The precious bin… Don't throw your bags of crisps there!
Whether it is gold, silver, platinum or any other metal used in jewelry, these metals are truly precious. Even the smallest particle has a certain value. If you visit a jewelry workshop, and if you look closely, you will see a bit of gold and other metals in almost every square inch of the workshop. Residues resulting from the use of saws, files and various tools on the jeweler's workbench leave a fine powder that accumulates and must be set aside. There are also all the fine particles that get stuck in tools, such as saw blades, emery paper (a kind of very fine sandpaper), brushes and polishing paste.
Gold dust, but also scrap plates, bits of wire, drops of solder, etc. are as much valuable waste as you could find. In some places where gold is worked a lot, a kind of sticky mat is placed just before the exit doors to collect the dust which adheres to the soles. All this waste, dust and other pieces are also sent to refineries.
If we talk about numbers, the processing of 100 grams of gold generates about 10 grams of very fine pieces and gold dust. 10% is huge. In a workshop, if you end up working on 1000 grams of gold, you have to think that about 100 grams of this gold will not be used directly and will have to be set aside to be reused, if not, at best sent to a refiner.
But have you ever thought about what happens to the dust, scrap, scraps or small pieces of these metals? Often, scrap metal is reused in the next piece, but when it comes to gold dust or any other metal, it cannot be reused in the manufacture of the next piece if it cannot be known in a way certain the composition of the alloy. However, these dusts or pieces can be collected, treated by refining for recovery and to avoid any form of waste.
Many of you may think that collecting dust is a waste of time and unfounded. However, jewelry workshops have dust of considerable value. This is why workshops use a trash can, often called a “precious trash can”. These bins or bins contain what we talked about above and when these bins are full, they are sent to specialized refineries.
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