Make More Money Recycling Precious Metals with this Special List of Our Best 2015 Blog Posts

Make More Money Recycling Precious Metals with this Special List of Our Best 2015 Blog Posts

Last year we published a list of the most popular blog posts that we ran in 2014 – the ones that had been viewed by the most people and that had generated the greatest number of comments. We’ve created a different list of best posts this year. They are posts that contain the kind of useful information that can quickly put a lot of money in your pocket – maybe even in time for the holidays. 

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Recycling Precious Metals: Our Top Blog Posts of 2014

Recycling Precious Metals: Our Top Blog Posts of 2014

Recycling precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium can be a complicated business. There could be treasure hiding in the most unusual places, and businesses and consumers alike are always on the lookout for tips, tricks and advice. Our top blog posts, as determined by our readers, represent a collection of knowledge you may find just as worthwhile to read as they have.

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How to Get a Fast and Profitable Return from Palladium Bullion and Coins

Have you inherited palladium bullion or coins or bought them as an investment? If you have been thinking about cashing them in, here is some information you should know from Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.

Photo of palladium, which Specialty Metals refines and recycles from palladium coins and bullion, scrap catalytic converters, lab and dental equipment, electronics and jewelry.

The Market for All Precious Metals Could Be Stronger Soon

Yes, prices have been soft in the last year. But it is wise to stay cued into fluctuations in market pricing so that you will be ready to sell your palladium at the right time. Be sure to monitor current metal prices, updated daily on our home page.

Palladium Bullion and Coins Do Not Require Complex Refining or Processing

Unlike alloys that contain precious metals, they do not need to be refined before they return their dollar value. They are pure palladium and can either be sold as they are or melted into new bars or ingots.

Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners Will Buy the Following Items

We will consider buying your palladium bullion coins, bars, and commercially made ingots that include Canadian Maples, Australian Koalas and Emus, Chinese Pandas, and Russian Ballerinas. In addition, we will purchase palladium bullion manufactured by Credit Suisse, Degussa, Engelhard, Heraeus, Johnson Matthey, and others.

We Refine and Recycle other forms of Palladium Too

In addition to palladium coins, bars and ingots, we are also interested in palladium alloys, palladium catalyst, palladium jewelry, palladium-plated items of all kinds, palladium resins, palladium sponges, and palladium wire. We are leading precious metals recyclers, so call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

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Why Big Dollars Can Be Found in Scrap Aerospace Parts

Why is a scrapped airplane worth a lot more than a scrapped automobile?

Chances are you answered that question with a smart reply like, “Well, isn’t an airplane a whole lot bigger than a car?”

Shown: Aerospace Scrap like this, which includes platinum, palladium, silver cadmium and gold, can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals

Shown: Aerospace Scrap like this, which includes platinum, palladium, silver cadmium and gold, can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals

If that was your answer, you’d be right. Or partially right, anyhow. Because you see, sheer size isn’t the only issue. Pound-for-pound, aerospace scrap is worth more than automotive scrap. And here are some of the reasons why . . .

Airplanes – Even Older Airplanes – Contain More Exotic Alloys and Compounds than Cars Do

For example, they contain silver cadmium in switches and relays, mercury and chromium in gauges, platinum in thermocouples, and a lot more precious metals that you will rarely find in scrapped cars.

Precious Metals are Extensively Used in Aircraft Engines

Platinum and palladium are used because they are stable, corrosion-resistant and durable. You’ll find them and other precious metals in fuel nozzles, heat exchangers, turbine vanes, and elsewhere. You won’t find those materials widely used in automotive engines, unless you’re looking at exotic racing cars. According to some estimates, a used modern jet engine that is being scrapped should contain more than $15,000 worth of precious metals.

Modern Airplanes Contain Many More Circuit Boards than Cars Do

A modern automobile contains gold-bearing printed circuit boards in the engine monitoring module, the GPS unit, the sound system, and a handful of other locations. In contrast, planes have gold-bearing printed circuit boards just about everywhere – in radios and communication devices, navigation systems, altimeters and other gauges and displays, computers, and dozens of other applications that don’t exist on cars. If you ever see an airplane cockpit being dismantled, you will be surprised by the number and size of electronic components that are found there.

How to Mine the Value from Aviation Scrap

It requires specialized knowledge and technology to identify and recycle precious metals like gold and platinum from aeronautical scrap. To learn how to reclaim the most dollars from aerospace scrap that you have on hand call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners today at 800-426-2344.

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What You Need to Know about Recycling Alloys of Precious Metals

Three Trends that Will Keep Demand for Precious Metals High

In a famous moment in the movie “The Graduate,” an annoying man named Mr. McGuire says to a young college graduate named Benjamin, “I just want to say one word to you . . . just one word . . . are you listening . . . plastics.”

McGuire was telling Benjamin to make his career in plastics. Plastics, the material of the future. But McGuire wasn’t entirely right. Although the use of plastics has boomed since that movie was released in 1967, plastics haven’t replaced metal, for several reasons. Metals conduct electricity, and plastics do not. Plastics can be corroded by harsh chemicals, and many metals cannot. Plastics are not hard enough to serve as parts in many machines where metals perform beautifully.

And advanced as plastics may be, they are not about to replace precious metals in the technologies that we’re going to take a look at in today’s post.

Photo of workers replacing old solar panels, which contain more silver, with newer ones. Don’t miss the opportunity to recycle them profitably with Specialty Metals.

Silver Trend: The Boom in Solar Panels

Have you noticed that a boom is happening in the use of solar panels? It seems that wherever you travel, you see new installations on roofs and in open fields. While it is true that thin-film solar are becoming more and more popular than the older thick-film models that used more silver, the demand for silver will remain strong because of the sheer number of thin-film panels that are being installed. See our earlier post, Replacing Your Old Solar Panels? Don’t Throw Away Valuable Silver Too, to learn more.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart.

Platinum Trend: High Demand in Medical Applications

Platinum is finding more and more uses in medicine. It’s being used throughout modern medical devices in hospitals, in implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs), devices that monitor or regulate brain functions, neurovascular devices, stents, and pacemakers. Remember, platinum is rare in nature. According to some estimates only about 16 tons of it have been mined in all of history. That means that demand for the recyclable platinum scrap that you have is sure to remain high.

Palladium Trend: High Demand in Catalytic Converters

Photo of catalytic converter containing platinum, palladium and rhodium which can be recycled and refined for best prices at Specialty Metals.

Palladium is also rare in nature, found almost entirely in Canada, Russia and South Africa. Yet it is widely used in catalytic converters. And as you know, the demand for automobile and industrial catalytic converters is not going to diminish anytime soon. That scarcity, coupled with high demand, means that collecting and recycling catalytic converters will remain a profitable activity – and a viable business – in the years and decades ahead.

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How Palladium and Platinum Refiners Remove Precious Metals from Liquids

Today’s post is going to sound a little bit like a chemistry lesson, because chemicals are used to recycle platinum and palladium from liquids where they reside.

Most of the time here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, we use heat to extract precious metals. This is one time when that’s not the case.

How Do Palladium and Platinum Get into Liquids?

Photo of skids of drums filled used manufacturing fluids containing traces of precious metals that can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals.
  • As a byproduct of mining operations – Acidic baths are often used to leach copper, nickel, uranium and other metals from ores. In many cases, the acidic liquid that is left after processing contains trace elements of other precious metals too, including platinum, palladium or even gold.
  • From plating baths – If your operations include tank-plating palladium or platinum onto other metals, your used solutions can still contain valuable quantities of those metals. In some cases, as much as 10 ounces of metal has been recovered from one cubic foot of used plating solutions. That’s a lot of valuable precious metal.
  • From solutions left over from platinum recycling processes – If you employ wet chemical methods to extract palladium, platinum and rhodium from recycled catalytic converters, your used acids and washing liquids could contain recyclable quantities of precious metals.

How Are Precious Metals Extracted from Liquid Media?

It all comes down to chemistry. First, we analyze your liquids to determine the quantities of precious metals that they contain. Next, we introduce the right chemicals into your liquids in the right way – under safe, monitored laboratory conditions, of course. The results can be amazing, as ounces of palladium and platinum precipitate out of liquids that looked like little more than opaque sludge.

Incidentally, Dow Chemical and other companies manufacture a number of high-quality chemicals that are used in these operations. All processing is done in the most advanced, environmentally respectful conditions that comply with all laws.

Today’s Practical Tip . . .

Don’t let those metals go unextracted, because they are worth a great deal of money. Call us at 800-426-2344; tell us what liquids you have. We’ll help you set up a plan to analyze your liquids, extract precious metals from them – and put dollars in your pocket.

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Palladium Recycling: Don’t Overlook the Great Value of this Little-Understood Rare Metal

If you ask a group of knowledgeable businesspeople to name the precious metals that can be extremely valuable if recycled and refined, they will probably name gold, silver, platinum and possibly cadmium. They will rarely name palladium, which is a mistake. Palladium is one of the most valuable precious metals. Although it is rare in nature, it is widely found in many recyclable items, including used automotive catalytic converters, and even in alloys of gold and other metals.

Photo of palladium, which Specialty Metals refines and recycles from scrap catalytic converters, lab and dental equipment, electronics and jewelry.

Why is Palladium the “secret” precious metal that is often overlooked by people who could make a lot of money by sending their recyclable items to a qualified palladium refiner? Here are some of the reasons why.

  • Palladium is an element, not an alloy. Yes, its name sounds like the commercial name of an alloy, but it is actually a chemical element with the symbol Pd and an atomic number of 46.
  • Palladium has been misunderstood, almost from day it was discovered in 1802 by a British scientist named William Hyde Wollaston. Almost immediately, other scientists questioned his find and claimed that palladium was really an alloy of platinum and mercury. It was years before Wollaston’s new metal was recognized and listed as an element.
  • Palladium is rare in nature and often comes from distant countries. The most extensive deposits are found in South Africa, Russia, Ontario and Montana.
  • Palladium can be found in a range of manufactured items where few people think to look for it. If you have items that are made of “white gold,” for example, chances are good that they are really made of an alloy of gold and palladium – and that palladium can be extracted by a qualified palladium refiner. Also, some jewelry items that appear to be made of platinum are really made of palladium. That was often done in the years around World War II, when the U.S. government restricted the use of platinum to military production.

Where Will You Find Palladium that You Can Refine and Recycle?

Even though Palladium is rare in nature, you could have it in more recyclable items than you might expect, including:

  • Palladium catalysts, which can include automotive catalysts, industrial catalysts, petroleum refining catalysts, and palladium foil catalysts.
  • Palladium metal itself, which includes palladium wire, palladium castings, palladium rods, palladium mesh, and palladium foil.
  • Palladium alloys used in manufacturing, which can include palladium sputter and sputtering targets, palladium sponges, and palladium flake.
  • Palladium jewelry items, which can include rings, chains, bracelets and jewelry scrap.
  • Palladium-plated items, which can include jewelry and decorative items.
  • Palladium resins, which are used in a variety of manufacturing processes.

Not Sure What You Have? Call Our Expert Palladium Refiners Today

If you have items that you believe might contain palladium – which is currently trading at more than $700 on the London Fix – call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to learn more. Just because other people overlook the dollars that could be gained by recycling palladium doesn’t mean that you have to too.

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Attention Recycling Centers: These Often-Overlooked Items Can Generate Big Income for Your Town

If you’re in charge of running or overseeing your city’s recycling center, you know how your facility operates. People pull up in cars or trucks and deposit all kinds of items in your yard – paper, plastic, aluminum cans, and garden waste. You’ve seen it all before – or have you?

Photo of scrap computers with circuit boards containing gold, platinum and other precious metals that can be recycled by Specialty Metals.

Today’s the day to turn your attention to the areas of your facility where people drop off appliances and electronics for recycling. Here are some often-overlooked items that contain valuable precious metals. If you set them aside and send them to a qualified gold refiner, platinum refiner, palladium refiner, rhodium refiner or silver refiner, they could generate a lot of money for your town:

  • Air Conditioners
  • Appliances, including gas and electric stoves, clothing washers and dryers, and dishwashers*
  • Audio equipment, including components and speakers*
  • Automotive components and accessories*
  • Cable and satellite television equipment*
  • Camcorders*
  • Cell phones*
  • Coffee makers and electrical hot pots
  • Computers – including older desktops and laptops of all kinds*
  • Computer peripherals, including monitors, modems, and keyboards*
  • Construction and industrial equipment*
  • Copiers
  • Cutlery and flatware
  • Digital and film cameras*
  • Electrical equipment of all kinds, including wall clocks, answering machines, humidifiers, and GPS units*
  • Electrical toys and games
  • Fax machines
  • Home alarm equipment
  • Home wiring, breaker boxes, circuit breakers, and other electrical equipment
  • Hot tubs and spas
  • Industrial equipment
  • Jewelry*
  • Lamps and light fixtures
  • Landscape lighting and transformers
  • Metal and metal-plated windows and window frames
  • Metallic paints
  • Microwaves*
  • Musical instruments and equipment, including electric guitars, keyboards and amplifiers*
  • Opening systems for fences and gates
  • Photographic and x-ray film
  • Plumbing parts
  • Power tools
  • Radios*
  • Remote controls*
  • Stereo components*
  • Telephones and telephone equipment*
  • Televisions and related components, including  VCRs, DVD  players, and outdoor antennas*
  • Thermostats
  • Toasters and toaster ovens
  • Water heaters and water softeners

* Note that items marked with an asterisk (*) may contain circuit boards with gold that can be recycled and reclaimed by a gold refiner

How to Unlock the Recycling Dollars that You’ve Been Missing

Print out the list above and post it in your facility so that all the members of your yard team can set aside items that could contain valuable precious metals.  Then call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to tell us what you have. Remember, you will have to extract circuit boards and some other components that contain precious metals before you send them to us to be tested and appraised. But is it worth the trouble? Yes! The dollars you claim by smart recycling of precious metals can provide a real income stream for your town and demonstrate your skills as a cutting-edge, savvy recycler.


How to Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money from Your Used Catalytic Converters

Photo of catalytic converter containing platinum, palladium and rhodium which can be recycled and refined for best prices at Specialty Metals.

New and used car dealers, automobile junkyards, muffler shops, and car repair shops all end up with used catalytic converters on hand. If you’re in one of those businesses, you know that each used converter contains about one-tenth of an ounce of platinum which is trading at $1000/oz or more. The problem is, the platinum in your used converters isn’t located in neat little blocks that you can pull out and sell. It takes a recycling company with specialized equipment to extract and separate the platinum from the converter’s internal honeycomb.

So what do you do if you have used catalytic converters on hand? Like most companies, you probably call a recycler that comes to you, hauls them away, and writes you a check for them. There are plenty of recycling companies that do it, and you probably already use one of them. But does your recycling company pay you for the market value of the precious metals for each converter you turn over? No way. But it’s worth losing all that money because of the convenience that those companies offer you, right?

There is a better way – one that can put more of those platinum dollars back in your pocket, not in the pocket of your recycler...

  • If you end up with 500 or more catalytic converters (or if you can wait until you have that many before recycling them), you don’t need a middle-man catalytic converter recycling company. You can ship your used catalytic converters directly to Specialty Metal Smelters & Refiners for recycling. We’ll recycle them for you and write you a much bigger check than a local catalytic converter company can – and it’s easy. It’s not difficult or expensive to ship them to us. Call us at 800-426-2344 to find out how easy it is, and how much more money you can net from every converter you recycle. But please remember that we cannot accept single converters - we require a minimum lot of 500. 
  • If you end up with smaller numbers of used converters on hand, you can still put more scrap platinum dollars in your pocket. How? Simply team up with some other companies in your area that have used catalytic converters on hand. (They could be auto repair shops, muffler companies, and new and used car dealers.) As a group, you can simply wait until you have 500 or more used converters on hand, then send them directly to Specialty Metal Smelters & Refiners and get more money for every converter. Call us at 800-426-2344 and we’ll tell you how.
  • Start a sideline catalytic converter recycling business of your own. Not a bad idea, right? Just like the converter recycling companies in your area, you can buy used converters at low prices. You can then ship to us for platinum extraction. We’ll write you a check for every ounce of platinum and other platinum group metals they contain. The result could be a profitable sideline business that can produce a solid second income for your company.

So the bottom line is . . .

Why let middle men claim most of the dollars that are hidden in your used catalytic converters, when you can easily claim those dollars yourself? We’ve never heard of a successful company that throws dollars away every day, have you?

Related Posts

Palladium Recycling: Don’t Overlook the Great Value of this Little-Understood Rare Metal
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What Precious Metals are Inside Catalytic Converters and What Are They Worth?