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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Six Traits of the Best Platinum Refiners

Platinum is needed for the manufacturing of so many items today – thermocouples, platinum jewelry, and catalytic converters, to name a handful. But at the same time, it is one of the rarest precious metals. That combination of high demand and rarity in nature means that there is a strong market for your old platinum items.

Photo of molten precious metal like platinum, silver and gold being smelted and refined - Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners.

Yet how can you select the best platinum refiner to recycle them? Here are some traits to look for:

  1. Responsiveness – When you call a platinum refiner, you will have questions. How many catalytic converters will the refiner process at a time, for example? How can you tell how much platinum is present in the used medical EP catheters that you have on hand? A knowledgeable expert should patiently answer your questions. If the person who comes to the phone or calls you back doesn’t listen well or doesn’t think your questions are worth his or her time, you should find another refinery.
  2. Clarity – What exactly should you do with your platinum-bearing items? Should you send in a sample for testing? If so, how? If you have 500 or more catalytic converters that you would like to recycle, how can you ship them, and how much will that transport cost? An experienced precious metals refinery will be able to clearly explain procedures and “next steps.”
  3. A timeline – If you’re sending in a sample for testing, the platinum refinery should tell you when you will receive the results of that analysis. If you are sending in items to be recycled like used platinum thermocouple wire, how long will the processing take, and when will you be paid? The details shouldn’t be unclear or iffy. After all, you are dealing with quantities of precious metals that can have significant value.
  4. Experience – You want to use a refinery that has extensive experience processing the kind of items that you want to recycle. If you have catalytic converters, for instance, ask the representative how many catalytic converters his or her refinery processes every year. Also ask if you can obtain references from current customers.
  5. Professional memberships and accreditations – For example, Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and listed with Dun & Bradstreet and the Jewelers Board of Trade. We are also members of the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI) and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC). 
  6. Environmental responsibility – Processing precious metals requires extreme care. Strong chemicals are sometimes used, noxious gases are sometimes released, and residues of chemicals that are left after processing must be disposed of properly. All processes should be carried out in strict compliance with federal, state, and local environmental laws. Here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, for example, we respect the environment, never cut corners, and do things right. No material sent to us ever winds up in a landfill.

Related Posts:

Why Used Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling
New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire
Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables
3 Things You Probably Never Knew about Platinum Sponges


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.

Related Posts:

How Solar Panel Manufacturers Let $MILLIONS Slip through Their Fingers
New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
Why It Pays to Recycle Electrophysiology (EP) Catheters
What Precious Metals are Inside Catalytic Converters and What Are They Worth?

How Much Platinum Does Your Platinum Jewelry Really Contain?

If you have pieces of platinum jewelry that you’re thinking of recycling, how much platinum do they contain? Here’s some information from the Federal Trade Commission that can help you know.

Don’t Rely on Information that Is on the Packaging

Even if your platinum items are packaged in boxes or other packaging that states that they are made of platinum, don’t believe it unless the items themselves are stamped with markings like “platinum,” “plat” or “pt.”

Understanding the Markings on Pieces of Platinum Jewelry

Shown: Jewelry and jewelry scrap containing platinum and other platinum group metals that Specialty Metals recycles and refines.

If an item is simply stamped as “platinum,” “plat,” or “pt.” with no other markings, that means that it contains at least 95% pure platinum - if it was legally sold in America.

If it is stamped with a marking like “850Plat,” that means that it contains 85% pure platinum.

Sometimes stampings will indicate the other metals that are present in the jewelry too. For example:

  • 800 Pt. 200 Pd. indicates 80% pure platinum and 20% palladium
  • 750 Pt. 250 Rh. Indicates 75% pure platinum and 25% rhodium
  • 600 Pt. 350 Ir. Indicates 60% pure platinum and 35% iridium

What Other Metals Could Platinum Jewelry Contain?

According to the FTC, jewelry that is marked “platinum” could contain:

  • Other platinum group metals such as iridium, osmium, rhodium, or ruthenium
  • Base metals such a copper or cobalt

Not Sure What You Have?

If you own a quantity of jewelry that you think is made of platinum but which has no markings, what does that mean? There are several possibilities. It could have been manufactured for sale in other countries, for example. It could have been made before current labeling standards were enforced. Or it could have been improperly stamped by the manufacturer.

If your items are not marked, you would be well advised to call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, a qualified platinum refiner, for testing. Call 800-426-2344 to learn more.

Related Posts

An Invitation to Jewelers, Pawnbrokers and Other Jewelry Professionals to Partner with Our Precious Metals Refinery
How to Get Top Dollar for Silverware and Gold Jewelry
What Is Karat Gold and How Can You Find Out What Yours Is Worth?
What Is a Troy Ounce

 

 

What Is That Huge Catalytic Converter You Just Pulled Off a Truck or Bus?

If you’re in the business of scrapping junked cars, you already know what catalytic converters look like – they’re compact units that weigh only a few pounds. You can easily remove one from a car using only a cutoff saw or even a hack saw.

But let’s say that you just got a fleet of junked diesel-powered buses or trucks, or even a few diesel-powered construction vehicles. You take a look underneath and – whoa! – you’ve got something really, really big to remove. What are you looking at? And does it contain tons of platinum and other precious metals like palladium that you can recycle?

Shown: A school bus catalytic converter, courtesty of Times-Herald.com, 5/12/09 http://www.times-herald.com/local/Therma-Cat-test-could-clean-the-air-735458

Shown: A school bus catalytic converter, courtesty of Times-Herald.com, 5/12/09 http://www.times-herald.com/local/Therma-Cat-test-could-clean-the-air-735458

Welcome to the World of Catalytic Converter/Muffler Combos

What you just discovered isn’t a plain Jane catalytic converter, but a unit that contains both a muffler and a catalytic converter, so it reduces both sound and emissions. Sometimes these units are installed as original equipment on buses and trucks and sometimes they are aftermarket items that are added later on. In general, about half the volume of them is dedicated to the catalytic function, and about half to deadening sound. So even if they look like they must contain large quantities of platinum, that might not be the case.

According to product descriptions from Racing Industries, a company that manufactures aftermarket models, their catalytic sections, “are typically metallic substrates coated with a platinum-based precious metal catalyst. The catalyst allows a flameless burning or oxidation of diesel exhaust pollutants.”

How Much Platinum Do These Units Contain?

It depends on the size – and the size of these units varies considerably. Some are made for smaller diesel engines that power school buses and smaller trucks; others are made for larger diesel engines that power “semis” – those big interstate trucks. If you contact the manufacturer of the units that you have on hand, a representative might be able to give you an estimate of how much platinum they contain.

If you have a quantity of them on hand, it can be worth your while to recycle their platinum. If you call us at 800-426-2344, we’ll be happy to tell you what your options are.

Related Posts:

How to Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money from Your Used Catalytic Converters
What Precious Metals are Inside Catalytic Converters and What Are They Worth?
Where Are Precious Metals Hiding in Junked Cars
Non-Automotive Catalytic Converters Contain Precious Metals Too

What You Need to Know about Recycling Alloys of Precious Metals

If you have a quantity of metal that is an alloy that contains precious metal, it’s valuable. That’s the good news. The confusing part is, how much of that precious metal do your alloys really contain? Gold, platinum, palladium and silver are all frequently found as alloys with a variety of other metals. You should call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners and let us analyze them for you.

Here is some information you should know about alloys.

Alloys Are Not Always Made Entirely of Metals

Liquid, molten gold alloy being poured in a foundry. Find out how much precious metals your gold, silver and platinum alloys contain at Specialty Metals.

Liquid, molten gold alloy being poured in a foundry. Find out how much precious metals your gold, silver and platinum alloys contain at Specialty Metals.

A metal alloy is a material that is made by combining two or more elements, only one of which must be a metal. Sometimes an alloy is made of two or more metals, but not always. For example, 18K gold is an alloy that contains 75% gold and 25% percent palladium, copper, zinc… or cobalt. As you can tell, 18K gold that is made of 75% gold and 25% palladium is more valuable than 18K gold that is made of 75% gold and 25% copper or cobalt. It makes sense, right?

Names Can Be Misleading

Similarly, a platinum alloy could be made up of platinum that has been combined with iridium, ruthenium . . . or cobalt. If you have a quantity of platinum thermocouples that you would like to recycle, for example, they probably contain both platinum and rhodium. So remember, names can be confusing – just because you have some “platinum thermocouples,” they are almost certainly alloys that do not contain 100% platinum.

Testing and Analysis Are Needed

As we’ve learned in today’s post, the dollar value of precious metal alloys can vary, depending on the quantity of pure precious metals that they contain. You need a qualified precious metals refinery to do some analysis for you before you can determine just how valuable your alloys really are.

Related Posts:

The Confusing – and Very Profitable – World of Gold Alloys
A Fast, Fascinating History of Metals Like Gold and Silver
Some Fascinating – and Potentially Profitable – Facts You Never Knew about Refining Gold
What Is Karat Gold and How Can You Find Out What Yours Is Worth?

3 Things You Probably Never Knew about Platinum Sponges

If you use platinum sponges in your manufacturing operations, you already know a lot about them. You know where to buy them, what they cost, and maybe even how to install them in your production machinery. But here’s something you might not know:

Your used platinum sponges can be worth quite a lot.

Here are three of the reasons why . . .

Shown: Platinum sponges like these contain a high percentage of pure platinum which Specialty Metals can profitably recycle for your company. Image Courtesy of ChemicalReagent.com

Shown: Platinum sponges like these contain a high percentage of pure platinum which Specialty Metals can profitably recycle for your company. Image Courtesy of ChemicalReagent.com

  1. Platinum sponges are made of platinum that is almost 100% pure. It’s interesting – to make platinum sponge, a chemical agent is added to molten platinum. That agent foams and makes the platinum assume a sponge-like, porous form as it cools. When that agent is removed, the sponge that remains is nearly pure platinum – in most cases, 99% pure or even more.
  2. Even the smallest residues of spent platinum sponges can contain more pure platinum that you’d expect. Even if you have used scraps and splinters that appear worthless, they could still be worth a lot of money, because they still contain platinum that is extremely pure.
  3. You can receive an unusually large and rapid payback from platinum sponges that you recycle. The reason? Again, it’s the purity. Most other materials that we refine – such as ores, alloys, plating scrap, sludge and other materials - are difficult and costly to process because they are so impure. In comparison, platinum sponge is generally easier and faster to process.

Don’t Let Pure Platinum Slip Away

If your operations produce even small quantities of spent platinum sponge, call us at 800-426-2344. We’re America’s best, most qualified platinum refiners - here to make sure you’re not letting valuable quantities of platinum slip away.

Related Posts:

New Applications for Precious Metals Keep Demand and Prices High
New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
How to Pick the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company
Bright Shiny Platinum Could Be Hiding in Your Dented and Dirty Old Labware

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.


Related Posts:

Let’s Get Wet: What Liquids Contain Valuable Precious Metals?

Why It Pays to Have Mining Ores Analyzed for Precious Metals

Why Recycling Plating Tank Scrap Can Pay You More than You Expect

The Confusing – and Very Profitable – World of Gold Alloys

Prospector Finds Huge Ancient Sputtering Target Buried in the Mohave Desert

Wheeler McClintock, a solitary 78-year-old prospector, noticed something funny while he was riding his Burro Molly across the Mohave Desert in central California last October.

This prospector in this photo may not have struck it rich, but you can turn your used platinum sputtering targets into gold at Specialty Metals.

This prospector in this photo may not have struck it rich, but you can turn your used platinum sputtering targets into gold at Specialty Metals.

“It was just weird,” McClintock told us in a recent call. “I looked down at Molly and thought I saw that all the brass rivets on her collar were shining brighter than usual. I jumped off to get a closer look and was pretty doggone sure that they were coated with platinum. Didn’t they used to be brass? Then I pulled out my tin cup and canteen to wet my parched whistle and golly day, they were coated with platinum too. Same with my glasses, my pickaxe and spade, my beer can opener, my earring and even the fillings in my teeth. I thought I was going crazy or about meet my maker in the great beyond.”

McClintock rushed to the county Assay Office to stake his claim. “They wouldn’t let me, even if I used one of the `Other’ forms that they use for UFO stuff,” McClintock recalls. “They wanted more info.”

Under the cover of a dark moonless night, McClintock rode Molly out into the desert again, armed with a $79 metal detector and a long metal spike. Returning to the site of his first plating, he stuck the spike into the ground, hit a metal object buried about a foot underground, then continued out in wider and wider circles while probing and testing at every stage. “I was trying to get the measurements of this thing, whatever it is,” he explained.

Finally, he had his answer. He had found a huge disk, about 100 yards in diameter, buried underground. “The Assay Office let me stake my claim, based on that information,” McClintock explains. “But since I had no idea what I had really found or what to do with it, I called the best precious metals refiners in the US, Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344, to ask what I had on my hands. This real nice feller was happy to help me.”

“We’re not yet absolutely sure yet what Mr. McClintock has discovered,” states one of the precious metals recycling experts from Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners. “Whatever it is, it is functioning as a huge platinum sputtering target, probably because of radioactive uranium deposits underneath. That’s why any metal objects that pass over it get quickly plated with platinum.”

Where did this thing come from? It could have been created millions of years ago by a meteorite hitting the earth. Or maybe even it was left behind, or created, by a UFO when it landed. We’ll get to the bottom of it. How much is Mr. McClintock’s find worth? Nothing, sad to say, because there is really no Mr. McClintock and this story is all made up.

But weird things happen on April Fool’s Day, right? Best wishes for recycling success from all of us at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.

Related Posts:

A Brief – and Useful – History of Fool’s Gold
Don’t Throw Dollars Away! How to Mine the Hidden Value in Used Sputtering Targets
Plating Primer: How Do Sputtering Targets Work?

An Invitation to Jewelers, Pawnbrokers and Other Jewelry Professionals to Partner with Our Precious Metals Refinery

If you’re in a business that has given you a quantity of silver, platinum, or gold-containing items – like old cutlery, silverware, rings, watches – you definitely have precious metals that are worth refining. The problem is, it’s hard to understand just how much precious metal those items contain. And the more different items you have, the more confusing it becomes.

Shown: Jewelry and jewelry scrap containing platinum, gold, silver and other platinum group metals that Specialty Metals recycles and refines.
  • Older silver-plate, for example, can contain larger quantities of silver than more modern plated flatware and tableware do. But how can you know how much silver is really in your silverware or whether it is worth recycling?
  • Items of gold jewelry from other countries are often not stamped with standard karat numbers. Sometimes there are no numbers at all. What should you be looking for?
  • Older platinum jewelry sometimes has no markings to indicate how pure the platinum is. (Newer platinum jewelry is usually stamped with a marking like “950 Plat,” which means that the platinum is 95% pure.)

Avoid the Confusion

Often, the only way to cut through the confusion is to send your items to a qualified precious metals refinery that can analyze them and tell you precisely what you have. Why not call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to talk things over? Even if you have a mixed collection of items, we can help you understand just what they are – and then help you get top dollar for the precious metals they contain.

Related Posts:

What Is Karat Gold and How Can You Find Out What Yours Is Worth?
How to Get Top Dollar for Silverware and Gold Jewelry
A Fast, Fascinating History of Metals like Gold and Silver

Bright Shiny Platinum Could Be Hiding in Your Dented and Dirty Old Labware

Maybe you just bought a building or a company where a testing lab was located. Or maybe you work at a university and need to dispose of labware that is no longer used in your science and engineering programs.

Photo of platinum crucible scrap containing platinum alloy, which Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can recycle for your company.

Before you order a dumpster and toss it all, give us a call. Those old crucibles, tongs and other mismatched stuff might look like they’re made of stainless steel or even aluminum, but chances are that they are made of platinum, which is currently trading at over $1,400.00/troy ounce.

Here are some items that you should be on the lookout for.

  • Crucibles, dishes and lids
  • Evaporation dishes
  • The long testing containers known as “boats”
  • Testing electrodes including Fischer, Winkler, Wölbing and Schöniger electrodes*
  • Ignition dishes, in which materials to be tested are ignited
  • Tubes that connect testing tanks
  • Wire wool, perforated disks, meshes, and filters
  • Tongs, tweezers, and spatulas used to handle materials that are being tested

* The mesh in these electrodes contains platinum

Not Sure What Precious Metals You Have that Can Be Recycled?

It’s easy to overlook the potential value that could be hiding in some of the items described above – who would think that a jumble of dirty old metal mesh contains platinum and rhodium and could be worth hundreds of dollars? If you would like to learn how much your used laboratory gear could be worth, give us a call at 800-426-2344.

Related Posts:

Recycling and Refining: The Profitable Way to Dispose of Used Laboratory Equipment
New Medical Technologies Spur a Boom in Platinum Use
Demand for Precious Metals Increases with Widespread Healthcare Changes
Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies

Smarter Recycling: Don’t Overlook the High Value of Noble Metal Thermocouples

If you own used industrial equipment that was used in high-temperature settings, it is almost certain that you are in possession of a quantity of used noble metal thermocouples. What are they, and how much are they worth?

Photo showing the kind of gas appliance that uses a thermocouple wire that contains valuable precious metals that can be recycled and refined.

Here’s what you need to know.

First, What Is a Thermocouple?

Let’s start with the basics. Here’s the explanation that we recently ran in a post on this blog Interested in Thermocouples and Thermocouple Wire? Why Not Read Up Online?:

“A thermocouple is made from two wires that are made from different kinds of metals. They are connected at one end – the `junction.’ When that connection is made, voltage is generated; that voltage can be measured by equipment that is located at the other ends of the two wires. And here’s where things get interesting, because when temperatures change at the junction, the amount of voltage that’s generated changes too.”

What Are Noble Metal Thermocouples and Do They Contain Platinum?

Noble metal thermocouples are so called because they contain quantities of platinum and rhodium. They are usually classified by their manufacturers as Type B, R, or S thermocouples. They are used to measure or monitor temperatures in a high range between about 1800ᵒ Fahrenheit (982ᵒ Centigrade) through about 4200ᵒ Fahrenheit (2300ᵒ Centigrade). 

Base metal thermocouples are more common, and less valuable. They typically contain nickel alloys. They are classified by their manufacturers as Type E, J, K, N or T thermocouples. You are most likely to find them in equipment that is used to measure or monitor temperatures below about 1800ᵒ Fahrenheit (982ᵒ Centigrade).

How Can You Tell What Kind of Thermocouples You Have?

As I noted at the beginning of today’s post, noble metal thermocouples are found where temperatures run high – in the range of 1800ᵒ to 4200ᵒ Fahrenheit. Those settings can include production lines, testing laboratories, firing kilns – anywhere high temperatures need to be measured or monitored. One example? Robotic arc welding equipment that must shut down if temperatures start to run too high.

In some cases, you can learn whether you have precious metal thermocouples by reading the documentation that accompanies the equipment. (Don’t have the specs? Don’t forget that you can often learn them by looking at a manufacturer’s product brochures or specifications online.) In some cases, thermocouple specifications are stamped onto small plaques that the manufacturer attached to the equipment. And in some cases, the thermocouple’s classification (Type B, R, or S, for example) will be stamped somewhere on the thermocouple itself, or on gauges or valves that are attached to it.

How Much Are Your Recyclable Platinum and Rhodium Thermocouples Worth?

Precious metals like rhodium and platinum can be recycled by the best platinum refiners very profitably – platinum for more than $1,400 per troy ounce, and rhodium for more than $1,000. If you call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344, we will be happy to discuss the potential value of your used, recyclable thermocouples.

Related Posts:

Why Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling
How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire
Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables
How to Pick the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company

Non-Automotive Catalytic Converters Contain Precious Metals Too

As we’ve noted in previous posts, automotive catalytic converters contain platinum, palladium, rhodium, nickel, and other metals that can be profitably extracted by precious metals refineries. If you have 500 or more catalytic converters that you would like to recycle, you could get a surprisingly large amount of money in return.

Let’s open our lens a bit wider today, because catalytic converters are not found only in cars. They are also used in a variety of commercial and industrial applications. And because industrial-grade catalytic converters are generally larger than those that are used in cars, they can contain even larger quantities of precious metals that can be recycled and refined.

Where to Look for Industrial Catalytic Converters

Catalytic Converters like this one for a hospital diesel generator can contain large quantities of precious metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium. Image courtesy of Governor Control Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Catalytic Converters like this one for a hospital diesel generator can contain large quantities of precious metals like platinum, palladium and rhodium. Image courtesy of Governor Control Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

  • Portable generators
  • Road grading and paving equipment
  • Industrial-grade mowing equipment
  • Fork lifts and equipment-moving vehicles
  • Tree removal and property clearing equipment
  • Drilling and well-digging machines
  • Pile drivers and bridge-building machinery
  • Cranes and lifting equipment
  • Construction equipment
  • Air compressors
  • Portable heaters used at construction sites
  • Diesel-and gas powered production line and manufacturing equipment

If you have the opportunity to collect used catalytic converters from those sources, you should. Like the smaller converters recycled from automobiles, they contain valuable quantities of precious metals. If you’ve been overlooking this resource, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

Related Posts:

What Precious Metals are Inside Catalytic Converters and What Are They Worth?
How to Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money from Your Used Catalytic Converters
How to Pick the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company

Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies

On January 21st, a post on this blog described the value that’s hidden in used and surplus Electrophysiology (EP) catheters that are left over from medical test procedures. As we noted, “Electrophysiology (EP) studies are becoming far more common – tests that monitor the electrical activity within a patient’s heart to determine the cause of arrhythmia and other problems.”

We didn’t mention that veterinarians are now using larger quantities of platinum EP catheters in their practices too, and that those vets can recycle them for more money than they might expect. How much money? As we go to press with this post, platinum is trading for $1,435.00. That figure should serve as a reminder of how foolish it can be to discard EP catheters instead of recycling them with one of America's best platinum refiners.

Image for “Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies like EP Catheters” Specialty Metals blog post

The Boom in Veterinary Testing

If you’re a vet, you already know that many pet owners today want to give their pets the most advanced treatments available. Dogs and cats are being treated for diabetes, blood disorders, cardiac issues, joint diseases, epilepsy, and more illnesses. It seems that people want their pets to live longer and enjoy a better quality of life while they do. And when a pet is entering its final days, some pet owners are even sending their animals to veterinary hospice centers.  

As a result, cardiac and other tests that were once given to human patients only are now being administered to animals in veterinary offices.

If you’re discarding your used testing supplies, you could be discarding money too. If you call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344, our consultants will be happy to help you create a plan to turn your used EP catheters into dollars.

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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?

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