Why Your Local Museum Is Probably Sitting on Undiscovered Precious Metals

We have written before on this blog about good places to hunt for undiscovered precious metals – places like old jewelry factories, wells, drain pipes, and even graveyards.

Today, we would like to add one more place to look for old gold, silver, and platinum items that you can recycle profitably . . .

Museums and historical societies

These institutions often own precious gold items, including jewelry, medals, watches, coins and other items that people have donated over the years. And the funny thing is, those museums might not even know exactly what they have that is made of gold, silver, platinum and other precious metals. They might not know because they do not have complete records of everything that has been donated to them over the decades.

A Case Study

The American Civil War Museum, located in Richmond, VA, has a large collection of Civil War items. According to “Hidden Treasure! A Look Inside the Storage Vaults at Four Richmond Museums,” an article that Katherine Calos wrote for the Richmond Times-Dispatch on October 15, 2018, the museum’s collection contains more than 15,000 objects that have been donated over the years. Yet because of limited space, only about 1,000 of them are on display.

And that is not unusual for smaller museums. While some have up-to-date inventories of everything they have hidden away in their storage areas, many do not. And chances are quite good that they own items made of gold and silver especially. When one small historical society in New Jersey recently hired an appraiser to inventory its holdings for insurance purposes, for example, a number of items were discovered that included silver trophies, a gold pocket watch, old gold and silver coins, as well as several old pistols that had silver decorations.

How Can You Profit from Museum Collections?

The short answer to that question is, you can’t profit by recycling items that you don’t own. You can, however, approach local museums and offer to help them liquidate their holdings of precious metals, in exchange for a percentage of the value of those metals that you discover and send to a highly qualified precious metals refiner like us, Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.

Why would museums want to sell off their historical items? The most common reason is that museums need to raise funds. A second reason is that a lot of museums own items that have little to do with their missions. The museum in New Jersey that we mention above, for example, owns a collection of German weapons from World War II; someone donated them years ago, but the museum’s director would like to sell them because they have nothing to do with local history.

Find Old Gold and Silver and Platinum Items? Call Us Up!

We can help you and your local museum get top dollar from old items that are made of gold, silver and other precious metals. Why not give us a call at 800-426-2344 to learn more?

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