Ariel talks through the process of refining AGJ's gold scrap into new 14k gold that is ready to rejoin the supply chain.
Since the inception of AGJ, it's been my mission to engage with the jewelry industry in a way that aligns with both my values and those of my customers. One way that I do this is to partner with large-scale recyclers to scrap our gold that is no longer usable (think leftover pieces from manufacturing, items that are damaged, etc). We do this in an effort to minimize waste in our operations and drive greater recycling and circularity across the gold supply chain.
When I was in LA last week, I got to scrap a bunch of gold that we've been saving up. Here's a BTS look at the fun process.
We had been saving up this scrap for a few years. We take it all, sort it by metal type and karat, weigh it, melt it down into an ingot, do an X-ray assay on it to verity the karat composition, then get paid out at the market price of the metal.
Sorting and weighing the scrap
Melting the scrap into an ingot
Those ingots then get sent off to a large metal refinery who will process it back into the supply chain as wire, casting grain, sheets, etc. The beautiful part about jewelry is just how enduring gold is. We send the ingots off to large-scale refineries for further assay and then they turn it into casting rain, wire, sheet, etc so it can be used by me (and other jewelers).
We're just one small player in the bigger fashion ecosystem and global economy, but taking the time to save and recycle these ingots allows us to take part—and give back—to the industry at large, putting scrap back into the jewelry lifecycle for someone else down the path to enjoy.
In the same way that I design pieces to be worn all day, #agjeveryday, those designs that can be handed down from generation to generation, I know that thoughtful commerce is the way of the future. I feel like I would be doing you a disservice if I sold you a piece of jewelry that you couldn’t wear for the rest of your life. That seems so wasteful. This is just one small way I can help to do my part.