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…

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It’s Time to Cash in on Silver from Dental Practices that Are Closing

It’s Time to Cash in on Silver from Dental Practices that Are Closing

We have noticed that it is relatively difficult to find scrap gold in dentists’ offices that are closing, probably because those dentists are savvy enough to capture and sell gold items, not sell them at bargain prices. Silver, however, is another matter. Where can you find silver to buy, and then recycle using a qualified precious metals recycler like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners?

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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. 

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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all kinds of media – for audio recording, video recording and the recording of still images – have consistently been replaced by new media that have been better in one way or another.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?

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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

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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.

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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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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.

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Can You Reclaim Silver from Printing Ink?

Can You Reclaim Silver from Printing Ink?

Can silver be profitably recycled from printing ink? The answer to that question is yes, silver can be obtained from many printing inks. When you introduce the right chemical into them, the silver precipitates and falls to the bottom.  But here is some additional information you need to know.

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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...

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Discovering Precious Metals: Answers to Four Common Questions

We’re delivering a little extra value in today’s post, by answering not one but four questions that we’ve heard recently about recycling gold and precious metals.

Image of businessperson searching for undiscovered precious metals that Specialty Metals can help refine profitably.

“Can I find undiscovered precious items on eBay?”

Although it is theoretically possible to discover an undervalued piece of 24 karat gold jewelry or another precious item on eBay, the likelihood of that happening is very small. Even if a seller doesn’t know that he or she has listed something priceless for auction online, the marketplace will react quickly, a flurry of bidding will start, and the seller will realize that he or she has something that is worth a lot more than expected.

“It’s not really possible to find valuable things with a metal detector, is it?”

Actually, it really is possible to use a metal detector to discover coins and other items that have been lost . . . or hidden. To review what people have been finding recently, search online for “recent metal detector finds.” The valuable discoveries you read about will probably surprise you.

“Computers contain such small quantities of gold that it’s really not worth recycling them, is it?”

It all comes down to quantity. If you have only one or two old computers or central processing units (CPUs), then recycling them is probably not worth your effort or time. But if you have a larger quantity – say 200 or 300 – you can recycle the gold these used electronics contain using our qualified precious metals refinery and net a significant sum of money.

And when you stop to think about it, it is not really that hard to find 200 or 300 old stockpiled computers that need to be recycled. Schools have them. Hospitals do too. So before you write off the idea of turning old computers into money, take a look around. Also, conducting a computer drive for a local organization can be a good way to raise funds.

“Silver is worth so little, why would anybody bother to recycle it?”

People are asking this question a lot lately, but it represents faulty thinking. Even though silver is trading for prices that are a fraction of gold’s, it is not at all difficult to find very large quantities of silver. You can find it in old tableware, in photographic and x-ray papers and film, in welding supplies, and plenty of other places.

Do You Have Questions too?

Why not call us at 800-426-2344? We’re happy to answer any other questions you may have that we haven’t heard yet.

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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?

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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.

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Don’t Overlook the Value of the Silver-Bearing Items You Own

Gold is currently trading for over $1,300 per troy ounce, platinum for over $1,500, and rhodium for over $1,100.

Silver, in contrast, is trading at about $21.

In light of those statistics, it’s tempting to think that you’re likely to get a lot more money by recycling gold, platinum and rhodium than you will ever get from recycling silver. But that kind of thinking is a mistake, because silver is contained in a surprising number of items that you could have on hand.

All you need is a top silver refinery to extract a lot of value from items like these . . .

Wise Recyclers Don’t Overlook Silver

If you have quantities of those items, please remember that they could be worth much more money than you expect – even though they are made of silver, not gold, platinum, rhodium, or another more glamorous precious metal.

Please give us a call at 800-426-2344 to learn more.

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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.

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Let’s Get Wet - What Liquids Contain Valuable Precious Metals?

Certain liquids contain quantities of precious metals that can be recycled. But before we discuss what those liquids are, let’s state something important . . .

Only larger quantities of liquids that contain precious metals are generally worth recycling!

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

If you have a gallon or two of the liquids that are described below, you should not expect to receive a lot of money for recycling them. (In such cases, your responsibility is to dispose of them in accordance with local environmental laws.) But if you have larger quantities – skids of cans of metallic paint, drums of sludge – then it is worth calling us at 800-426-2344 to discuss recycling them.

Now that we’ve gotten that issue out in the open, let’s take a look at some liquids that could contain valuable quantities of precious metals.

Used Fluids from Electroplating Processes

If your company electroplates in tanks, the electrolytic fluid from them could contain quantities of the gold, silver, or other metals that you are plating onto other metals.

Unused Chemicals that Contain Silver or Other Metals

Some chemical liquids that are used in production processes contain trace elements of valuable metals. You might think that chemicals used in photo processing would contain quantities of silver, but silver halide is found in negatives and film, usually not in processing fluids. Still, it is worth reviewing the unused chemicals that you have to see whether they contain silver.

Sludge Left Over from Plating Operations

If your organization operates large-scale gold-plating or silver-plating operations in tanks, the sludge that accumulates in them (or “downstream” in other tanks that capture the sludge) could contain gold or silver that can be profitably recycled. Again, let’s point out that only large quantities of sludge are generally worth recycling – just a gallon or two won’t yield large enough quantities of precious metals.

Unused Metallic Coatings and Paints

If you have large quantities of decorative or industrial metallic coatings, they could be worth recycling. Remember, however, that the old saying “all that glitters is not gold” applies. A gold-hued or silver-hued metallic paint could contain more reflective mica powder and colorings than real gold. You’ll need to read the ingredients to see if any real precious metals are there or, in some cases, send a sample to a top precious metals refinery like Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners to let us take a closer look.

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Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies

 

Why It Pays to Recycle Silver in Old X-Ray Films and Supplies

Are you a hospital or chiropractor who has large quantities of older x-ray films that you no longer need to keep stored? Or are you a radiological lab that has changed over to digital imaging, but which still has a lot of unused x-ray film, fixer solutions, and other supplies that you no longer need? If so, you could have silver that can be profitably extracted, refined and recycled.

Extracting the Silver from Older X-Rays and Films

Used X-ray film sent to Specialty Metals by our customers. It's just one of the types of silver-bearing medical, dental, industrial and graphic arts films scrap we recycle.

Used X-ray film sent to Specialty Metals by our customers. It's just one of the types of silver-bearing medical, dental, industrial and graphic arts films scrap we recycle.

How is silver extracted from older x-rays and films? It’s an interesting story. In years past, recycling companies usually burned them and then extracted silver from the ash – a dirty and time-consuming process. Today the extraction is done more efficiently, by shredding films and treating them with chemicals that extract the silver. There’s another reason why this more modern approach makes sense – since x-ray films are made of chemicals that are coated onto a plastic film, that plastic can also be reclaimed during modern chemical processing. There is not much dollar value in that plastic, but after chemical processing it can be recycled, just as used plastic soda bottles are.

Call Us to Learn More

If you have a quantity of older x-rays or x-ray supplies, it is worth calling us at 800-426-2344 to discuss recycling them. It’s also a responsible thing to do. You’ll get paid for the silver they contain and at the same time, prevent silver from ending up in landfills.  

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