NAJ News

Take a tour of Cooksongold Birmingham

30 Sep 2019

pic07164
Four Loughborough Conference delegates were very fortunate to have the opportunity to take a tour of the Cooksongold Birmingham premises on Friday 13th September 2019. Melanie Chater FIRV details her experience.

Martin Bach, Managing Director, greeted the team and kindly started the tour with a much-needed coffee. He explained the history of Cooksongold and how it has changed its name/ownership over time, recently becoming part of a larger German company Heimerle+Meule Group with premises all over Europe. The major part of the business is dealing with bullion, supplying large quantities of gold, silver, palladium and platinum bullion to the trade, cut to any requirement, e.g. sheet, wire, tube, etc.

Firstly we were taken into a large secure room where there were quantities of gold, silver, platinum, etc. of every UK standard, in every colour, shape and size, which had all been cast and tested into the approved UK assay standards, ready to go into the jewellery trade, to dentists and other industries that use precious metals. Cooksongold also buy in a large quantity of the country’s scrap metal which, as you can imagine with the high gold prices,  is a very busy are at the moment. This metal is also melted down, re-cast and tested, ready to re-use.

Crucible pour      Dropforge 1                 

From here we were taken to where the gold is cast and onto a large area where the metal is drawn out into wire or flat sheets. Some of the metal is cast into tubes which is then processed into wedding rings. Special machines cut the tube into the desired shape, width and size. It is a far better quality ring if the ring is cast whole rather than joining/soldering. A large stock room kept the wedding ring blanks and other items of jewellery that Cooksongold supplies, including large quantities of chains, findings and tools.

Cooksongold still supply a large amount of dye stamped items, e.g. signet rings, which are becoming more popular. Although the majority are done by machine, they also use one of the country’s oldest and original forms of dye stamping machines. This machine can only be used by extremely well trained staff as it consists of a heavy weight being dropped from a great height.

The top floor is designated to testing samples of the cast metal, before it goes into the trade or is hallmarked by the two members of staff from the Birmingham Assay Office that work entirely on Cooksongold’s metals within the building, saving time and money.

After lunch, we were taken to the 3D jewellery making machines where, with the use of gold or platinum powder, a laser creates the most incredible 3D jewellery.

It was particularly interesting to know that anything Cooksongold makes onsite now, is made using recycled metal, no virgin metal is used.  In these times when much is talked about recycling, it is good to know that even in our trade we are trying to do our bit.

I would like to thank Martin and his team for an excellent tour, and would thoroughly recommend it if anyone gets the opportunity. To contact Cooksongold please visit, or email 

 

Melanie Chater FIRV PJDip PJGemDip FGA DGA