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.

Read More

Smart Lessons from Urban Legends about Precious Metals

Smart Lessons from Urban Legends about Precious Metals

Urban legends are stories – usually untrue - that are so weird that people keep repeating them and sending them around via email. They tend to take on lives of their own – some people even think they really happened. There are even urban legends about precious metals. Here are three we have heard…

Read More

Can You Recycle Precious Metals from Medicines and Medical Devices?

Can You Recycle Precious Metals from Medicines and Medical Devices?

Please take a minute to consider this imaginary story… You buy an old retail building that was once home to several stores. One of them was a pharmacy. While you’re exploring there, you open a drawer and find several dozen boxes of old wound dressings that contain silver. You then send those wound dressing to a precious metals refinery like us, we process them, and send you a nice big check for several hundred dollars. It's a nice fantasy, isn’t it? But if you find any, they are not going to contain enough silver to be worth much. Sorry to deflate your dreams of wealth. But let’s look at some other places where silver and other precious metals can be found in the world of medicine. 

Read More

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. 

Read More

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?

Read More

How to Make Money Buying Old Silver Gelatin Photographs

How to Make Money Buying Old Silver Gelatin Photographs

If you’ve visited an art gallery that specializes in antique photographs, you’ve noticed that some of the most beautiful on display are “Silver Gelatin Prints.” They tend to be large and show stunning black and white images that have remarkable shadings of dark and light. You also might have noticed that the most valuable were taken by famous historical photographers like Ansel Adams and Alfred Steiglitz. How can you make money investing in old prints like those? Here’s what you need to know

Read More

Can You Make More Money Recycling Silver than any Other Metal?

Can You Make More Money Recycling Silver than any Other Metal?

Gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium and the precious metals are trading for much higher prices per ounce than silver. But does that mean that you should write off silver as a profitable investment metal? Not at all. Here are some pretty compelling reasons why you could make more money in silver than you can with more glamorous precious metals.

Read More

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.

Read More

Lock in Future Silver Price Increases Today . . .

Lock in Future Silver Price Increases Today . . .

If you have been waiting to recycle or sell silver until trading prices rise, we invite you to consider a Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners Pool Account.  Our Pool Account offers significant benefits, including the ability to sell your silver when prices rise in the future.

Read More

How You Can Make Tons of Money Recycling Precious Metals in 2015

How You Can Make Tons of Money Recycling Precious Metals in 2015

We have reached a tipping point where tremendous numbers of products that contain precious metals are being discarded or recycled. If you are an alert investor or speculator, you can buy quantities of them at rock-bottom prices, recycle them, and earn a big return on your investment. Some of these products include...

Read More

It’s Time to Reclaim Silver that’s Hiding in Old Darkrooms and Film Processing Facilities

If you’re a serious amateur photographer wit old darkroom supplies that you’re not using any more? Or have you come into possession of the contents of a facility that processed photographs or x-rays? Maybe you work in a dental office, a chiropractic office or a hospital x-ray department. If so, today’s post is for you. And it’s a post that could put some needed dollars in your wallet at the time of year when a little extra cash could come in very handy for holiday shopping.

There Is Silver in Old Film-Processing Supplies

The fact is film photography and film processing are processes that rely almost entirely on silver. Silver can be found in the following places – and you can reclaim it easily, thanks to the advanced recycling processes that we employ here at Precious Metals Smelters and Refiners...

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.

  • Photographic and x-ray films - They all contain silver. If you have unexposed film, we can extract the silver from it using relatively simple procedures. The processes that were used in years past - like burning the film and processing the ash - were relatively crude and environmentally harmful. Today, we reclaim silver from photographic and x-ray films using approved chemical processes that extract silver. The larger the quantity of film that you have, the more silver and value they have.
  • Processing papers – They contain silver too, although in smaller quantities than are found in film. But a large quantity of paper could contain silver that is well worth extracting.
  • Processing chemicals – Developing and fixative solutions contain silver too. If you have never seen silver being extracted from these solutions, it is pretty amazing to see. After we add the right chemicals to them, the silver that they contain drops out of the solution – literally precipitates – and it can be easily separated, weighed, and evaluated.
  • Tanks and tools – If you are recycling the contents of a home darkroom that was used frequently, or if you are dismantling an old laboratory that processed large quantities of x-ray or photographic film, the used tanks, pipes, filters and other equipment that were used in them probably contain quantities of silver and electrolytic silver flake that we can extract for you. Even the sludge that has built up in pipes can be recycled. Remember that simply tossing old equipment can result in the loss of valuable quantities of silver – plus, doing so can be environmentally irresponsible too.

Call 800-426-2344 to Learn More

Our experts will be happy to answer your questions and promptly pay you the highest dollar value for quantities of silver that can be found in the supplies that are described in today’s post. Why not give us a call today?

Related Posts:

Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies
Old Kodak Report Tells You How Much Silver Is in Your Photographic Films and Papers
How To Recycle Your Old Silver Recovery Columns
Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal


Why You Need the Best Precious Metals Refinery to Recycle Your Silver Salts

Silver salts and compounds are used in an unusually wide selection of products that include pottery glazes, antiseptics, photographic materials, and more. Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners will be pleased to test and recycle your silver salts and pay you for the silver that they contain. But before you call us to discuss what you have, let’s answer a few basic questions about this very versatile family of chemical compounds.

Image of silver nitrate crystals, one type of silver salts that can be recycled and refined by Specialty Metals. Image Credit: By W. Oelen (http://woelen.homescience.net/science/index.html) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Image of silver nitrate crystals, one type of silver salts that can be recycled and refined by Specialty Metals. Image Credit: By W. Oelen (http://woelen.homescience.net/science/index.html) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

What Kind of Silver Compounds Can You Recycle with Us?

  • Silver bromide and bromides – These yellow-colored, insoluble soft salts are widely used in photographic film and materials and their manufacturing. You can find them in developing solutions, film, and light-sensitive papers. If you have reserves of chemicals from a company that manufactured those materials or if your company once did, you could have a quantity of those compounds that is worth recycling.
  • Silver chloride and chlorides - These white-colored crystalline solids are most commonly found in silver chloride electrodes that are used in the production of photographic film and materials and in other industrial processes. Yet the compound has many other applications too. It is used for glazing pottery, coating optics, and even as an antimicrobial agent that is used in bandages and commercial deodorants. If you were involved in the production of any of those products, or have acquired a company that was, you could have quantities of silver chloride.
  • Silver nitrate – This compound has a colorful history. It was a favorite of medieval alchemists, who thought that it might be able to turn compounds of base metals into gold. That idea probably arose because silver nitrate dissolves the silver in gold/silver alloys, leaving only the gold behind. (Albertus Magnus observed that happening and wrote about it in the 13th century.) In the centuries that followed, silver nitrate was put to many uses as a disinfectant. At one time, eye drops that contained it were routinely dripped into the eyes of newborn babies to prevent infections. It was also widely used to prevent infection in wounds. Those practices largely disappeared with the development of modern antibiotics, but silver nitrate is still used in topical antiseptics like chlorhexidine. If you have been involved in the production of antiseptics or have acquired a company that was, you could own valuable quantities of silver nitrate.

How Much Are Your Silver Salts Worth?

Because silver salts contain different quantities of silver, we need to test them before we can tell you how much silver they contain. If you have a quantity of them and would like a top silver refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners to test them, please give us a call at 800-426-2344.

Related Posts:

Let’s Get Wet: What Liquids Contain Valuable Precious Metals?
Why It Pays to Have Mining Ores Analyzed for Precious Metals
How To Recycle Your Old Silver Recovery Columns
Recycling Silver Cadmium Oxide Scrap
Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies

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
Let’s Get Wet: What Liquids Contain Valuable Precious Metals?
Why It Pays to Find a Refiner for Silver, the Forgotten Precious Metal