Jewellery platinum rings manufacture

Jewellery

Johnson Matthey has a rich history of supplying high quality pure and alloyed platinum group metals into the jewellery industry. In addition to our products we offer a reliable service with exceptional supply continuity, a full refining service and flexible metal management options.

We offer platinum group metals in a variety of forms:

  • Casting grain
  • Tube
  • Plate, suitable for handmade and die struck work, produced in a finish and temper to ensure optimum quality and yield.
  • Sheet and coiled strip for both fine and heavy stamping requirements such as earring backs and watch cases.
  • Chopped rod, ideal for fabrication, machining, drawing or simply casting exactly the weight you need.
  • Wire for repair work or intricate fabrications. Using our precision production techniques we produce burr and tear free wire on a microscopic scale with exceptional strength and the highest quality finish. This can be drawn wire to almost any size and specification, including large scale fine diameters on reels for automated production of chain and similar products.
  • Plating salts and solutions to enhance the appearance and properties of the jewellery. These premium plating salts come with a guarantee of purity, assay and consistency. They are made to a concentration and pack size that meets your exact needs.

Our network of logistics experts enables us to serve customers around the globe from our manufacturing sites in North America and Europe. We also offer a range of additional services such as closed-loop refining, flexible metal management and a variety of payment and finance options.

Choosing the correct jewellery alloy is a difficult process requiring a careful balance of aesthetics, castability, hardness, process requirements and regulatory considerations. We ease this burden with our range of alloys designed with desirable material properties whilst being compatible with a broad spectrum of production methods, from casting and wrought to hand worked fabrication and automated methods such as stamping.

Alloy

Alloying Elements 

Fineness (ppt)  Melting  Hardness (Hv)  Annealed
(% elong.) 
Density (g/cm3)  Key Characteristics
Solid  Liquid 
Pure platinum    999  1769  1769  50  40  21.4   
HPP platinum    999  1769  1769  55  35  21.4  Improved hardness and strength
FP platinum  3% Cu  970  1740  1755  120  30  20.6  Soft for settings 
GW platinum  4.5% Cu  955  1725  1745  125/108  29  20  General purpose, medium hard, can be cast 
HC platinum  4.5% Co  955  1750  1765  135  20  20.8  Fluid for hard castings 
SW 950 platinum  5% Ir  950  1780  1790  80  30  21.4  Castings, delicate 
SW 900 platinum  10% Ir  900  1780  1790  110  25  21.5  All purpose alloy
SW 850 platinum  15% Ir  850  1800  1820  160  15  21.5  Springs, watch backs 
SC 950 platinum  5% Pd  950  1755  1765  60/68  22/22 (c)   20.6  Castings, delicate settings
SC 900 platinum  10% Pd  900  1740  1755  80/72  22/22 (c) 
19.8  General purpose 
SC 850 platinum  15% Pd  850  1730  1750  90/64 (c)  22/22 (c)  19.1  Chain making 
HM platinum  4.5% Ru  955  1780  1795  130  32  20.7  General purpose, good matching properties 
HS platinum  Proprietary  950  1370   1520  300  10  19.4  Hard springy, can be cast for catches 
Palladium  5% Ru proprietary  950  1499 1521  125  35  11.8  Hard and durable alloy, suitable for casting 
Palladium  5% Ru  950  1558 1580  115  30-35  11.9  Suitable for cold worked pieces 

We take a holistic view of where we source metal and how we are being responsible towards the environment and the communities in which we operate. We also encourage our suppliers to adopt their own values and we have systems in place to manage the activities of our supply chain and contractors.


Recycled Metals

Despite there being no significant viable stream of 100% recycled platinum group metals, the majority of feedstock for our jewellery products is from secondary sources recycled at our own refineries. These are strictly and constantly monitored to ensure they meet demanding environmental standards. As a leading secondary refiner of platinum group metals, we're the refiner's refiner. We recycle:

  • Jewellers’ scrap into fresh mill products
  • Collectors’ scrap for final refining into pure metals and alloyed products, such as those supplied to our jewellery customers.
  • Virgin metal that is mixed with secondary metal

We also source pgms from similar, reputable and established refineries. Like us, they refine materials from a number of sources, everything from autocatalyst to jewellery scrap.

We’re often asked about 100% recycled platinum. Unlike gold, of which there are decades worth of supply above ground, there are few significant stocks of pgms above ground in vaults. Although mining is energy-intensive and sometimes hazardous, the market is finely balanced with little stock. Virgin metal is therefore required to satisfy demand for a number of sustainable industries, notably automotive catalysts. However, mining companies in South Africa, in particular, are heavily committed to continuous improvement in all areas of Corporate Social Responsibility, including safety and conditions. In addition, we ensure the supply chain has excellent traceability and carried no conflict concerns or Dodd Frank reporting requirements.

With supply so tight, we believe that one user taking only recycled metal would have no net benefit, because this would merely shift the environmental burden to other users, like the auto industry. So it becomes an issue of how the miners and fabricators like us operate, treat the environment, their people and their community.

While we wouldn’t claim our products are from 100% recycled metal, although they quite often are, we ensure they have a minimal impact on the environment. Our facilities are ISO14001 certified for their outstanding environmental performance and we are working towards our sustainability vision. We would encourage you to adopt our values of responsibility and pass it on through the supply chain, from mine to market, to improve the industry reputation and help sustain jewellery manufacturing.

We know how important it is for you to know where your products come from. That’s why at Johnson Matthey we are proud to be one of America's platinum suppliers and we're proud to support the American jewellery industry. However, under the FTC guidelines we are unable to describe our products as made in the USA because the raw materials are largely mined elsewhere. So even though most of our jewellery products are made using metal recycled and refined at our site in the USA, it is originally sourced in South Africa and other mines across the world.

At present, no platinum fabricator or American jeweller working with platinum or palladium can strictly speaking claim their product is American-made because the metals are only partially sourced from American mines. The FTC believes making such claim is misleading to consumers. So while we do not claim our products are made in the USA, we do support the American jewellery industry:

  • We support American jobs, employing over 3,000 people in North America across 32 sites, of which 28 are in the USA. Around half of these people are directly or indirectly involved in our jewellery manufacturing and refining operations.
  • All of our alloyed jewelry products, such as grain, tube, plate and wire, are fabricated in the USA.
  • We upgrade fresh mine material from miners and purify it in the USA to excellent delivery standards.
  • Our jewellery products contain mostly recycled metal, refined at our New Jersey refinery, which has the American Chemistry Council's RC 14001 Responsible Care standard. This exceeds the environmental, health and safety requirements of ISO 14001.
  • Our jewellery handling sites operate to the highest quality and environmental standards and are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified at a minimum.
  • Our platinum group metal (pgm) refinery is also ISO/TS 16949 certified.

Even if our products cannot be labelled as made in the USA, we believe our customer's products can be. We fully support the efforts of Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers of America (MJSA), Rio Grande and other industry stakeholders to define the point of origin of jewellery metal as the location of the refiner or fabricator, such as Johnson Matthey. We believe that jewellery manufacturing is a "substantial transformation" of our metal in almost every way, and that this warrants the final jewellery bearing the name "Made in the USA".

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