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The Benefits of Stone Removal

Article by Peter Spector, Geib Refining Corporation

When I first started in the Refining Industry in 2000, gold was at $237 toz. Business was good, I guess (I was with another company at the time, not GEIB). We melted gold, silver, platinum and gold with stones. Record scratch. What did you just say Peter?! Gold with diamonds??

Yes. We melted gold with Melee and other little stones. I think that's just the way it was. No one cared, no one wanted little "frozen spit" back. Over the years, someone, somewhere, realized there was a lot of diamonds being burned up and ruined and most importantly there was money being thrown away in not getting the value of the diamonds out of the material.

If you're not doing stone removal on your karat gold with diamonds, you're doing a disservice to your business and your bottom line. You should absolutely be doing this process. As long as you work with a reputable company, you have nothing to be concerned about. 

The benefits of stone removal in your karat scrap outweighs any small costs associated with the process. I promise you. 

You can keep stones for a rainy day, for repairs, maybe a car and so much more. I have clients that do stone removal on every lot shipped in and I have clients that do it before Las Vegas NPA or regional shows coming up to sell their stones to a reputable diamond buyer like Palak Diam Inc. (Ankur Savani). 

My suggestion is take out any of the larger stones (1/4 ct +) and leave the Melee and smaller stones for the acid. If you try to take the smaller stones out at the bench you run the risk of chipping or breaking the stones which now makes them perfect only for diamond saw blades (smiles) and a lot less valuable per carat. 

Keep in mind that anything organic like opals and pearls will typically not make it through the acid process. They will dissolve. We, at GEIB, also frost our stones lots after the process to cloud the cz's in hydrofluoric acid. If you like HEAVY frost just ask and we'll leave it sit for extra time. This makes it easier for you to pick out the bad or no value stones while sorting. We will always give you white (diamond) goods packaged separate of the colored stones.  We will send everything back to you.

Stone Digestion. It's affordable. It's easy. It allows you to concentrate on so many other things you have going on in your business and life. Talk to your representative or refining company, or call me personally at 401-595-4516 with questions, concerns and needs. I've included our process below from our website.

Get More Stone Recovery Tips


Grams. Pennyweights. Troy Ounce. Pounds.... What do you use? What's best for your refiner? 

Here are some helpful ideas and tips that I've found to be important factors when preparing materials to send off for processing.

When preparing your scrap for reclamation, there are two ways you can send in your materials. You can send it in as mixed karat scrap or send it in broken down (separated) into individual karats (10,14,16,18,22,24). We will weigh it in as you send it and mark it accordingly on your receiving ticket which will always be emailed to you for your records.  

  1. Always, always, make sure you let your rep or company know if it is straight melt with no stones or WITH stones to be processed for stone recovery and return. Sometimes you may have both; please make sure that the bags with stones for recovery are marked inside and/or outside the bag "with diamonds". This is important especially if you are sending both lots in the same package. The better you communicate your materials and your needs; the less errors that could potentially be made before processing (receipt and weigh in) and the happier everyone will be at settlement. Trust me, happiness is what everyone wants out of the experience.
  2. There is no advantage or disadvantage to sending your gold in as mixed karat scrap. It's all going to get melted together in most cases anyway. One main disadvantage to not separating your Karats is that it's more difficult to pin down close to exact content of pure gold before it ships, before it's melted and before its fire assayed. What I mean by this is let's say Tom is sending 500 grams of mixed karat. Usually his material runs 48%. This particular lot happens to have more 10kt or more 14kt. The market is up $15 and Tom wants to hedge gold before we receive the melt and assay his materials but we don't know how much gold to hedge.

    We can get close, give or take a few toz, but we'll either be over or under.

    Now. Tom calls up and says I've got 509 grams of 10 kt and 339.4 grams of 14kt and 24.8 grams of 18 kt.... much easier now to plug numbers in and know what we're dealing with before shipping, processing and fire assaying. 

    So if Tom wants to hedge gold or his Rep wants to be prepared to hedge gold at anytime during the process before settlement, he'll know Tom has X amount and both sides have helped each other and everyone is on the same page. This scenario is most helpful when a client would like to hedge and take an interest free 90% advance.
  3. The other issue that can occur rarely is difference in weights. Here's a perfect story to share. About 10-plus years ago I reported a discrepancy in weights. This occurred at a former company. My receiving department opened my clients box and his weights on 14 kt were perfect, we weighed in little bit more on 18kt but 10kt was off by 13.10 toz. WOWSER!!! That was a lot of gold to be off. I was notified and I immediately called my client and advised of the weight discrepancy. I have never been yelled at and cursed at by someone as bad as in those 60 seconds. The conversation ended with "find my gold, I packed that box myself *expletives, I'm so p*ssed."

    Well, less than 15 minutes after he hung up on me, he called back and noted that he had a bag of 13.10 toz Karat gold with stones still in his safe on the top shelf that he had accounted for but didn't pack. He hung up again but never apologized and we moved forward for many more years until he sold his businesses. My point is, had he sent mixed karat gold in and I was off 13.10 toz or even just 1/2 toz we wouldn't know how or where that shortage came from and the onus falls on one of us. There is always a logical explanation and in that case I sure was happy he sent in separated by karat.

It all comes back to helping each other in the process. Communicate and prepare whatever way is best for you and your business. My clients are my team - we coach one another and help each other at all times. Best wishes and Continued success.