Everything You Need to Know about Profiting in Platinum Scrap

In the classic movie The Graduate, a man takes a recent college graduate aside and says to him, “I have one word to say to you . . . PLASTICS!”

That is a famous scene, and we have some similar advice for you. If you want to profit richly from investing in precious metals, “We have just one word to say to you . . . PLATINUM!”

Of course, there are other precious metals – gold, silver, rhodium and the rest – that offer excellent investment opportunities. But there are many reasons why platinum rates your particular attention as an investment option today.

In today’s post, you will find out why.

Why Is Platinum Valuable?

There are many reasons. One is that platinum, which is an element that appears on the Periodic Table, is beautiful. It has a lovely white color and sheen. It resists oxidation and doesn’t tarnish. It is also malleable, meaning that skillful artisans can fashion it into platinum engagement rings (today’s most popular choices) and other items of jewelry.  

But the scarcity of platinum is what makes it truly precious and keeps trading prices high. In fact, since people began mining it about two centuries ago, only about 16 tons of the metal have been extracted from the Earth. Those 16 tons would represent only about 270 cubic feet of the metal. If those 270 cubic feet were fashioned into a cube, it would probably be small enough to fit in your living room. In comparison, about 3,000 tons of gold are mined every year!

Where is platinum mined? Small quantities come from mines in Columbia and in Russia’s Ural Mountains. That explains why platinum and platinum scrap are in high demand.

It’s the law of supply and demand. Because the supply is so small, the demand remains high . . . as do the trading prices.

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The Many Uses of Platinum Also Keep Demand High

As we noted above, platinum is in high demand for engagement rings and other items of jewelry. Yet the metal’s resistance to corrosion makes it desirable for a number of other applications, which include . . .

  • Automotive and industrial catalytic converters

  • Laboratory crucibles, tongs and other testing equipment

  • Medical testing devices

  • Aerospace applications

  • Cases for implantable defibrillators and pacemakers

  • Decorative items that can include barware, handles for walking sticks, cigarette cases and many other articles

Why Platinum Scrap Is a Better Investment than Platinum Bullion or Coins

Here is some advice that can put money in your bank account.

If you buy platinum coins or bullion from the government or other issuers, you are going to buy it at something very close to current trading prices. In fact if the item you are buying is being sold as a commemorative or collectible, you might even pay more than current trading prices. That means that if you want to sell those items and make a profit, you are going to have to wait until the trading price for platinum increases. That does happen – in fact, it has happened consistently in the past. However, there is a better way to buy platinum and profit more substantially.

That way is to buy platinum scrap and send it to a qualified platinum recycler like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.

Why does scrap promise a much bigger return on every dollar you invest? There is a very simple reason . . .

There are sources of scrap that offer the opportunity to buy platinum at below-market prices . . . and then sell it at a profit

Why is that possible? Simply because some sellers do not realize the true value of the scrap they want to sell or dispose of. The result is that you can buy platinum scrap, send it to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners for processing, and realize a sizeable profit.

Think about that. If you buy a platinum coin from the Mint or a platinum bullion bar from a dealer, you will only profit marginally. But if you invest wisely in scrap, you can make far more money.

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What Is Platinum Scrap?

What are these undervalued sources of platinum scrap that you can buy and have recycled for maximum profit? Here are some you should know about . . .

  • Jewelry. It is estimated that about 30% of the world’s available recyclable platinum can be found in jewelry that you can buy at estate sales, antique malls, jewelry factories and stores that are liquidating, and elsewhere.

  • Catalytic converters. It is estimated that 40% of the world’s available recyclable platinum is tied up in them. Be aware, however, that many platinum prospectors are already heavily involved in buying up and recycling catalytic converters. Finding 500 of them (generally the minimum quantity that a platinum recycling facility will deal with) is becoming increasingly difficult.

  • Electrical contacts and electrodes. These come from a variety of sources that include medical testing devices, implantable defibrillators and pacemakers, as well as electrical components that can be found in airplanes.

  • Oxygen sensors. There are more of these devices out there than you might expect. They are used in aircraft, aerospace and laboratory applications.

  • Old spark plugs. Don’t overlook this common source of platinum. Each spark plug generally contains only a tiny amount of the metal. However, millions of them have been manufactured, which makes them relatively easy to buy in large lots.

  • Used laboratory testing equipment. We mentioned lab equipment earlier in this post. Be aware that this is a large source of available platinum that can be bought at comparatively low prices. Look for platinum in crucibles, tongs, and even in stands that have been used to support platinum crucibles during testing operations.

  • Platinum mesh and sponges that were used in plating and other industrial applications. This is another excellent source of platinum that you can buy at reduced prices. Often, the platinum sponge that was used in plating operations looks more like a small pile of dirt than precious metal. Don’t be fooled. If you send even a small batch of mesh and sponge to be tested by a qualified precious metal testing facility, its high value could surprise you.

  • Filings, bench sweepings and floor sweepings. These come from factories and workshops where platinum was used in manufacturing. You might be surprised to learn that the miscellaneous powder, dust and grit that comes from those facilities can be worth a lot of money.

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Where Can You Find Platinum Scrap?

If you are excited at the prospect of buying those kinds of scrap and having their platinum recycled, where should you go looking for it? Here are some sources . . .

  • Old factories where any kind of platinum-containing products – from jewelry to medical devices – were made.

  • Online sellers like eBay, where it is still sometimes possible to discover undervalued items of platinum jewelry, barware, smoking accessories and other products that contain small amounts of platinum.

  • Estate sales and antique stores and malls, where an alert shopper can be on the lookout for white-metal items that could be made of platinum. Note that silver and white gold can be mistaken for platinum; you may need the services of a qualified precious metal testing facility to know what your items are made of.

  • Hospitals, medical offices and other healthcare facilities where platinum-bearing devices were used.

  • Testing labs – both medical and industrial – where platinum testing devices were used.

  • Automotive scrap yards, service shops and muffler retailers, where you can find catalytic converters.

  • Auctions where the holdings of bankrupt and other businesses are being sold to the public.

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How Does a Refinery Test and Extract Platinum from Your Platinum Scrap?

It depends on the kind of scrap you have. If you have a quantity of filings, bench sweepings and floor sweepings for example, the refinery may expose your scrap to high heat – essentially burn it – which causes non-metallic content to be reduced to ash and leaves the platinum and other metallic content behind. In other cases, scrap may be treated with acids and other chemicals, which again remove non-metallic material and leave the platinum and other metals behind.  

Once the platinum has been separated from surrounding materials, it is weighed and valued according to current trading prices. If you send a pile of platinum sponge to a precious metals refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners and it is found to contain one-quarter ounce of platinum, for example, that would mean that you will be paid about $200 for the platinum that your sponge was found to contain.

If you acquired that used sponge for, say, $50.00, you just made a profit of $150 on your investment. You could wait a long time to realize that big a return if you are investing in bullion or coins. Think about it. That is just one example of why investing in platinum scrap could be the smartest way to profit from investing in precious metals today.

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Can You Extract Platinum from Scrap in Your Yard, Garage or Home?

Some people do it – and some people report that they are good at doing the processing on their own.

However, we advise against it – not because we want you to send us your platinum so we can make money from processing it, but because refining any precious metal can be dangerous. If you burn scrap to separate out platinum and other metals, poisonous gases and particles can be released into the air. The same is true if you process your platinum scrap by immersing it in acid or other strong chemicals. Plus, the temperatures that result during processing are generally quite high and there is a risk of fire.

Instead of exposing yourself to noxious gases – not to mention exposing your family, neighbors and pets – we advise you to use the services of a qualified precious metal refinery. At Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, we have the equipment, expertise and procedures to test and refine your precious metals without harming people or the environment.

How Have Platinum Trading Prices Changed over Time?

There are many places online where you can investigate the trading prices of platinum over the years. If you do, you will find that back in 2008, the price hit a high-water mark of more than $2,000 per Troy ounce. About one year ago, the trading price was hovering at about $900. As we write this post today, platinum is selling for a little more than $800 per Troy Ounce.

To keep an eye on the value of your platinum holdings, visit Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners’ home page daily, where you will find up-to-the-day trading prices on the London Fix.

Although there are no ironclad guarantees that the current trading price of platinum will go up from its current low level, it seems likely that it will. Given the perennial shortage of available platinum and the high demand for it, the odds are good that whatever platinum you own today, whether you obtained it by recycling scrap or investing in bullion, will go up over time.

How to Store Platinum Scrap and Send It for Testing and Evaluation

The good news is that because a lot of dollar value can be hiding in only a small quantity of platinum scrap, storing it is not difficult. Nor do you need to rent a storage space or industrial facility to store your scrap. Hundreds of dollars’ worth of platinum scrap can take up only a small amount of space. Some prospectors report that they keep scrap in snap-top plastic containers in their garages before they send it to us for testing and processing.

In contrast, a few hundred dollars’ worth of silver scrap can take up a much larger space. It could even take a dumpster to store it. That’s another reason why investing in platinum scrap is a smart choice for precious metal investors.

How Do You Send Platinum Scrap to Be Tested?

The answer is, it depends on how much scrap you have, how much space it occupies, and what it weighs. Because most people who invest in platinum scrap are dealing with relatively small quantities of it – a few hundred pounds at most – it can be inexpensively shipped to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners for testing. In some cases, we offer free or discounted shipping. Call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

What If You Find Out Your Platinum Scrap Is Worth Money but You Don’t Want to Recycle it Now?

It often happens that a customer sends us a quantity of scrap, we test it and tell the customer how much the platinum it contains is worth and that customer asks to receive immediate payment, based on then-current trading prices.

However, some customers would rather have us reclaim the platinum their scrap contains and pay them after prices rise to a certain level. That is why we offer a special account to customers, called a Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners Platinum Pool Account. In a Pool Account, the customer specifies that he or she would like us to sell the metals in the account when the trading price reaches a certain level; at that point we will extract the platinum and send the customer a payment that reflects the then-current trading price.

For example, if a customer sends platinum scrap to Specialty Metals and specifies that we should hold the scrap and extract the platinum it contains when the trading price rises to $950 per Troy Ounce on the London Fix, we will do that, and issue payment. Specialty Metals is happy to establish these accounts for our customers, many of whom appreciate that they can lock in the price that they will generate from selling their platinum in the future. To learn more about setting up a Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners Platinum Pool Account, call us today at 800-426-2344.

How Long Does It Take to Have Your Platinum Scrap Tested and to Get Paid?

Depending on the quantity and type of platinum scrap you send to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, testing can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. At that point, we issue you a report on the value of the platinum your scrap contains and recommendations about how it should be recycled. If you choose to have us refine your scrap and send you either the platinum it contained or payment for it, we execute your instructions promptly.

If you decide not to have us refine your scrap, we will of course return it to you promptly. Please do be aware that you will have to pay the cost of having your scrap returned to you. If you call our precious metals consultants at 800-426-2344, we can suggest different shipping options and help you plan.

How Can You Be Sure You Are Dealing with An Honest Precious Metal Refinery?

That is a critical question. You have probably heard stories of precious metal investors who were underpaid for their holdings, who learned that the company they were dealing with had ceased operations, or worse.

Your defense is to be certain that you are dealing with an experienced refiner and recycler. We cannot stress too strongly the importance of entrusting your investments to a company like Precious Metals Smelters and Refiners. We have been in business for more than 37 years. Thanks to our long record of doing business honestly, we have earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. We are registered and monitored by Dun & Bradstreet. We are also active members of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee and the International Precious Metals Institute. Those credentials assure that when you do business with us, you will be dealing with a precious metals refinery that has stood the test of time, and which will be here for you tomorrow.

Here is what you can expect from us . . .

  • Honesty – As the credentials we list above show, we have established a record of dealing with our customers honestly. Our record has proven that when you send your gold, silver, platinum and other scrap to us to be tested or refined, we will tell you exactly what it is and what it is worth. That is our promise to you, and it is backed up by a long record of doing business ethically and honestly.

  • Longevity and reliability – How would you feel if you sent your metals for analysis, recycling or storage at a precious metals company that then closed its doors? Could you get your precious metals back, and how soon? Would getting your metals back be difficult, possibly requiring legal assistance? When you do business with Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, you don’t need to worry about questions like those.

  • Caring customer service and expert advice – You will experience them from the very first call you make to us at 800-426-2344 to speak with one of our precious metals consultants.

We also encourage you to speak with the customers whom we have served in the past. We are glad to refer you to these investors and business who recycled their platinum scrap with us.  

We are here for you today. And we will be here for you tomorrow. We invite you to entrust us with your most valuable assets and we assure your satisfaction. Our phone number is 800-426-2344 and we are here to answer your questions now.