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Maximize refining returns on metal scrap

Hello Orchid,

Questions here regarding how to maximize return on silver scrap and
old silver jewelry. What about accidents/disappointments that contain
solder -

does this need to be seperated out? I have a jar of scrap that does
contain small amounts of solder that I would like to send in for
refining. What happens if a piece of base metal or silver plate is
inadvertanty included? Is a greater percentage returned based on
total weight of metal? I have lots of sterling beads and components I
no longer work with that could add to the total weight.

Many thanks to all of you out there who are experienced at this.


Hi Cyndy,

Typically, a refiner will melt all of your scrap (except for low
grade stuff like polishings) into one large ingot, drill a hole in
it, and do a spectrographic analysis of the chips removed by the
drill bit. They will then settle up with you based on what the
analysis reveals the percentage of gold and silver content is, times
the total weight of your ingot, less fees.

So essentially the answer to your question is that as long as you
are sending it to a reputable refiner, you don’t have to separate it
out any further than low grade scrap, platinum and karated gold and
silver scrap unless you want to figure out how accurate your
assessment was compared to the refiner’s assay.

This is only true of actual refiners, like Hoover and Strong,
Garfield, Pease and Curren, etc., not the private enterprise guys
that travel around and buy scrap for cash or coins out of their
pocket. That’s a whole different story. Then it’s buyer beware time
and you better know exactly what you have, if you expect a fair

By the way, most refiners don’t like steel and may charge an extra
fee if there’s a lot, so use a magnet to clean out saw blades and the
like before sending it in.