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Recycled Precious Metals

All new Lily McCallin jewellery is now made using 100% recycled precious metals as standard.

Here’s how it’s done…

Making
Firstly I make what is called a master, usually using… 
* scrap silver from previous jobs
ecosilver sheet and wire
* or wax bought from Cookson Gold

tongs
Making the master using scrap silver.

Replicating
If I want to replicate this master rather than having to recreate the same item again from scratch, I will send it off to Vipa Designs in Leicestershire. They will take a mould of the master. Once the mould has been taken, we can replicate the design in any precious metal using 100% recycled material.

This is what silver rings look like when they are taken from the mould before they are
‘de-sprued’ and polished.

Vipa Designs
I have chosen to work with Vipa because they work with recycled, Fairtrade and Fairmined metals. Working in this way does add to the cost price of my pieces, but I believe it is worth it for the peace of mind that we are working towards a cleaner environment. When I asked Vipa about the quality of their recycled silver they assured me that they are…
‘Using 100% recycled silver refined back to its pure form and re-alloyed before use. It has the exact same chemical properties as “fresh metal” however it contains no newly mined material’. 

I wanted to see how it is physically done so I asked if I could come and take a closer look. They told me that their recycled metal all comes from their bullion dealer Umicore, who are based in Belgium.

I have decided that Umicore is interesting enough to warrant a second article, which I am working on now. For an update of when this is available please sign up to my mailing list.

Recycling metals myself in my studio.
I recently invisted in a kiln to melt precious metals myself in my studio. This also warrants a blog post of it’s own. Until then, if you would like to know more about this (perhaps you have a sentimental ring that you would like remodelled into something new) please don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Featured image credit Anne Lindblom

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