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How much more over the spot price do casters usually charge for metal

I was looking into having some things cast in silver. So far I have gotten a general estimate of 2$ per dwt , if 1 oz = 20 dwt then that charge is more than twice the cost per ounce of silver. Of course I might expert it to be more as its probably a formulated casting grain. For rings this cost is not really a big factor but I was looking at some heavier cuffs that may be in the multi ounce weight category so at 40 dollars an once charge from the caster will elevate the prices of the pieces considerably.

How much do caster usually charge for metal above the current spot price?


Is the quote itemized with line items for electricity, investment, labor, sprue reuse, etc?

I see about a 20% markup for platinum. I do my own gold and silver casting and when I make pieces for a wholesale customer I figure a 1.5 mark up on materials. 2 times seems a little high. Maybe you should shop around for another caster. There is plenty to pick from.

i agree with john on this one.

There is no standard. The caster has many expenses that must be included
into the price they charge to produce a cast piece. The quoted charge
for the metal may also include other overhead, consumable and labor
costs that must be passed on to the customer. Trying to figure a price
for an individual casting is not a simple task so using a cost per gram
that carries overhead and consumables is a fairly simple pricing
structure. You need to look at the complete price for each item and not
be too concerned with what it is labeled. A charge of $40 per ounce
silver is not too bad if you get great castings and there is not too
much charged for per flask or casting fees. Where as a bargain casting
at just over spot may be too much if it is a poor casting that takes too
much work to clean up or has a high scrap rate. Another thing to
remember is that the commodity market spot price quote is for purchasing
500 oz of fine silver, and like most commodity items the more you buy
the cheaper the cost per unit is.Most casting job shops are not buying
500 oz at a time so they are paying more than spot per ounce plus
manufacturing charges to turn that silver into sterling.


A 20% markup on platinum or gold is a lot more money per item that a
doubling of the cost per gram of silver. This is the big problem with
trying to run a casting shop that handles silver. The cost for the shop
to cast a gold item and the cost to cast a silver item are almost
identical but the customer is not typically willing to pay as much for
casting silver because they seem to think it should be cheaper than the
cost to cast gold. I used to manage a job shop that cast bronze silver
and gold. It actually cost us a bit more to cast the bronze than the
silver because the clean up was more time consuming but the customers
were typically not understanding of that fact. A large casting like the
bracelet Bruce is referring to will take up room in the flask that
otherwise might contain many other pieces but many of the costs to cast
that bracelet vs 30-50 smaller items is the same. The customer has to
cover those costs or the caster goes out of business.

John Wade wrote:


I imagine that is exactly the case.

Thanks for those replies, I was hoping that for larger pieces like a 3 oz cuff, that there would be a price break in the metal charge.

The two casters I spoke to give a per casting charge and a metal charge, within that they obviously have all their overhead factored in.

I realize that part of the metal charge is a “fabrication” charge , but the “fabrication” for spruing and investing a cuff vs. a ring, while definitely more time consuming is probably not the (whatever it works out to going from ring to cuff, 5 gr to 80 gr) 40 times more in fabrication. But as Jbin1 mentions there is the flask space being used.

But I will shop around some more, but yes I want good castings and I am willing to pay for It, but just wanted to see what the consensus was here for the going rate .

I could use some recommendations for casters on the west coast.

Thanks again, much appreciated.