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Working with recycled materials


#1

Can people share their experiences working with post-consumer gold?

I’d also like to be able to work not only with precious metals and
stones, but with as much recycled material as possible, ie: recycled
rubber for cording. Any ideas or sources for that?

Thanks so much! Andrea


#2

Hello Andrea,

You asked for experiences working with post-consumer gold.

I apologize for the tardy reply, but we’ve had some ice to deal with
and power problems too. Mine is back on and we are sheltering family
members who are not so lucky.

Others who are much more knowledgeable than I will probably answer,
but here is my brief response:

Pretty simply, be aware that there are many 14K alloys out there.
You may combine two that look the same, but the end product may have
a different appearance and unexpected working characteristics. Also
chains have quite a bit of solder - same concerns.

Your best results will be if the post consumer item was cast as a
single large piece - a man’s class ring is a good example. It will
provide enough gold for a decent sized ingot or to cast a couple
small pieces… if you are careful with the sprues.

Hope this helps,

Judy in Kansas… where we’re still recovering from an ice storm on
Dec. 11. Weather prediction for tonight is 3-5 inches of snow. Let’s
hope the snow doesn’t bring down more trees onto power lines!


#3

Hi Andrea

If I might add my experience here, I did a cast of three rings on
Friday, using about 75% recycled gold, and the results turned out
nicely…the one thing I always use with gold is ReCastIt, an alloy
replenisher. It is kinda pricey (about $40 worth casts 800 dwt of
14K), but you only use 5% by weight of the old gold. It does bring
down the karatage of the the gold a bit, so if you wanna stay exactly
on 14K, you might wanna add some 24K to the mix.

I had a job a couple of months ago and had to melt down a grieving
husband’s wife’s rings for a “memorial” ring for him, and because of
the publicity in this small town regarding her death, precision and
perfect casting was paramount here. (And because I value integrity,
I wasn’t about to “swap” the old gold for new gold just to achieve
that perfect ring!). I used the Re CastIt, explained to the customer
that the new ring was approx. 13.3 karat, and had super results that
have been shown all around town.

If you use old gold, make 100% sure you get all the solder cut out
before you cast, and don’t use chains…they have solder everywhere.
And clean it perfectly before the melt, the less uncertainties you
have to deal with, like solder, dirt, unknown alloys, the better the
results.

Tim