How Much Money Can You Make Recycling Jewelers’ Supplies?

How Much Money Can You Make Recycling Jewelers’ Supplies?

“My grandfather was a master jeweler and jewelry repairman,” a caller told us recently. “Unfortunately, he recently passed away, and now we have the job of emptying his workshop. Can you give me some advice on what we should be looking for?”

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Are Platinum Thefts about to Become More Common?

Are Platinum Thefts about to Become More Common?

Maybe It’s Time to Protect Yourself

Have you ever seen the silent movie “The Great Train Robbery” that was produced by Thomas A. Edison back in 1903? Even today, it is an exciting film to watch, showing thieves stopping a train and making off with bags of money and jewelry that they take from passengers.

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Titanium Gains Popularity in the Jewelry Market

Titanium Gains Popularity in the Jewelry Market

Over the years titanium has been used mostly in aerospace and industrial applications, and with good reason. Titanium is nearly as hard as steel, but it weighs much less. It is extremely resistant to corrosion and wear. It resists deformation -  you are going to have to jump up and down pretty hard on a titanium ring or pipe to get it to flatten.

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How Will Modern Crime-Fighting Tools Change the World of Precious Metals?

How Will Modern Crime-Fighting Tools Change the World of Precious Metals?

Only a few years ago, it was easy for crooks to sell items they had stolen – silverware, jewelry, firearms, what have you. They just drove to a pawnshop located some distance from where the crime had occurred and sold what they had stolen. The situation was bad for everyone…All that is now changing, thanks to new online databases of stolen goods

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Where to Find Platinum Wire in Strange Places

Where to Find Platinum Wire in Strange Places

Platinum wire can turn up just about anywhere where platinum was used in manufacturing. Even though it doesn’t look valuable to the casual observer, it could be. So, if you find bright, shiny white wire... 

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Is It Time to Talk to Your Parents about their Precious Metals?

Is It Time to Talk to Your Parents about their Precious Metals?

If your parents, grandparents or other family elders are downsizing or moving into adult living communities, this could be a good time to talk to them about the silverware, jewelry and other precious metal items they own. Why talk to them today? Consider these reasons...

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Recycling Precious Metals – It’s Time You Found Out about Findings

Recycling Precious Metals – It’s Time You Found Out about Findings

Findings are small, pre-manufactured metal items that are used in jewelry production. Chances are pretty good that as you read this post, some of them are right there in the room with you. If you bought a nice silver chain to give your niece for a present, for example, open the box and take a look at it. You’ll see that there is a small ring attached to one end, and some kind of clasp to the other. Those add-on pieces are findings. 

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How to Tell the Difference Between Silver, White Gold and Platinum

How to Tell the Difference Between Silver, White Gold and Platinum

If you go shopping at antique malls or estate sales, you will discover a number of items for sale that are made of gray metal. How can you tell if they are made of silver, white gold or platinum?

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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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Where to Find Precious Metals in Liquid Suspension

For today’s post, let’s assume that you have bought a factory. Along with it, you have come to own bottles or drums of liquid chemicals that were once used there.

What are the odds that those chemicals contain gold, silver or other precious metals that are worth recycling? The most definitive way to answer that question is to send samples of what you have to Precious Metals Smelters and Refiners – with a few simple tests we can determine what you have and its value. Or if your liquid chemicals are labeled, we can tell you what metals they could contain. (We say “could” contain because older lots of chemicals can be contaminated and difficult to process.)

Photo of skids of drums filled used manufacturing fluids containing traces of precious metals that can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals.

But here’s some helpful information that can give you a rough idea about whether the chemicals you own contain precious metals.

The Presence of Precious Metals Depends on What the Factory Was Producing

Film processing - By far, silver is the most common precious metal that you will find in industrial chemicals, because silver chemicals were (and are) used in the processing of photographic and x-ray films. And as you know, those processes have been very widely used over the last century.

Application of thin films – If your factory was applying thin films of gold or silver onto glass, ceramics, plastics or other surfaces, chances are good that your chemicals contain quantities of those metals that can be recovered by a qualified precious metals refinery. Among the most common examples of those processes are applying reflective films to architectural or optical glass, but there are other processes that use precious metals in suspension too, such as the manufacturing of solar panels. And if your factory was manufacturing decorative ceramic tiles, you could be looking at chemicals that contain gold and other precious metals.

Jewelry manufacturing - Precious metal-bearing chemicals are also used to apply thin films of precious metal – most often gold or platinum – onto watch cases, rings, and other pieces of jewelry. Those plating processes are accomplished by tank plating or brush plating, in which a paste that contains the precious metal is applied by using an electrically charged metal brush.

How Are Precious Metals Extracted from Liquids?

It depends on a number of factors, such as whether the metal exists in the liquid in suspension (small powders of the metal are dispersed in pure form in the liquid) or in a chemical compound (the metal is present as a chemical compound, like silver nitrate, in the liquid). Depending on those factors, different processes can be used, including the use of centrifuges or (more commonly) the introduction of other chemicals that cause reactions in which the precious metals are separated and precipitated out of the liquid.

In either case, it is mysterious to watch precious metals like gold or silver suddenly become available from liquids where they were hiding. If you think we can work that kind of magic for you, give us a call at 800-426-2344 and we can tell you more.

Related Posts:

Buying or Selling a Business? Recycle Precious Metals before They Slip Away
Let’s Get Wet: What Liquids Contain Valuable Precious Metals?
How Palladium and Platinum Refiners Remove Precious Metals from Liquids
How To Recycle Your Old Silver Recovery Columns

Platinum Sterling - What You Need to Know about this Precious Alloy

If you’ve visited a jewelry store in the last few years, you noticed that platinum sterling and platinum-plated sterling have become top choices for engagement rings and other pieces of jewelry where hardness, beauty, tarnish-resistance, and durability are required.

How did platinum and sterling join forces to become beautiful jewelry? Let’s learn more.

Shown: Jewelry and jewelry scrap containing platinum, silver and other platinum group metals that our customers have sent in for recycling and refining.

Shown: Jewelry and jewelry scrap containing platinum, silver and other platinum group metals that our customers have sent in for recycling and refining.

A Brief History of the Platinum Sterling Alloy

A little more than a decade ago, American Bullion Inc. (ABI) of Carson, California, created and registered a trademark for a new kind of alloy, Platinum Sterling™. The goal was to create an alloy for jewelry that would be beautiful, resistant to tarnishing – in others words, a silver-colored alternative to karat gold.

The result was a great success. The resulting alloy was durable, beautiful, and much more tarnish-resistant than sterling silver alloys.  Many jewelers observed that while the alloy looked similar to both white gold and sterling silver, it was both harder and heavier.

Beyond the Alloy: Platinum-Plated Silver Jewelry

In the same period of time – about the last decade – a growing number of jewelry manufacturers have also expanded their manufacturing of platinum-plated silver jewelry, especially engagement rings and earrings, in which platinum-plated posts are as tarnish-resistant as pure platinum, yet less expensive than similar items made of pure platinum.  If you search online, you will quickly find platinum-plated silver items made by both very high-end jewelry companies (including Swarovski) and other jewelry brands too (Vinani).

You will also notice that a growing number of platinum-plated silver watches are being sold today, and with good reason. They look as elegant as watches that are made of pure platinum, but in most cases are more economical to buy.

The Marriage of Platinum and Silver Could Spell Profits for You

If you have come into a quantity of either platinum silver or platinum-plated silver jewelry items – or scrap left over from manufacturing them – you could have a quantity of precious metals that are well worth recycling. Call 800-426-2344 to learn more.  

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An Invitation to Jewelers, Pawnbrokers and Other Jewelry Professionals to Partner with Our Precious Metals Refinery
Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal
What You Need to Know about Recycling Alloys of Precious Metals
How Much Platinum Does Your Platinum Jewelry Really Contain?
Six Traits of the Best Platinum Refiners



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

How Much Platinum Does Your Platinum Jewelry Really Contain?

If you have pieces of platinum jewelry that you’re thinking of recycling, how much platinum do they contain? Here’s some information from the Federal Trade Commission that can help you know.

Don’t Rely on Information that Is on the Packaging

Even if your platinum items are packaged in boxes or other packaging that states that they are made of platinum, don’t believe it unless the items themselves are stamped with markings like “platinum,” “plat” or “pt.”

Understanding the Markings on Pieces of Platinum Jewelry

Shown: Jewelry and jewelry scrap containing platinum and other platinum group metals that Specialty Metals recycles and refines.

If an item is simply stamped as “platinum,” “plat,” or “pt.” with no other markings, that means that it contains at least 95% pure platinum - if it was legally sold in America.

If it is stamped with a marking like “850Plat,” that means that it contains 85% pure platinum.

Sometimes stampings will indicate the other metals that are present in the jewelry too. For example:

  • 800 Pt. 200 Pd. indicates 80% pure platinum and 20% palladium
  • 750 Pt. 250 Rh. Indicates 75% pure platinum and 25% rhodium
  • 600 Pt. 350 Ir. Indicates 60% pure platinum and 35% iridium

What Other Metals Could Platinum Jewelry Contain?

According to the FTC, jewelry that is marked “platinum” could contain:

  • Other platinum group metals such as iridium, osmium, rhodium, or ruthenium
  • Base metals such a copper or cobalt

Not Sure What You Have?

If you own a quantity of jewelry that you think is made of platinum but which has no markings, what does that mean? There are several possibilities. It could have been manufactured for sale in other countries, for example. It could have been made before current labeling standards were enforced. Or it could have been improperly stamped by the manufacturer.

If your items are not marked, you would be well advised to call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, a qualified platinum refiner, for testing. Call 800-426-2344 to learn more.

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What Is a Troy Ounce