Uncovering the Legacy of Famous Gold Refiners in History

The smart and innovative gold refiners who contributed to the creation of the dazzling metal have a long and rich history that spans millennia. They revolutionized gold processing and unleashed the full potential of gold with their dazzling methods and groundbreaking finds.

The Art and Science of Gold Refining: historical gold refiners

The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt needed the purest gold for use to decorate their temples and glorify their graves, which led to the development of some of the oldest gold refiners.

Francesco Trabachi, a goldsmith from Florentine in the 17th century, was among the most well-known. Higher karats and more vivid gold hues were made possible by Trabachi’s novel techniques for evaluating and purifying gold. During that period, his methods contributed to Florence being a hub for gold refining.

Matthew Boulton’s refinery, which was situated in Birmingham, was a significant contributor in the 19th century. Boulton was the first to employ rolling mills and steam power to boost productivity. Aside from producing white and pink gold, he also developed gold alloys.

Archimedes of Syracuse: The Father of Gold Refining

The renowned Greek engineer, scientist, and mathematician Archimedes of Syracuse is regarded as the “Father of Gold Refining.” Using what is known as the “Archimedes’ Principle” of buoyancy and density, Archimedes developed a technique for figuring out the purity of gold in an item around 250 BC.

The Pioneers: Exploring the Contributions of Historical Gold Refiners


The business has been around since 1817. Johnson Matthey Gold & Silver Refining Inc. opened its Salt Lake City gold refinery in 1983. Johnson Matthey celebrated its 200th birthday in 2017. In 1976, gold was refined in the business’s former plant in Toronto. Silver is also refined by the company.

Since at least 1961, when the company’s 400 oz squares were recognized as London Good Delivery, they have been producing bars. There are about 300 tonnes of gold that can be refined annually. 

When the Clean Air Acts of 1956, 1968, and 1970 were repealed. The first pollution control catalyst was created by Johnson Matthey, which allowed automakers to reduce exhaust pollutants.


The largest producer of minted bars in the world and a well-known international gold refiner is PAMP SA. Its main office is at Castel San Pietro, in southeast Switzerland. PAMP SA is a division of the private corporation MKS (Switzerland) SA. Geneva serves as its headquarters on a global scale. The company moved to Castel San Pietro in 1984, where an enormous new gold and silver refinery and production complex had been constructed.

The company was the first among accredited gold refiners to introduce a wide range of optional designs as standard procedure on the reverse sides of its bars (since 1979), to produce pendant bars (since 1983), and bars in a variety of shapes (since 1985), and to apply vibrant three-dimensional in nature holograms as a decorative device, the issuance of more value-added “talisman” bars (in 2006), a series of stylish “icOns” bars (in 2009), and a series of “Elements” bars (in 2012). Other cutting-edge bars that can be worn as bracelets have proliferated in recent years.

Since 1979, when the Roman Goddess of Fortune, the most well-known of the company’s designs, was initially utilized, a decorative pattern has been present on the reverse side of every bar that has been minted.

 The Modern Era of Gold Refiners

  • JOHNSON MATTHEY GROUP wanted to reuse the platinum group metals (PGMs) So, they created extremely sophisticated procedures for extracting and isolating PGMs from products. These processes are so sophisticated that we can recycle platinum, for example, to a purity of 99.999%.
  • The most popular 1 kg and 12.5 kg large gold bars, both of which have been certified by the Carbon Trust in compliance with the global PAS 2060 Carbon Neutrality Standard, are among PAMP Suisse’s new Carbon Neutral gold products that were unveiled in 2020.
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