When we answered our phone a few weeks ago, a very nice gentleman told us that he had collected more than 1,000 used printer cartridges that he wanted to recycle. “How can I send them to you to be processed?” he asked. We had to give him the bad news that print cartridges do not contain precious metals. We explained that some of the ink they once contained might have contained tiny quantities of silver, and that some ink cartridges have circuit boards that contain extremely small quantities of gold - but that even in the best of circumstances, he didn’t have enough of any precious metal that we could profitably extract for him. We suggested that he take his cartridges to an office supply store that participates in manufacturers’ recycling programs.Read More
If you’ve ever walked around an old industrial site hunting for precious metal scrap, you know that the search can be overwhelming. You examine heaps of dirt, piles of chemicals hiding in the bushes, old steel drums that contain dried or wet sediment, streams where chemicals and byproducts were once deposited, and all kinds of other places that could be hiding precious metal scrap. Although you cannot identify most precious metal scrap just by looking at it, here’s a quick visual guide to some of the materials that can often be refined profitably in our precious metals refinery.Read More
...Presto! Gold plating has happened. It’s a simple process that has been used for years to apply gold plating to jewelry and other metal items. But today’s post is not about recycling those items. It’s about reclaiming gold from the tanks where the process took place. Let’s take a closer look...Read More
It seems likely that prices are trending up, and could continue to do so for months, or even for several years. If that is the case, what are your best gold investment strategies? If you believe that gold prices will continue to rise, here are two to consider…Read More
We would like to tell you a story that illustrates the fact that you could make a lot of money, simply by recycling quantities of gold, silver and platinum that could be hiding in plain sight in companies that manufacture or repair jewelry, dental appliances, silverware, or other common products.Read More
Have you stopped to think how rare discoveries like those are, and how much more likely it is that you will discover quantities of precious metals in powders, shavings, sludge and other stuff that doesn’t look valuable? In other words, the crud that you will find lying around in old businesses and factories? If you don’t know where money can be found in crud, we will tell you in today’s post.Read More
If you are in the process of dismantling or selling a manufacturing company, you owe it to yourself and to your bottom line to be sure that you are not overlooking silver and gold that are literally hiding “down the drain” in pipes and other places that you can’t see.
Here is some information you should know that could put money in your pocket.
Where can gold and silver be hiding?
It is not uncommon to find them . . .
- Adhering to the sides of plating and processing tanks
- Lining the pipes that connect tanks and other pieces of equipment
- Hiding in screens, filters, mesh, drains and drain traps
- Clumping in sludge
- Piling up in quantities of shavings or dust
In those places, gold can often be detected by the naked eye – it does not tarnish and is often easy to spot. Silver, however, may look like a dull black powder. It takes a qualified silver refinery like us to test a sample of what you have to determine its true value.
What manufacturing companies are good places to look for gold?
Some businesses come to mind quickly, others are less obvious . . .
- Plating companies
- Jewelry manufacturing firms
- Manufacturers of eyeglass frames
- Dental laboratories and dental practices
- Electronics manufacturing companies
What manufacturing companies are good places to look for silver?
You can find quantities of silver in . . .
- Plating companies
- Manufacturers of trophies and commemorative items
- Photo processing companies and x-ray and imaging laboratories (silver is found down the drain under processing tanks, in processing chemicals, in film, and in photosensitive papers)
- Manufacturers, dismantlers, and installers of solar panels
Call Us for a Complimentary Consultation
We are here to answer all your questions about gold and silver. Call us at 800-426-2344 for a complimentary consultation.
Let’s Get Wet: What Liquids Contain Valuable Precious Metals?
Why Recycling Plating Tank Scrap Can Pay You More than You Expect
Recycling Opportunity: More Medical Equipment Is Getting Scrapped than Ever Before
Buying or Selling a Business? Recycle Precious Metals before They Slip Away
Why Money Can Be Found in Your Used Electroplating Supplies
Today’s post is going to sound a little bit like a chemistry lesson, because chemicals are used to recycle platinum and palladium from liquids where they reside.
Most of the time here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, we use heat to extract precious metals. This is one time when that’s not the case.
How Do Palladium and Platinum Get into Liquids?
- As a byproduct of mining operations – Acidic baths are often used to leach copper, nickel, uranium and other metals from ores. In many cases, the acidic liquid that is left after processing contains trace elements of other precious metals too, including platinum, palladium or even gold.
- From plating baths – If your operations include tank-plating palladium or platinum onto other metals, your used solutions can still contain valuable quantities of those metals. In some cases, as much as 10 ounces of metal has been recovered from one cubic foot of used plating solutions. That’s a lot of valuable precious metal.
- From solutions left over from platinum recycling processes – If you employ wet chemical methods to extract palladium, platinum and rhodium from recycled catalytic converters, your used acids and washing liquids could contain recyclable quantities of precious metals.
How Are Precious Metals Extracted from Liquid Media?
It all comes down to chemistry. First, we analyze your liquids to determine the quantities of precious metals that they contain. Next, we introduce the right chemicals into your liquids in the right way – under safe, monitored laboratory conditions, of course. The results can be amazing, as ounces of palladium and platinum precipitate out of liquids that looked like little more than opaque sludge.
Incidentally, Dow Chemical and other companies manufacture a number of high-quality chemicals that are used in these operations. All processing is done in the most advanced, environmentally respectful conditions that comply with all laws.
Today’s Practical Tip . . .
Don’t let those metals go unextracted, because they are worth a great deal of money. Call us at 800-426-2344; tell us what liquids you have. We’ll help you set up a plan to analyze your liquids, extract precious metals from them – and put dollars in your pocket.
Does your company electroplate thin layers of one metal onto another? Or have you recently acquired quantities of used e-plating equipment or scrap from another company? In either case, you could have something of value on your hands.
Here are the answers to some questions about how electroplating works and where dollars could be hiding.
Why Is Electroplating Done?
Electroplating can be used to beautify metals or protect them from corrosion. Remember the “chrome cruiser cars” of the 1950s, with acres of chrome-plated trim? Similarly, jewelry and tableware can be coated with silver or gold to make them more beautiful. Electroplating is also used to make metals less likely to oxidize – that’s why “tin cans” are actually steel cans that have been electroplated with tin so that the steel will not react chemically with the can’s contents. In addition, durable metals like platinum and palladium are sometimes plated onto softer metals to make them harder or abrasion-resistant.
How Is Electroplating Done?
Let’s look at the most basic way of coating one metal onto another – in an electroplating tank. First, that tank is filled with liquid, called the electrolytic bath, which contains a solution that contains the metal like platinum that will be used as a coating. The object to be plated is immersed in the bath, and connected to the negative terminal of a source of electricity that will flow through the bath. (In other words, the object to be plated becomes the cathode.) Next another piece of metal – one that will not be plated – is connected to the positive terminal and immersed in the liquid. (It becomes the anode.)
When electricity flows through the bath, electrodes of the metal that will become the plating (i.e., silver) adhere to the object that is being plated.
That basic process can vary, depending on the nature of the metal that will form the plating, the object to be plated and other variables. Sometimes, for example, the anode can be made of the metal that will be used as a coating; electrodes from it will flow to the object to be coated. But even though there are variations, that’s basically how tank e-plating works.
Why Can Used E-plating Materials and Supplies Be Worth Money?
There are several reasons. Let’s take a closer look.
- Tanks, filters, mesh screens, piping and other equipment can have become coated with quantities of the gold, palladium or the other precious metals that have been used as platings.
- If a tank has been used to apply alloys of precious metals, the “used” cathodes can still contain quantities of precious metals that can be quite valuable.
- The used electrolytic fluid, and any “sludge” that accumulated on the bottom of tanks or elsewhere, can contain quantities of the precious metal that was used as a plating.
Want to Know What Your Used E-Plating Materials are Worth?
Several factors can determine how much value you have in used electroplating supplies – the kind of metal that was used as plating, for example. If you have quantities of these potentially valuable recyclables on hand, why not call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. Tell us what you have and we’ll be pleased to help you claim the hidden dollars that could be hiding in it.
Why Recycling Plating Tank Scrap Can Pay You More than You Expect
Finding Value in Cutlery from the Golden Age of Silver Electroplating
The Puzzling, Profitable Process of Refining Silver-Plated Scrap Items
How to Get Top Dollar for Silverware and Gold Jewelry