If Rhodium Is Trading at Sky-High Prices, Why Are Rhodium-Plated Items So Cheap?

If Rhodium Is Trading at Sky-High Prices, Why Are Rhodium-Plated Items So Cheap?

As we write today’s post, rhodium is trading at $2,620 on the London Fix. And investors are buying 1 oz. rhodium bullion bars for up to $2,900.

But if you shop online, you will discover that rhodium-plated rings, earrings and chains are selling for $20.00 or less. That is not a typo – they really are selling for surprisingly low prices. What is going on? How can that be?

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Looking to Recycle Platinum? What Is the Most Profitable Source?

Looking to Recycle Platinum? What Is the Most Profitable Source?

Catalytic converters are probably the biggest source of recyclable platinum today, because so many of them have been manufactured – and so many are piling up in scrapyards and other places where cars are repaired or scrapped. But even though cat convertors might be the biggest source of platinum, are they the best source for speculators who like to collect platinum scrap and send it to us to be refined? Not necessarily. 

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All about Rhodium, the Other Precious Metal

Just about everyone knows the basic facts about gold, silver, and even platinum. But if you mention rhodium to most people, they’re apt to say, “Oh yes, it’s another of the precious metals, correct?”

Shown: the periodic table symbol for Rhodium, element 45, which is very valuable and can be recycled and refined by Specialty Metals.

Those people are right. Rhodium is indeed one of the precious metals. And “precious” is the right word, because rhodium is trading at nearly the price of gold on the London Fix. But there’s a lot more information you should know about rhodium too – information that can help you refine this “other” precious metal for quite a lot of money.

Here’s a primer of useful information about rhodium.

 

What’s the history of rhodium?

Portrait of William Hyde Wollaston, who first extracted Rhodium from ores containing platinum and palladium in 1803.

Portrait of William Hyde Wollaston, who first extracted Rhodium from ores containing platinum and palladium in 1803.

In 1803 a British scientist named William Hyde Wollaston used a chemical process to extract rhodium from ores that also contained platinum and palladium. Because the metal is reddish in color, it was named rhodium from the Greek word rhodon, which means “red.” For a long time, the metal wasn’t widely used, but about 100 years after its discovery, it found its way into laboratory devices that measured high temperatures. Rhodium’s “big break” came in the mid-1970s, when rhodium-containing catalytic converters were first used to reduce the pollutants in automobile exhaust emissions. Since then, the demand for rhodium – both new and recycled – has remained strong.

Is rhodium an element?

It is. It’s element 45 on the periodic table.

How rare is rhodium?

Rhodium is one of the rarest elements. It is estimated to make up only 0.0002 parts per million of the earth’s crust. The largest known concentrations of it are in the Ural Mountains in Russia, in South Africa, and in Ontario, Canada. Because rhodium is both scarce and expensive to extract from ores, its value is almost certain to remain quite high.

What are rhodium’s unique properties?

Rhodium is hard, chrome-like in appearance, and very resistant to corrosion.

What is rhodium used for?

Until recently, rhodium was used extensively as thin plating on jewelry. But because the process of rhodium plating creates large quantities of acids and other noxious byproducts that must be discarded, it seems that the age of rhodium plating is on the wane. The demand for rhodium for automotive catalytic converters, however, is not about to lessen. That demand, coupled with the scarcity of rhodium in nature, helps assure that you can continue to receive high payouts for rhodium that you recycle using a top precious metals refiner like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners.

How much is rhodium worth?

Rhodium is currently trading for about $1,415/troy ounce on the London Fix. For comparison, gold is trading at around $1,300 (give or take the day!), and platinum for about $1,428.

Where can I find rhodium that I can recycle?

If you have 500 or more automotive catalytic converters, we can profitably recycle the rhodium that they contain, as well as their palladium and platinum. In addition, here are some other rhodium-containing items that can return high value to you…

  • Platinum-rhodium alloy mesh, wire, sheet, rods, foil, and tubes
  • Platinum-rhodium thermocouple wire
  • Lab ware containing platinum group metals, including laboratory crucibles, evaporation dishes, electrodes, tongs, loops, and mesh screens
  • Rhodium and rhodium-plated rings, watches, and other items of jewelry

Want to Know More?

If you own any of the rhodium-bearing items that are described in today’s post, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. We want to help you recycle the rhodium that you own. And we know that you will want to convert their value into cash.

Related Posts:

How to Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money from Your Used Catalytic Converters
What Precious Metals are Inside Catalytic Converters and What Are They Worth?
Non-Automotive Catalytic Converters Contain Precious Metals Too
Smarter Recycling: Don’t Overlook the High Value of Noble Metal Thermocouples
What Happens when Platinum Meets Rhodium?

Unexpected Places where Precious Metals Can Be Hiding

Sometimes it is easy to see precious metals when you come across them. You see some bright, shiny gold dust in the sand at the bottom of a stream for example, or open a dresser drawer and find your late aunt’s silver dinnerware there. Or maybe you open a box in an old jewelry factory and it is full of shiny silver wires that were once used to manufacture rings and chains.

But many precious metals are not so visible to the naked eye. Some of them seem to be “hiding in plain sight,” or just plain hiding.

Shown: Used silver recovery columns sent to Specialty Metals for the profitable extraction and recycling of the electrolytic silver flake residue they still contain.

Shown: Used silver recovery columns sent to Specialty Metals for the profitable extraction and recycling of the electrolytic silver flake residue they still contain.

Here is a checklist of some of the hard-to-see and hard-to-remember locations where precious metals can be hiding . . .

Inside Pipes

Pipes that are used to move electrolytic fluids to or from plating tanks can have valuable deposits of precious metals inside, where you can’t see them. Depending on what those plating tanks have been used for – for gold plating, for example – those deposits can be well worth recycling.

In Worthless-Looking Used Industrial Mesh

When mesh made of palladium and other precious metals has outlived its life on the production line, it looks worthless – like discolored powder. But the fact is that even worthless-looking quantities of used mesh often contain quantities of precious metals that are valuable.

In Chemicals

If you looked at chemicals that are used in photo processing, for example, you would never know that they contain quantities of silver that can be profitably recycled. You can’t see the silver, but it is certainly there.

In Industrial Waste and Sludge

Shown: mining concentrates that could contain  silver, gold, platinum and other precious metals which could be extracted, processed and recycled by Specialty Metals.

Shown: mining concentrates that could contain  silver, gold, platinum and other precious metals which could be extracted, processed and recycled by Specialty Metals.

How could something with an unglamorous name like “sludge” be worth much of anything? But it can, if it has accumulated as a result of gold or silver-plating operations. If you send in a small sample of sludge to Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, we can quickly tell you whether it contains gold, silver, or another precious metal that can be recycled.

In Unprocessed Deposits of Mine Ore and Sand

If you have visited an old gold, silver, copper or coal mine that is no longer in use, chances are that you have seen quantities of unprocessed mine waste. If it’s lying there unprocessed it must be worthless, right? Well not necessarily. Take copper mining. Anode slimes that result from copper mining often contains small amounts of gold, silver, platinum or other metals that can be recycled, even if those metals were not the primary product that the mine was extracting from the earth.

We’re Experts at the Unexpected

After 32 years of turning scrap into gold, we’ve seen it all from our customers across a wide variety of industries and manufacturing sectors. Send us a sample and let us tell you’ve got profitable precious metals hiding where you least expect it. Click here to start the process.

Related Posts:

Do You Have Undiscovered Precious Metals in Your Organization?
How To Recycle Your Old Silver Recovery Columns
Can You Extract Gold from Black Sand?
How Palladium and Platinum Refiners Remove Precious Metals from Liquids
Why It Pays to Have Mining Ores Analyzed for Precious Metals

What Happens when Platinum Meets Rhodium?

Platinum is a valuable precious metal. So is rhodium. So what happens when they are combined?

The result is a valuable alloy that has some very useful properties and abilities, including stability at high heat. That could explain why alloys of the platinum and rhodium have found their way into a number of devices and components that are widely used in testing, aerospace and production lines.

Shown: platinum rhodium electrode mesh, which Specialty Metals can recycle and refine for the best precious metal prices.

Shown: platinum rhodium electrode mesh, which Specialty Metals can recycle and refine for the best precious metal prices.

If you have some of the following items on hand, they could contain quantities of the two metals that can return a lot of dollar value to you after they are recycled.

Platinum-Rhodium Thermocouple Wire

Thermocouple wire is widely used in industrial applications, most often where temperatures on a production line are monitored from remote locations. Some of these applications include production line welding, ceramics manufacturing, and many chemical processes.

Platinum-Rhodium Labware Used in Testing

These items can include crucibles, tongs, stands, probes, and other pieces of testing equipment. Even when such items are discolored or worn, they still contain valuable quantities of platinum and rhodium.

Platinum-Rhodium Catalysts Used in Chemical Production

These applications are far-ranging and fascinating. Screens made of platinum-rhodium alloy are used to produce nitric acid, fine glass fibers for use in fiber optics, and even artificial silk. If you encounter a batch of those screens, it is well worth contacting Special Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344 to find out more about having them analyzed.

Automotive and Industrial Catalytic Converters

These are the applications where alloys of platinum and rhodium have been most widely used. If you operate an automotive recycling center, a muffler shop, or other business where you accrue a quantity of catalytic converters, don’t let their value slip away.

And let’s not forget platinum-rhodium-tungsten alloys . . .

These highly heat-resistant alloys are finding their way into a number of aerospace applications, and can be worth a lot if recycled. Have questions? Call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

Related Posts:

Why Used Thermocouple Wire Is a Top Candidate for Profitable Recycling
Smarter Recycling: Don’t Overlook the High Value of Noble Metal Thermocouples
Bright Shiny Platinum Could Be Hiding in Your Dented and Dirty Old Labware
What You Need to Know about Recycling Alloys of Precious Metals
How to Eliminate the Middleman and Make More Money from Your Used Catalytic Converters