The Resurgence of Film Photography Is Good for Silver Investments

The Resurgence of Film Photography Is Good for Silver Investments

Only a decade ago, film photography seemed to be dying as more and more photographers turned in their old film cameras and went digital. Then about five years ago, people started to set aside their digital cameras as they took more and more of their snapshots on phones.

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Can You Recycle Items that Have Gold or Silver Appliqués? What Are They Worth?

Can You Recycle Items that Have Gold or Silver Appliqués? What Are They Worth?

What is an appliqué? It is a small decorative piece of silver or gold that is applied to another metal. The word appliqué is French, meaning “applied.” (An appliqué is also a piece of fabric that is sewn onto a garment as a decoration, but that is not the kind of appliqué we are writing about in today’s post.)

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These Recyclable Materials Contain Precious Metals

These Recyclable Materials Contain Precious Metals

When we answered our phone a few weeks ago, a very nice gentleman told us that he had collected more than 1,000 used printer cartridges that he wanted to recycle. “How can I send them to you to be processed?” he asked. We had to give him the bad news that print cartridges do not contain precious metals. We explained that some of the ink they once contained might have contained tiny quantities of silver, and that some ink cartridges have circuit boards that contain extremely small quantities of gold - but that even in the best of circumstances, he didn’t have enough of any precious metal that we could profitably extract for him. We suggested that he take his cartridges to an office supply store that participates in manufacturers’ recycling programs.

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Make Money in Antique Silver Shaving Mugs and Accessories

Make Money in Antique Silver Shaving Mugs and Accessories

A century ago when sterling silver was a relatively cheap metal, it was used much more extensively than it is today to make all kinds of items that were used by people every day. Most every home had silver, or silver-plated flatware, salt and pepper shakers, candlesticks and candelabras, serving plates and dishes, barware and other items for daily use.

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Can You Recycle Precious Metals from Medicines and Medical Devices?

Can You Recycle Precious Metals from Medicines and Medical Devices?

Please take a minute to consider this imaginary story… You buy an old retail building that was once home to several stores. One of them was a pharmacy. While you’re exploring there, you open a drawer and find several dozen boxes of old wound dressings that contain silver. You then send those wound dressing to a precious metals refinery like us, we process them, and send you a nice big check for several hundred dollars. It's a nice fantasy, isn’t it? But if you find any, they are not going to contain enough silver to be worth much. Sorry to deflate your dreams of wealth. But let’s look at some other places where silver and other precious metals can be found in the world of medicine. 

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A Field Guide to Platinum and Other Precious Metal Scrap

A Field Guide to Platinum and Other Precious Metal Scrap

If you’ve ever walked around an old industrial site hunting for precious metal scrap, you know that the search can be overwhelming. You examine heaps of dirt, piles of chemicals hiding in the bushes, old steel drums that contain dried or wet sediment, streams where chemicals and byproducts were once deposited, and all kinds of other places that could be hiding precious metal scrap. Although you cannot identify most precious metal scrap just by looking at it, here’s a quick visual guide to some of the materials that can often be refined profitably in our precious metals refinery.

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It’s Time to Cash in on Silver from Dental Practices that Are Closing

It’s Time to Cash in on Silver from Dental Practices that Are Closing

We have noticed that it is relatively difficult to find scrap gold in dentists’ offices that are closing, probably because those dentists are savvy enough to capture and sell gold items, not sell them at bargain prices. Silver, however, is another matter. Where can you find silver to buy, and then recycle using a qualified precious metals recycler like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners?

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Don’t Fall Victim to Counterfeit Sterling Silver

Don’t Fall Victim to Counterfeit Sterling Silver

Why would anybody bother to counterfeit sterling silver? After all, silver sells for lower prices than any other precious metal. Why would anybody take the trouble to counterfeit it? The simple answer is that counterfeiters have learned to take cheap, silver-plated tableware, stamp them so they look like they were made by prestigious manufacturers, then sell them to collectors for high prices. In other words, they are artificially inflating the collectible value, not the metallic value. 

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Thinking Inside the Box: Investing in Boxes that Contain Precious Metal

Thinking Inside the Box: Investing in Boxes that Contain Precious Metal

We have previously written on this blog about all kinds of collectibles that can contain gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals. We’ve explored canes and walking sticks, barware, smoker’s accessories, buttons and medals, and lots more. Today, we’d like to direct your attention to another investment that should be on your radar... Boxes that contain precious metals.

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Which Medals and Trophies Contain the Most Precious Metals?

Which Medals and Trophies Contain the Most Precious Metals?

What about the gold-toned Oscars that are given to Academy Award winners? They are only plated with a very thin layer of 24-karat gold. Even though they stand 13.5 inches tall and weigh more than eight pounds, they still don’t contain enough gold to recycle for a significant amount of money. But there is value in some trophies, medals and awards...

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Will the Return to Film Photography Make Silver Prices Soar?

Will the Return to Film Photography Make Silver Prices Soar?

Even though film and other analog photo supplies are selling at a tiny fraction of what they were in the pre-digital age, those increases are significant. Since film photography is highly reliant on silver, does that increase mean that silver will be in greater demand, and trading prices will rise? It could be. Whenever demand increases for a commodity that is in a fixed supply, prices for that commodity rise. 

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Your Guide to Incredibly Useful 2016 Posts on the Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners Blog

Your Guide to Incredibly Useful 2016 Posts on the Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners Blog

Our editorial team had a very busy 2016, writing a total of 46 blog posts on a variety of topics. Some posts contained only nuts-and-bolts advice on finding and processing precious metals. Others covered trends. Yet we did our utmost to deliver practical, usable advice in every post we wrote. In today’s post, we’ll organize those 2016 posts by topic, so you can quickly find the information you’re looking for.

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How Much Recyclable Silver Can You Find in Coin Rolls from the Bank?

How Much Recyclable Silver Can You Find in Coin Rolls from the Bank?

Some people who go looking for recyclable silver are applying this simple strategy...They go to a bank, buy rolls of coins and then sort through them, looking for coins from certain years that contain silver. If they can find just one or two old silver coins, they can recycle them and make money. And the more coin rolls they buy, the more money they make. At least, that’s the theory....

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You Just Found Something Made of Argentium... What Is It?

You Just Found Something Made of Argentium... What Is It?

Let’s say that in your hunting for valuable items made of precious metals, you come across something made of “Argentium.” It could be a bracelet or other piece of jewelry in its original box with paperwork that says it’s made of Argentium. Or maybe a salesman at a jewelry store or estate sale winks at you and says, “This piece is extra valuable because it’s better than sterling... it’s Argentium!” It’s bright and white and shiny like silver... but what is it?

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Be on the Alert for Strange Objects Made from Precious Metals

Be on the Alert for Strange Objects Made from Precious Metals

Over the years, people have made all kinds of common-looking objects out of gold, platinum and silver. If you’re not alert, you could pass them by when you search for precious metal items in antique stores, estate sales, and even online auctions

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Metal-Hunting Season Is Starting Just as Swimming Season Ends

Metal-Hunting Season Is Starting Just as Swimming Season Ends

That’s why this could be a very profitable season to go looking for valuable items that people have lost during the summer months. Rings, watches, cellphones and other stuff is out there waiting for you, so let’s review some of the strategies that can help you find them. 

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How to Eliminate the Middle Man and Get Top Dollar for Your Silver Scrap

How to Eliminate the Middle Man and Get Top Dollar for Your Silver Scrap

Silver scrap is a unique item in the world of recycling. In most cases, it isn’t found in a neat shiny bar or piece that a refiner can weigh and then say, “This is half a gram, and it is worth X number of dollars.” In most cases, silver scrap comes in forms like these...

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How to Find Platinum and Silver Hiding in Piles of Mixed Scrap

How to Find Platinum and Silver Hiding in Piles of Mixed Scrap

Have you ever seen sparks flying when someone was using an arc welder or oxyacetylene welding torch? The sparks you see are little bits of molten metal that fall to the floor as powder and then cool. If silver is contained in the metals being bonded (or if it is contained in the rods used for brazing, as it often is), it will fall to the floor where it will be swept up – maybe by a young employee like I was, at the end of the day. 

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