Many people ask if they can have their old gold melted down to make something new. This will work, however, to do this properly; the gold must be refined to pure and then mixed with new alloy. It is also possible that if the gold has no contaminants (like solder), it may be mixed with new gold to make a slightly better product that just using old gold alone.
When old gold is melted down, the resulting cast that is made can be quite porous. This means it can literally fall apart or have little pin holes in the final product. This porosity might not be noticed until the item is worked on years later, such as when a ring is sized or polished.
The other consideration that many people don’t realise is that, the lost wax method of casting, which is the most popular, requires about 2 ½ times as much gold as is in the final product.
Professionals in the jewellery industry typically use new gold only. This means gold that has been refined to pure then mixed with the appropriate alloy.
For sentimental reasons, a person may want to make something with, for example, Grandma’s old wedding rings. Since there typically would not be enough gold to make another ring, other suggestions would be:
Make a free form pendant
In this case, we would bring the metal to its melting point and then cool it quickly and see what form the gold takes. A bale can be added so that it can be worn as a pendant.
Take the diamonds or other stones from the item and set them into a new setting. Use the money from the “scrap” gold towards the new item.
In one case, a woman whose husband died did not want to continue wearing her wedding rings, so we took the top portion of the rings, which included the diamonds, and set them into a custom made pendant with an oval “frame” around them. This way she could continue to wear her rings without appearing to be married.
There are many innovative ways to honour the person who once wore the jewellery. With a little creativity, we can create something that you will be proud to wear.
If you have questions about jewellery, please let us know. We can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via facebook (www.facebook.com/exquisitegold), or twitter (@exquisite gold). If you are in the area, please drop by our showroom at 1094 Memorial Ave, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.
Exquisite Gold & Gems Inc