Where to get wedding ring transformed into a E?
December 28, 2011 6:47 AM   Subscribe

I no longer have use for my wedding ring :( I would like to transform it's meaning into another symbol.

I would like to find a reputable place to melt it down and turn it into a "E" necklace charm. (E is the first inital of our two children).
Where can I get this done? About how much do you think it will cost? It's white gold if that matters.
posted by bleucube to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I think most jewellers will give you credit for the melt value and would just make a ring with new gold. Alloys like white gold are more difficult to work with, too, and there might be solder in the ring that complicates things.
posted by empath at 7:15 AM on December 28, 2011

Yep, agreed with empath. We just tried to do this with my late mother-in-law's ring after using its main stone in another setting. My husband wanted to use the gold for his wedding ring, but they said it wouldn't be possible -- especially since it seems that they melt gold down in larger batches, and I seem to recall them saying something about not being able to keep track of that particular gold. (I did a bit of art metal years back, so I know it's possible to melt stuff down in small bits, but when you're dealing with a thin band and a prong setting it's probably way too little to encompass the nooks and crannies and sprues needed.)
posted by Madamina at 7:35 AM on December 28, 2011

Response by poster: Sorry - not looking to make a new ring, but to turn it into a necklace charm.
posted by bleucube at 7:58 AM on December 28, 2011

You will likely get more cooperation from independent jewelers who are more motivated to create special pieces. I would search on etsy.com for "melted gold" to find people who have the capability. Here is one seller who can melt gold; I know nothing about them specifically so I can't recommend them.
posted by fake at 8:14 AM on December 28, 2011

Best answer: White gold, especially in a ring, is really difficult to work with, especially if it's rhodium plated (you didn't mention, nor how many karats)... most likely you would have to either add more gold to the ring to make someting new or the gold might actually be unuseable. You can consult with a jeweler who does customized work, even a craftsperson like on etsy, further.
posted by sm1tten at 8:15 AM on December 28, 2011

Best answer: empath is right - The scrap metals are usually refined in larger batches; plus your white gold ring is only a percentage (yellow) gold, and the rest alloy (to make it white). Melting it down won't leave enough gold to re-make something from the one item specifically, the value won't begin to cover the costs and, well, it just doesn't work that way. A small jeweler may attempt this, as was said, but you'll be paying more than the charm will ever be worth for the sake of sentiment. Which is okay, people do it all the time.

But, quite honestly, in my experience, most of the companies I used to work with would preserve people's feelings by encouraging the myth that the gold in their item was re-used, which it was, technically - just not specifically in an item-for-item basis - and just give them the current melt value toward their new piece. Most of the scrap is taken to a refiner* - the jeweller doesn't necessarily do it themselves. And the jewelers tend sit on the scraps until the prices are up, as that sort of "gambling" helps them to be more profitable.

*The refiner I linked to is just one that was used - the page is helpful as it shows the process they offer, though most dealers I know just sell the gold to them when it's up. They display the "fix" as well on that page, so that one can get an idea of where prices are currently - you need to calculate the percentage of gold in your item, the weight of the item, consider that some does burn off in the process and then there's usually a bit less offered to cover their costs. You don't get the actual value of every bit of gold out of it either, for those reasons.
posted by peagood at 8:41 AM on December 28, 2011

Best answer: Could the ring just be cut and bent to make the desired "e" shape? That may be more practical [just spitballing, I have no experience here], but if the "melt it down" aspect has significance, of course this won't do.

Something like this? [Obviously I have a bright future as a jewelry designer]
posted by chazlarson at 10:24 AM on December 28, 2011 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks for the information.
It's a mens wedding band.

I will try Etsy, if that doesn't work try something like what chazlarson suggest.

Actually the more I think about it the easier it seems just to cut it and bend it inwards to form a small e. Thanks chazlarson!
posted by bleucube at 11:08 AM on December 28, 2011

Your community may have an craft jeweler or 3, who could design something for you. If you do sell the gold, be really cautious, know what karat gold you have, get it weighed, and get a fair price.
posted by theora55 at 1:43 PM on December 29, 2011

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