What Effect Will Trends in Healthcare Testing Have on Precious Metals?

What Effect Will Trends in Healthcare Testing Have on Precious Metals?

If you went to see your physician a few years ago and you were having chest pains, chances are that your doctor sent you to get an x-ray (a technology that relied heavily on silver), an electrocardiogram (which used printed circuit boards that contained gold and silver), and a round of blood tests (which didn’t have much to do with precious metals of any kind).

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Precious Metals: What to Look for When You’re Cleaning Out a Medical Facility

Precious Metals: What to Look for When You’re Cleaning Out a Medical Facility

Whether you’re clearing out or cleaning up a hospital, a nursing home, a testing lab or a medical facility of a different kind, you have good opportunities to cash in on precious metals.

Medical facilities are home to many kinds of supplies and equipment that contain gold, silver, platinum and even cadmium.

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How Hospital Administrators Can Become Recycling Stars

How Hospital Administrators Can Become Recycling Stars

If you are an administrator at a hospital, chances are good that you have an unusual opportunity . . .

You can turn unused supplies and equipment into a significant source of income

Are you taking advantage of the opportunity to recycle all the unused precious metals that can be found in your facilities? If not, let’s find out how.

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These Precious Metals Items Are Worth More than They Look

These Precious Metals Items Are Worth More than They Look

A few years ago, a man looked down at the bottom of a stream in northern California and saw something shiny poking out from the sand and gravel that surrounded it. He pulled it out and it was a gold nugget. It was absolutely beautiful!

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Can You Recycle Precious Metals from Medicines and Medical Devices?

Can You Recycle Precious Metals from Medicines and Medical Devices?

Please take a minute to consider this imaginary story… You buy an old retail building that was once home to several stores. One of them was a pharmacy. While you’re exploring there, you open a drawer and find several dozen boxes of old wound dressings that contain silver. You then send those wound dressing to a precious metals refinery like us, we process them, and send you a nice big check for several hundred dollars. It's a nice fantasy, isn’t it? But if you find any, they are not going to contain enough silver to be worth much. Sorry to deflate your dreams of wealth. But let’s look at some other places where silver and other precious metals can be found in the world of medicine. 

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Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money Recycling Platinum Scrap

Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money Recycling Platinum Scrap

Did you know you can search for the term “platinum scrap” on eBay and find mixed platinum scrap for sale? I just tried it, and I found a bag of floor sweepings, said to contain platinum, that I could buy for $500. I found plenty of other items that were said to contain platinum too, including hard disk blanks, catalytic converters, bags of mixed jewelry findings and scrap, and old laboratory testing crucibles. So, could I buy those items, send them to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners to be recycled, and make a healthy profit? It’s possible. Yet the chances of it happening are probably slim, because…

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How to Make Money Recycling Medical Scrap

How to Make Money Recycling Medical Scrap

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Valuable and precious metals are used in many medical devices. But before we explain where those metals are used, let’s answer this question: Where can you buy scrapped medical devices? The short answer to that question is, it can be difficult to obtain large quantities of used medical devices… Still, it is possible to obtain and recycle quantities of some medical devices that can offer you a good return on your investment if you send them to us to be recycled. Let’s take a closer look.

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Three Reasons Smart Platinum Investors Are Making a Fortune Today

Three Reasons Smart Platinum Investors Are Making a Fortune Today

Many platinum investors are frozen in place today. Although they own scrapped catalytic converters, old lab testing vessels and other items that contain platinum, they are waiting until platinum prices increase before cashing in. Meanwhile, smart platinum investors are cashing in. Like other contrarian investors, they are moving ahead instead of staying fixated on just one factor as a sign of when to sell. Here are three compelling reasons why this is a great time to recycle platinum today instead of waiting...

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What Are the Platinum Group Metals?

What Are the Platinum Group Metals?

Chances are that you only find small quantities of the valuable secondary platinum group metals (palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium) hiding in recyclable items that you think are made only of platinum. How can you tell if these rarer metals are present?

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Easy-to-Miss Places where Platinum-Plated Metals Can Be Found

If you say the words “platinum plated metal” to many people, most of them will think first of jewelry. That makes sense, because platinum is so commonly used to add a bright and corrosion-resistant surface to rings, pins, watches, and other items of jewelry.

But platinum is electroplated onto other metals for many reasons too – and unless you know what they are, you could fail to recognize some of the platinum-plated items that you could recycle profitably using a qualified platinum smelter and refiner like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.

Let’s take a look at some sources of platinum-plated scrap that you could be missing . . .

Shown: Aerospace Scrap like this can be an excellent source of platinum, palladium, silver cadmium and gold

Shown: Aerospace Scrap like this can be an excellent source of platinum, palladium, silver cadmium and gold

Aerospace and Aeronautics

There could be big dollars hiding in aerospace scrap. You’ll find recyclable platinum in thermocouples, contacts, gauges, and many other places.

Electrodes

Platinum-plated electrodes are used in the manufacturing of fertilizers, chemicals, explosives and more products than you might expect.

Electrical Utilities and Industries

Platinum-plated contacts and cables are widely used in industries that manufacture electrical components – and in electrical generators too.

Purification Systems for Liquids of Many Kinds

Platinum-coated surfaces are found in devices that use electricity to purify water, oil, industrial chemicals, and other liquids.

Photo of catalytic converter containing platinum, palladium and rhodium which can be recycled and refined for best prices at Specialty Metals.

Photo of catalytic converter containing platinum, palladium and rhodium which can be recycled and refined for best prices at Specialty Metals.

Catalytic Converters

Platinum-plated components are commonly found in catalytic converters that are used to treat the emissions from automobile, truck, and industrial engines. If you’re wondering how to refine platinum from catalytic converters, call us.

Medical Devices

Most people know that platinum plating is used in coronary testing catheters, implantable defibrillators, and pacemakers. Fewer people know that platinum can also be found in cables and contacts that run between pieces of medical equipment, or even within large medical devices.

Shown: scrap platinum sputtering targets can be a surprisingly lucrative source of platinum.

Shown: scrap platinum sputtering targets can be a surprisingly lucrative source of platinum.

Electroplating Operations

It is kind of ironic – but true – that platinum coating is often applied to anodes that are used to electroplate other metals. Used sputtering targets are another potentially lucrative source of platinum.

Want to Know More?

If you have a quantity of platinum-bearing scrap or old metal parts from one of the industries or applications described in today’s post, call us today at 800-426-2344. We’ll be happy to lead you to quantities of valuable platinum that could be hiding right under your nose.

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Recycling Opportunity: More Medical Equipment Is Getting Scrapped than Ever Before

Platinum, Miracle Metal, Finds New Medical Applications

With every year that passes, platinum is finding more and more medical applications. Let’s explore them in today’s post.

Interventional Devices

Because platinum is biocompatible – not rejected by the human body – it is a metal of choice for cardiac and other stents that are left permanently in the body. It is also widely used in implantable defibrillators, pacemakers, and neuromonitoring devices used to control Parkinson’s and other disorders. As America’s population ages, the demand for those devices is increasing.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be recycled profitably for your organization by Specialty Metals.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be recycled profitably for your organization by Specialty Metals.

Orthopedic Devices

Because of its biocompatibility and ability to be formed into a variety of shapes that range from plates to wires to large components, platinum and platinum alloys are metals of choice for implantable devices that include hip and knee implants, plates and screws that are used to stabilize broken bones, and devices that are used to stabilize or support the spine.

Surgical and Testing Applications

Platinum is an excellent conductor of electricity too, making it a first choice for equipment that is used to test cardiac functions. Platinum is also used in wires and catheters that are used to monitor arthroscopic, ophthalmic, and other surgical procedures.

Cancer Medicines

And here’s a surprise. Over the last 50 years, a number of platinum-based medicines have been developed to fight ovarian, testicular and other cancers. One such medicine, Cisplatin, has been in use since 1977. Another cancer drug, Satraplatin, is being evaluated for treatment of prostate cancer. These medications work because platinum inhibits cell division, so cancerous cells can be stopped from reproducing as aggressively.

Demand for Platinum to Remain High

The strong demand for platinum in healthcare applications, coupled with its relative rarity in nature, means that the demand for your recyclable platinum will stay strong. If you would like to know more about using our refining services to unlock the dollar value that is hidden in platinum recyclables, call us at 800-426-2344.

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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.

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Are Recyclable Precious Metals Hiding in Your Hospital?

If you’re a hospital administrator, are you overlooking quantities of cadmium, gold, and other precious metals that you could refine for a lot of money?

If you don’t want to let precious metals slip through your fingers, here’s a checklist to keep on hand . . .

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed.
  • Old electronic equipment that you are about to discard could contain quantities of gold (in circuit boards), platinum (in thermocouples that measure temperature or electrical activity remotely), in monitors, and elsewhere. Even if you are distributing new tablet computers to your staff, don’t discard old ones; they could contain more gold on their circuit boards than you expect.
  • Used and unused testing supplies like catheters and testing probes could contain valuable quantities of platinum, palladium, cadmium, and other precious metals.
  • Old x-ray and unused x-ray films contain quantities of silver that can be extracted by a qualified precious metals recycler. Older solutions that were used to develop x-ray film can contain recyclable amounts of silver too.
  • Specialty back-up batteries that were installed in older equipment can contain precious metals.
  • Laboratory crucibles, tongs, and other equipment are often made of platinum.
  • Catalytic converters that are installed on gas and diesel-powered back-up generators contain platinum, palladium and rhodium. If you’re replacing those catalytic converters or your entire back-up power system, don’t let those metals slip away.
  • Decommissioned vehicles, like patient transport vans and ambulances, contain precious metals in many places – in their catalytic converters, in onboard computers, and on printed circuit boards.
  • Old photovoltaic solar panels that you are replacing could contain large quantities of silver – do not allow the company that is installing new panels to simply haul your old ones away.

Those are only a few of the places where precious metals can be found in hospitals. If you take the time to review today’s checklist, you could discover that precious metals are “hiding in plain sight” in your facility.

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Why Smart Veterinarians are Recycling the Platinum from their Testing Supplies


Recycling Opportunity - More Medical Equipment Is Getting Scrapped than Ever Before

A revolution is taking place in medical technology, with new equipment and new technologies being introduced weekly. If you’d like to get a quick glimpse of what’s taking place, spend a few minutes scrolling through the entries on MedGadget.com. There, you’ll find announcements of hundreds of new medical products and technologies that are coming to market.

Here’s a sample . . .

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals like platinum, silver and gold that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed
  • Intuitive Surgical just introduced a new version of its Da Vinci surgical machine that will allow a wider range of operations to be performed robotically.
  • Withings has developed a new blood pressure monitoring cuff that sends its readings wirelessly to iPhones and Android devices.
  • Toshiba is launching a compact ultrasound machine that can roll into tighter spaces in hospital rooms.
  • Biotronic makes a new pacemaker that wirelessly sends electrograms to cardiologists.
  • Scientists are developing biodegradable batteries that will dissolve after they have powered devices that are implanted in the body.

And would you believe, all those things were announced on MedGadget.com in just that last 10 days?

Every New Piece of Equipment Makes an Older One Obsolete

The result of all that change is that over time, a lot of older pieces of medical equipment are becoming obsolete. As improved implantable defibrillators come to market, for example, older models get returned to their manufacturers for recycling. As new ultrasound and medical imaging systems come into widespread use, older equipment is no longer needed. Some of it gets put into containers and sent to countries where it is needed. Some of it gets scrapped. And some of it contains valuable quantities of platinum, silver, gold and other precious metals.

Do you work in a hospital, radiology center, or another facility where older equipment is about to become obsolete? If so, that equipment could contain quantities of gold that are worth recycling. Or do you work in a testing center where your stocks of unused cardiac catheters are no longer needed? If so, what will become of the precious metals that they contain? Even the sensor tips of electrophysiology (EP) catheters contain platinum that can be profitably recycled.

If you own older medical equipment or supplies and don’t know about what they are worth, we’re here to help you. Call Specialty Metals at 800-426-2344, tell us what you have, and we’ll be pleased to explain the profit potential for recycling your used laboratory equipment.

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

 

 

New Applications for Precious Metals Keep Demand and Prices High

Precious metals have been around for a long time. Long before the Common Era (in other words, year zero on our calendar), ancient people were adorning themselves with silver and using gold to fill teeth. Even the more “modern” precious metals – metals like platinum and rhodium – are pretty old. They have been around for 150 years or more.

Photo of solar panel production, which uses sputtering targets that could contain valuable gold, platinum, silver, palladium and rhodium.

Photo of solar panel production, which uses sputtering targets that could contain valuable gold, platinum, silver, palladium and rhodium.

Given the age of precious metals, you’d think that they would be on their way out – that modern materials would have taken their place. You’d imagine that some kind of space-age ceramic would have taken the place of gold in circuit boards, or that a long-chain polymer or some other gee-whiz chemical would have replaced platinum in catalytic converters or in medical-testing devices. But that hasn’t happened. In fact, the precious metals that we refine here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners are finding new uses all the time, and demand remains strong.

Gold Cosmetics

There are reports that ancient people – the rich ones at any rate – applied gold to their skins, both as makeup and as a remedy for various skin problems. That trend has resurfaced in recent years, with a number of companies introducing skin creams and treatments that contain gold. You can read about it in The New York Times.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be profitably recycled by Specialty Metals.

Physicians insert a platinum EP catheter into a blood vessel that leads to the patient’s heart. Used EP catheters can be profitably recycled by Specialty Metals.

Platinum Materials Used in Medical Testing

Patients today are undergoing more electrophysiology (EP) studies than at any time in the past. It is not uncommon for hospitals to perform hundreds or thousands of these procedures every year. The boom has triggered a surge in the manufacturing (and recycling) of platinum EP catheters, catheter tips and other supplies. Even veterinarians are conducting tests with these catheters today.

Platinum Thermocouples

The use of platinum and other noble metal-containing thermocouples is increasing on production lines and in laboratories. Wherever temperature must be measured or monitored, a precious metal is probably involved.

Gold in Cellphones and Other Electronic Devices

As you might have noticed, just about everybody is carrying a smartphone these days. Plus, all those people replace their phones every few years. All those phones contain gold on their circuit boards, so gold is always in demand. Then there are all the other electronic devices that are now part of our lives – laptops, tablets, televisions with remotes, GPS devices, and more.

Silver in Sputtering Targets and other Industrial Applications

You would think that the demand for silver would be dropping. It’s a precious metal that tarnishes easily, after all. But that’s not the case, because silver has a lot of new uses. In some sputtering targets, it is used to create a bond between the substrate and the metal above it – the one that will be used to coat other surfaces. Silver is also important in a many alloys. So the demand for silver remains strong.

Junked cars contain more precious metals than just platinum in catalytic converters, including gold in circuit boards that Specialty Metals can recycle.

Junked cars contain more precious metals than just platinum in catalytic converters, including gold in circuit boards that Specialty Metals can recycle.

Platinum in Catalytic Converters

Catalytic converters have created a staggering demand for platinum – a demand that has arisen in only the last 40 years, since the use of catalytic converters became widespread. If you think this demand will go away because of electric cars and other innovations, you could be right. But that is not going to happen for another 40 or 50 years.

High Demand for Precious Metals Keeps Prices High

Those are just a few of the reasons why the precious metals you can recycle are so much in demand, and why prices are so strong. To recycle what you have and received today’s top prices, give Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners a call at 800-426-2344

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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.

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Demand for Precious Metals Increases with Widespread Healthcare Changes

America is seeing a surge in the demand for medical tests, technologies and treatments. The result? Your recyclable precious metals are likely to become much more valuable and much more in demand. Here are some of the reasons why:

Baby Boomers Are Aging

Boomers – the people who are part of the immense population “bulge” that occurred between 1946 and 1964 – are now entering their later years. The result is that many more people will require more intensive medical testing and care.

A normal chest X-ray after placement of an ICD, showing the ICD generator in the upper left chest and the ICD lead in the right ventricle of the heart. Note the 2 opaque coils along the ICD lead. Image Credit: Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, FACC

A normal chest X-ray after placement of an ICD, showing the ICD generator in the upper left chest and the ICD lead in the right ventricle of the heart. Note the 2 opaque coils along the ICD lead. Image Credit: Gregory Marcus, MD, MAS, FACC

The Range of Medical Specialties Is Increasing

Not many years ago, most Americans relied on one family doctor to administer a wide range of tests and treatments. Today, people are visiting specialists, urgent care centers, diagnostic testing centers, physical therapists, and alternative practitioners. The result? Again, an increase in the demand for testing and treatment equipment.

More Life-Sustaining Technologies Rely on Precious Metals

The use of medical devices that contain precious metals is increasing dramatically. Gold and Platinum are being used in catheters, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD), pacemakers, stents, neurovascular devices and devices that monitor or regulate brain functions. As the demand for life-extending and life-enhancing treatment grows, the demand for precious metals is surging too.

New Technologies and Treatments Will Rely on Precious Metals too

“Worth Their Weight: Precious metals have ideal properties for medical devices,” an article that Victoria Burt wrote for Micromanufacturing, quotes Rick Campo, the President of West-Tech Materials, a leading manufacturer of materials for medical applications. Campo told Burt that researchers are now developing platinum-based inks to be used in medical testing procedures.

The result of these trends could be a further increase in demand for your recyclable gold, palladium, platinum, and other precious metals. What happens when the demand increases for any commodity that is in limited supply? As any economist will tell you, the price of that commodity will increase. That’s why this is an excellent time to recycle old cellphones, circuit boards, quantities of gold-plated scrap, used thermocouples, and other materials that contain precious metals. Call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

 

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Snip the Tips to Make Surprising Money from Recyclables

If you’re looking at a large number of recyclable items, here’s a suggestion that can put a surprising amount of money into your company’s coffers . . .

Look at the tips of wires and thermocouples and test the precious metals that are hidden there!

If you snip those tips and send them to a qualified precious metals refiner, chances are good that you will get more money from them than you thought possible. There’s a simple reason. Tips contain precious metals because they’re “where the action happens” with testing equipment that monitors heat, chemical activity, or electricity at remote locations. Tips measure things, and the information they gather can be conveyed to remote shutoff valves, monitoring gauges, computer consoles, and other pieces of equipment.

Let’s take a look at where some dollars could be hiding in the kinds of tips that you have on hand.

Photo of lab testing equipment, which contains precious metals that can be profitably recycled and refined by Specialty Metals when no longer needed.

Used or Surplus Medical Testing Supplies

As we’ve noted before on this blog, the sensor tips of electrophysiology (EP) catheters contain platinum that can be profitably recycled. Used sensors can be recycled and refined, but if you are in the medical testing field, you also know that a number of catheters go unused in tests and end up in the recycling bin. Don’t let them stay there – recycling and refining platinum is worth a lot of money.

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

Appliances

Stoves, furnaces, water heaters and air conditioners, contains sensing wires that have tips that could contain quantities of copper, nickel, and even platinum, which is currently trading at nearly $1,400 on the London Fix. So snip those tips and send them to us – you could be in for a very pleasant surprise.

A Variety of Production Line Equipment

If welding, heating, or chemical reactions take place on your production line, chances are that you’re monitoring those operations remotely. And when that monitoring takes place, thermocouple wires of some kind run from your production line to gauges or consoles that are located some distance away. Thermocouple wire tips typically contain quantities of platinum, rhodium, and even gold. So snip those tips and send them to us for testing.

Want to Turn Little Tips into Big Dollars?

Call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. We're experts at recycling and refining precious metal scrap, and we can let you know just how much profit you can reclaim from your little, easy-to-overlook, very valuable tips. Why not call the right precious metal refiner today?

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