Recycling Metals may seem like a new idea that jewelers and metal-smiths have caught onto, when in actuality recycling has been in practice with the jewelry trade dating far back in history. In our Modern Age, metals are easily attainable and in high enough demand that the practice of recycling metal in not as commonly used. However, at Artisan LA, we recycle precious metal. Customers are given the option to trade their unused gold to finance their purchase or custom order.
We can use your old heirlooms to create a new look. It can be done in three different ways.
We can keep your precious metal in your family by melting down your old pieces and using the metal to cast into a new shape. One thing to consider, sometimes old jewelry does not have an accurate karat weight. For example, the piece may say it is 14kt when in actuality it could be 13.4kt. Additionally, a lot of old jewelry was made by soldering pieces together to create a final product. The solder interferes with the casting procedure, crystalizing zinc at high temperature which creates porosity in the final cast product. Lastly, the quantity of gold necessary to cast a piece must be greater that it’s final amount. Therefore, if we are planning to cast a ring in gold of 5 grams, for example, we will need to melt down more than the 5 grams; as more gold is required to fill in the funnels and sprues (channels that guide the molten metal to go to the ring form).
We use acids to remove the basic metals and silver from the alloy. If we start with a batch of mixed gold, the acid will remove all the copper, silver and nickel. This leaves a final pure gold that can then be mixed again to generate a pure alloy. It is in this process that we can change the color. For example, we can start with white gold and finish the piece in rose gold.
We can solder additional design pieces to an existing piece. This is a good method to use to make a old earring into a ring, or a earring into a pendant, etc… However, this method is not preferred because the solder has a different gold quality that can create durability issues and differing colors.