I was wondering one day if people went to jewelers and had old pieces melted down to serve as the foundation for new pieces – if this happens which I assume it does, is it a common request? And do jewelers transfer the same metal over, or do they chuck your old silverware into the back and produce a new piece made out of a completely new hunk of gold/silver/etc – how does the process work?
This occurred to me since I have an old 14K gold ring which I never wear because it’s an unattractive design that isn’t easy to fiddle with. (I have a cheap tin band that I wear because it fits well and can be twisted around all I want, but it’s not a sophisticated design)
Typically, most responsible jewelers will suggest you sell your old gold items for scrap, and they use new gold for making things. The problem with the old stuff is that it often contains gold solder and could produce problems when trying to reuse.
That’s what our jewelers tell me. They WILL melt down your old items and make a nugget, however, as integrity in the new piece isn’t a problem.
While I’m loathe to suggest a different answer than samclem, who clearly handles far more gold than I’ll ever see, my brother-in-law had exactly this done for his wedding band. He combined several family rings, which were too small, and really too thin to enlarge, and turned it into a single ring. It’s a simple band, without embellishment, so that may play a factor.
I’d suggest that you check around with some local jewelers. Read reviews online if you can find them. I found a wonderful jeweler near where I lived when I married, but my ring was cast from “new” gold. I wish I had the opportunity to have rolled some family gold into it. I come from a long line of married people, and I like the idea of bringing in the gold of that symbol.