Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money Scrapping Old Computers

Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money Scrapping Old Computers

Over the last four or five years, tens of thousands of older desktop computers have been scrapped. Although a lot of that recycling has already happened, it is still possible to find quantities of older desktops that you can buy at extremely low, junk prices. And if you can buy up a quantity of them and extract the gold they contain, you stand to make a very good profit.

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Doing Well by Doing Good: Why Your Business Should Co-Sponsor an Electronics Recycling Day in Your Community

Doing Well by Doing Good: Why Your Business Should Co-Sponsor an Electronics Recycling Day in Your Community

More and more towns and cities across America are holding recycling day events to collect old electronic devices. Electronic recycling days provide a needed service to individuals, who often do not know how or where to responsibly recycle old electrical devices. Whether you are a company that already has stockpiles of electronics to recycle or a company that wants to do something good for your community, you should consider getting involved. By doing good, you could also have an opportunity to earn income.

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How Much Gold Can Be Recycled from Scrap Electronic Pins?

Old computer central processing units (CPUs) look like porcupines – they’re covered with little spikes that serve as electrical contacts when the CPU is plugged into a computer’s motherboard. The difference between a porcupine and a CPU is that all those little “quills” are gold-plated and can be worth sending to a qualified gold refinery for processing.

Photo of gold plated pins e-scrap sent to Specialty Metals by our customers for recycling and refining.

Photo of gold plated pins e-scrap sent to Specialty Metals by our customers for recycling and refining.

The more CPUs you have, the more pins you have . . . and the more gold you have too.

Removing the Gold-Plated Pins from Your CPUs

Here’s a video that shows a hobbyist using a heat gun to remove gold pins from CPUs. He’s using the same kind of heat gun that is used to strip paint – the kind you can buy at a hardware store.

Note that we are not recommending that you use a heat gun to remove gold pins from CPUs – it is something that should only be done by qualified technicians in a controlled, well-ventilated, laboratory setting. We are sharing this video to demonstrate that quantities of recyclable gold really do reside in older CPUs – and that if you have a number of older desktop computers or computer scrap, you could have more gold than you might realize.

How Much Gold Is in CPUs?

It varies, because many different kinds of CPUs have been used over the last few decades. There are ceramic CPU chips and silicon CPUs. But we’re pleased to offer you a ball park estimate of how much gold could be recovered from older CPU chips.

Roughly one troy ounce of gold can generally be recovered from 10 pounds of old CPUs

When you call us to 800-426-2344 to discuss your old CPUs, please do not expect us to promise to reclaim one ounce of gold from every 10 pounds of them that you send to us. We only provide that rough estimate above to convince you that it can be wasteful – and unprofitable – to discard older electronics, especially computers and the CPU boards that they contain. Why not call us to learn more?

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Extracting Gold from Ceramic IC Chips

Watch the Gold You Can Recycle from Circuit Boards Pile Up in these Videos

You’ve heard that gold can be recovered from used printed circuit boards and other computer components? That’s certainly true, but until you see gold being removed from escrap, it can seem a little academic.

So get ready to watch. Here are three of the better videos we’ve found on YouTube.

An Amateur Uses Snippers and Scissors to Dig Out the Gold

In this video, an amateur removes a surprising quantity of gold from computer scrap in a very short period of time.

Removing Gold from Older Computer Scrap

An enthusiastic computer recycler explains where to find gold in older computer components.

Snipping the Gold Pins from Green Fiber CPUs

Another computer recycler – again, very enthusiastic – demonstrates how to pull the gold pins from green fiber CPU boards and memory chips, using just a heat gun and a pair of pliers.

One Caveat for You . . .

You will also find a number of videos online that show amateur computer “scrappers” who are using acids and strong chemicals to process and extract the gold from circuit boards and other electronic components. Following the advice on these videos can be a very hazardous thing to do, exposing you to dangerous fumes as well as the risk of getting burned or starting a fire.

You need a highly qualified gold refinery to safely smelt and refine gold from used electronics components and computer scrap. As the old expression goes, do not try this at home.

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Where Is the Gold Hiding in Your Old Computers?

If you have hundreds of old desktop or laptop computers on hand that you’d like to discard or recycle, it’s pretty easy to tell that they contain gold. You can simply open them up, look inside, and see gold winking back at you on many of the electrical components there. All you have to do is remove some of the shiny parts and send them to qualified gold refiners and wait to be paid, right?

Maybe, but before you send those inner parts to a gold refiner, it’s a good idea to know what you’re looking at when you open a computer and poke around inside. Where, exactly, can the gold be found? Here’s a quick review.

Motherboards and Circuit Boards

Shown: gold-plated circuit boards that Specialty Metals customers have shipped to us for recycling and refining at the best prices.

Shown: gold-plated circuit boards that Specialty Metals customers have shipped to us for recycling and refining at the best prices.

Motherboards – the biggest circuit boards inside both laptops and desktops – often contain the “mother lode” of gold in used computers. Their edges have gold contacts and connectors where wires slide on. You will also find thin layers of gold applied to motherboards’ surfaces.

Central Processors

Central processors are the large square microchip-like components that you’ll find plugged into motherboards. Because they have several hundred gold-plated pins around their edges, they can be worth a lot of money if you have sufficient quantities of them.

Memory Chips

These little circuit boards, about half the size of a packet of artificial sweetener, have been plugged into many computers to increase their RAM. They usually contain a small number of gold-plated pins and a small quantity of gold on their surfaces.

Internal Modems, Ethernet Port Boards, Graphics Boards and other Peripherals

Virtually all desktop computers contain at least two of these “extra” boards. They can contain significant amounts of gold – both in their pins and on their surface layers.

What about Wires, Cooling Fans, and other Internal Components?

These elements can contain aluminum, copper, and other metals that can be recycled. However, the real value resides in the components described above.

How to Cash in on the Computer Electronics Scrap You Have

Even if you have only a few hundred old computers, it’s worth calling Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to discuss what you have. And if you have more than that, you could sitting on a “pot of gold” that our qualified gold refiners can open up for you.

Note: Electrical components must be removed from old computers and sent to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners – we do not accept whole computers for testing or recycling. But it’s easy and safe to remove components. Call us today and we’ll tell you how.

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