Shedding Light

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How refiners increase transparency and resolve differences

By Shawna Kulpa

Like many jewelers, you probably have the process of preparing your scrap for refining down pat. You separate your scrap and scour all of your work surfaces clean, placing the cleaning cloths in with your used buffs and sweeps. You clean out your sink traps and periodically even tear up the carpeting in your shop to send along with your sweeps. And off the material goes to the refiner, where it will be melted down and eventually a check (or metal, if you prefer) will be sent back as payment for the recovered precious metals.

It seems like a pretty clear-cut process, and it usually runs smoothly. But what if the check you get back is less than what you were expecting? You separated your metal scrap, weighed it, and kept meticulous records of everything that was shipped to the refiner. And yet, you look at the check and think, “This can’t be right.” What’s a confused jeweler to do?