Many people like to invest in bullion and coins that are made of gold, platinum or silver. The predictability appeals to them. They buy a pure piece of platinum, gold or silver that comes in a hard plastic case that they can either open or put in a safe. The exact weight is stamped on the chunk of metal they have bought, along with the properties of the metal. After they buy, they can follow trading prices. And at the right time, they sell their investments and, hopefully, make a profit.
Then there are other investors who buy in a completely different way. They buy something like a pile of dirty-looking, used platinum sponge without knowing how much it is worth. They call Specialty Metals Smelters and refiners and say, “I don’t know exactly what I have . . . can you test it for me?”
And then we test that scrap and tell the investors exactly what they have. Sometimes they learn that they have made a lot of money, because the scrap we tested for them contains, say, $200 worth of platinum which they paid only $50 for. That happens. It also sometimes happens that investors get some bad news, because they paid that $50 for something that turned out to be worth, say, $25. But that is part of the game for investors who favor that style of investing. Chances are that those investors, who have an adventurous outlook, will go buy more platinum or other scrap and call us again.
Which kind of investor are you? Both investing strategies offer the chance to profit in precious metals. For slow-and-steady investors, known commodities like coins and bullion bars make sense. For people who are comfortable with a level of risk, the second path - investing in scrap - is more attractive. There is nothing wrong with either approach. Yet the fact remains that people who opt for the second approach, by investing in scrap that has an unknown value, stand a better chance of making more money faster. In some cases, they can make an awful lot of money. (They can also lose money. But investing with a degree of risk tolerance - which might also be called gambling - always has that risk.)
Investing in Precious Metal Scrap
Which kind of investor are you? If you like the riskier strategy, here are some forms of platinum scrap that you should be looking for . . .
- Used platinum sponges, filters, sputtering targets and other platinum scrap that is usually left over from industrial processes.
- Used platinum tongs and forceps, crucibles, stands and other pieces of used laboratory equipment.
- Filings, powder and other tiny bits of metal that can be found in old jewelry factories and jeweler’s stores.
- Thermocouple wire that was used on the production line and in stoves, furnaces and air conditioning systems.
- Probes, wires and other items that were used in medical procedures.
Note that we are not saying that all the items we list above will contain valuable amounts of platinum. Not necessarily. But in most cases, you will not know what you have until you call us at 800-426-2344 and ask us to test them. When you call, ask whether we can pay the shipping costs on the metals you send to us for testing. In many cases, we can. And that will add just a little bit more money to what you stand to make by taking the riskier path to profiting in precious metals.