Can You Recycle Precious Metals from Soldering Supplies?

Previous posts on this blog have offered you some practical advice on how to reclaim precious metals that can be found in unused welding scrap and welding supplies. We’d like to explore a slightly different question today . . .

Is it possible for a qualified precious metals refinery to reclaim quantities of precious metals from unused soldering supplies?

The short answer to that question is, it depends. Let’s learn more.

Photo of jeweler using recyclable silver solder to make silver jewelry, both of which you can recycle profitably with Specialty Metals, along with gold solder and gold jewelry.

Lead-Based Soldering and Precious Metal Soldering Are Very Different Processes

If you have a quantity of lead or tin-based solder that was to be used in the manufacturing of electronic components or in plumbing operations, it does not contain either gold or silver, and cannot be profitably recycled.

But if you have acquired unused soldering wire that was used in manufacturing either gold or silver jewelry, that wire contains either silver or gold. How much silver or gold? That depends, and we will have to test the soldering wire for you, because the wire that is used in soldering gold and silver usually contains secondary metals. Call us at 800-426-2344 to discuss your options.

Silver Sheets Are Used in Silver Soldering Too

If you have acquired or are liquidating a company that manufactured jewelry, plates or tableware, you might be in possession of thin sheets that contain silver, sterling silver,  Argentium silver. At first, you might wonder what these sheets are.

They are used to plate a layer of silver over other metals, using a soldering technique. The result? The appearance of a solid silver item. How much are these sheets worth? It depends on their composition and weight. If you own some, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. We will explain how we can test them and determine their value.

What about Soldering Fluxes that Are Used to Manufacture Jewelry?

In light of the comments above, you are probably wondering whether the fluxes that are used when soldering gold and silver also contain trace amounts of those precious metals. The disappointing answer to that question is that virtually no fluxes contain precious metals. The fluxes contain only chemicals that remove any oxidation and prepare gold or silver for soldering.

We Are Your Top Choice for Recycling Gold and Silver Soldering Supplies

But if you own any of the gold or silver-bearing soldering supplies described in in today’s post, we will be pleased to tell you how to recoup their value. Call us at 800-426-2344 to start the process.

Related Posts:

Look for Precious Metals where Heat and Metals Meet
Unexpected Places where Precious Metals Can Be Hiding
An Invitation to Jewelers, Pawnbrokers and Other Jewelry Professionals to Partner with Our Precious Metals Refinery
As Gold Supplies Dwindle, Demand for Recyclable Gold Will Remain High

Reference List of Precious Metal Alloys

If you’ve been reading this blog, you already know a lot about recyclable precious metals and where they can be found.

We’re going to give you some more valuable information today, in a list of precious metal alloys. You might want to print out a copy for your files or bookmark it on your browser, because it can help you find and understand valuable alloys.

Argentium Sterling Silver

Colored Gold Alloy Chart. Image Credit: Metallos [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Colored Gold Alloy Chart. Image Credit: Metallos [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

This alloy of sterling silver and germanium, popular in jewelry, answers the need for a lustrous sterling-silver alloy that resists tarnishing. It is about 90% pure silver.

Billon

Since Roman times, billon has been used to mint coins and medals that look like silver, but which contain copper and other base metals. Billon coins, commemorative medals and other items contain small quantities of silver and are generally not worth recycling.

Britannia Silver

This is an alloy of silver and copper that got its name nearly 300 years ago, when the British government attempted to set up standards for silver that could be used by silversmiths. It generally contains about 90% silver, but that percentage can only be accurately determined by a qualified precious metals recycling company.

Pink, Rose, Yellow and other Colored Golds

These tinted golds are alloys that have been created by combining 24K gold with silver, rhodium, nickel, and other metals. The value of these metals can be determined after testing by Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.

Electrum

Electrum is an interesting alloy of gold, silver and copper that occurs naturally in nature. It has been mined and used in coins since ancient times. It can contain as much as 70% pure gold, but that percentage varies. If you come into possession of ancient coins, some of them could be made of this alloy.

Mokume Gane

Mokume Gane, which has gotten to be something of a craze among people who are shopping for wedding rings, isn’t an alloy per se, but a striated metal that is made up of thin laminated layers of gold, silver, platinum, and other metals. When it is twisted and formed by a jeweler, beautiful and unusual surfaces are created. How much gold and other precious metals does Mokume Gane contain? It depends completely on the way the laminate was created and what it contains.

Platinaire

Platinaire is a patented alloy used in jewelry. It contains 92.5% silver, 5% platinum and 2.5% base metals. It is often made from recycled silver and platinum.

Platinum Rhodium

As we explored in an earlier post on this blog, alloys of platinum and rhodium are widely used in lab testing equipment, thermocouples, and other applications. And don’t forget that platinum and rhodium are often found side-by-side in catalytic converters.

Platinum Sterling

Platinum sterling, like Platinaire, is an alloy of silver and platinum that is used to make jewelry. It is made of about 92.5% sterling silver, amounts of platinum that can vary from between 3% to 5%, and quantities of gallium and base metals.

Titanium Gold

Just as the name implies, this is an alloy of titanium and gold, most commonly used in jewelry and dental applications. The percentages of gold and titanium can vary widely, according to the application.

Find Out What Your Precious Metal Alloys Are Worth

Remember, a qualified precious metals refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can test your holdings of these alloys and quickly determine their value. Give us a call at 800-426-2344 or fill out our contact form today.

Related Posts

What You Need to Know about Recycling Alloys of Precious Metals
Are White, Pink, and other Golds Worth Less than Yellow Gold?
Platinum Sterling: What You Need to Know about this Precious Alloy
Some Fascinating – and Potentially Profitable – Facts You Never Knew about Refining Gold

Can Gold Leaf Be Recycled?

Let’s start today’s post with a question . . .

Where have you seen the most gold during the course of your life?

If you can answer that question, I am willing to bet that you will come up with an unexpected response. Because you see, most of us have seen gold most often in objects that have been covered with gold leaf. I am talking about objects like these . . .

  • Older gold-leafed wooden frames that we see on paintings in museums, in antique stores, and in our own homes.
  • Interiors of churches and other elegant buildings where gold leaf has been used on altars, walls and columns, and other architectural elements.
  • Mosaics, where gold leaf has been applied to tiles or put between layers of glass to create an impression of richness or light.
  • Old statuary, which was sometimes gold-plated to create the impression that it was made of solid gold.

What Is Gold Leaf, and What Is It Worth?

Shown: Gold coins and a pack of 100 gold leaves from Bangkok, Thailand. Each gold leaf is less than a micrometer thick (typically about 100 nm) and is so light and delicate that the smallest puff of air can blow it away. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Shown: Gold coins and a pack of 100 gold leaves from Bangkok, Thailand. Each gold leaf is less than a micrometer thick (typically about 100 nm) and is so light and delicate that the smallest puff of air can blow it away. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Since ancient times, people have been hammering gold into very thin sheets that can be applied to other surfaces. It’s been possible to do that because of gold’s extreme softness and malleability. In the ancient world, pure 24-karat gold was sometimes beaten into leaf. Over time as more sophisticated manufacturing processes have been developed to produce gold leaf, it has become possible to use lower-karat gold, and even alloys of gold combined with other metals that have included silver. And then we come to modern times, when colorings have been introduced to create gold leaf sheets that contain very little real gold at all.

If you come into possession of a quantity of unused sheets of gold leaf, what are they worth? It depends on two factors . . .

  • The nature of the metal itself – its karat classification. To determine how much karat gold it really contains, send it to a qualified gold refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.
  • The weight of the gold leaf. Because only a few ounces of gold can be beaten into enough gold leaf to cover many square feet of other surfaces, even a packet of several hundred small sheets of gold leaf can weight very little.

If you have gold leaf and send it to us, we can evaluate those variables and get back to you with an appraisal of what your gold leaf is worth.

What about Refining the Gold from Gold-Plated Objects?

If you have a large number of gold-plated picture frames, for example, can they be recycled? In most cases, the answer to that question is no – even a large gold-leaf-covered frame can contain only a very small amount of gold. Plus, the process of removing the gold from wooden or other surfaces is complex and costly.

But you could also have some object on hand that could contain more gold than you expect, such as older gilt jewelry or statuary. If you have gold-leaf-covered objects and don’t know what they might be worth, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. We’ll be happy to talk with you and help you understand their value.

 

Related Posts

There Could Be More Gold in Old Commemoratives and Trophies than You Think
Gold Refining: Why It Takes an Expert to Evaluate Your Gold-Plated Items
Some Fascinating – and Potentially Profitable – Facts You Never Knew about Refining Gold
Got a Gold-Plated Mercedes-Benz? We Can Recycle That!
Checklist of Places to Look for Precious Metals in Your Home

Scams to Avoid when Selling Precious Metals

When you hear the words “precious metals scam,” chances are that you think first about all the scams out there that victimize investors by selling them overvalued precious metals, precious metals “futures” that never reach expectations, or privately minted “collectible” coins that are wildly overpriced.

Image of "Cash for Gold" signholders for Specialty Metals blog post, Scams to Avoid when Selling Precious Metals, courtesy of Comedy Central and South Park.

Yes, all those scams are out there, waiting to profit from unsuspecting people who are all too willing to part with their dollars. But there is another kind of scam too, one that is just as dishonest . . .

Scams that fool sellers into selling their precious metals at prices that are ridiculously low

In most cases, these scams prey on individuals who don’t know the value of what they have, or who are in a hurry to get cash by selling items without investigating their value.

Scams to Avoid when Selling Precious Metal Items

  • Dishonest coin dealers and antique galleries can fail to disclose the collectible value of metal items. If you are selling an old gold coin, for example, they could offer to pay you for only what the gold in it is worth, not for its collectible value. Or if you bring in a silver candelabrum, they could weigh it and offer you only a few hundred dollars when it is really a valuable collectible that is worth tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Bait-and-switch precious metals recyclers can misrepresent the quantity of precious metal that is present in items that are made of alloys. Because it is hard for the average seller to know how much gold, platinum or other precious metal is really contained in a piece of jewelry or other items, it is all too easy for unscrupulous recyclers to dupe them.
  • Dishonest dealers can apply artificial time pressure to sell. They make up tales about why today is the best time to sell an item that contains precious metals – they say that gold prices are about to fall, that a foreign market is about to close, or make up other hard-sell tales. Their real aim is to get sellers to part with items before they have time to find out what they are really worth. The best strategy to fight them? When a dealer tells you to hurry up, that is the time you should slow down.

Deal with an Honest and Reputable Gold and Precious Metals Refiner

Specialty Metals has been the top choice in the US for secondary refining of Gold, Silver and Platinum Group Metals for more than 32 years, for companies in the industrial, electronic, jewelry and mining sectors. We’re accredited by the Better Business Bureau and rated by Dun & Bradstreet. We’re also members of the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI).

If you want to sell your precious metals without being subjected to malarkey – or worse – we welcome your call at 800-426-2344.

Related Posts:

How to Pick the Best Precious Metals Recycling Company
What You Need to Know about Recycling Alloys of Precious Metals
Gold Refining: Why It Takes an Expert to Evaluate Your Gold-Plated Items
How to Get Top Dollar for Silverware and Gold Jewelry
The Confusing – and Very Profitable – World of Gold Alloys

Are White, Pink, and other Golds Worth Less than Yellow Gold?

Over the years, clever jewelers have created ways of lending a variety of colors to gold. They have developed white gold, rose gold, pink gold and even – get this – green gold.

Are those tinted golds worth less than yellow gold? After all, yellow is gold’s natural color. The simple answer to that question is, the color of gold doesn’t affect its value too much. What affects the value the most is the karat rating of gold. To review . . .

Image Credit: Metallos [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Image Credit: Metallos [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

  • 24K gold is pure gold
  • 18K gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of another metal or metals
  • 14K gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of another metal or metals
  • 12K gold contains 12 parts gold and 12 parts of another metal or metals
  • 10K gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts of another metal or metals

So Where Does the Color Come From?

The answer to that question can be found in the words just above, “another metal or metals.” Those other metals that are added to 24K pure gold determine the color of the resulting gold alloy.

Here’s a quick rundown on what those other metals are . . .

  • White gold is an alloy created by adding palladium to gold
  • Pink gold and rose gold are alloys created by adding copper to gold
  • Green gold is an alloy created by adding silver to gold

But Isn’t 18K White Gold Worth More than 18K Pink Gold?

If you just asked that question, you are a critical thinker. And you are right to ask, because 18K white gold is worth more per ounce than 18K pink gold is, because palladium will make up 6 parts of white gold (25%) and copper will make up six parts of pink gold (25%); because palladium is worth more than copper, white gold alloys will be worth more than pink gold alloys.

But it all gets even more complicated, because gold smelters sometimes add more than one metal to karat gold to achieve the exact hue that they are seeking.

So if you want to know exactly how much pure gold is in a quantity of gold jewelry that you have on hand, and whether it contains other precious metals that can be recycled profitably, you’ll need to send us a sample for testing. If you give us a call at 800-426-2344, we will tell you how.

Related Posts:

What Is Karat Gold and How Can You Find Out What Yours Is Worth?
The Confusing – and Very Profitable – World of Gold Alloys
A Fast, Fascinating History of Metals like Gold and Silver
An Invitation to Jewelers, Pawnbrokers and Other Jewelry Professionals to Partner with Our Precious Metals Refinery



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?

Gold Refining of Dental Scrap: A Profitable Look at Yesterday and Today

A timeline of dental history published online by the American Dental Association offers a fascinating overview of how gold has been used by dentists for nearly 2,000 years. Some highlights? As long ago as 200 A.D., the Etruscans were making gold crowns and bridgework. Then in 1530, a German book called the Artzney Buchlein offered instruction on placing gold fillings. (Barbers were doing double-duty as dentists in those days - ouch!) In 1746, a Frenchman named Claude Mouton devised a way to insert a gold post and crown into a root canal. And in 1855, a physician named Robert Arthur invented a way to insert gold foil into a cavity before completing a filling.

Photo of gold crowns dental scrap, which can contain gold, platinum, palladium and silver and can be recycled and refined by Specialty Metals.

The Dwindling Use of Gold in Modern Dentistry

Now that more modern materials are replacing gold in common dental procedures, it might be tempting to think that dentists and dental labs should set aside the idea of hunting around for gold dental scrap to be recycled by a qualified gold refinery.

That’s not necessarily so, for several reasons. One is that many patients who have reached the age of 60 or older are now in the process of getting older gold-containing bridges, crowns, fillings, and other dental work replaced. There’s another reason too. In many parts of the world like Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa and the Caribbean, gold is still in widespread use in dental work. When people from those areas move to the United States and receive our modern dental care, their older gold fillings, caps, and other materials may no longer be needed.

What Kind of Gold Dental Materials Can You Profitably Recycle?

By now you may be wondering what kind of gold dental scrap you could recycle profitably? Here at Specialty Metals Smelting and Refining, we are pleased to accept and recycle gold dental scrap materials, including:

  • Bars
  • Bridges
  • Bridgework
  • Clasps
  • Clippings
  • Crowns
  • Dental grindings
  • Fillings
  • Inlays

With gold now trading for over $1,300.00/troy ounce on the London Fix, it is worth recycling even a small quantity of gold. Call us at 800-426-2344 to find out how much profit you can “extract” from your dental scrap.

Related Posts:

3 Simple Steps: How to Find the Best Gold Refiner
Some Fascinating – and Potentially Profitable – Facts You Never Knew about Refining Gold
The Confusing – and Very Profitable – World of Gold Alloys
What Is Karat Gold and How Can You Find Out What Yours Is Worth?

 

Got a Gold-Plated Mercedes-Benz? We Can Recycle That!

Over thousands of years, gold has been electroplated onto spoons, jewelry, watches, belt buckles, picture frames, watches, and even faucets. Now, things have gone even farther, because a company called Carlson just introduced a gold-coated Mercedes-Benz S Class sedan at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland. It calls its modified car the Carlsson CS50 Versailles, because it is intended to replicate the opulence of the chateau of Versailles during the age of Louis XVI. There’s gold on the exterior panels, on the trim, and in the interior too. Carlsson isn’t giving out the price, but does state that about $17,000 worth of gold is used in the interior of the car alone. That should help you decide whether to inquire further.

If you’re in the market for a new car, you can read about the Carlsson Versailles and see pictures here.

Photo of a gold-plated Carlsson CS50 Versailles Mercedes-Benz S Class sedan at the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland, credit Drew-Phillips, which Specialty Metals would love to recycle!

A Squirrel Applies the Gold to the Outside

I’m not completely kidding about that. Here, from Carlsson’s press release about the car, is a description of how the gold leaf is layered onto the car’s exterior:

“In a process taking over 200 man-hours, the bodywork of the Carlsson Versailles is adorned with more than 1,000 sheets of wafer-thin gold leaf. A special Squirrel hairbrush is used to absorb these 80 x 80 mm gold leaves, and place them on the suitably prepared surface in an irregular laying pattern known as a Roman Association. This is merely the start of an elaborate process taking more than 14 days, during which the bespoke clear-coat undergoes its labour intensive application, drying and sealing to ensure a unique and perfect finish whose practicality and durability is comparable to that of conventional paint.”

And now let’s move onto a description of the trim and the interior:

“In a specially developed process, a further 278 interior and 30 exterior components receive a lustrous gold finish, with exterior elements such as the radiator grille, door handles, and grille inserts in the front bumper left glistening with a rich golden sheen. In the plush cabin, various buttons, knobs, air vents and even the speaker grilles also take on a golden glow, forming an aesthetic symbiosis with the gold leaf covered frame, panels and trim inserts. This task requires more than 100 man-hours of specialist craftsmanship to complete, and the value of the 985 gold used in the interior alone is around 12,000 euros. The skill of Carlsson's craftsmen is also apparent in the soft Nappa leather from their Signature Line that envelopes the seats in a contrasting combination of dark brown and champagne hues set off by the gold highlights. A gold Carlsson logo is incorporated into the champagne section of the leather as the finishing touch.”

Can We Recycle Your Gold-Plated Mercedes?

To date, 10 people have placed orders for these cars. If you are one of them and you anticipate that you might want to recycle it someday, please keep Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners in mind. We have yet to smelt a Mercedes, but now that we have entered the era of the gold-plated car, we look forward to the opportunity some day. For expert advice and assistance with reclaiming and recycling electroplated gold, call us at 800-426-2344.

Related Posts:

3 Simple Steps: How to Find the Best Gold Refiner
Gold Refining: Why It Takes an Expert to Evaluate Your Gold-Plated Items
Some Fascinating – and Potentially Profitable – Facts You Never Knew about Refining Gold
The Confusing – and Very Profitable – World of Gold Alloys
A Brief – and Useful – History of Fool’s Gold


The Confusing – and Very Profitable – World of Gold Alloys

As you've probably noticed, a number of jewelry stores are starting to hang out signs that say, “We Buy Gold.” I was at one of them recently to have my daughter’s charm bracelet repaired, and I couldn’t help overhearing a conversation between a customer and a salesperson at the counter behind me.

Image of an assortment of karat gold jewelry, which Specialty Metals can recycle and refine for the best prices for individuals and businesses.

“I think it’s fourteen-karat gold,” the customer said while handing across a small piece of jewelry. “Or maybe only 10 karat?”

The salesman rubbed an edge of the piece of jewelry on a small abrasive stone, dripped some testing fluid onto the stone, and answered, “Well, it’s got gold in it, that’s for sure.”

Why didn’t that salesman immediately say, “Yes, it is fourteen-karat gold” or give another definite answer? He wasn’t being deceptive. He was giving the best answer that he could, given this fact . . .

With the exception of 24kt gold, which is pure gold, all karat-designated golds are really alloys that contain other metals

This chart explains how karats work to designate gold’s purity:

Chart showing the percentage of gold and other metals in Karat Gold Alloy, which you can refine profitably at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.

That’s pretty interesting, right? But those karat ratings don’t tell you anything specific about what other metals could be present in the gold that you have on hand. You need a gold refiner to tell you that. Since the salesperson in the jewelry store did not have access to gold-refining equipment right there on the premises, he could only confirm the presence of gold in that piece of jewelry.

What Could those Other Metals Be?

Now things get interesting. In olden times – starting thousands of years ago – ancient men and women started to mix all kinds of other metals with gold. Some were trying to make gold more durable or more beautiful. (Others were trying to defraud customers by passing off gold alloys as pure gold, but let’s not get into that.)

Here’s a brief summary of some of the gold alloys that have been created over the years.

  • Pink gold (also called rose gold) is an alloy of gold and copper. Silver and other metals are sometimes used too, to achieve the exact coloration that a jewelry manufacturer wants.
  • White gold is an alloy of gold and at least one white metal – sometimes more than one. Those additional metals could be nickel, palladium, or zinc. Sometimes a little copper is added to make the alloy less brittle and easier to shape.
  • Green gold – relatively rare – is an alloy that usually contains only gold and silver.
  • Blue gold – also rare – is an alloy that contains gold and indium.

What about Gold Plating?

To make things even more complicated, alloys of gold are among the most common platings that are applied to other metals. And sometimes metals that do not contain gold – such as rhodium – are applied to give jewelry the appearance of white gold.

It’s all very complicated, right? That’s why you need the services of an expert gold refiner like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners to evaluate what you have on hand and provide you with test results from our lab. Call 800-426-2344 to learn more.

If you’re sitting on a quantity of gold of any kind – from circuit boards to jewelry scrap to old gold-plating equipment that you don’t use any more – you owe it to yourself to find out more.

Further Reading:

Where Is the Gold Hiding in Your Old Computers?
Why Recycling Plating Tank Scrap Can Pay You More than You Expect
Some Fascinating – and Potentially Profitable – Facts You Never Knew about Refining Gold
Gold Refining: Why It Takes an Expert to Evaluate Your Gold-Plated Items

 

 

 

 

Some Fascinating – and Potentially Profitable – Facts You Never Knew about Refining Gold

Did you know that people began refining gold about 8,000 years ago? Or that ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were all creating gold alloys well before the birth of Christ? So there’s no doubt about it. Here at Specialty Metals, we’re still practicing one of the oldest arts in the world.

You’ll discover many fascinating facts about gold in Short History of Metals, a great article that metallurgist Dr. Alan W. Cramb has posted online. Here are some of the surprising facts he reports about the history of gold . . .

Photo of a miner with a gold nugget used for everything from jewelry to dental scrap to circuit boards, which can all be recycled by Specialty Metals.
  • Gold and copper were the first metals used by ancient people because they can be found in their native states in nature. A metal like cadmium, in contrast, wasn’t discovered until 1817 because its extraction required a process called fractional distillation.
  • Gold is widely dispersed through the Earth’s crust, but also found in “placer deposits” of gravel that have broken away from the Earth’s crust by erosion or other forces. For that reason, ancient people were able to not only mine for gold, but also to find it in stream beds and gravel deposits.
  • Gold doesn’t combine with other metals in nature, so it is easy to identify visually, even though it is scarce. Remember the Gold Rush of 1849? Although some miners staked claims and built elaborate sluices to extract larger amounts of gold from sediments and rocks, the most memorable image is of a forty-niner panning for gold. (They’re still doing it today.)
  • Gold’s malleability (softness) was one reason for its early success. As soon as a quantity of gold nuggets was secured, ancient people could hammer them into blocks without heating them. That softness also allowed gold to be beaten into thin sheets of gold leaf, which could be applied to wood and other surfaces. (Remember the artifacts found in King Tut’s tomb?) And the fact that gold was both scarce and soft kept it from being used in tools.
  • Gold is not only beautiful, it’s noncorrosive and tarnish-free too. That’s another reason for its wide use in jewelry and decorative applications, even in ancient times. (Gold's noncorrosive nature, combined with its electrical conductivity, also explains why it's so commonly used in electronics like circuit boards.)

Do You Have Some of this Remarkable Ancient Metal on Hand?

Here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, we don’t use stone hammers to beat small pieces of gold into bigger pieces. We don’t wade into streams to pan for gold. Instead we use only the most advanced technology to extract, refine and recycle the gold from a variety of components and materials that you have on hand.

But make no mistake about it. We’re still practicing an ancient art. We just do it in a very modern way. To find out how we can work together to refine and recycle gold-bearing scrap profitably, call us at 800-426-2344.