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How much IS gold polishing sweep worth?

Can anyone tell me about how much pure gold is in 1 pound of
polishing sweep? The polishing sweep would be only polishing sweep
(no trash) and would consist of about 90% karat gold and the balance
in silver. I ask because I KRINGE when I get $80 per pound for it
from the refiner (he comes to the store and buys it by the pound on
the spot). I bet it has AT LEAST 2 ounces of 24k in it after it is

Richard, I don’t think there is any way to know for sure how much is
in there. I’d suggest that next time you split it up between your
guy and another reputable refiner. I would tell your guy that’s what
you’re doing. It will keep him on his toes and knowing the results
will help put your mind at ease. I have done it both ways, used a
broker who would pay me on the spot and sent it all in to be paid my
"results". I did find that the guy who was paying me on the spot was
actually paying me the same or a little more. His argument was that
I was saving the refining fee because he is not refining each lot
separately but running it all together which reduces his costs. With
my sweeps and polishing dust I did ask him to run that by itself and
pay me separately (later) every other time just because it’s so hard
to estimate its value. For instance you may have had more platinum
in that cycle, how would he know? I did come to really trust the
broker and felt good about our dealings. But it doesn’t hurt to trust
but verify. Mark

Who is your refiner, because I would give you $90 per pound!!
Refiner’s have to shopped around for. I have a very good one, NTR

It would be hard to estimate exactly what the value would be. Market
fluctuations, amount of different materials that make up that pound,
including, ALL different metals included with the gold and silver.
But I would FOR SURE. S T O P “Giving” you sweeps and money away!!
Shop around!!

It varies, I’ve heard estimates of about 2% fine gold weight for the
filter bag content of polishing machines. That would work out at
current price $1550 at about $450 per lb. less the refining charge.


The short answer is no, not without doing an assay. It would be
impossible and imprudent to speculate.

The are numerous reliable and reputable refiners that would accept
your sweeps, process them and pay you a fair return. Check online or
with associates you trust. I don’t know where you are located but
most will accept UPS and FedEx.

Tom Morehead
Hauser and Miller

I'd suggest that next time you split it up between your guy and
another reputable refiner 

I try not to post when I am on vacation, but phrase reputable
refiner always gets me going. After 40 years in business I am still
looking for 3 things,- Big Foot, Lochness Monster, and reputable
refiner. I suspect my chances of finding formers are greater than
meeting the later. There is only one thing that one can do! Assay
your polishings and insist that refiner returns your metal
commensurate with assay results. That is all.

Leonid Surpin.

Refining a sample yourself makes sure that you are getting what you
really have dollar wise. Takes a little time but well worth it in
peace of mind and dollars.

I always send mine to Hover and Strong. have. Found them to be very
honest over the 40+ years I have used them. I do spot checks and
they have always been good.

The traveling “cash” buyers pay very little for sweeps and scraps.
They areable to take advantage of the fact that a refiner does
charge you a refining charge, which can be significant if you are
sending smaller amounts, and the fact that unlike the check, or gold
credit a refiner may pay you, the cash payment is a handshake, under
the table transaction. You usually are paying dearly for this
"service", relative to what you are going to recover if you do send
a volume sweeps to a refiner.

I usually accumulate sweeps and dirty scrap for several years, and
then send it all to a refiner at once, when I have an upcoming major
expense, like new shop tools. :slight_smile: Pay the essay fees, pay the taxes.
you will usually be far ahead of what a cash buyer offered you.