Don’t Be Fooled . . . Sometimes “Gold,” “Silver” and “Platinum” Are Only Adjectives

We recently found a bottle of “Platinum” skin cream on a shelf at a pharmacy store.

“Wow,” we thought, “they’re using platinum in skin cream?” But when we scanned a list of the ingredients that the cream contained, we learned that it did not contain platinum, only a bunch of chemicals, plant extracts, aromas, and coloring agents. But platinum? No.

That made us realize that sometimes the word “platinum” can be used to connote high value or luxury status.

That lesson was reinforced a short time later when we were visiting a winery, which offered wine tastings in three categories. We could choose a “silver” tasting (the least expensive), a “gold” tasting (a more expensive tasting), or a “platinum tasting” (the most expensive of all, offering the biggest selection of wines). And of course, none of those tastings had anything to do with precious metals. The names of the metals were being used to denote increasing value.

Why Are We Telling You This?

Because the fact that a product or experience is described as silver, gold or platinum doesn’t necessarily mean that you have found a source of precious metal.

And it gets even more confusing, because some products really do contain small quantities of a precious metal. For example, some skin creams really do contain small particles of gold. (Not enough to recycle profitably but strictly speaking, gold is there.)

How Can You Tell?

As you go hunting for precious metals, it is wise to be sure to read not only titles or brand names, but lists of contents and ingredients. Chances are pretty good that you will discover that that jar of “gold” or “platinum” cream you have found contains no precious metals at all.

Still, some chemicals do contain precious metals – most often, silver. A drum of printing ink, for example, could contain silver that can be reclaimed. So can a drum of chemicals that are used to process older x-ray and photographic film.

If you come across something like that and you are not sure whether you have found precious metal that can be extracted and refined for a profit, give us a call at 800-426-2344, tell us what you have, and we will be happy to give you some advice and guidance.

That skin cream you found might not contain a precious metal. But as our customers will tell you, the advice that Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners offers is often worth its weight in gold. Call us to find out why.

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