PDA

View Full Version : How do you buy gold?



SICraftDesigns
27-02-2018, 07:48 PM
What I thought was a simple question turns out not to be so simple so I thought Iíd see how other people do this.

Iím choiced with buying round wire, buying grain and drawing my own wire and buying fine gold and alloying it myself then drawing wire from that. I know buying grain is cheaper than wire but Iím not sure whether itís worth the extra to have a ready to use wire delivered to my door!

Iíd love to hear other users thoughts on the topic and Iíd be interested to see if thereís something Iíve not even considered. If I can make some savings on materials then that would be a bonus too!

Thanks,

Sam

ps_bond
27-02-2018, 08:07 PM
For most fabrication I buy wire unless it's something odd. Larger wire if I'm going to draw it down (shape change). I buy 24ct grain when I want foil or exceptionally fine fine gold wire.

enigma
27-02-2018, 09:06 PM
I just buy what I need, time is money after all and when you are working alone time often ends up being the most limited aspect.

ShinyLauren
27-02-2018, 09:21 PM
I just buy sheet and wire as I need it. I don't have drawplates (or the time to faff about drawing wire down!)

SICraftDesigns
28-02-2018, 07:13 AM
I just buy what I need, time is money after all and when you are working alone time often ends up being the most limited aspect.

That's a very good point. I am almost always late with orders so that's certainly something that I need to bear in mind!

As an experiment I spent a few hours last night melting down my gold scrap and drawing it out into wire. I quite enjoyed it however I suspect it would get a little tedious after a while! I think I also rolled it down a little too quickly as the finish on the finished gold wasn't as good as I would have liked however as an experiment it has proven to me that I can do it. Besides most of my gold gets filed and sanded down anyway so I'm not overly bothered about that!

Thank you all for your replies though! It's very interesting that most of you seem to go down the pre-made route for convenience.

enigma
28-02-2018, 07:54 AM
Yes, I think if you had enough of your own scrap gold it would be worth doing actually, I tend to use all I have for casting.

handmadeblanks
28-02-2018, 08:27 AM
What I thought was a simple question turns out not to be so simple so I thought I’d see how other people do this.

I’m choiced with buying round wire, buying grain and drawing my own wire and buying fine gold and alloying it myself then drawing wire from that. I know buying grain is cheaper than wire but I’m not sure whether it’s worth the extra to have a ready to use wire delivered to my door!

I’d love to hear other users thoughts on the topic and I’d be interested to see if there’s something I’ve not even considered. If I can make some savings on materials then that would be a bonus too!

Thanks,

Sam

It’s an interesting question and IMO as someone already suggested it’s a matter of time Vs money. I now buy cast silver bars either 1000g of 500g from Royal Mint Bullion. I do this for two reasons 1) Silver is a great investment and 2) I save money making my own sheet and I will eventually (when I make my draw bench) make my own wire and jump rings.

I had to invest in a hydraulic rebar cutter to cut up the silver bars to a workable size. I have made quite a few pendants and I still have plenty of a 500g bar left over for future products. I am not a full time silversmith so time isn’t that important to me. Right now it’s keeping unit costs down to the absolute minimum that is important.

E.g. Silver sheet from Cookson is £0.74g whereas I can produce it at today’s price for around £0.52g. That is a saving of almost 30%! (Even bars bought when silver was more expensive I am still saving around 27%)

The same principal applies to gold although I doubt I will be buying that by the Kg!

enigma
28-02-2018, 09:04 AM
How does it work out if you factor in your time though?
I know you say you have spare time and if you enjoy doing it it doesn't matter but value wise it needs working in.
I have a huge pot of silver but I only use what I directly need for casting and weigh in the rest periodically as the time issue doesn't make it work for me with silver.

handmadeblanks
01-03-2018, 07:02 AM
How does it work out if you factor in your time though?
I know you say you have spare time and if you enjoy doing it it doesn't matter but value wise it needs working in.
I have a huge pot of silver but I only use what I directly need for casting and weigh in the rest periodically as the time issue doesn't make it work for me with silver.

I appreciate that and I do factor in time during each process to assess whether it would be viable as a full time profession. I can’t give you a cost including time because I don’t use an hourly rate.

Other things I consider: I factor in the yield I get from sheet, which in an absolute ideal world means around 21% is scrapped (in the real world I found that once I allow room for finishing and margin for error the yield is as low as 30% i.e. 70% is scrapped).

Right now everything I make is from sheet which means I am constantly melting down 70% scrap and making it into sheet again. To me, it doesn’t make sense to pay almost 30% more for readymade sheet when the yield is so low and I end up having to make it into sheet again anyway.

Maybe I’m doing things wrong…but the 21% difference is pure maths and you can’t argue with that!

enigma
01-03-2018, 10:09 AM
Its not a question of right or wrong, you should do whatever suits you :)
But time should always be factored in when pricing anything unless its just a hobby because without doing so how can you price up the finished piece for sale?

SICraftDesigns
01-03-2018, 10:36 AM
Based on my little experiment above, for the quantities I am using and by the time I factor in my time the difference purely in cost between the two options are fairly minimal (with drawing my own wire coming in ever so slightly slightly cheaper). If I was to produce more wire then it would be a no brainer (economy of scale) although I don't really like the idea of keeping large amounts of gold on the premises (at the moment I order as and when I need it). I think for me it will come down to how busy I am at any given time.