PO Box 1432
Ann Arbor, MI, 48106



Refining Tips for Jewelers Part 2.

Getting Even More from your Refining

Previously, on the G&S Metals blog we discussed the four broad categories of scrap, and the importance of separating your scrap into those four categories. Now, in part 2 of this blog post series, G&S Metals and Refiners will continue our discussion on this topic by exploring the concept of treating scrap metal as a type of inventoried item. There are many ways to increase refining efficiency and G&S Metals and Refiners is eager to share our expertise with you with the following tips:

Track by Karat

Getting metal really hot is a key part of our refining processFor jewelers who are conscientiously treating scrap metal as an inventoried item, should consider tracking by karat. Keeping track of separate karats on your bench can provide more accuracy in predicting refining results. 18 karat will return a higher yield than 14 karat, and if you know that your refining batch contains more 18K than 14K, you can anticipate a higher yield.

Sweeps are best tracked by comparing results from one batch to another providing all things are equal. Sweeps on the average yield 4 % gold. Filings, however, yield approximately 33 % and should be kept separately from the sweeps.  For clarity on sweeps and filings, visit the first part of this series
Separate by Material

If you work in multiple types of metal, it’s important to keep the scrap separate. Platinum and palladium require separate refining processes and have different accountabilities from silver and gold. However, if you do mix them, it is advisable to inform G&S Metals and Refiners of this and that you’d like to refine for more than one metal. G&S recommends keeping labeled storage containers available so you can quickly sort any scrap while you work on your project. Free labeled containers are available from G&S upon request!

Additionally, if you keep Argentium® silver separate from fine or sterling silver, you can reuse your scrap as embellishments or granules on your Argentium® projects thanks to its ability to readily fuse. You can also fuse 18K or 22K gold to Argentium®, as you can see in this video.

Find a Rhythm

Everybody has their own approach as to when to refine. Some of our customers prefer to refine often and in small batches, while others bring us large batches just a few times a year. Keep in mind that each method has its pitfalls. Refining too often can result in a loss of profits if you’re not meeting your refiners’ minimums and are paying out refining fees.

G&S Metals and Refiners allows you to hold your refining lot in house, so you can choose the metal price at which you would like to sell. We always work with you to keep your refining rhythm going.

Keep a Record

Keeping accurate records of your day to day operations is a good step for scrap metal management. Tracking the number of gold or silver rings you polish each week is easy, and will have a correlation with your refining returns. If you introduce another metal into your process, it is imperative that you inform G&S Metals to refine for multiple metals. You can also keep records of past refining lots to see how much your average batch yields. If you produced a similar volume last month, then this month’s refining should offer similar results, but not necessarily. Additionally, noting the price and trend of the precious metals market at the time when your batch is refined can further inform you on what to expect from future batches. Not all refining batches are created equal, and no matter how extensive your record keeping is they aren’t always a reliable way to precisely predict your future assay results. However, a solid record can certainly inform you and help you make important decisions about your business.

Investigate your Refining Options

24K being shot
This may be the most important part of your refining process. Finding the right refiner for your needs is critical, refiners have different minimums and accountability, your business needs the right refiner with the right terms. You can investigate G&S Metals and Refiner’s minimums and accountability by clicking this link.

Building and maintaining a relationship of trust with your refiner is imperative; at G&S Metals and Refiners we assay your material using XRF X-Ray Fluorescence equipment. G&S Metals also has the option of using a fire assay if necessary.

Always make sure you fully investigate the options your refiner provides. At G&S Metals and Refiners, we offer a 2% discount on any orders that are paid from a refining batch, by simply crediting your account. G&S Metals also allows you to hold your refining in house; so you can choose which market price you want to sell at. And as always, G&S Metals offers high accountabilities. You can register as a refining customer on the G&S Metals and Refiners website by clicking this link. Please note that if you are already registered as a customer, you do not need to register again in order to start refining with us!