Refining 101

Refining 101

Get to know the basics of refining.

We take pride in refining gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. Generations of experience and a company-wide mission for continual improvement have helped us perfect our precious metals refining techniques. Garfield utilizes a mix of cutting edge technology and industrial innovation to best refine your gold and silver. We are always happy to talk about our process, so feel free to email or call with any questions.

What is an Alloy?

Metals are often times mixed or melted together, creating what is known as an alloy. Alloys are created because their properties can be superior to those of the pure component metals. Some metals are stronger, others are less corrosive, others look better. For example, stainless steel is made by mixing chromium with steel. Alloys are commonly used in all dental metals and most all jewelry metal.

What is an Assay?

An assay is an investigative procedure that assesses the properties of an unknown substance. In precious metals refining, an assay precisely identifies the metals contained within an alloy. Put simply, assays are how we determine how much gold you have and how much to pay you for your metal.

What can be Refined?

Refining is the process of purifying an impure material- whether its petroleum, sugar, or metal. It’s easiest to think of precious metals refining as a method of recycling— the process takes products or by-products containing precious metals (i.e. industrial, electronic, dental, or jewelry) and isolates the metals back into their pure states for re-circulation.

What happens to the metal after it’s refined?

Once precious metal has be re-purified, it can be entered back into the market, where it can be bought as investment or used to create a new product.

What does Karat mean?

Karat is purity rating used in jewelry. For gold, it is used as a standard marker of quality, acting as a shorthand label to identify the alloy. Karat Jewelry is far more valuable than the more common gold filled, gold plated, and costume jewelry.