Reusing precious metal isn't quite as straightforward as reusing gemstones, but it is definitely possible. We can melt down old gold to form a new ring to your design, just get in touch to chat to one of our designers if this is something you would like to do.
Gold can be melted down and reformed on a ring by ring basis in the workshop. It works more effectively for simple bands like wedding rings, rather than rings with a gemstone set into them as there is a danger that tiny air bubbles will form which could cause problems with a fine setting. You also can't change the alloy - so for example we can't turn yellow gold to white gold with this process.
There are three reasons to do this:
- if the metal itself holds sentimental value, for example from a grandparent's ring
- for ethical reasons, so no new mining has to take place
- for financial reasons if there is a significant amount of high carat gold
Unfortunately because of the time and process involved for small quantities of low carat gold, it doesn't tend to work out any cheaper than using 'new' gold, and you also need to be aware that you always seem to end up with less metal than you think you're going to. Previous customers that have found they were a bit short on metal have raided their jewellery boxes for other pieces of jewellery that they no longer wear, whilst for others we have made up the difference with scraps from other jobs, so that no new gold is ordered, and the scraps are recycled without going back to the refiners first.
We can't melt down platinum in this way in the workshop, but what we can do is be creative about making a design that reuses parts of an existing piece of jewellery. So for example we can reuse the shank (the part that goes round the finger), perhaps changing the profile slightly, and then add a new setting to hold your gemstones.
If you are unsure what metal your piece is made of, we have ways of checking which can start with taking a closer look at the hallmark. Then, whichever metal you want us to work with, we can send it to our casting company to be melted under vacuum at high temperatures so that it can be reused in a casting process.
Discussing these options with a designer is all part of deciding what makes the perfect ring for you.