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BackyardBullion

I made a huge mistake - assay test failure!

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1 minute ago, augur said:

Silly question: can't you just wash this bar in HNO3 to get rid of the surface silver and represent the bar for hallmarking? And I concord: Lr103 is indeed a great forum member!

Quite possibly, but I don't have the skills or experience to guarantee that. Also, we dont know if that was the only contamination.

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12 minutes ago, augur said:

 Lr103 is indeed a great forum member!

Defo agree with this! Helped me out a few times and even supported my wife's hobby cottage industry!

@BackyardBullion Sorry to hear about this issue, but sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth. You can't be the first person to experience this issue. Looks like you might have found the failing issue but there must be protocols in place which can help eliminate issues like this occurring for future pours.

Good luck, i'm sure with the perseverance you have you'll achieve the final product you desire!

Also thanks for sharing the video!

Edited by h103efa
thanks for the video

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One of the things I am constantly amazed by when it comes to PM's is the traces that get left behind. I've seen some amazing examples like carpets being cleaned in areas where gold is worked on and they actually get a worth while amount from that. I suppose it is no different in this case.

Really think it is great you've highlighted this as I suspect it isn't something a lot of people would think about. Know it is a long shot but I wonder if you have a microscope or know anyone with a microscope. I would find it really very interesting if there was any way to see what exactly is on the surface that caused the failure.

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BYB, I owned a business for many years.  It's bad form to let the customer hold the loses like that, your premium product you sold to him is now not worth a premium product in fact may only be worth  .916 because it would not pass a .999 test. I do believe you should approach Baird's and ask them for help and take the losses.  Sometimes running a business your good name in the long run is worth more than a short term win or draw.  Anyway you will gain even more education. 

 

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7 minutes ago, Pipers said:

BYB, I owned a business for many years.  It's bad form to let the customer hold the loses like that, your premium product you sold to him is now not worth a premium product in fact may only be worth  .916 because it would not pass a .999 test. I do believe you should approach Baird's and ask them for help and take the losses.  Sometimes running a business your good name in the long run is worth more than a short term win or draw.  Anyway you will gain even more education. 

 

Hi Pipers thanks for the feedback - that said, I completely disagree that this is bad form in any way shape or form - quite the opposite in fact and perhaps you would see that too if you knew all the facts of the situation and discussions had between myself and the customer!



Added 0 minutes later...
13 minutes ago, Gildeon said:

Maybe a silly question but if instead you decided to work with 18 or less karats gold , when one of the other elements is silver, wouldn't it solve the silver presence issue?

Quite possibly - but this whole process has just put me off gold for the foreseeable future.

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1 minute ago, BackyardBullion said:

Quite possibly - but this whole process has just put me off gold for the foreseeable future.

I know how I would feel after something like this and I understand. However let it cool for a few days and try to look at everything with a clear mind, before any final decisions. 😉

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Just now, Gildeon said:

I know how I would feel after something like this and I understand. However let it cool for a few days and try to look at everything with a clear mind, before any final decisions. 😉

Well, the biggest problem is space - we are literally a kitchen table  business and I would need an entirely separate workshop, tools, equipment and setup to be confident to do it. If we get to a point where I have the space then yes, we will be pouring gold again. But for now, its a no. 

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I dont follow why it couldn't be marked at lower purity?  Presumably it failed a test for "this is 24 ct gold", but would have passed "this 22ct" and could have gone on for the drilling test.  I see in comments that its closed now, I suppose the question is why this wasn't explored further, or go into more detail on the assay process?

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1 hour ago, Pipers said:

It's bad form to let the customer hold the loses like that, your premium product you sold to him is now not worth a premium product in fact may only be worth  .916 because it would not pass a .999 test.

Ofc it would be, but I didn't get the impression at all from the video that BYB has let the buyer take any loss whatsoever, in fact knowing (somewhat, after a lot of purchases) how he operates I would be astounded if he had.

It's still a very, very cool piece, absolutely unique, the first of its kind from BYB and looks absolutely magnificent imo.

10 minutes ago, Martlet said:

I dont follow why it couldn't be marked at lower purity?  Presumably it failed a test for "this is 24 ct gold", but would have passed "this 22ct" and could have gone on for the drilling test.  I see in comments that its closed now, I suppose the question is why this wasn't explored further, or go into more detail on the assay process?

I don't quite get this either. If the surface has only microscopic 'contamination' from silver particles I don't understand why they wouldn't have looked further into it. If it's only the surface and they drill into it surely it could still be 999, or is it simply a policy/procedural thing at Edinburgh? I wouldn't be happy myself that they left it hanging like that.

Edited by kimchi

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37 minutes ago, Martlet said:

I dont follow why it couldn't be marked at lower purity?  Presumably it failed a test for "this is 24 ct gold", but would have passed "this 22ct" and could have gone on for the drilling test.  I see in comments that its closed now, I suppose the question is why this wasn't explored further, or go into more detail on the assay process?

 

27 minutes ago, kimchi said:

Ofc it would be, but I didn't get the impression at all from the video that BYB has let the buyer take any loss whatsoever, in fact knowing (somewhat, after a lot of purchases) how he operates I would be astounded if he had.

It's still a very, very cool piece, absolutely unique, the first of its kind from BYB and looks absolutely magnificent imo.

I don't quite get this either. If the surface has only microscopic 'contamination' from silver particles I don't understand why they wouldn't have looked further into it. If it's only the surface and they drill into it surely it could still be 999, or is it simply a policy/procedural thing at Edinburgh? I wouldn't be happy myself that they left it hanging like that.

The customer was kept in the loop all the way through, nothing less from us. He knew ahead of time this was an experimentation process and that nothing was guaranteed. 

As to the purity testing it is all about the purity of the metal throughout the whole item. Lets say you have a 1kg gold bar. To be 999 you need no more than 1g to be non gold. They test the entire bar for consistency of purity and assay it at the lowest part of the whole bar. So, if you had 999grams of the purest gold possible, and 0.9 grams of copper sat on top, it would fail and be a 000 gold. The lowest part of that metal object is 0% gold. 

So with our bar, there were a few minute specs of silver that were reading around 90% gold on their machines. 

Now, there may well be contamination in the bar itself, but not 10% silver. So, we are left with a bar of 999 gold, with a few miniscule specs of silver. The weight ratio is probably still 999 or very close - certainly not 900 gold which if we assayed it at is legally correct as that is the lowest aggregate assay result - but not real world accurate. We decided that it was better to just leave it with no assay mark at all.

I am not trying to hide anything or pass off this bar as something it is not. It is a 999 piece of gold with some incredibly minute specs of silver on or in it. 

@kimchi you are right. At no point has it occurred to me that I can get away with passing off a loss to the buyer. I would happily buy this off the buyer if he wanted, give him all his money back. 

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I would just like to add as well that there is absolutely no legal requirement for this piece to be hallmarked - it is a bullion bar. 

I am confident that this is 2.244 oz of the finest gold with a small number of clustered silver atoms on top of it - nothing more, nothing less. 

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37 minutes ago, BackyardBullion said:

I would just like to add as well that there is absolutely no legal requirement for this piece to be hallmarked - it is a bullion bar. 

I am confident that this is 2.244 oz of the finest gold with a small number of clustered silver atoms on top of it - nothing more, nothing less. 

if the buyer is happy, who are we to comment... 

Interesting about hallmark requirements, I remember you saying that before about bullion bars.. my curiosity is peaked as to that quirk enough to go research... 🙂

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Makes you wonder doesn't it. If you have a 9999 maple leaf coin, does handling it leave enough oil, residue, skin etc on the coin to make it less than 9999 silver? It would only take 0.003g of extra 'stuff' being deposited on there to make it lower purity than claimed. 

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1 minute ago, Bullionaire said:

Makes you wonder doesn't it. If you have a 9999 maple leaf coin, does handling it leave enough oil, residue, skin etc on the coin to make it less than 9999 silver? It would only take 0.003g of extra 'stuff' being deposited on there to make it lower purity than claimed. 

It is interesting for sure - when I have sent in pieces with the graphite pollution still on it that plays no factor in the assay test. I guess it might be just the metals that are tested and as the graphite does not actually bind with the metal to make an alloy it is not part of the test? I don't know to be honest! 

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1 hour ago, kimchi said:

Ofc it would be, but I didn't get the impression at all from the video that BYB has let the buyer take any loss whatsoever, in fact knowing (somewhat, after a lot of purchases) how he operates I would be astounded if he had.

 

Not sure what Ofc means.

Well just ask BYB if the customer has taken any losses.  You may be astounded.  I hope not.  

 

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3 minutes ago, Pipers said:

Not sure what Ofc means.

Well just ask BYB if the customer has taken any losses.  You may be astounded.  I hope not.  

 

What are you insinuating? 

Customer paid for the gold and my time, nothing else. I covered all the costs of the failed assay test. Exactly why this is an issue for you to comment on I don't exactly know.

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1 minute ago, Pipers said:

I would like to say this.

I collect antique silver, the Edinburgh  assay Office are world renowned.  This is why people use the Edinburgh assay Office it puts a premium on  products for quality that customers can rely on for many many years to come.    

I agree, this is one of the reasons I chose the Edinburgh assay office in the first place. I still don't really understand where these astounding losses will come from for the customer. Just seems a little accusatory towards me and this situation and I don't exactly understand why or how it affects you!?

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5 minutes ago, BackyardBullion said:

What are you insinuating? 

Customer paid for the gold and my time, nothing else. I covered all the costs of the failed assay test. Exactly why this is an issue for you to comment on I don't exactly know.

I am not insinuating anything. 

You are running a business.  You asked for comments I gave you my opinion.  

Kimchi  stated   =  Ofc it would be, but I didn't get the impression at all from the video that BYB has let the buyer take any loss whatsoever, in fact knowing (somewhat, after a lot of purchases) how he operates I would be astounded if he had..........

I asked him to ask you.  

BYB you have grown your business selling silver bars with the Edinburgh assay hallmarks on and good for you well done.   something goes wrong. I only asked if you were going to look after your customer, then Kimchi made a statement.  I replied to him, not you.  I insinuated nothing.     

IMO the customer has a bar that is below the quality what you usually sell because the Edinburgh Assay office would not stamp it.  If it was me i would of made the customer a offer of a small gift on top. 

I am not trying to start an argument.   

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