With a growing concern about the environment, more people are wanting to be informed about the source of, and how the items we use in every day life, will impact our life’s today, and in the future. At Pacific Treasures we try to ensure that jewellery manufactured in our workshop facility, creates as small an impact, as possible to our and your environment, so that you the customer can purchase with that assurance.
So where does the metal we use come from?
From the earliest of times men have been attracted to gold and silver. The main reasons being, their rarity and lasting properties, combined with their ability to be worked and shaped. New Zealand is a small country, the demand for silver and gold, for local jewelry production, being sourced mainly from within the country itself. This article will focus on the gold and silver supplied to us and used for jewellery production, in our workshop.
The first source is gold from small prospecting operations in the South Island, with this type of mining being from alluvial deposits. That is, metal found as flakes, nuggets or fine particles, having been washed out of the surrounding rock and deposited their naturally over many years, in rivers and stream beds. This method of obtaining precious metal dates back to the earliest of times and has a relatively low impact on the surrounding environment.Various ways of, containing, sluicing and washing of the sediment, to reveal and retrieve the metal particles are used, without the need of chemical agents to aid this process. The metals found in alluvial deposits are generally of a high or pure grade and can be readily used without further refining.
The second resource is from recycled gold and silver, sometimes referred to as "Green gold", making up the balance of metals supplied to us. Recycled gold and silver is termed “old gold” or “scrap”. Jewelry products that are know longer viable, but because they contain precious metal, are worth trading in and the pure metal is retrieved from these articles.
All though we do little remelting of this recycled metal, as it is returned to our bullion supplier who reprocess it for us, we encourage the “trading in” aspect of these metals.
This helps in two ways, keeping these metals turning over within the system and can often help in the purchase of a new item.
Jewelry manufacturers, like ourselves, because of the high value of the basic materials we use, have always been serious about recycling and minimising waste in the manufacturing process. Within our own workshop, we have systems in place to retrieve scrap and filings, dust from the floor or any other surfaces, materials used in the polishing, finishing and cleaning process, down to the water used for hand washing, all have metal retrieval systems involved. So in terms of any wasted or lost metal, that percentage is very small.
Silver usage and source is currently undergoing change.Silver is used in a wide variety of industries, the jewellery trade being one along side the growing electronic component industry. In the past silver was supplied to us for jewellery production, sourced from recycled silver, from the photo developing industry. However with the continuing and increasing popularity of digital photography, that resource no longer keeps up with the demand and a certain amount of silver is imported from Australia to make up the shortfall.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope it has been both helpful and has given some reassurance to you on the subject. Where does the metal we use come from?
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Pacific Treasures is a small, established family business.
Rick and Jenny Bromhead have been designing and manufacturing their Jewellery for over 30 yrs. and have many satisfied customers both Internationaly and within New Zealand. "We hope you enjoy our Jewellery Art as much as we do making and presenting it to you. And if you need more answers to your questions or queries we are always happy to help".
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