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Experience with Aragold


#1

Friends,

Recently I mentioned that I had sent some gold to the refiner
mentioned above.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/155

This is a report on my results.

I sent the gold, registered and insured, by US mail on 8/9. They
received the parcel on 8/12. On 8/18 they issued a check for the
gold which I received today, 8/22.

I sent them two emails using the form on their website but I did not
get a response to either one. Finally since I had not heard from
them I called their 800 number late last week and was told that the
parcel had been received and that the check was in the mail.

I sent some dental gold, some 18 carat gold and some 10 carat gold.
Their settlement statement lumped everything together so I do not
know what they paid for each type of gold. I would have liked to see
it broken down by category with the prices for each.

They appeared to pay the advertised 98% of the spot price of the
gold. They did not pay as quickly as some other refiners.

I am reasonably well satisfied with my transaction and would
probably use them again.

Here is their website: http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/155

As always, YMMV.

John in Indiana

John Moe


#2
I sent some dental gold, some 18 carat gold and some 10 carat
gold. Their settlement statement lumped everything together so I do
not know what they paid for each type of gold. I would have liked
to see it broken down by category with the prices for each. 

Refiners melt and assay whatever you send in. You can weigh and
figure out each karat price and come close to what you should get
for a total. Several people have mentioned NTR Metals. I use them. No
assay fee, 98% for gold, about 45 minutes from walking in the door
to getting a check. I am fortunat e to have them local. I have used
refiners that take days to refine, sometimes a week depending on
volume. Usually I try to sell when the market is high. Waiting for a
week or two has hurt me several times. With NTR, I have been able to
catch market highs just before they fell, about 4 times.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.


#3
I sent some dental gold, some 18 carat gold and some 10 carat
gold. Their settlement statement lumped everything together so I do
not know what they paid for each type of gold. I would have liked
to see it broken down by category with the prices for each. 

As long as you don’t mind paying 3 assaying fees I am sure they
would be happy to break it down. If you don’t know exactly what you
are sending to a refiner then you have no idea if they are paying
you properly for your scrap. So if you know the karat value for each
of the three lots you can figure whether you got a reasonable
payout. If you don’t know for sure then it might be a good idea to
melt the whole lot and send a sample in to be assayed by an
independent lab or a couple of refiners. Then choose who to go with.
With the price of gold where it is there are lots of people taking
advantage of folks who don’t know what their scrap is worth.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#4
I sent some dental gold, some 18 carat gold and some 10 carat
gold. Their settlement statement lumped everything together so I do
not know what they paid for each type of gold. I would have liked
to see it broken down by category with the prices for each 

Their website clearly states that they do not issue a report or
payment based solely on quick scans or tests, which is what you’d
need them to do if you wanted breakdowns on each piece. It is totally
uneconomical for them to refine each seperate quality or type
individually. Unless you specifically asked for this, they would
normally lump all the metal together, and refine it as a single lot.
They thus never attempted to obtain seperate qualities and values
for each type.

That, by the way, would normally be the practice with most refiners.
By contrast, simple gold buyers who are not actually refiners, would
be the ones testing each piece and calculating individual values for
each item or type. And since they then have to sell the scrap to an
actual refiner, while still staying in business, they’ll pay less
than an actual refiner, who pays based on actual recovered metal, can
do.

I recently sent in a bunch of scrap myself, to United Precious
metals. Bench filings and polishings, which are slower and more
complex to refine than more solid metals, so it took them two and a
half weeks. (suggesting your one week turnaround was good) I had no
problems with communications, as they are easy to reach and quick and
responsive in communication. Their settlement report also lumps all
of it together, as I’d expect. I’m very satisfied with their
service, and will happily use them again, when next I have enough to
send in. I especially like that they offer to provide insurance on
incoming packages, so that you’re free to ship valuable metals via
simple fedex overnight or 3 day, etc, without fussing with fedex’s
normal restrictions on insuring the value of such material. Very
handy for those who don’t already have their own seperate high value
shipping insurance arranged through their own jewelers block policy
or similar.

I’ve also used several other refiners in the past, including David
Fell, and Hoover and Strong, and both of them use much the same
practices of lumping refining types together. There will be
exceptions, of course if you send different scrap types that need to
be processed differently, such as sending gold scrap seperately from
platinum or silver scrap, or a seperated bunch of gold jewelry with
stones to be removed… But in any case, if you need seperate
reports for individual lots sent at the same time, be sure to
arrange for that before the refiner starts work on your lot.

Peter Rowe


#5
Several people have mentioned NTR Metals. I use them. No assay fee,
98% for gold, 

I am suspicious of them. The no assay fee, 98% of spot payment
leaves no room to make a profit. How do they determine your gold
percentage? If they are only using a XRF then you are probably not
getting full value for your metal. XRF is good enough for quick
testing but not good enough for true value determination IMO.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#6
Unless you specifically asked for this, they would normally lump
all the metal together, and refine it as a single lot. They thus
never attempted to obtain seperate qualities and values for each
type 

Unless you have a huge amount of metal refiners do not typically
refine your lot as a separate job. They assay your lot to determine
metal percentage and values and pay you based on that assay. But to
be economical they need to work larger lots than a typical goldsmith
will send in. So they combine the lots till they have an economical
batch to do the refining.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#7

One caveat. If you have not worked with the refinery before you
might want to ask how long it takes them to turn around assay and
payment. I got scorched badly in 80s when the Hart borthers were
playing games with the manipulation of silver prices. I sent a
well-known refinery about 20 troy ounces of very clean sterling
scrap and they sat on it for weeks. Who knows, maybe they were
overwhelmed with lots to be refined. When I sent it in, the spot on
silver was about $40 a troy ounce. They settled at assay and when we
settled many weeks later the spot was in the 20s. You do the math.
Did they refine my scrap, sell it at $40 and settle with me in the
20s? I’ll never know. What I do know is if they had turned the order
around in a few days or a week… I’d have gotten a lot more money.

So, if the market is moving fast and you are sending in a large
quantity of scrap, it might be a good idea to get some assurance you
are going to be able to settle in a reasonable time period.
Obviously, the refineries are subject to the same market risks as
you and I and are not eager to take a loss on your scrap, but there
is a point where reasonable business practices become fraud. Sitting
on metal for weeks or months is speculation on the part of a
refinery… using your metal as their capital. Refining and selling
and then settling lower on a market dip is pure fraud.

And, it always helps to keep your scrap clean as it takes longer to
turn around mixed scrap and sweeps in a bag together. I am the
world’s worse for not segregating karat golds… I keep 24k and 22K
separate… 14k and 18k usually end up in the same bag. Keep clean
scrap and sweeps apart… my sweeps consist of silver, various karat
golds, some brass and copper, broken saw blades and grit and a
generous sprinkling of rabbit hair, cat hair and various insects. I
imagine it takes a while to sort that mess out :slight_smile:

Personally, I use Rio and take the credit instead of the check. I am
not sending enough in to sweat payout these days and Rio is always
fast and reliable. Rio does not take sweeps… but will accept them
as a donation forsome cause… I forget which. Seems like a
reasonable thing to do unless you have pounds of sweeps… I don’t.


#8
The no assay fee, 98% of spot payment leaves no room to make a
profit. 

They make their money on the other metals. They don’t pay for the
silver, copper and nickel, only the gold. I asked a rep of a
different company, and he told me this is how they make it work.
Sounded right to me, there is after all, no such thing as a free
lunch, they had to be making it profitable somehow. This is also
true of many refiners that pay 98%, or so I’ve been told. He also
told me that we can pretty much count on an accurate assessment of
the gold content from any of the major refineries. It makes no sense
for them to risk destroying their reputation with something that
would be so easy for an investigator to catch, especially when the
amount of silver and copper adds up so fast.

Dave Phelps


#9
They make their money on the other metals. They don't pay for the
silver, copper and nickel, only the gold. 

They don’t make anything to speak of on the copper and nickel as the
secondary market for those metals very very low. Possibly they are
making their money on the silver but I think it is likely they are
also under reporting gold percentage on assay, and they are not
alone. Bret Gober presented a paper at the Santa Fe Symposium this
year where he sent 42 one kg lots of grinding scrap to 19
refiners.He went to great lengths to insure the lots contained 32% +
or - 0.5% gold. It was a very interesting paper. Some of the
refiners were off by as much as 7.5 % most were off by at least 2%
and almost all of them were off in a direction that favored the
refiner although a couple reported slightly more gold than his
samples contained. The net result was that he lost $42,130 worth of
gold at $1350 per toz to the inaccurate assays for the 42 kg of
scrap. There are a lot of reasons for the reported assay to deviate
from the gold quantity, most of them will result in a lower assay
value, hence a greater “profit” by the refiner only a weighing error
or improper assay procedure can result in a value greater than the
actual gold content. I would suggest folks read the paper if they
are having much refining done. The proceedings of the 2011 Santa Fe
Symposium contain the paper, it is available from Rio Grande.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#10

Jim - you know a whole lot more than me about metals so I am a bit
confused about XRF evaluation by NTR metals.

I questioned them about their evaluation methods prior to sending my
first batches of refining. Their answer was that with testing, their
XRF methodology was comparable to fire assay results.

I tested all the gold sent and my return from them was slightly
higher than my expectation. Perhaps the $60 or $80 refining fee of
other refiners is negligible when considering large amounts of metal.
For my few ounces of gold, it matters.

Help me understand better why I should pay for fire assay. Why would
XRF be inadequate?

Judy Hoch


#11

Hi Judy

I am not trying to make you or anyone pay for a fire assay but folks
need to know that the EDX XRF is not a magic bullet. It is sold as a
quick way to make sure the owner of the device doesn’t pay too much
for gold scrap not as a tool to ensure fair returns for the scrap
seller. I am certainly not saying they are trying to cheat you but
with such narrow margins they cannot afford to pay on more value
than is in the scrap so they want any uncertainty to be in their
favor.

There are a large number of steps in the processing and assay of
precious metal scrap. Minor errors in any stage lead to inaccurate
results almost all of which are in the refiners favor. Unless the
refiners weighing is wrong or the assay is incorrectly preformed you
will not end up with a report of more gold then is actually present
but there are a fistful of ways to show less gold than is actually
present. To get accurate results in assaying you need to control
many parameters of your assay process from initial weighing in,
through melting, sampling and finally the assay to a high degree and
do as much as possible to eliminate sources of error. This is why
XRF is so attractive just point and click and bingo an assay result
! But a typical EDX XRF is not a perfect device either it only
analyzes surface composition. It does not generate X Rays with
enough energy to penetrate deeply. And it only analyzes a spot on
the surface so any inhomogeneity will give either an erroneous
result or if the operator notices it require further (likely fire)
assaying.

If you have very clean scrap (no mixed karat or PGM’s etc) and know
your scrap gold content well enough and are happy with only being
paid for gold as most of these folks are doing then fine. As you
point out the cost to you may be negligible and it serves your
needs. But if you have messy scrap with mixed precious metals then a
fire assay is the best bet.

Regards,

Jim
James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts