The Resurgence of Film Photography Is Good for Silver Investments

The Resurgence of Film Photography Is Good for Silver Investments

Only a decade ago, film photography seemed to be dying as more and more photographers turned in their old film cameras and went digital. Then about five years ago, people started to set aside their digital cameras as they took more and more of their snapshots on phones.

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Looking to Buy Undervalued Precious Metals? Shop at Businesses for Sale

Looking to Buy Undervalued Precious Metals? Shop at Businesses for Sale

It is easy to find businesses that are for sale. You will find them advertised in newspapers that are published near where you live. Plus, you can find hundreds of them online on BizBuySell.com and other online listings of businesses that are for sale. Just search online for “businesses for sale” and you’ll soon be looking at hundreds of them. 

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Will the Return to Film Photography Make Silver Prices Soar?

Will the Return to Film Photography Make Silver Prices Soar?

Even though film and other analog photo supplies are selling at a tiny fraction of what they were in the pre-digital age, those increases are significant. Since film photography is highly reliant on silver, does that increase mean that silver will be in greater demand, and trading prices will rise? It could be. Whenever demand increases for a commodity that is in a fixed supply, prices for that commodity rise. 

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Quiz: Which Disappearing Medium Is the Biggest Source of Silver?

Quiz: Which Disappearing Medium Is the Biggest Source of Silver?

Over the last century, all kinds of media – for audio recording, video recording and the recording of still images – have consistently been replaced by new media that have been better in one way or another. And every time something new hit the marketplace, large quantities of the old “stuff” got tossed away, got sold at discount prices, or was snapped up by collectors. So, where can you find silver in obsolete media?

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Discovering Precious Metals: Answers to Four Common Questions

We’re delivering a little extra value in today’s post, by answering not one but four questions that we’ve heard recently about recycling gold and precious metals.

Image of businessperson searching for undiscovered precious metals that Specialty Metals can help refine profitably.

“Can I find undiscovered precious items on eBay?”

Although it is theoretically possible to discover an undervalued piece of 24 karat gold jewelry or another precious item on eBay, the likelihood of that happening is very small. Even if a seller doesn’t know that he or she has listed something priceless for auction online, the marketplace will react quickly, a flurry of bidding will start, and the seller will realize that he or she has something that is worth a lot more than expected.

“It’s not really possible to find valuable things with a metal detector, is it?”

Actually, it really is possible to use a metal detector to discover coins and other items that have been lost . . . or hidden. To review what people have been finding recently, search online for “recent metal detector finds.” The valuable discoveries you read about will probably surprise you.

“Computers contain such small quantities of gold that it’s really not worth recycling them, is it?”

It all comes down to quantity. If you have only one or two old computers or central processing units (CPUs), then recycling them is probably not worth your effort or time. But if you have a larger quantity – say 200 or 300 – you can recycle the gold these used electronics contain using our qualified precious metals refinery and net a significant sum of money.

And when you stop to think about it, it is not really that hard to find 200 or 300 old stockpiled computers that need to be recycled. Schools have them. Hospitals do too. So before you write off the idea of turning old computers into money, take a look around. Also, conducting a computer drive for a local organization can be a good way to raise funds.

“Silver is worth so little, why would anybody bother to recycle it?”

People are asking this question a lot lately, but it represents faulty thinking. Even though silver is trading for prices that are a fraction of gold’s, it is not at all difficult to find very large quantities of silver. You can find it in old tableware, in photographic and x-ray papers and film, in welding supplies, and plenty of other places.

Do You Have Questions too?

Why not call us at 800-426-2344? We’re happy to answer any other questions you may have that we haven’t heard yet.

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Old Kodak Report Tells You How Much Silver Is in Your Photographic Films and Papers

Do you own a photo processing lab with inventories of new and developed film, photographic paper, and developing chemicals?  

Those supplies contain silver that can be extracted and refined. How much silver? We just discovered a very useful report that can help you know.

A Fascinating Older Report from Kodak

Can you spot the silver in this photo of a photographer processing film and making prints? It’s everywhere: in the paper, the chemicals, and the film, and Specialty Metals can help you recycle it all profitably.

Can you spot the silver in this photo of a photographer processing film and making prints? It’s everywhere: in the paper, the chemicals, and the film, and Specialty Metals can help you recycle it all profitably.

Back in 1998, Kodak published a report entitled “Sources of Silver in Photographic Processing Facilities.” (Click here to download the PDF.) It dates from the time before digital photography became the preferred way of taking pictures, but it still contains useful guidelines about sources of silver in photo labs. It was intended to help high-volume photo labs – labs that were developing thousands of rolls of film a day – determine how much money they could recoup by recycling their materials.

The report still offers some great insights on extracting silver from film and other photographic materials. Here are some highlights . . .

  • Photographic papers and films are the biggest source of silver in photo labs.
  • Used photo-processing chemicals – the solutions that are used to develop film – also contain quantities of silver that can be recycled. It’s because those solutions remove quantities of silver from the films they are processing. That silver remains in the used solutions and can be extracted.
  • The tape that is used to splice photographic films contains silver too. The Kodak report states that this source of silver is “often overlooked.”
  • Different kinds of films contain different quantities of silver. The Kodak report states that 1,000 square feet of Kodak Gold Film contain four troy ounces of silver, for example, while 1,000 square feet of Kodak Royal Gold 400 film (a “faster” film with a higher ISO rating) contain only 1.1 troy ounces of silver. It takes a lot of rolls of 35mm film to make up 1,000 square feet; however, the report contains useful tables that help you calculate how many square feet of film can be found in films of different formats and sizes.

Silver is Used in Digital Processing Too

If you’re in the business of processing photos, think “silver.” Even in this age of digital photography, that metal is an integral part of printing photos. Valuable quantities of electrolytic silver flake could result. Also, recycling your used and unused chemicals and  papers to extract the silver that they contain could be a profitable activity for you.

Related Posts:

Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies
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Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal