In recent years, the price of gold hit an all-time high, prompting a flurry of market activity as many people rushed to buy or sell their gold, or to have their jewelry appraised. Traditionally, jewelry stores and other businesses that buy precious metals have evaluated gold using acid testing which involves scraping, and potentially damaging, the jewelry. For jewelers like this, who purchases large volumes of gold, the acid testing method is very time and labor intensive.
“We do a fair amount of gold buying,” says Press. “I’m very much hands on when it comes to the production of things in my business, so I need to save time where I can. I still examine every job that comes through my store, regardless of volume, and make sure that it is up to par. Bottom line quality control is my responsibility.”
Mr. Press found the answer to his problem when he discovered an instrument that could help him combine product integrity and customer service, and also save himself precious time- an x-ray fluorescence (XRF) precious metal analyzer.
“My wife and I were both intrigued by it, and we thought it would be a great labor-saving device,” Mr. Press says. Considering the acid tests he previously used, Press realized the value that nondestructive handheld XRF technology could bring to his business.
“What you would do is strike your piece of jewelry on a stone, and then put the acid on the strike. Different acids would then tell you whether the piece is 10, 14, 18, 22 karats, and so forth. It’s pretty archaic,” Press observes and then adds, “If you did volume, and you were in a hurry, it was inevitable that you were going to get these little acid burns. With XRF, I don’t have to deal with that anymore.”
George Press Jewelers offers unique and sophisticated fine jewelry, which means that platinum is often the precious metal of choice. Not unlike gold, the combination of elements (called alloys) can be critical. Press explains, “We do a lot of platinum jewelry work, and the alloys don’t mix if they are different. There are four or five different choices for platinum additives. For example, if you have iridium platinum and you try and repair it with cobalt platinum, it’s not going to work. So my bench jewelers are always running into my office for the XRF analyzer, testing the platinum to see what kind of additive it has so that they can size a ring or add a setting using the appropriate alloys. That’s one of the things I looked forward to the most with the analyzer. Until you do it, it’s almost guesswork.”
He continues, “I’ve recommended the analyzer to a lot of people. When some of my contemporaries are in the store, I’ll bring them in the back. I like to show it off.”
To learn more about how XRF technology can help jewelers do business more efficiently, read the George Press Jewelers customer testimonial.