What Is the Top-Selling Personal Electronic Device of All Time?

What Is the Top-Selling Personal Electronic Device of All Time?

The answer may surprise you

Today, everybody you see seems to be staring at a mobile phone. About 15 years ago, every adult you saw was poking away at a Blackberry and every kid you saw was listening to music on an iPad or other portable music player.

Read More

Everybody Is Dumping Digital Cameras . . . Can You Cash in on the Gold They Contain?

Everybody Is Dumping Digital Cameras . . . Can You Cash in on the Gold They Contain?

If you have visited the Statue of Liberty or another tourist destination lately, you have noticed that hardly anybody is using digital cameras these days. Five years ago you would have seen all those tourists taking snapshots with small cameras made by Olympus, Sony, and other companies. Today, nearly all those pix are being shot using smartphones.

Read More

Why Let Tens of Thousands of Electronic Devices End Up in Landfills when You Can Recycle Them and Make Money Today?

Why Let Tens of Thousands of Electronic Devices End Up in Landfills when You Can Recycle Them and Make Money Today?

In case you think that scrapped computers and other old electronic devices are hard to find and send to us to be recycled, we’d like to direct your attention to statistics that were recently reported in “Electronic Waste by Numbers: Recycling & the World,” an article that was posted on March 12, 2016 on ewaste.com. Every year, vast quantities of electronic waste are tossed away. Here are some eye-opening statistics…

Read More

New Apple Robot Shows Us How to Recycle Old iPhones

New Apple Robot Shows Us How to Recycle Old iPhones

Here’s a video that shows how a new robot that Apple designed can pull apart an iPhone and separate out its parts. For reasons we do not know, Apple named this robot Liam. According to Apple, just one Liam robot can recycle 1.2 million iPhones a year.

Read More

Why Burning Scrap Materials Reclaims the Precious Metals They Contain

Why Burning Scrap Materials Reclaims the Precious Metals They Contain

You could try to perform those operations yourself by burning old electronic components or other metal-bearing materials at home or – preferably – in an outdoor setting where poisonous fumes are released into the air. But we cannot state strongly enough that by doing so, you can poison yourself and release noxious gases into the atmosphere. 

Read More

Precious Metals Refining: How to Make Money from America’s Great TV Trade-In

Precious Metals Refining: How to Make Money from America’s Great TV Trade-In

Today, lots of older flat screen TVs are appearing in dumpsters at the dump too. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, since flat screens have been the televisions of choice for more than a decade now. They’re already breaking down and wearing out. Plus, consumers are tossing old flat screens that still work pretty well so they can upgrade to smart TVs, bigger TVs, higher-definition TVs, and lots of other new products.

Read More

Complicated Precious Metal Recycling Problems Made Easy

Complicated Precious Metal Recycling Problems Made Easy

Recycling precious metals often involves analyzing and refining big messy batches of mixed materials. People who own these mixed lots of material know that gold or silver or platinum is “in there” somewhere, but don’t know where it is, what it is, or how much of it is present. 

Read More

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.

Read More

Are You Sitting on Precious Metals You Don’t Even Know About? It’s Remotely Possible!

When we used the words “remotely possible” in the title of today’s post, we were making a joke. You see, remotes – those old electronic remote controls that you have lying around - contain small quantities of precious gold that can be profitably recycled by a precious metals refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners. And the more of them you have, the more money you can make.

Photo of scrap remote control devices and electronics, which contain gold, silver, and platinum which Specialty Metals can help you recycle profitably.

In additional to smaller electronic devices, a number of old home appliances contain quantities of gold, silver and even platinum that we can recycle for you. Be sure to look for quantities of any of the following items:

Small Electronics

  • Remote control devices that belonged to old VCRs, stereo receivers, televisions and DVD players
  • Old and unwanted pieces of stereo equipment
  • Old computers – both laptops and desktops
  • Computer peripherals like external hard drives and modems
  • Old radios and televisions

Home Appliances

  • Refrigerators
  • Ranges and stoves – both gas-fueled and electric
  • Air conditioners
  • Furnaces and boilers
  • Thermostats and the thermocouple wires that connected them to old heating systems
  • Electric heaters that are equipped with thermostats

You’ll Find Even More Precious Metals in Industrial Equipment

If you happen to own scrap that is left from large air conditioning systems that were used in commercial buildings, you could be sitting on even larger quantities of precious metals. The same holds true for manufacturing equipment that was used in applications like plating, welding, and heat-treating ceramics.

If you want to know more, why not call us today at 800-426-2344 so we can tell you more and help you get paid for precious metals that you might have overlooked?

Related Posts:

How to Claim the Cash that’s Hidden in Used Equipment Containing Thermocouple Wire
Can You Recycle Valuable Silver from CDs, DVDs, and the Drives that Read and Burn Them?
What Precious Metals Are Contained in Piles of Old Desktop Computers?
Do You Have Undiscovered Precious Metals in Your Organization

How Are Precious Metals Recovered from Electronic Scrap?

If you have old cellphones, computers, or other electronic devices, you probably have some questions about how you can make the most money by recycling them. Here is a basic rule of thumb to keep in mind . . .

If the process that is used to extract the precious metals in those devices is too costly, the devices might not be worth recycling at all

Shown: electronic scrap gold plated pins sent to Specialty Metals by our customers for recycling and refining.

Shown: electronic scrap gold plated pins sent to Specialty Metals by our customers for recycling and refining.

It Makes Sense . . .

If you spend time with a pair of snippers removing the gold connecting pins from old computer CPUs and forward those pins to a top precious metals refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, you will get a high dollar return for every ounce of those pins that you send in. It makes sense, because comparatively little processing is required to separate the gold that those pins contain from other metals and contaminating materials. In contrast, if you contact us and ask about several hundred intact cellphones that you would like to recycle, you might learn that the cost of processing those phones is higher than the value of the precious metals that they contain. After all, one cellphone usually contains only a few cents’ worth of gold.

For a bit of perspective, here is a brief rundown on the different processes that are typically used by precious metal refiners to extract gold, silver, platinum and palladium from electronic scrap, or E-Scrap, as it is called in the recycling business.

Whole Device Refurbishing or Remanufacturing

This is a recycling option that can only be used for current-model smart phones and other devices that can still have use if they are refurbished by the manufacturer or another company.

Extracted-Component Recycling

The case study we cited above – the recycling of gold pins that have physically been removed from electronic devices – is a good example. If you do the physical work of removing components that contain valuable quantities of precious metals, you will get a higher dollar return for every ounce of material that you send in to be recycled.

Shredding, Granulating, Heat Processing and Other Industrial Recycling

These processes are done by large industrial recycling companies that grind up circuit boards and components and use a variety of processes to separate and extract the materials that they contain. Shredded printed circuit boards, for example, can have their ferrous materials removed by magnets, then that residue can be sifted and searched for precious metals, then that residue can be melted so that plastics can be recycled and used in other products.

Which Process Will Yield the Most Value?

As you have already observed, the “purer” recycling options (like extracted component recycling) are likely to put more dollars in your pocket than are the “dirtier” options (like shredding and granulating).

Not sure which is the best way to get the most value from your E-Scrap? Give us a call at 800-426-2344 and we’ll be pleased to explain what your best options are.

Related Posts:

A Brief History of Circuit Boards and the Gold They Contain
Do Tablet Computers Contain Recyclable Precious Metals
Watch the Gold You Can Recycle from Circuit Boards Pile Up in these Videos
Extracting Gold from Ceramic IC Chips
Four Kinds of Easy-to-Overlook Electronic Devices that Contain Gold

Four Kinds of Easy-to-Overlook Electronic Devices that Contain Gold

We’ve written on this blog about many kinds of electronic devices that contain gold that can be recycled by a top precious metals refinery. We’ve covered laptop computers, tablet computers, cellphones, and even the circuit boards that can be found in junked cars.

Shown: gold-bearing circuit board inside of a VCR, which can be recycled and refined by Specialty Metals.

Shown: gold-bearing circuit board inside of a VCR, which can be recycled and refined by Specialty Metals.

Today, we’d like to give you a checklist of other easily overlooked electronic devices that contain gold too:

Remotes of All Kinds

Just about every household has a batch of old remote control devices for old TVs, VCRs, and more lying around, sometimes quite a few. And each of them contains a small printed circuit board that contains a small quantity of gold.

Old Stereo Components

Stereo amplifiers and receivers contain printed circuit boards that contain gold. The good news is that older components often contain more gold than newer ones do. If you have a quantity of them - in your town recycling facility, perhaps? – you could be sitting on dollars too.

VCRs, CD Players and DVD players

These “tossable” electronic devices pile up in recycling centers, in the back rooms of electronics retailers, and even in private homes. Yet they too contain printed circuit boards that contain precious gold that is worth extracting.

Older CB, Ham, and Shortwave Radios

Before the Internet age, hobbyists used them all to communicate with people in distant areas. Today, they have gone largely out of style. Yet they can still contain quantities of gold that can be reclaimed.

Two Ways to Collect Quantities of these Devices to Recycle

  • If you are a charity that is already conducting a collection campaign for used cellphones, ask people to contribute these items too.
  • If you would like to start a lucrative side business, run ads online or in local newspapers stating that you will buy the items described above.

Once you have a large quantity of any of this electronic scrap, give us a call at 800-426-2344 and we’ll be happy to explain how you can recover the gold that they contain.

Related Posts:

Attention Recycling Centers: These Often-Overlooked Items Can Generate Big Income for Your Town
Where Are Precious Metals Hiding in Junked Cars
A Brief History of Circuit Boards and the Gold They Contain
Watch the Gold You Can Recycle from Circuit Boards Pile Up in these Videos

How to Get Big Dollars from Your Small Quantities of Gold Scrap

With gold now trading in the range of about $1,300 per troy ounce on the London Fix, you might be thinking that this would be a good time to hold onto your reserves of gold scrap and wait for prices to rise.

Photo of gold dollar signs that symbolizes how you can get big dollars from small quantities of gold scrap at Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners.

You could do that, of course. But sending your gold-plated items and gold scrap to a qualified gold refinery could be a good strategy today too, depending on your company’s current financial needs, the quantity of gold you have on hand, and other variables. It’s a business decision for you to make, of course. But here is some information that could help you make that decision in a more informed way.

Certain Items of Gold Scrap Contain Larger Quantities of Gold than You Might Expect

These forms of gold scrap contain more than trace amounts of gold. If you have even a small quantity of them on hand, they could provide you with a good infusion of cash . . .

  • Dental scrap. This includes bridges, bridgework, crowns, bars, inlays, clasps, and even grindings, which are small quantities of gold dust that result when gold-containing dental appliances are cut.
  • Quantities of gold-filled eyeglass frames. If they were made more than 30 years ago – back in the days when eyeglass frames were supposed to be refitted with new lenses, not tossed – they could contain much more gold than newer thin-plated frames do.
  • Quantities of gold-plated decorative items. People have discovered significant quantities of valuable gold in gold-plated chandeliers, candelabras, doorknobs, automobile trim pieces, and even plumbing fixtures. If it glimmers like gold, it could be worth more than you suspect. It’s worth sending to us for analysis.
  • Gold-bearing microchips, printed circuit boards, and older electronic components. Older items, such as the big fat central processing units (CPUs) from older desktop computers can contain more recyclable gold than you expect – sometimes as much as $3.00 worth of gold for each CPU that you recycle. And even newer printed circuit board that are found in cellphones, laptops and tablet computers can contain quantities of gold with value that can really add up.

Want to Know More about Recycling Gold and Gold Scrap?

We are here to answer your questions with no pressure from us . . . and no obligation on your part. Why not call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more?

Related Posts:

Where Is the Gold Hiding in Your Old Computers?
Recycling Gold Filled Scrap - Big Dollars Could Be Hiding in Small Items
Recycling Gold-Plated Plumbing Fixtures: All That Glitters Could Be Gold
Gold Refining of Dental Scrap: A Profitable Look at Yesterday and Today
Ask a Gold Refinery - What’s the Difference between Gold-Plated and Gold-Filled Eyeglass Frames?

The Stampede from Desktops to Laptops to Tablets Leaves Gold Behind

You will get a lot of results if you search for the phrase “Can a tablet replace my laptop?” on Google or Bing. The question has recently been tackled in The New York Times, in PC World, on CNET, and dozens of other places. If you read those articles, you will find that opinions vary. Some reviewers feel that the time is not yet right to discard laptops in favor of tablets. Others write about new laptop/tablet “convertible” hybrids from HP, Samsung, and other makers that are essentially tablets with keyboards that either detach or fold cleverly out of the way.

Image of woman choosing tablet over laptop, which symbolizes the computer shift that will result in more recycling of old laptops for the precious metals they contain.

Computers are always evolving, and similar questions have arisen in the past. Ten years ago, it was “Can a laptop really replace a desktop machine?” And we all know how that question got resolved. So who could believe that laptops are the pinnacle of computer development, never to be replaced by something newer?

When new kinds of computers gain widespread acceptance, older machines get tossed and recycled in large numbers. Just peek at the place where electronics are recycled in your town or city – perhaps in your town dump. On a recent visit to my town’s, I noticed that not only desktops, but also laptops and other types of escrap were starting to pile up. And if you’ve been reading this blog, you already know that laptops contain valuable quantities of gold and other precious metals that can be worth reclaiming from their circuit boards, connectors, IC chips and other parts, using a top precious metals recycler.

Opportunities to Profit from the Trend

Because used laptops contain only a few dollars’ worth of gold and other precious metals, it takes a large number of them to add up to much – plus, there is the challenge of dismantling them to extract the parts that contain gold like circuit boards and contacts, pins and meltables.

Yet the fact remains that a very large number of laptops are about to be discarded in the coming years. If you can start a program to collect them, the dollars could really add up. If you are one of the following organizations, this could be a good time to start collecting laptops for later recycling . . .

  • If you are an electronics retailer, consider ramping up your trade-in program.
  • If you are an electronics manufacturer or wholesaler, provide incentives for retailers to accept trade-ins and return them to you.
  • If you are a church, charity or school, consider conducting a drive to collect laptops that are no longer needed.
  • If you are a hospital or healthcare facility that is about to replace older laptops and equipment that embodies them, start your own in-house recycling program.

Don’t Let Recycling Dollars Slip through Your Fingers

As the old saying goes, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Since each old laptop contains many pennies’ worth of gold, why toss them away? Call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more about profitably recycling computer scrap.

Related Posts:

Where Is the Gold Hiding in Your Old Computers?
A Brief History of Circuit Boards and the Gold They Contain
Do Tablet Computers Contain Recyclable Precious Metals
Watch the Gold You Can Recycle from Circuit Boards Pile Up in these Videos
What Precious Metals Are Contained in Piles of Old Desktop Computers?


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?

Related Posts:

Where Is the Gold Hiding in Your Old Computers?

A Brief History of Circuit Boards and the Gold They Contain

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

What Precious Metals Are Contained in Piles of Old Desktop Computers?

Extracting Gold from Ceramic IC Chips

Is it Worth Recycling Smartphones?

How much precious metal is contained in smartphones? Is it worth sending them to us for recycling?

These recent statistics, reported by Megan Anderle in The Guardian on May 1, 2014, document the fact that smartphones contain quantities of precious metals. For every million smartphones that are recycled, these quantities of metals can be reclaimed:

Photo of old smartphones that contain gold, silver and palladium that can be recycled profitably in large quantities by Specialty Metals.

When you use those statistics as a guideline against current prices per troy ounce, you find that every smartphone contains about $1.40 worth of gold, about $.58 worth of palladium, and about $.20 worth of silver. (Of course, it costs money to reclaim those metals from smartphones and other electronics scrap too.)

How Many Smartphones Can You Collect and Recycle?

That’s not very much metal per phone. Yet Anderle also cites these statistics:

  • 89% of mobile devices are not recycled by their users, just tossed
  • In 2012, Sprint customers recycled 44% of their phones, Verizon customers recycled 28%, and AT&T customers recycled 11.5%
  • In 2013, Verizon launched a new recycling program and app that got 31% of its customers to recycle their phones

Is There an Opportunity for You in Smartphone Recycling?

If you would like to reclaim a significant amount of money from old smartphones, you will have to collect an awful lot of them. But can you do just that – collect a large number of older phones? Perhaps you can.

  • If you are a charity, perhaps you can start an outreach program to get people to donate their phones to you. As noted in the statistics above, 89% of mobile phone users toss their devices. Perhaps they can toss them into recycling bins that your organization places in stores, malls, before town halls, and elsewhere. If you spread your campaign over a large geographical area, you could be able to collect enough phones to raise a lot of money for your organization.
  • If you want to start a second or primary business, you might consider buying used cellphones and then recycling them. As Anderle notes in her Guardian article, cellphone companies’ buy-back recycling programs often present a number of hassles for customers, who have typically had to get their returns pre-approved, then print out labels to use when shipping their phones in, then wait weeks until the payment for their phones is credited to their accounts. If you can streamline that process – perhaps by letting customers sell you their used phones via a walk-in, no-hassle process – you might be able to amass enough smartphones to generate a good income.

When and if you do, contact Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners. We’ll be pleased to help you dig out the dollars that are hiding in a quantity of used cellphones and other escrap.

Related Posts:

Attention Recycling Centers: These Often-Overlooked Items Can Generate Big Income for Your Town
Do Tablet Computers Contain Recyclable Precious Metals
Will Precious Metals Disappear from Electronic Devices in the Coming Years?
Why Recycling Precious Metals Should Be Done by Professionals


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.

Related Posts:

Interested in Thermocouples and Thermocouple Wire
Palladium Recycling: Don’t Overlook the Great Value of this Little-Understood Rare Metal
A Brief History of Circuit Boards and the Gold They Contain
Watch the Gold You Can Recycle from Circuit Boards Pile Up in these Videos
What You Need to Know about Recycling Alloys of Precious Metals