Reusing and Recycling : Our Eco-Friendly Jewelry

Something that is very important to us at Saori C. Jewelry Designs is making sure that the work we do is as environmentally-friendly as possible. One of the best ways that we can do this is by recycling and reusing our precious metals.

Here's how it works. We start by collecting every piece of scrap metal (in this example, sterling silver) that we generate during the course of fabrication. When we accumulate enough, we melt it down in-house and cast it into ingots.

Then comes the fun part. Using what is probably my favorite machine in the studio, the rolling mill, we take the ingots and roll them out into whatever kind of stock we want. This particular mill will roll sheet, half-round stock, and square stock in various sizes. Since the key to producing good stock is slow, steady pressure from the rollers, having a mill with gear reduction is very helpful. Otherwise, since the pressure involved in essentially forcing metal into a new shape is so great, it can be much harder to maintain constant pressure and the finished stock can be uneven.

Rolling mill in action

Some examples of various sizes of square stock made in the mill. All of these pieces started out the same size.

Silver rod stock

After we've rolled out our stock, time to switch to the drawplate to reduce it even more. This particular plate is made of tungsten carbide and will reduce wire from roughly 10 gauge to roughly 30 gauge (about 2.8 mm to 0.26 mm). Drawing the wire through the plate takes practice, but, as with the rolling mill, slow steady pressure is key.

Wire drawing

And here we have the finished product. Our Couture Ring, made out of 100 percent recycled sterling silver.

Couture Sterling Silver and Pearl Ring

See you next time!

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