How Much is Platinum Scrap Worth?

How Much is Platinum Scrap Worth?

With platinum trading on the London Fix for $831 per ounce, it’s no wonder that precious metal investors look to platinum as a top investment today. Its trading price falls about halfway between the current Fix price of only $17.25 for an ounce of silver, and $1510.80 for an ounce of gold. Plus, traders realize that although platinum is rarer than gold and certainly a lot rarer than silver, many kinds of platinum scrap are not too difficult to find. They know that if they can buy platinum scrap at pennies on the dollar, which is often possible, they can send it to us for testing and recycling and profit handsomely on their investment.

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What You Don’t Know about Fabricating Platinum Could Be Costing You Money

What You Don’t Know about Fabricating Platinum Could Be Costing You Money

Platinum is bright, shiny and resistant to tarnish. It can be used to make beautiful jewelry, labware, and even the outside casings of implantable medical devices. For those reasons, many people believe that the only way to produce a piece of platinum - be it a ring, a lab crucible or anything else - is to cast it in one piece.

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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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Best Places to Find Precious Metals in Businesses that Are Closing

Best Places to Find Precious Metals in Businesses that Are Closing

It is always sad to see a business fail – someone’s hopes, dream and dollars are wrapped up in every enterprise. But a business that has closed can spell opportunity if you’re an alert investor who wants to buy precious metals for recycling.

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How to Make Money Recycling Gold Thermocouples

How to Make Money Recycling Gold Thermocouples

Did you know that some thermocouples contain gold and gold alloys? They are highly specialized, not the kind of thermocouples or thermocouple wire that you can pull out of old stoves or air conditioners. They are usually used in laboratory settings to measure low to moderate temperatures. If you acquire even a small quantity of them...

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Why Stuff that Doesn’t Glitter Could Be Platinum

Why Stuff that Doesn’t Glitter Could Be Platinum

Although platinum doesn’t rust or oxidize, it can discolor after it is exposed to high heat in laboratories. That bluish patina can be deceiving. You look at a discolored piece of thermocouple wire or a testing crucible or a stand that was used in the lab and think, “this discolored stuff can’t possibly be platinum.” The discolorations that affect used platinum mesh or sponge can be even more deceiving. They can be reduced to a blackish powder that you’d be tempted to sweep up and toss away.

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New Restaurant Technologies Rely on Thermocouples You Can Recycle for Cash

New Restaurant Technologies Rely on Thermocouples You Can Recycle for Cash

In the larger restaurants where so many of us eat today – the chains that have the same restaurants that we see whether we are driving near Atlanta, Los Angeles or Boston – most of the food is prepared in an entirely new way.  Partially or completely prepared frozen entrees arrive from central production facilities that resemble factories, not kitchens.  And when those meals arrive, they are stored in freezers and then prepared quickly, using high-tech restaurant equipment.

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A Brief History of Platinum

A Brief History of Platinum

Because platinum wasn’t used widely in jewelry or industry until about 100 years ago, it seems like a “new” precious metal. That’s not really true.  In about 700 B.C., Egyptian artisans were using it to make ornamental objects, like the famous and mysterious Casket of Thebes.  And at the same time, pre-Columbian artisans in South America were fashioning it into small trinkets. Those are only a few fascinating facts about this beautiful, tarnish-resistant, and durable precious metal. Here’s a quick timeline of its fascinating history.

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Why Recycling Large Quantities of Small Appliances Offers You a Big Payback

Why Recycling Large Quantities of Small Appliances Offers You a Big Payback

How valuable are the precious metals in a single toaster? How about in a coffee maker or a toaster oven? In reality, you won’t find more than a few cents’ worth of precious metals in small appliances like those. But when the quantities of small appliances increase, things can get more interesting – and more profitable. Here are some interesting variables that can have a big impact on the potential value of quantities of smaller appliances . . .

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What’s Happening with Gold?

If you’ve been monitoring the current drop in gold prices, chances are that you have been wondering what is happening with gold. That is a very good question to ask, especially if you own quantities of gold that you would like to recycle or sell at the most opportune time.

Yet as a very wise investor once told me . . .

When everyone is asking the same question, smart investors think of other questions that could be even smarter to ask.

What's going on with gold right now? And is that the only question you should be asking? Maybe now is the time to talk to Specialty Metals about recycling silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium?

What's going on with gold right now? And is that the only question you should be asking? Maybe now is the time to talk to Specialty Metals about recycling silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium?

The message behind that advice is that contrarian thinking is often the best in unsettling times. So instead of following the crowd and fixating on gold, perhaps questions like these will lead you to more profits today.

Smart Questions to Ask

  • Am I overlooking other precious metals that I could recycle profitably today? If you own quantities of catalytic converters, thermocouples, or other items that contain precious metals, could it be wiser to direct your attention to them now? What is happening with gold could be a secondary concern.
  • Could I profit by selling or recycling my gold now, despite the current price levels? If you acquired gold at a price that was lower than its current level, you can still profit by liquidating it now. You make money by selling at a profit, correct? So the current prices may not be a valid consideration.
  • Instead of trying to buy gold now at attractive prices, should I invest in, or recycle, other precious metals instead? Gold is not the only game in town. Other metals, including platinum, are also selling at very attractive prices. Perhaps they offer you a better investing option today.
  • Where can I acquire gold and other precious metals today at below-market prices? We have, for example, recently recycled quantities of used sputtering targets and catalytic converters that our clients acquired for “pennies on the dollar.” Those clients enjoyed a very good return on every dollar they invested, without obsessing about the current trading prices of gold or other precious metals.
  • Why are aggressive recycling companies courting me? In the current climate, a number of firms are attempting to acquire gold now at its lowest price, so they can hold onto them until prices rise. If you are getting solicitations that urge you to liquidate your gold holdings now, it could be wisest to wait for prices to rise so you can realize profits at the right time. Why give away the possibility of claiming future profits for yourself?

Answers to Your Questions about Gold

If gold is on your mind and you have questions about it or other precious metals, this is an opportune time to contact Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344.

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




Be on the Lookout for Precious Metals as Air Conditioning Systems Power Off

In Canada and the northern regions of the United States, autumn is the season when leave start to fall and football gets started. It is also the time of year when people toss their old air conditioning systems and upgrade to new ones. If you are on the lookout, you could reclaim precious metals from old systems – precious metals that can be profitably recycled by a precious metals refinery like us.

Photo of an air conditioning system being repaired. Systems like this contain gold-bearing circuit boards and platinum thermocouple wire which can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals.

Photo of an air conditioning system being repaired. Systems like this contain gold-bearing circuit boards and platinum thermocouple wire which can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals.

Whether you are in the business of installing new air conditioning systems or simply find yourself in possession of a stack of old window units, here are some of the sources of precious metals that you should know about.

Recyclable Gold in Circuit Boards

Modern air conditioning systems and individual units contain circuit boards that can yield quantities of recyclable gold. It is most commonly found on the contact “fingers” on the edges of printed circuit boards. Be on the lookout for them in . . .

  • Remote devices that are used to control individual and window air conditioning units in hotels, motels, and private homes.
  • Front-panel displays and controls in both window and through-the-wall air conditioning units.
  • Central control panels and individual thermostats that are part of larger commercial and industrial systems.

The larger the quantity of these devices that you have, the more gold you have that can be recycled.

Recyclable Platinum and Other Metals in Thermocouples

Thermocouples and thermocouple wire are devices that monitor and control temperatures remotely. Valuable quantities of them can be found in commercial central air conditioning systems. And they are worth money. They can contain platinum, platinum/rhodium alloys, palladium/platinum/gold alloys, rhodium, nickel alloys, tungsten alloys – and even combinations of two noble metals like Gold and Platinum or Platinum and Palladium.

If you come into possession of a quantity of them, they have the potential to be recycled very profitably.

As Temperatures Cool, Your Income from Precious Metals Could Be Heating Up

If you have used air-conditioning systems or units on hand, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. We are here to help you turn them into dollars.

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Watch the Gold You Can Recycle from Circuit Boards Pile Up in these Videos

High Heat Equals High Value

If you’ve read this blog before, you know that we have written posts about thermocouples – those fascinating devices, made up of two different metals that are used to monitor temperatures remotely. We have also written about the probes, attached to the ends of thermocouple wires, which are used to monitor temperatures in medical testing and manufacturing processes.

Those devices often contain precious metals. But today we would like to tell you about some items that are just a bit different…

Thermocouples and probes that are used to monitor extremely high temperatures

Photo of a power plant, where you can find a wealth of platinum thermocouples that can be refined and recycled by Specialty Metals.

We are not talking about the more common thermocouple set-ups that are used to monitor temperatures in water heaters, kitchen stoves, air conditioners, or pasteurizing operations. We are talking about specialized thermocouples from nuclear power plants, non-nuclear-power plants, jet engines, gas turbines, and other places where there is a need to monitor sustained levels of extremely high temperatures.

Certain precious metals and platinum alloys are used in places like those because they will not oxidize, even at extremely high temperatures. Where lesser metals would fizzle out, they keep on monitoring.

What Metals Can You Find in High-Temperature Thermocouples and Probes?

Let’s take a look at what these high-temp thermocouples can contain.

  • Molybdenum – This is one tough metal. It holds up in temperatures up to 4000°F.
  • Platinum-Rhodium Alloys – Used in applications up to about 3000°F.
  • Tantalum – Used in applications up to about 4000°F.
  • Platinum-Molybdenum Alloys – Used in application up to about 3000°F.

How Can You Determine the Value of High-Temperature Thermocouples and Probes?

If you have scrap from high-temperature applications, don’t hesitate to find out how much it can be worth. If you call us at 800-426-2344, one of our expert consultants can explain how simple it is to send in a sample of your scrap for testing.

Related Posts:

Where Can You Find Thermocouples? A Quick Checklist for You
Easy-to-Miss Places where Platinum-Plated Metals Can Be Found
What Happens when Platinum Meets Rhodium?
Smarter Recycling: Don’t Overlook the High Value of Noble Metal Thermocouples

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

Where Can You Find Thermocouples? A Quick Checklist for You

We’ve written about thermocouples before on this blog, and today we are going to provide you with a checklist of where to find them. But before we do, let’s get a quick overview of what they are . . .

Shown: platinum thermocouple wire scrap, a very profitable type of scrap Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can recycle for your company.

Shown: platinum thermocouple wire scrap, a very profitable type of scrap Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners can recycle for your company.

Thermocouples, like batteries, are devices that are made up of two or more metals that generate voltage. When they are subjected to temperature changes (or radiation changes in some cases), changes occur in the amount of voltage that they generate. In fact, when one end of a long wire thermocouple is heated, that voltage increase can be measured at the other end.

So the result is that thermocouples can be used to remotely measure changes in temperature. If you’re supervising a production line, for example, thermocouples can help you monitor temperature changes from the safety of a control room that is located at some distance from the line itself. Thermocouples can also be used to ensure the safety of manufacturing operations. If the temperature in a piece of equipment rises above safe levels, for example, a device equipped with a thermocouple can automatically shut it down.

What Precious Metals Do Thermocouples Contain?

Depending on the application, they can contain a number of different precious and non-precious metals. They can be made of: pure platinum, platinum/rhodium alloys, Palladium/Platinum/Gold alloy, nickel alloys, tungsten alloys; and even a combination of 2 pure noble metals like Gold and Platinum or Platinum and Palladium.

Where Are Thermocouples Found?

  • Airplane gauges and controls
  • Air conditioning systems
  • Chemical manufacturing plants
  • Equipment used in the manufacturing of steel and other metals
  • Furnaces
  • Gas turbines
  • Ignition systems used in manufacturing
  • Industrial safety systems
  • Industrial sensors of many kinds
  • Industrial valves and actuators
  • Kerosene lamps and space heaters
  • Kilns
  • Medical testing and monitoring equipment
  • Munitions
  • Ovens
  • Power plants, including nuclear power plants where thermocouples can be used to measure radiation
  • Robotic and other welding equipment
  • Safety cutoff values and switches
  • Steam systems
  • Thermometers
  • Water heaters

Ready, Aim, Recycle

If you check those locations and find that you have a quantity of thermocouple wires and/or devices, we can help you quickly understand their worth and recycle them for top dollar. Call us at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

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Smarter Recycling: Don’t Overlook the High Value of Noble Metal Thermocouples

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.

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Why Big Dollars Can Be Found in Scrap Aerospace Parts

Why is a scrapped airplane worth a lot more than a scrapped automobile?

Chances are you answered that question with a smart reply like, “Well, isn’t an airplane a whole lot bigger than a car?”

Shown: Aerospace Scrap like this, which includes platinum, palladium, silver cadmium and gold, can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals

Shown: Aerospace Scrap like this, which includes platinum, palladium, silver cadmium and gold, can be recycled profitably by Specialty Metals

If that was your answer, you’d be right. Or partially right, anyhow. Because you see, sheer size isn’t the only issue. Pound-for-pound, aerospace scrap is worth more than automotive scrap. And here are some of the reasons why . . .

Airplanes – Even Older Airplanes – Contain More Exotic Alloys and Compounds than Cars Do

For example, they contain silver cadmium in switches and relays, mercury and chromium in gauges, platinum in thermocouples, and a lot more precious metals that you will rarely find in scrapped cars.

Precious Metals are Extensively Used in Aircraft Engines

Platinum and palladium are used because they are stable, corrosion-resistant and durable. You’ll find them and other precious metals in fuel nozzles, heat exchangers, turbine vanes, and elsewhere. You won’t find those materials widely used in automotive engines, unless you’re looking at exotic racing cars. According to some estimates, a used modern jet engine that is being scrapped should contain more than $15,000 worth of precious metals.

Modern Airplanes Contain Many More Circuit Boards than Cars Do

A modern automobile contains gold-bearing printed circuit boards in the engine monitoring module, the GPS unit, the sound system, and a handful of other locations. In contrast, planes have gold-bearing printed circuit boards just about everywhere – in radios and communication devices, navigation systems, altimeters and other gauges and displays, computers, and dozens of other applications that don’t exist on cars. If you ever see an airplane cockpit being dismantled, you will be surprised by the number and size of electronic components that are found there.

How to Mine the Value from Aviation Scrap

It requires specialized knowledge and technology to identify and recycle precious metals like gold and platinum from aeronautical scrap. To learn how to reclaim the most dollars from aerospace scrap that you have on hand call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners today at 800-426-2344.

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Six Traits of the Best Platinum Refiners

Platinum is needed for the manufacturing of so many items today – thermocouples, platinum jewelry, and catalytic converters, to name a handful. But at the same time, it is one of the rarest precious metals. That combination of high demand and rarity in nature means that there is a strong market for your old platinum items.

Photo of molten precious metal like platinum, silver and gold being smelted and refined - Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners.

Yet how can you select the best platinum refiner to recycle them? Here are some traits to look for:

  1. Responsiveness – When you call a platinum refiner, you will have questions. How many catalytic converters will the refiner process at a time, for example? How can you tell how much platinum is present in the used medical EP catheters that you have on hand? A knowledgeable expert should patiently answer your questions. If the person who comes to the phone or calls you back doesn’t listen well or doesn’t think your questions are worth his or her time, you should find another refinery.
  2. Clarity – What exactly should you do with your platinum-bearing items? Should you send in a sample for testing? If so, how? If you have 500 or more catalytic converters that you would like to recycle, how can you ship them, and how much will that transport cost? An experienced precious metals refinery will be able to clearly explain procedures and “next steps.”
  3. A timeline – If you’re sending in a sample for testing, the platinum refinery should tell you when you will receive the results of that analysis. If you are sending in items to be recycled like used platinum thermocouple wire, how long will the processing take, and when will you be paid? The details shouldn’t be unclear or iffy. After all, you are dealing with quantities of precious metals that can have significant value.
  4. Experience – You want to use a refinery that has extensive experience processing the kind of items that you want to recycle. If you have catalytic converters, for instance, ask the representative how many catalytic converters his or her refinery processes every year. Also ask if you can obtain references from current customers.
  5. Professional memberships and accreditations – For example, Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and listed with Dun & Bradstreet and the Jewelers Board of Trade. We are also members of the International Precious Metal Institute (IPMI) and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC). 
  6. Environmental responsibility – Processing precious metals requires extreme care. Strong chemicals are sometimes used, noxious gases are sometimes released, and residues of chemicals that are left after processing must be disposed of properly. All processes should be carried out in strict compliance with federal, state, and local environmental laws. Here at Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, for example, we respect the environment, never cut corners, and do things right. No material sent to us ever winds up in a landfill.

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