Recycling old or unworn jewellery is something that we are asked about frequently. We are always happy to discuss this option with our customers and we will best advise on how to proceed with this. However it is rare we would get a request to work with a gold ingot, which is gold that has been melted down to form a small blob of metal.
Jenny contacted us and asked if this was something we would do. She had an ingot of 24ct yellow gold that was passed down through her family. Her son Dillon had gotten engaged to Ioana, and Jenny wanted them to use this piece of gold for their wedding bands. Unfortunately pure 24ct gold is too soft to be used in jewellery that will be worn every day, such as a wedding band, however this doesn’t mean it can’t be alloyed. The process of alloying means we would take the 24ct gold ingot and add silver and copper to it, thus reducing the carat to 18 and making it much more durable for every day wear. We captured this process and took some pictures along the way to share.
In this first picture, you can see the ingot of gold that was provided by Dillon’s Mother, as well as some extra gold to make up the amount we would need to use to make two rings, and the small amount of silver and copper needed to alloy the metal.
We set up our melting station with a crucible, the ceramic dish that we would melt the metal in, as well as having a charcoal block with small channels to pour the metal into to create the ingot. The metal is then heated with a fire torch and an ingot is made.
The ingot is taken to the rolling mill, where we pass the metal through the rollers several times to make it a uniform shape and get the depth, width and length of metal we need. As we were making two rings that were to be different depths and widths, the metal was divided up for both rings. Once both pieces were rolled to their correct measurements, the rings were then roughly formed.
Dillon and Ioana wanted rings that would have a round outside profile so the rings were filed and shaped to achieve this. As soon as they were ready, our signature satin matte finish was applied and their new family heirlooms were finally ready.
We wish both Dillon and Ioana a lifetime of happiness together and hope that they some day pass their rings down through their family and keep this tradition alive, even though the gold is now in ring form and not an ingot! The video below has a few extra images from the process for you to enjoy.
If you would like to discuss recycling some family jewellery or stones, please get in touch. We would be happy to walk you through this process and go through the steps with you to make your new family heirlooms.