Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Who is your Refiner?


My refiner retired and I need to choose a new one. Wondering about people’s experience with HiTech in Dallas? I’ve used Hoover, PM West, United Precious Metals in the past with pretty good results. I’m just shopping around before I send it in. I’m interested in your opinions on who to use.


I have only ever used Hoover and Strong and I have never felt there was a reason to change. I’ll watch this with interest to see what others think.

Don Meixner

Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Droid


I used Hi-Tech PMR for several years when I lived in the Dallas area. They were great to work with and I trusted them. The main advantage I found was that I could drop off my scrap, go across the street to Roseco and pick up whatever findngs and tools I needed, run down the street to a couple of gemstone dealers and pick up whatever stones I needed and then return to PMR and pick up my settlement.

Now I live in Durham, NC and have no such local vendor support. I use Elemetal (which used to be NTR) now, The main reason is that with a twenty minute drive, I can take my scrap to the Raleigh location and be headed back to the shop with my settlement in about twenty minutes. Gone for an hour, no shipping charges or delays.

I usually get my settlement back as pure gold grain and the Raleigh location of Elemetal sometimes only has an ounce or two in stock, so I’ll have to wait for the rest to be shipped from their Dallas office. No big deal, an ounce or two is usually all I need to get through the three or four days it takes to ship from Dallas anyway.

Elemetal has a whole bunch of offices and they can all do the same thing that the Raleigh office does for me. You might check the website to see if there’s one near you.

If you’re not in a hurry and don’t mind paying the shipping charges, I could definitely recommend Hi-Tech PMR.

I’ve also heard great things about David H. Fell, although I’ve never used them for refining. H&S is OK, but they can sometimes take forever. Stuller also provides refining (or should we properly term it as ‘buys scrap’), and like H&S, you can use it to pay a balance.

I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the real refining companies. It’s the guy that shows up every year with a bunch of cash and Suisse Credits that I would worry about getting a fair shake from…



My concern about using the local Elemental (NTR) has been that my scrap is mostly filings and small pieces, plus a drum of polishing and sweeps. Most of the businesses that I know that use them are taking in scrap gold that they bought off the street, easier to identify. I felt like my stuff was a little harder to determine the exact precious metal content. I guess I have felt like that local outpost might not be equipped with enough equipment to give me an accurate payout on my stuff. Is that wrong?


That may be a problem, I’ve only taken them my scrap pieces, never sweeps and polishing waste. I would use United Precious Metals for the rest of it.


They burn and melt karated scrap at the local offices and then do a spectrographic assay right there while you wait. They can do the little stuff like clasps, sizing pieces and shanks right there, but they would probably send your filings, bench sweeps and low-grade stuff like polishings to their Dallas HQ where they do the burn and assay. Takes two weeks or so for sweeps. You can send it direct or let the local office do it for you. You could call and find out what they charge for shipping and decide which is better. They’re insured, so that might be a factor too. I’m holding on to my polishings drum for a rainy day, so I don’t know how that works.

I still think you’d be fine using any of the major companies. All of them have too much on the line to risk getting caught shaving off the top and they’re doing fine keeping the silver. I guess it really boils down to shipping and fee structure. If you go shopping, check out Garfield too. I know they used to pay the shipping both ways on a drum.



I go to my favourite two places here in Toronto. They allow me to watch the
reports & doing the ‘melt’. I give them .925 & they both will give me pure
silver grain for my next casting batch of rings. I make darn sure
everything is done in front of me! I don’t allow snail mail! No places want
to make any problems for themselves, they have too much to lose. One fraud
or cheating & it’s curtains for them!..:>(

*Gerry Lewy *
*Toronto, *Canada.


My favorite is Hoover and Strong. They are super fast and I get to use my bench scraps and filings for new product.


I like to use a local company. They have full services. They use an XRF gun to determine elements and quantities in percentage. They are Prospectors Gold and Gems in Fort Collins, CO.


I use Umicore in Markham. Can you name the other one in Toronto?



GRC, General Refining Company specializes in polishing dust, carpet, floor and bench sweeps.


Hoover and Strong for 44 years…Rob


I use Elemetal in the Boston area (formerly NTR). They refine while you wait and cut you a check right then. Best return that I have found and without extra fees, etc. And if you ever have pieces with many stones, they’ll send it for refining and stone removal and send you back the stones and the check very quickly. This is great for pieces that have a lot of tiny stones–a true time saver. They’ve taken my sweeps and will sometimes do on the spot or send them to main headquarters and send me a check. The sweeps have been small batches so I’m not sure if that’s the standard procedure for all sweeps.


5 Star Precious Metals on 47th. They weigh it in front of you; they melt it in getting of you; they test the final karat; you walk out with cash.
Be prepared: they are not spending money on ambiance.


I have used Elemetal in Denver and Portland.
I wait 45 minutes and get a check.
For sweeps, I take it to either office, they
ship it to their main office, no charge.


My brother may weigh in on this. I think he has sent polishing lint, sweeps, and fillings along with cut offs. And I think he uses Hoover as well. They have a small refiners fee that I felt was reasonable. And every thing is itemized on the slip along with the check.

I have always trusted Hoover to be honest and fair largely because my Dad had known the family from years of business with them. Maybe this is a case of Take The Plunge and see how you feel when the credit or check is returned.


Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Droid


I have used AAA Precious Metals in Portland Or. for at least 30 years. Love them. We don’t bother to sort our metals. We just send in our bench sweeps a couple of times a year. The floor sweeps, under the sink goo, old emery paper, and buffing dirt all goes in once every 5 years. We even have refined the upholstery and foam rubber from bench chairs.
I always ask for metal back. Why? Because if the refiner cuts me a check, that is declared taxable income. I prefer to get my metal back and make more stuff out of it.
Most folks want the money now. We are willing to wait a week or so for our metal scrap to be tested and refined. Waiting pays off as the refiner is willing to give us a better percentage after he knows exactly what we have rather than guessing.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer


I pack up polishing duff, sweeps from my bench, dried swarf from my lapidary wheels where I seem to sand more metal than stone, clips and nips, polishing wheels and just about anything in my shop that touches precious metal. I try to separate it first if I can and package it in such a way that the container won’t open while in transit. I fill out whatever forms are needed and ship it to Hoover and Strong. They pay me in either new metal or a check when they have had a chance to figure out what I sent to them minus a processing fee. I have never had a bad experience with them. I did make the mistake of packing it all in a box that previously contained wine bottles and was labeled as such. My post office had no problem with the package, but when it got to Richmond, they sent it back. Apparently you can’t use a wine box to ship other stuff. Wish my home post office had known this as I was trying to take advantage of a spike in the spot price…Rob


I am a bench jeweler from Europe and this is my first post though I am a member for a time.
As Timothy green said we prefer to take the metal back, actually is the only option we have.
For the last 5 years I began to refine my self silver, gold, palladium for me and my clients and I feel much better. I don’t know how to post pictures if there is an interest.


GSmetals in Michigan.