Gold & Silver Refinners

I would like to hear each of your thoughts on Gold and Silver
Refiners in the U.S. Who have you had good returns from and who has
given you an honest return for a reasonable fee. What fees have you
been quoted from that refiner and what kind of a return did you
receive? In other words if you sent in 100 dwt. of 14kt. gold (.585 )
what quantity of pure gold was recovered and what was the cost.

Thank you
Greg DeMark

Custom Jewelry - Handmade Jewelry - Antique Jewelry


We have used Hoover & Strong for many years. They have always
treated us fairly. For a few years we did switch to David Fell. We
were also pleased with them until I sent in some platinum for scrap
and was charged 25 percent assay fee. I do understand that platinum
is harder to refine than gold, but I felt a charge like that was
unacceptable. So, we went back to H & S and have been happy ever

I really can’t answer your question because my returns were always a
mixed batch of all different karats of gold. However, you can call
either Hoover & Strong, David Fell, or any major refiner and give
them your question and they can answer it for you.

I’ve heard some jewelers grumble over the years wondering if they
were getting the true value for their scrap, insinuating that the
refiner might give them a less than honest return. I prefer to give
the refiners the same trust I ask from my customers when they leave
their jewelry with me.

James S. Cantrell CMBJ


Thank you for your experience with Hoover & Strong as well as David
Fell. With over 32 years working at a bench I am one of those
jewelers that has complained about being shorted. I had a refiner
from Texas that I used for years and I could always take a calculator
and figure almost exactly what I was going to get back, even with my
bag of filings. Unfortunately due to new environmental laws imposed
about 10 years ago he decided it was not worth the cost to update his
lab and since refining was an offshoot of another business he decided
to stop doing the refining.

I have since found wide differences in the amount I was given back
after refining, even on buttons that I alloyed so I knew how much I
should expect back.

I understand that refiners need to make a living just like all of us
do but if I am given a percentage fee and or a dollar fee I think
that should be what you are charged, not that amount plus a little
additional that is not accounted for.

I would like to hear who others are using as well and their
experiences. If you don’t want to mention a companies name on Orchid
please feel free to contact me off list.

Greg DeMark
Custom Jewelry - Handmade Jewelry - Antique Jewelry

Hi Greg,

I use an independent refiner named Ron Young here in the Bay area.
His phone number is 415-822-7564. He is the only refiner I have ever
used so I can’t give a comparison type of review but awhile back I
recommended him to a friend with a large store and lots of refining
experience with other companies and she said her return from Ron was
markedly better than from other companies.

I am not affiliated with Ron, as we say, just a happy customer.

Janet Alix

I didn’t see the original postings on this but I use Hoover and
Strong and think they are one of the most honest companies in the

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140


Thank you for the about the refiner you use. Does Ron
have an email address or website with

Greg DeMark
Custom Jewelry - Handmade Jewelry - Antique Jewelry

Hi Greg, I use P.M. WEST in Los Angeles, I have used them for at
least 20 years, Daniel and Keith are honest, extremely knowledgeable,
service oriented. Dan is always attempting to provide us(the
industry) with best and latest in precious metal technology, and they
aren’t so big that a little guy like myself gets pushed to the side,
good guys, Paul Bensel, Yuma, AZ