh? Did you think the plating solutions remains in the electroplated
layer? Neither your acid based solution or the cyanide solution leave
remnants of their chemistry in the plated surface unless you’re doing
something seriously wrong in your plating process and trapping
solution in some sort of hollow pockets or cavities (unlikely).
You’re not burning off either chlorides or cyanides. And if you were,
incineration happens to be one of the few process that actually DOES
destroy cyanides relatively safely (if hot enough…)

Peter Rowe


#14
but some solutions are cyanide based. Burning off cyanide doesn't
sound like a wise idea, and it may be the issue. 

Nope. There is no cyanide in gold plating, just the plating
solution. You couldn’t sell it if there was. Cyanide is just the
solvent for the gold, and when plating occurs the gold comes out of
solution and deposits on the article, leaving the cyanide behind.
Some refiners don’t like plated articles of any kind because there’s
a pinhead worth of gold that takes hours to recover. Vermeil is
basically contaminated silver, in that context.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com