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Refining Silver Sweeps -- Worthwhile?


#1

I work exclusively with silver. A local supplier buys my silver
bench scraps. I’m wondering if it is worthwhile to start using a
separate vacuum for cleaning up my bench and buffer area and saving
my buffer filters. At $5.00 USD per ounce for silver what amount of
sweeps would be worthwhile to send out for refining?

Thanks!
Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://home.covad.net/~rcopeland/


#2

Rick from my experience if you are selling to someone who is the
selling to a refiner you are losing money. The people I know who buy
sweeps and scrap are in it for a profit and they make a living at
it. The ones I know pay between 33-50% of actual recovery. With
silver I would hold out until I had 20-50lbs of buffs or 150-200ozs
of bench sweeps, if you have smaller lots call the refiner first and
see what they recommend is a good break point. Ask what percentage
they pay from recovery and what refining charges and assay fees if
any. If you can get a larger settlement use a refiner. Ship your
scrap or buffs to a reputable refiner and take the money or the
silver in return. Reputable refiners I use aRe:

1. United Precious Metal Refining Inc.
800-999- FINE (3463)
2781 Townline Road
Alden,ny 14004
Contact: Dave Zimmer

2. Houston Precious Metals

607 Chenevert
Houston, Tx. 77002
713-228-3931
Contac: Pat Fazio


#3
Rick from my experience if you are selling to someone who is the
selling to a refiner you are losing money.

Thanks for the advice Frank. I trade my bench scraps for fabricated
silver. I get about $1.50 less than the silver spot market. It seems
like a good deal since it’s local and no shipping or long distance
calls are involved. The sweeps and buffs (including my lapidary
sludge since I do inlay work) I will save and send to a refiner.
Thanks for the amount estimates and the refiner references.

Cheers!

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://home.covad.net/~rcopeland/