Recycling of precious metal waste brings huge benefits to jewellers
Gary Williams, Director of Presman Mastermelt, talks to Jewellery Outlook about the benefits to jewellers of recycling precious metal waste.
Jewellery Outlook: What are the main services that Presman Mastermelt offer jewellers?
Gary Williams: Presman Mastermelt are international processors and recyclers of all precious metal waste, be it from jewellery workshops or simply through purchasing jewellery scrap at our Hatton Garden and Birmingham (UK) trade counters.
These days a growing part of our business is chemical reclamation of diamonds from jewellery. Many retailers, wholesalers and importers use our services to reclaim the precious stones from stock jewellery which isn’t selling and they want to use the tied up capital in other ways.
To make things easier, we will even purchase the diamonds as well as the reclaimed precious metal.
Jewellery Outlook: What is your competitive edge?
Gary Williams: Customers have been trusting us since 1945, so we have a very long history of looking after our customers in an honest and open way.
We have also achieved ISO 9001 and 14001 accreditation, internationally recognised measures of the high standards throughout our business, and we are regularly audited by an external company to ensure that all of our procedures and processes are robustly monitored and our reporting is transparent.
I still believe that our biggest edge is that we really do care about our customers and are continually investing in and committed to giving them the best possible experience in terms of speed, accuracy and transparency. We say “it’s not just business…it really is personal” — and it really is.
Jewellery Outlook: Are people in the jewellery trade fully aware of the benefits recycling scrap jewellery can bring them?
Gary Williams: Over the last few years of the gold price boom, much of the jewellery trade has relied on profits and cash flow generated by the buying and selling of jewellery scrap.
Incidentally, in my other role as BJA Chairman, I am involved in lots of discussions about ethically sourced gold, but I read recently that around 90 percent of the gold used in the jewellery industry comes from recycling, not from new mining, and I don’t think people are aware of this.
There are still far too many people in the trade who through the lack of knowledge of recycling and reclamation are missing out on the financial benefits to their businesses and themselves.
Presman Mastermelt play an active role in helping owners and staff realise exactly what they are throwing away, which could be easily reclaimed and paid for.
Jewellery Outlook: Does the Presman Mastermelt group take active steps to minimise the environmental impact of recycling?
Gary Williams: Across the globe, the industry is now talking about ethical sourcing and sustainable development, something Presman Mastermelt have been investing in and practicing for many years.
Group Chairman Robert Davis is one of a select band of Chartered Environmentalists, and he had the foresight to build the Mastermelt Group with the strongest commitment to responsible refining, at a time long before jewellery trade and government initiatives on the subject.
Jewellery Outlook: What is your view on the importance of hallmarking?
Gary Williams: I am a big advocate of preserving the history and tradition of hallmarking. Until someone comes up with a better way of giving the purchaser confidence that the precious material article is what it is purported to be, we need to promote the assay offices and educate the consumers better.
Even in a throw away, consumable society, I believe that the value of heritage and provenance is still appreciated and will again become very important to many more people.
Jewellery Outlook: Does Presman Mastermelt plan any events to educate the jewellery trade about the benefits to them of recycling precious materials?
Gary Williams: Education, Education, Education. The more people I talk to, the more I realise that there is so much still to be done.
From big manufacturers to designer makers, we seem to always be able to find ways of improving their precious metal recovery and ultimately, something every business needs, improve the cash flow.
We have just started presenting ‘ The Working Jeweller’s 30 Minute Makeover’, which is a free, fun packed presentation, touring the jewellery colleges and designer makers’ cluster groups, offering advice on the many forms of reclamation.
It is most rewarding to know that a friendly conversation today could result in many thousands of pounds of benefit for the jeweller, year on year.