Recycling Precious Metals – It’s Time You Found Out about Findings

If you’re making money recycling small items of jewelry made of silver, platinum and gold, you’re already on the lookout for pins, earrings, watches, rings and the other “usual suspects” that turn up at estate sales and antique stores. You’re buying them and sending them to Specialty Metals Smelters and Recycling for testing and refining . . . then you’re getting paid.

That’s great. But we need to ask one question . . .

Are you on the lookout for silver, platinum and gold jewelry findings too?

If you don’t know what findings are, don’t worry. Our post today will explain what you need to know.

Shown: Jewelry findings like these could make for profitable recycling. Credit: bekisha/iStock.

Shown: Jewelry findings like these could make for profitable recycling. Credit: bekisha/iStock.

What Are Findings?

Findings are small, pre-manufactured metal items that are used in jewelry production. Chances are pretty good that as you read this post, some of them are right there in the room with you. If you bought a nice silver chain to give your niece for a present, for example, open the box and take a look at it. You’ll see that there is a small ring attached to one end, and some kind of clasp to the other. Those add-on pieces are findings.

If you visit a company that manufactures or repairs jewelry, you are going to find a lot more findings, because those companies keep them on hand and ready to use. And if you attend an auction where a jewelry maker’s assets are being liquidated, you will find findings there too. Crafters who focus on making jewelry use findings too.

Not all findings are made of precious metals. Those used by home crafters are often made of brass or even plated copper. But if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find some that are made of silver, gold and even platinum. If you snap them up and send them to us for testing and recycling, you could realize a good return on your dollar investment.

What Findings Should You Be Hunting for?

Here’s a list of common findings that you are likely to come across in your search for recyclable precious metals. You might want to bookmark this blog post or print out a copy and carry it with you for reference.

  • Bars are most often used to make pins; a number of pierced beads, pearls or other items are slid over the bar, which is then equipped with a pin back so it can be worn on a piece of clothing.
  • Bead caps are small cup-shaped findings equipped with a loop. They are glued or crimped onto pearls or beads, which can then be displayed on chains.
  • Crimp tubes are small metal tubes. Often used by crafters, they are placed at the end of a run of pierced beads that has been strung over a piece of fabric cord or leather. The tubes are then squeezed shut (“crimped”) with a pair of pliers to keep the beads from sliding off.
  • Crimped end clasps are crimped onto the ends of bracelets and necklaces. They come in pairs: there’s one with a ring and another with a spring-loaded clasp that attaches to it. They are used by any company that makes necklace chains and by hobbyists too.
  • Threaded end clasps also come in twos. One is small screw and the other is a receptacle that accepts that screw. If you’ve ever seen a necklace that is screwed closed, not snapped with a clasp, you have seen them.
  • Earring pins look like small thumbtacks. One side serves as a small platform where jewels, pearls or beads can be attached for display. The other side is a small shaft that is inserted though the earlobe.
  • Earring clasps are slid onto the end of earring pins to secure an earring to the wearer’s earlobe.
  • Miscellaneous earring findings come in many different forms. There are ear wires (small S-shaped wires that are inserted through the earlobe and have no closing clasp) and spring-loaded lever backs that are used to make earrings for wearers who do not have pierced ears. You can also find earring bezels, which are pre-manufactured earring assemblies that lack only the jewel, pearl or other adornment that will be displayed.
  • Jump rings are added to charm bracelets, where they allow large numbers of charms to be attached. If you’ve ever seen a charm bracelet that’s jam-packed with too many charms, you know what we’re talking about.
  • O-ring bezels are snapped around coins, which can then be worn as necklaces or pins. They are either closed with a small screw or sized perfectly to snap onto an Indian-head penny or other collectible coin.
  • Pin backs, similar to safety pins, are attached to the back of cameos and other jewelry items so that they can be worn on clothing as pins.
  • Quality tags are small “extras,” usually oval-shaped, that are attached to one end of a high-quality chain, necklace or bracelet. The gold karat rating or silver content is stamped on them for display. Keep an eye out for them. Of all the findings we list today, they are the most likely to be made of pure silver, karat gold, or gold-plated silver.
  • Tie-related findings come in several varieties. You’ll find two-piece finding that are used to make tie tacks, and also tie bars that clip a necktie to the wearer’s shirt. Tie bars often have flat surfaces that can be engraved.

After You Find Findings, Call Us at 800-426-2344

We love findings and believe that when you discover how much value can be hidden in them, you will love them too. When you call, be sure to mention this post and ask about free or discounted shipping when you send them to us for testing.

Related Posts:

An Invitation to Jewelers, Pawnbrokers and Other Jewelry Professionals to Partner with Our Precious Metals Refinery 
How Much Platinum Does Your Platinum Jewelry Really Contain? 
Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal 
Gold Refining: Why It Takes an Expert to Evaluate Your Gold-Plated Items