Analysis and Commentary

The ABC of making the Melbourne Cup

Analysis and Commentary

While ABC Bullion is the official manufacturer of the Melbourne Cup, the making of the cup is a true team effort for precious metals producer Pallion Group and manufacturing silversmiths W.J. Sanders.

The manufacturing journey starts with the doré (golden) bars, blocks of semi-pure gold and silver produced at the Newcrest Cadia Mine and then shipped to ABC Refinery in Sydney’s inner-west.

Pallion CEO Andrew Cochineas said that even semi-pure, doré bars have an incredibly high value with each bar inspected, weighed, photographed and given a unique description so it can be formally entered onto a proprietary tracking and security system.

The bars are then melted and homogenised, and the metals analysed to accurately determine their purity before being separated into their elements using an electrolytic process – the result is 99.99 percent pure gold granules.

ABC Refinery metallurgists then produce an 18-carat alloy of gold, silver and copper which is sent to sister company Palloys where it is rolled and re-rolled into sheets at the thickness needed for crafting by the master gold and silversmiths at W.J. Sanders – another subsidiary of the Pallion Group.

From this point on it is still made by hand by artisans as it was 100 over 100 years ago.

Cochineas said: “Making The Melbourne Cup showcases the end-to-end processes available within the Pallion Group on the biggest stage in Australia. Quite simply, it has to be perfect.”

Valued at over $600,00 and with millions of people watching the presentation, perfection is not an unreasonable demand.

General Manager of W.J. Sanders Darren May said it takes his team 250 hours to fashion the cup – spinning the bowl, making the handles, polishing and engraving.

The trophy base is also hand-turned, using Australian Jarrah.

There are 58 different cups made for each Melbourne Cup race, including those for the jockey, trainer, strapper, breeder, the starters, and the Melbourne Cup global tour.

“The race is on to make those.”

Picture: ABC Bullion/Andrew Cochnineas

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