What Effect Will Trends in Healthcare Testing Have on Precious Metals?

If you went to see your physician a few years ago and you were having chest pains, chances are that your doctor sent you to get an x-ray (a technology that relied heavily on silver), an electrocardiogram (which used printed circuit boards that contained gold and silver), and a round of blood tests (which didn’t have much to do with precious metals of any kind).

If you go do your doctor today and you are complaining of chest pains, chances are you will have an echocardiogram and a nuclear stress test (both of which use electronic units that contain printed circuit boards that contain gold), and maybe a test in which a cadmium-tipped probe is threaded into your heart to directly measure its function.

Yes, things have changed. But what do those changes in technology mean if your chief interest is collecting, and profiting from, precious metal scrap?

Let’s take a look, metal-by-metal.


Overall, the use of silver is decreasing in medical tests, because tests that once relied on x-ray films and papers are being replaced by all-electric tests like CAT Scans, MRI’s, and ultrasounds. What this means for investors is that now is a good time to buy up old x-ray supplies and send them to a qualified precious metal refinery like us . . . while these materials are still available. But don’t expect them to be lying around too much longer.


Even though technology is changing quickly, small quantities of gold are still used to make many of the electronic devices that are used in today’s most popular medical testing procedures, including ultrasounds, MRIs, cat scans, and more. For precious metal investors, that means that now (as in the past) is a good time to buy up and recycle used medical testing devices of all kinds.


The use of cadmium-tipped cardiac probes for testing is on the rise. So you can expect to see more recyclable cadmium become available for precious metal investors. One challenge is that the makers of cadmium testing supplies often have buy-back programs in place in which they accept returns of used probes which they recycle to make new ones.


Platinum still remains the inert metal of choice that is used in the devices that are used in testing labs of all kinds, not only medical testing. So if investing in platinum is your favorite way of profiting from precious metals, it is still smart to be on the lookout for used platinum crucibles, forceps, tripods and other devices that are used by testing labs.

Have Medical Equipment to Recycle? Call Us Today

Our expert precious metal refiners are here to answer all your questions. If you have used medical equipment or supplies and would like to know what they are worth, why not call us today at 800-426-2344?

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