The Gold Recycling Process
Here's what's happening in the studio on weeks 2-4 of having your engagement ring handcrafted and custom made!
We are recycling your gold! That's right, all of our gold used in our rings is recycled gold and much of it is done right here in the studio.
We adore heirloom pieces, they are so special. Whether it's gold from your grandma or your mom's ring melted down into your new design- we do most of it right here in the studio! Any heirloom gold is separated and done in small batches unique to your ring. This keeps the sentimental value true to you and your project alone.
As far as our in-house gold recycling, the process is the same just on a bigger scale.
So, how do we do recycle gold?
First, the diamonds and gemstones are removed from the settings. All gold is then tested and separated by karat and color. We only recycle yellow gold here in the studio. Want to know an interesting fact? 14k yellow gold and 18k yellow gold are fantastic for recycling! Yet, on the contrary, 14k white gold and platinum are actually quite stubborn and testy- they do not recycle well and often turn out with pits and other unwelcome brittleness. Therefore, we send our 14k white gold and platinum to our trusted refiners that use high temperatures and add fresh alloys into the white metals, making them recycle successfully! (They will not keep yours separated, so we do not offer heirloom recycling for white gold or platinum. However, we can offer you a metal credit for your scrap metal that can be applied to your custom project.)
Once all the gold is cleaned and prepped, it is then put into the crucible. The crucible is a small high heat ceramic dish with a long handle that we use for melting the gold. We add a small dash of borax which acts as a cleaning agent for the gold as it begins to melt. Then, we use our hand torch to melt the gold. Once the gold is rolling and molten fully liquified, it is quickly poured into a steel ingot making the gold turn into a small bar of gold.
Next, the gold is quenched in the "pickle" to remove all the fire scale.
Now comes the milling of the gold bar or tiny brick of gold! The gold is rolled numerous times manually through the rolling mill. We like the old fashioned way... our rolling mill is a hand crank; with a little bit of muscle and some annealed gold, we will get it right down to size!
Back to the bench we go for more annealing, getting that nice cherry red color. The torch softens the gold for more passes in the rolling mill.
Rinse and Repeat.
We do this over and over until the desired shape and width for your band is created!
Watch this video to see how the recycling gold process happens here in the studio.
Stay tuned, in about 2 weeks for the next part of the process... hammering!