If Rhodium Is Trading at Sky-High Prices, Why Are Rhodium-Plated Items So Cheap?

If Rhodium Is Trading at Sky-High Prices, Why Are Rhodium-Plated Items So Cheap?

As we write today’s post, rhodium is trading at $2,620 on the London Fix. And investors are buying 1 oz. rhodium bullion bars for up to $2,900.

But if you shop online, you will discover that rhodium-plated rings, earrings and chains are selling for $20.00 or less. That is not a typo – they really are selling for surprisingly low prices. What is going on? How can that be?

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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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All about Rhodium, the Other Precious Metal

Just about everyone knows the basic facts about gold, silver, and even platinum. But if you mention rhodium to most people, they’re apt to say, “Oh yes, it’s another of the precious metals, correct?”

Shown: the periodic table symbol for Rhodium, element 45, which is very valuable and can be recycled and refined by Specialty Metals.

Those people are right. Rhodium is indeed one of the precious metals. And “precious” is the right word, because rhodium is trading at nearly the price of gold on the London Fix. But there’s a lot more information you should know about rhodium too – information that can help you refine this “other” precious metal for quite a lot of money.

Here’s a primer of useful information about rhodium.

 

What’s the history of rhodium?

Portrait of William Hyde Wollaston, who first extracted Rhodium from ores containing platinum and palladium in 1803.

Portrait of William Hyde Wollaston, who first extracted Rhodium from ores containing platinum and palladium in 1803.

In 1803 a British scientist named William Hyde Wollaston used a chemical process to extract rhodium from ores that also contained platinum and palladium. Because the metal is reddish in color, it was named rhodium from the Greek word rhodon, which means “red.” For a long time, the metal wasn’t widely used, but about 100 years after its discovery, it found its way into laboratory devices that measured high temperatures. Rhodium’s “big break” came in the mid-1970s, when rhodium-containing catalytic converters were first used to reduce the pollutants in automobile exhaust emissions. Since then, the demand for rhodium – both new and recycled – has remained strong.

Is rhodium an element?

It is. It’s element 45 on the periodic table.

How rare is rhodium?

Rhodium is one of the rarest elements. It is estimated to make up only 0.0002 parts per million of the earth’s crust. The largest known concentrations of it are in the Ural Mountains in Russia, in South Africa, and in Ontario, Canada. Because rhodium is both scarce and expensive to extract from ores, its value is almost certain to remain quite high.

What are rhodium’s unique properties?

Rhodium is hard, chrome-like in appearance, and very resistant to corrosion.

What is rhodium used for?

Until recently, rhodium was used extensively as thin plating on jewelry. But because the process of rhodium plating creates large quantities of acids and other noxious byproducts that must be discarded, it seems that the age of rhodium plating is on the wane. The demand for rhodium for automotive catalytic converters, however, is not about to lessen. That demand, coupled with the scarcity of rhodium in nature, helps assure that you can continue to receive high payouts for rhodium that you recycle using a top precious metals refiner like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.

How much is rhodium worth?

Rhodium is currently trading for about $1,415/troy ounce on the London Fix. For comparison, gold is trading at around $1,300 (give or take the day!), and platinum for about $1,428.

Where can I find rhodium that I can recycle?

If you have 500 or more automotive catalytic converters, we can profitably recycle the rhodium that they contain, as well as their palladium and platinum. In addition, here are some other rhodium-containing items that can return high value to you…

  • Platinum-rhodium alloy mesh, wire, sheet, rods, foil, and tubes
  • Platinum-rhodium thermocouple wire
  • Lab ware containing platinum group metals, including laboratory crucibles, evaporation dishes, electrodes, tongs, loops, and mesh screens
  • Rhodium and rhodium-plated rings, watches, and other items of jewelry

Want to Know More?

If you own any of the rhodium-bearing items that are described in today’s post, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. We want to help you recycle the rhodium that you own. And we know that you will want to convert their value into cash.

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?
Non-Automotive Catalytic Converters Contain Precious Metals Too
Smarter Recycling: Don’t Overlook the High Value of Noble Metal Thermocouples
What Happens when Platinum Meets Rhodium?

What Happens when Platinum Meets Rhodium?

Platinum is a valuable precious metal. So is rhodium. So what happens when they are combined?

The result is a valuable alloy that has some very useful properties and abilities, including stability at high heat. That could explain why alloys of the platinum and rhodium have found their way into a number of devices and components that are widely used in testing, aerospace and production lines.

Shown: platinum rhodium electrode mesh, which Specialty Metals can recycle and refine for the best precious metal prices.

Shown: platinum rhodium electrode mesh, which Specialty Metals can recycle and refine for the best precious metal prices.

If you have some of the following items on hand, they could contain quantities of the two metals that can return a lot of dollar value to you after they are recycled.

Platinum-Rhodium Thermocouple Wire

Thermocouple wire is widely used in industrial applications, most often where temperatures on a production line are monitored from remote locations. Some of these applications include production line welding, ceramics manufacturing, and many chemical processes.

Platinum-Rhodium Labware Used in Testing

These items can include crucibles, tongs, stands, probes, and other pieces of testing equipment. Even when such items are discolored or worn, they still contain valuable quantities of platinum and rhodium.

Platinum-Rhodium Catalysts Used in Chemical Production

These applications are far-ranging and fascinating. Screens made of platinum-rhodium alloy are used to produce nitric acid, fine glass fibers for use in fiber optics, and even artificial silk. If you encounter a batch of those screens, it is well worth contacting Special Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to find out more about having them analyzed.

Automotive and Industrial Catalytic Converters

These are the applications where alloys of platinum and rhodium have been most widely used. If you operate an automotive recycling center, a muffler shop, or other business where you accrue a quantity of catalytic converters, don’t let their value slip away.

And let’s not forget platinum-rhodium-tungsten alloys . . .

These highly heat-resistant alloys are finding their way into a number of aerospace applications, and can be worth a lot if recycled. Have questions? Call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

Related Posts:

Why Used Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling
Smarter Recycling: Don’t Overlook the High Value of Noble Metal Thermocouples
Bright Shiny Platinum Could Be Hiding in Your Dented and Dirty Old Labware
What You Need to Know about Recycling Alloys of Precious Metals
How to Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money from Your Used Catalytic Converters

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

 

 

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