There’s Gold (and Silver and Other Valuable Stuff) in iPhones

We recently blogged that collecting used cellphones can be a great way to raise funds for your favorite charity or cause.

Today we want to explore that idea in a little more detail, by providing some data on how much used cellphones are worth. Our source for this information is, a company that monitors trends in mining and metallurgy. For our examples below, we are providing data on the content of different iPhone models.

Image Credit: Mining Your iPhone [Infographic] – By the team at

Image Credit: Mining Your iPhone [Infographic] – By the team at

How much value is hiding in iPhones?

An iPhone 3G contains about $72 worth of recyclable materials like gold, silver and platinum . . . an iPhone 4, about $175.

What metals does a typical iPhone contain?

According to, each iPhone contains an average of $1.58 worth of gold, $0.36 of silver, $0.12 of copper, $0.05 of aluminum, and $0.02 of platinum.

What other valuable stuff does an iPhone contain?

They also contain small quantities of rare earth minerals in their display screens, speakers, ringers, and other components. These minerals are principally Yttrium, Lanthanum, Praseodymium, Neodymium, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium, and Dysprosium. But according to, it is not currently worth recovering these rare compounds from cellphones due to the high cost of recycling.

Is it true that iPhones contain more gold per ounce than gold ore does?

Yes, it is true, according to data compiled by In fact, a ton of used iPhones contains 324 times more gold than a ton of gold ore does. A ton of iPhones also contains 13 times more copper than a ton of copper ore does, and 6.5 times more silver than a ton of silver ore does. So the message seems to be that as demand for precious metals remains high, recycling phones is a practice that is not about to go away.

How Can You Turn Collected Cellphones into Dollars?

Call at 800-426-2344. Just don’t do it on an iPhone – those things are more than worth their weight in gold.

Related Posts:

Is it Worth Recycling Smartphones
New Applications for Precious Metals Keep Demand and Prices High
How to Pick the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company
As Gold Supplies Dwindle, Demand for Recyclable Gold Will Remain High