Platinum is needed for the manufacturing of so many items today – thermocouples, platinum jewelry, and catalytic converters, to name a handful. But at the same time, it is one of the rarest precious metals. That combination of high demand and rarity in nature means that there is a strong market for your old platinum items.
Yet how can you select the best platinum refiner to recycle them? Here are some traits to look for:
- Responsiveness – When you call a platinum refiner, you will have questions. How many catalytic converters will the refiner process at a time, for example? How can you tell how much platinum is present in the used medical EP catheters that you have on hand? A knowledgeable expert should patiently answer your questions. If the person who comes to the phone or calls you back doesn’t listen well or doesn’t think your questions are worth his or her time, you should find another refinery.
- Clarity – What exactly should you do with your platinum-bearing items? Should you send in a sample for testing? If so, how? If you have 500 or more catalytic converters that you would like to recycle, how can you ship them, and how much will that transport cost? An experienced precious metals refinery will be able to clearly explain procedures and “next steps.”
- A timeline – If you’re sending in a sample for testing, the platinum refinery should tell you when you will receive the results of that analysis. If you are sending in items to be recycled like used platinum thermocouple wire, how long will the processing take, and when will you be paid? The details shouldn’t be unclear or iffy. After all, you are dealing with quantities of precious metals that can have significant value.
- Experience – You want to use a refinery that has extensive experience processing the kind of items that you want to recycle. If you have catalytic converters, for instance, ask the representative how many catalytic converters his or her refinery processes every year. Also ask if you can obtain references from current customers.
- Professional memberships and accreditations – For example, Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and listed with Dun & Bradstreet and the Jewelers Board of Trade. We are also members of the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI) and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC).
- Environmental responsibility – Processing precious metals requires extreme care. Strong chemicals are sometimes used, noxious gases are sometimes released, and residues of chemicals that are left after processing must be disposed of properly. All processes should be carried out in strict compliance with federal, state, and local environmental laws. Here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, for example, we respect the environment, never cut corners, and do things right. No material sent to us ever winds up in a landfill.
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