Stone removal is, and should be, an important part of the pawnbroker’s and jeweler's process. If you’re not doing it, you should be, and if you’re not familiar with how to do it, that’s where I come in. Stone removal is a terrific, easy process. It’s incredibly affordable, and it’s a simple way to gather items of value to bring to a convention to be able to sell.
There are different processes when it comes to stone removal. What I refer to as a “clean melt" has no stones or stones that you want back, while a “stone digestion” lot will actually have stones that you do want back. Some of the stones like opals, pearls, basically anything organic, will actually be fully dissolved by the acid.
"Stone digestion" is a different process than the melt process because it's done in acid, and we’re not burning or melting the metal. When they go into the stone process, the stones will actually be placed in an acid solution, the gold actually turns into a liquid, and the stones are precipitated from that liquid and taken out. There’s a whole separate process in cleaning those stones up and the gold, through a series of chemical events, is actually turned back into a solid. We can then analyze and fire assay that material to account for how much pure metal – gold, silver, and platinum – are in that particular lot. At Geib, we actually separate our white goods from our colored goods upon return, and we pay for gold, silver, and platinum in all of our melts.
If you're new to stone removal and want to learn more, feel free to reach out to me to discuss your options.