Posts for the ‘All’ Category

Sell Scrap Gold & Silver Jewelry Direct to the Refiner!

11-26-13    Posted by: admin

Needing some extra income before the holidays?

Clean out those old jewelry boxes and let us know if you have any scrap gold or silver jewelry to sell. You will never find the match to that gold earring that you have been holding on to and that gold necklace won’t fix itself! Turn these things that are just collecting dust into holiday smiles!

Contact us and let us know if we can help.

 

jewelery


Posted In: All, Gold, Silver, Uncategorized


Arch Enterprises Opens Birmingham, AL Location

9-10-13    Posted by: admin


Posted In: All, Uncategorized


Sterling Silver Flatware Refining Example | Precious Metal Refining Blog

3-4-13    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

We’re back and well-rested from our holiday! Please enjoy our blog service and let us know if you have any questions about your precious metals. We’re happy to help you in 2013.

We have always said that sterling silver flatware and some serving pieces need to be weighed separately from forks and spoons because they can be weighted or filled with other non-sterling silver metals and materials. This is why there is very little silver content in one of the knives verses a spoon or fork, which are usually 100% sterling silver weight.

Pictured below is a typical example of a sterling silver place setting knife with a steel blade and steel rod that runs through the handle. The white pile on the left is the cement that is poured into the handle during the manufacturing process. The cement hardens and bonds to the steel rod and the inside of the sterling silver handle.

Sterling Silver

For a knife like this, it is only the sterling silver casing on the handle that has silver value. The small amount of silver extracted from this knife example is shown to the right of the steel knife parts. If possible, we recommend separating out the silver from the other non-precious metal with pliers if you can. Then you can get a more accurate weight of your sterling silver. If you send your sterling silver place settings to Arch Enterprises we can take these items apart of you, but make sure you know that the weight of your box is not 100% sterling silver.

We hope this helps get the point across about the difference between the cutlery verses forks/spoons in sterling silver place settings.


Posted In: All, Silver


How to Sell & Send Silver Contacts to the Refiner

9-12-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

It has been a little while! But we are still here and want to let you know that you can still keep sending us your questions! If we don’t respond right away on our blog please contact us more directly on our website contact form here: http://www.archenterprises.com/contact-us.asp.

Question: I have silver contacts on copper. Can I leave the contacts on the copper or do you need them off? — From Jason in Boston, Massachusetts

Hi Jason,

Thanks for your question. Please remove the copper from the silver and only send the silver contact material into refine. We pay on the weight of the silver, so by doing this you can also have an accurate idea about how much silver you have and also save on shipping.

For heavy items we recommend going with USPS flat rate boxes. The largest box you can mail with flat rate boxes is 23 5/8” x 11 3/4” x 3”.

We would recommend taking the copper to a scrap metal recycling facility in your area.

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.




Sell & Refine EP Catheter Platinum Tips

5-30-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: Hello, I would like to send in EP catheter platinum tips. What information do you need to get this process started? Thank you, Lauren from Chicago, Illinois

Hi Lauren,

We help many medical facilities and hospitals start in-house programs to collect, sell and send in precious metal containing medical devices such as EP catheter tips. We recycle the platinum and return payment to your department based on the actual amount of platinum extracted.

To get started on a platinum recycling program, begin by collecting the EP catheters and other platinum-containing devices you use in your lab. Place sterilized EP catheters, angioplasty guide wires, and electrophoresis electrodes in a plastic bag or plastic container.

You can fill out our packing slip to include with your shipment and include any instructions and contact information you have. We typically can return a payment within 5-7 business days if not sooner.

Hope that helps! Thank you for your question.

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.




The Difference Between Precious Metal Refiners and Gold Buyers

5-24-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

We see this questions quite often, “What is the Difference Between Refiners and Gold Buyers?”

The main difference between precious metal refiners like Arch Enterprises verses the gold buyers that have popped up everywhere is that as refiners, we have all the equipment and means to actually recover the precious metal and put it back in its most pure form.

While gold buyers will go on to sell gold, silver and platinum pieces to refiners, we go through the process of melting and extracting the precious metals and then work with organizations to put the precious metals back into the manufacturing markets that use them.

We do understand that sometimes it is more convenient to sell smaller items to the local gold buyer or jewelry store, but our advice is that it is worth it to get several estimates, especially if you have over an ounce of gold or platinum or a several ounces of silver.

There are some gold buyers out there that will give you a decent price, just remember that there are also some that are not as reputable. Our advice would be to check out the company you decide to work with. Check their rating with the Better Business Bureau and do a simple Google search to see who you are working with. Also remember, that unlike jewelers and/or pawn shops precious metal refiners do not buy gems or stones.

Finally, as a precious metal refiner, we do not have the expertise to look at antiques or collectables and return a value. We look at the purity of your precious metal items, the weight and the daily price of precious metals and that is how we arrive at our estimates and returns.

If you have questions, please contact us or request your own estimate.


Posted In: All, Uncategorized


Sell Black & White Negatives from Photography

5-15-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: What would be the minimum amount of black and white negatives I would need in order for your firm to purchase them? I have had a long career in photography, and have closed up shop. Thanks! From Ed in Columbus, Ohio

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your question. The black and white negatives you have from your photography business contain silver and are the ideal material to send to a precious metal refiner. We normally recommend you have about 300 pounds of material or more to refine to receive a return.

For those of you that do not know, we specify “black and white” film, because color film/negatives do not contain silver. So please separate this out before sending in only the black and white film/negatives you have.

age-old film

Keep in mind that different types of film contain different amounts of silver. Typically we can pay back 75% of the pure silver value that is recovered from the film. We recommend sending in gallon size drums. If you have hundreds or thousands of pounds of material, we may be able to help with the freight.

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Sell a 14 Karat Gold Fraternity Ring for the Gold Value

5-4-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question/Answer: I am not sure about the weight but I am trying to save up money to buy a car so I would like to know how much I could get for this ring?? From Rob from Manchester, CT

Hi Rob,

Thanks for your question. Gold rings can range in their weight and purity/karat value. The rings that we see are normally about 0.5 to 1 ounces in weight. Since you mention that you have a gold fraternity ring, your ring may be on the heavier side, as men’s fraternity rings tend to be larger in size.

With the price of gold at *$1,642.60 USD/troy ounce right now, you may expect to received $400 – $880.00 for a 14 k gold ring weighting 0.5 to 1 ounces, however this will depend on the weight of gold and the purity of your gold ring.

iStock_000000361866Small

Also keep in mind that many times class rings contain a gem. As precious metal refiners, we do not pay returns on gems or precious stones. Make sure that you remove any gems, diamonds or stones and do not include them in your precious metal weight.

Our payout schedule on gold depends on the purity and amount that you have. We could pay 80% of the gold value back to you if you have between 0.5 – 1ounce of fine gold.

See more posts about the value of gold jewelry here:
Value of a 14K Gold Ring
Silver & Gold Jewelry Refining

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

 

*This price may not reflect the current price of silver when this blog entry was posted. The output from the calculator is not a confirmation of the purchase price from Arch Enterprises.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


Sell Scrap Silver from Jewelry Making

4-25-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: I have a large amount of .925 beads of all kinds including letter beads, clasps and toggle clasps – probably about 2+ pounds. How much is this worth and when can I receive a payment?  From Gina in Jackson, Michigan

Hi Gina,

Thanks for your question! The scrap silver items you describe sound ideal for a precious metal refiner, as your scrap pieces have a significant value for their silver content. We could refine your material and pay a return back to you in 3-5 business days.

We would recommend plugging in the amount of silver you have with the price of silver currently at *$30.36 USD/troy ounce into our silver value calculator. This will give you the market price of your silver scrap (not the purchase price).

Note how we have selected 0.925 silver as we are assuming that all of your silver items are sterling. If not all your items are sterling, the return will be less. Typically we can return 75% of the silver back to you for sterling silver.

We work with many customers who have gold and silver scrap for jewelry making that have found that working with a precious metal refiner price will yield a higher return than trying to resell it for jewelry making as many pieces can become outdated or undesirable to use again.

Hope that helps you!

*This price may not reflect the current price of silver when this blog entry was posted. The output from the calculator is not a confirmation of the purchase price from Arch Enterprises.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Value of Knives from Sterling Silver Sets

4-12-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question:
I have sterling silver flatware. I have weighed all of the items EXCEPT knives. They are made by Wallace Sterling. Pattern is Spanish Lace. I wasn’t sure if you would want the knives, or if I should separate the blades from the handles. Thanks from Jimmy in Indianapolis, IN.

iStock_000030070428Small

Hi Jimmy,

Thanks for your question!

Great to hear that you have weighed your sterling silver knives separately from your forks and spoons. That something that we recommend to all our customers that have sterling silver sets, as it can really skew the weight and expected return when those are all weighed together.

Separating the stainless steel blades from the handles could save you on the shipping cost of your items. So this may be worth it for you to separate if you have the time and means. Otherwise, we are equipped to separate for you. Also, if the handles are weighted, it may be difficult to remove the content of the handle. Again if you can separate, it will cost less to ship and will give you a better idea about how much silver you actually have.

Finally, make sure that you are 100% sure that you want to sell to a precious metal refiner before you start to take a part the knives beyond repair. You mention Wallace Sterling, which is a brand name in the industry and so if you pieces are in good condition, you may want to check the resale value online.

Here are some more blog posts about sterling silver that may also help:

Where to Sell Sterling Silver Flatware Sets

Refine Towle Sterling Silver

Silver Cake Server and Serving Spoons

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Sell Silver Dimes, Mercury Dimes & Barber Dimes

4-3-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: I would like to have my silver dimes, mercury dimes and barber dimes refined. How much are they worth? From Gary in Raleigh, North Carolina

Hi Gary,

Thanks for your question. To start we would need to know a few more things about your coins to give you a better idea about the silver value for them.

(1) The type and date factor into the value of your coins because different coins were made with different amounts of silver at different points in time. That is why coin dealers make an entire living know which coins hold the most value. Can you tell what the dates are on your coins?

Here are some common types of coins that we refine: Refine Silver Coins. You will also find the amount of silver that is available in each that you can multiply with the current price of silver to get a market price of the silver value in your coin.

Doing this research can not only let you know how much silver is available for recovery, but you should also make sure that your coins do not have collectible value that is worth more than the silver value. For example, if your barber dimes are 1895-O they could be worth between $250+ depending on the condition. Other barber dimes that have been known to have collectible value include the 1892-S, 1901-S and 1904-S. A fun story about the Barber dimes is that the 1894-S is one of the most valuable coins ever produced by the United States mint. Only 24 were produced. In 2007 one of them sold for $1.9 million.

Of course the majority of Barber coins are not going to fall within the collectable group of coins mentioned above. Most Barber coins that are made with 90% silver and 10% copper are ideal for refining.

(2) The amount of coins that you have is also a factor when you want to refine for the silver content. This is because so much energy has to go into refining silver coins that the more material you have to refine at once, the higher your return will be.

1916-1945 Mercury Dime (below)

1946-1964 Roosevelt Dime (below)

Sell Roosevelet Dimes
*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

Please keep in mind that we are not a coin dealer and cannot give estimates based on the value of collectable, rare or vintage coins. As a precious metal refiner, we only give estimates based on the weight of items and the amount of precious metal available for recovery.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Sell – Refine Platinum Wire

3-27-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question:  I believe I have several ounces of platinum wire (my father had been holding onto it for quite some time). Thanks! From Chelsea in Austin, Texas

Hi Chelsea,

Do you know what the platinum wire was used for? Platinum wire is normally used in high temperature industrial furnaces. If you think that is where your wire is from, there is a good chance that it is platinum. How much of the material do you have? Platinum wire can vary in the purity and grade. We would use our XRF (X-ray fluorescence) testing equipment to see how much platinum we could recover from your wire.

According to CNN Commodities Prices, platinum is $ 1,646.70 USD per troy ounce today** Given the costs involved in refining platinum wire, we typically pay about 70% of the platinum content available to recover.

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

** Market price of platinum changes daily. This price may not reflect the current price of platinum today.




Platinum Markings & Hallmarks for Selling

3-14-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: What does the stamp “Plat Furo” mean inside my engagement ring? From Kathryn in Danbury, CT

Sterling Silver RingAnswer:

With the price of platinum rising above the price of gold, this precious metal is the commodity of the week! So thanks for your question about your platinum ring.

Though there are not as many hallmark variations for platinum jewelry as gold and silver, when deciphering platinum hallmarks you still must take in to account the purity, time period, manufacturer and place of origin for your piece.

“Plat” obviously means platinum, however we’re not sure what “Furo” means next to it. Are there any other markings? We would be looking for a number that indicates the purity/grade of your platinum ring. Below are some common markings we see:

850 (85% Platinum)
900 (90% Platinum)
950 (95% UK Standard Platinum)
999 (99.9% Pure Platinum)

If your ring is new, I would think that it would have one of these common platinum markings. If it does not have one of those, you may want to have a jeweler look at it for purity. While most of our platinum posts are about industrial platinum refining, here are a few about platinum jewelry that may help also:

http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/is-there-any-way-to-tell-if-my-platinum-ring-is-pure-platinum/
http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/where-to-sell-platinum-wedding-rings-precious-metal-refining-blog/

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.




Where to Refine & Sell Industrial Silver Material? X-Ray Film, Flake, Silver Fixer

3-8-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question/Answer: I have a few hundred pounds of used industrial x-ray film, 15 or so pounds of silver flake and a couple of hundred gallons of used fixer. What can I estimate its worth and do you know who would buy it? From Levi in Tucson, Arizona

Hi Levi,

A silver refinery such as Arch Enterprises would probably be the best place to see your items. With more industrial/manufacturing items such as you have, it is not as likely that you can sell to a pawn shop or retailer. If you go to a scrap yard, they may buy your items, but they really have no way to recover the silver from them, so most likely they would just sell to a silver refinery and give you only a fraction of the silver value.

Harvested Silver Flake

Image: Harvested Silver Flake

Working directly with the refinery ensures that you are getting the most for your silver items. We can also help arrange the freight if you need. Unless you have the appropriate paper work on the grade of your silver flake and fixer, we would need to run tests to see how much silver is available to recover from it. For refining X-rays, you may want to wait until you have at least 300-400 pounds of x-ray film (out of the paper jackets) before you ship. This way the shipping will be worth the cost. Without knowing how much silver we could recover from your material, it would be difficult to provide a dollar amount estimate at this time. But it sounds like what you have is ideal for a precious metal refinery.

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.




Where to Sell Processed Gold Ore

2-20-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: Do you buy the gold ore that has been processed into coin size pieces? It is gold “mined” by family and friends. I have about 4.1 troy ounces of this 22 kt. Gold. From Virginia in Las Vegas, Nevada

Hi Virginia,

Yes, we do buy gold ore. Do you have any documentation about the purity of your gold ore? If not we would run some tests with our XRF (X-ray fluorescence) equipment to find what the percentage of gold is in your ore.

To get a general estimate of your gold ore I would recommend going to our gold conversion calculator. By plugging in the weight (4.1 troy ounces), purity (22 kt.) and daily gold price ($1,725.90 today) you will get the market value of your gold items. Arch could pay more than 90% of the gold value back to you if you have over 2 ounces of pure gold available from your ore.

Thanks for your question!

*This price may not reflect the current price of silver when this blog entry was posted. The output from the calculator is not a confirmation of the purchase price from Arch Enterprises.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


Value of Raw Silver Beads

2-15-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 12 pounds of raw silver beads. What are they worth? From Jody in Little Rock, Arkansas

Hi Jody,

First you will need to determine if the raw silver beads you have are 925 sterling silver, meaning 92.5% silver or another concentration? For 925 silver we pay for 75% of the fine silver content by weight. It is very difficult to determine the concentration of raw materials like the ones you describe without the proper testing equipment. If you don’t know the concentration of your silver beads, we can test your material with our analytical equipment. We just need a few of your beads beforehand so you don’t have to send in your full shipment.

If your silver beads are plated silver then we will not be able to offer you a return for them. Without the correct testing equipment it can be difficult to determine the silver concentration of your material. Here is a video showing how we test silver material that comes to our refinery.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


What Does 555 Stamped on Sterling Silver Mean?

2-10-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: What does 555 stamped on a sterling silver tea set mean? From Terry in Chicago, IL

Hi Terry,

Because there are so many different stamps for silver items such as tea sets, serving dishes and silverware, identifying what all these mean can be difficult. You have to consider that silver has been produced for centuries in several different countries. Also, these items are always alloyed with another type of metal, so the trick becomes determining how much actual silver your items contain compared to other non-precious, alloy metals such as copper and nickel.

From our experience as precious metal refiners (not antique dealers or silverware experts) a stamp of “555” does not indicate sterling. Instead we usually look for a “925” to indicate sterling silver. Our best advice would be to do the following:

  1. Check if you items are in fact sterling silver. This will probably influence the value of your items the most, especially if you are going to sell to a refiner for the silver value.
  2. Check to see if your items have any collectable value or value as antiques. Sometimes pieces can have value beyond the precious metal value.
  3. Based on the answers you find in 1 and 2, decide what the right place is to sell your items. As precious metal refiners, we cannot give returns on silverware that is plated.

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Do You Refine Silver Oxide Batteries?

2-7-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 6.9 lbs. of silver oxide batteries from watches. Can you refine this material? From Michael in Islandton, South Carolina

Hi Michael,

Yes, we do have the capabilities to extract silver from silver oxide batteries. Not only can we return a profit to you for the silver, but we also recycle the other potentially environmental harmful materials contained in silver oxide batteries. We pay per pound on silver oxide batteries.

For those of you that don’t know, silver oxide batteries are often referred to as silver zinc, watch batteries or button cell batteries. These are regularly used in products such as, hearing aids, watches, cameras and calculators.

Learn more about our silver oxide battery recycling program on our website.


Posted In: All, Silver


Arch is Now Officially Accepting Industrial Chemical Catalysts for PGM Refining

2-3-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

While we have always refined platinum group metals (PGM’s), we are now officially accepting industrial chemical catalysts for PGM refining.Refine PGMs

We have talked to several customers that have worked with unresponsive PGM refiners in the past, waiting up to 23 weeks for their return. Many small businesses cannot wait that long for a return. Our PGM refining services are ideal for customers that have at least 10 ounces or more of PGMs.

Check out the full release about our chemical catalyst refining services.


Posted In: All, Platinum


What is the Metal Under Silver Plated Flatware?

1-30-12    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: Is all silver plated flatware brass underneath? From Estella in Grand Rapids, MI

Hi Estella,

Thanks for your question. Not all silver plated flatware is brass underneath. Silver plated flatware will usually be copper based (like brass) or nickel based. Usually flatware is not a pure copper base, as copper is too weak. Brass is actually an alloy of copper and zinc. Most often scrap metal yards will purchase brass plated flatware for the copper.What is metal under

Flatware made with nickel is worth more than flatware made with copper. Pure nickel under silver plate is an older plating method and rarely used anymore. If you have pure nickel plated flatware, we would guess that you have older flatware that may be worth more as antiques than for the scrap nickel value. Nickel is magnetic, whereas sterling silver, copper brass and cupronickel (below) are not.

There is also cupronickel which is an alloy of copper and nickel. There are different grades or alloys of cupronickel. If you have a high percentage of nickel compared to the copper, try to sell to a scrap dealer for the nickel value. Some may just give you the brass price.

Scrap Metal Junkie is a website that we found that comments about scrap metal like we do about precious metals. If you think that your items could be sterling silver (not plated), then a precious metal refiner could be the right fit for you.

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Sell Dental Gold to Dental Refiners

12-30-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have .52576 oz Yellow Dental Gold And .73968 oz of Hi Noble Dental Gold. How much can I receive for this material? –From a dentist in Chicago, Illinois.

Dental Gold RefinersThank you for your question. Because dental gold is usually not marked, it can be difficult to determine the gold purity without the right testing equipment. That is why selling this type of gold at a pawn shop or gold party may not yield the highest or more accurate returns.
Most dental gold is 16k gold which is 66.66% gold. However, we find dental gold to be as high as 85% gold while other dental gold items have been as low as 15%. We run tests with an XRF analytical machine to determine how much gold is available to refine.

With the amount of dental gold you have, we would estimate that we could offer about 85% of the gold value back to you. As the price of gold changes daily, we use the price of the day that your shipment arrives at our facility.

Find all of our blog postings about selling dental gold on our dental refining category.

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

—-

EVERYONE HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We will see you in 2012 and be here answering more questions about your precious metal items. Don’t hesitate to ask us about your gold and silver and request an estimate!




Recover Silver from Silver Sludge Material

11-22-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 40,000 oz of silver in sludge of 2 mm lbs. Where can I get it refined? From Robert in Indianapolis, Indiana

Hi Robert,

The silver sludge material you describe would be best to sell to a precious metal refiner, as it is not feasible to walk into a pawn shop or other retail establishment to sell.

We recommend having at least 5 pounds of silver sludge material to justify the freight and refining costs. Of course you are way over this minimum recommendation at 40,000 ounces which is about 2,499.99 pounds.

The value of the silver sludge will depend on how much silver is available to refine. Refining photographic sludge often contains about 60 to 80 percent silver, but we can determine a more accurate percentage when we get it in our lab and run analytical tests.

If you are unsure about the amount of silver in your silver sludge, you might send a sample to us, before shipping the 2,000+ pound shipment of material. As you have a large amount of material, we can help arrange freight to our facility.

Thanks for your question Robert!

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Where to Sell Sterling Silver Flatware Set

11-16-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: I have a 69 piece sterling silver flatware set that weights a total of 104.55 ounces mad by International Company. Included in the set are 10 knives, one pie server, and one cheeses server, which all have stainless steel blades. All of the rest of the metal is sterling silver. – Thanks from Bonnie in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Hi Bonnie,

Where to sell sterling silver flatware?” is becoming a more common question as it becoming outdated, hard to manage and more valuable refined and melted than sitting in a closet.

Thank you for mentioning the pieces that you have in your sterling silverware set that are made with other metals. Did you include these in your total weight of 104.55 ounces you gave? We would recommend weighing these items separately then you will have one weight that you know is all sterling made up of forks and spoons, and a second weight that is not all sterling made up of your knives and other sterling pieces.

For .925 sterling silver flatware we pay 75% of the fine silver content by weight. If you use our silver value calculator, an estimate of what you would receive back is 75% of that total that it gives. The calculator on our website does not take out any percentages. It provides market indications of what your gold and silver is worth if it were in an investment grade form.

Below is a screen shot where we plugged in the daily silver price (currently at $33.66/troy ounce), 104.55 average ounces, and .925 grade silver.

Silver Value Calculator

*This price may not reflect the current price of silver when this blog entry was posted.The output from the calculator is not a confirmation of the purchase price from Arch Enterprises.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Sell 22 Karat Yellow Gold From India

11-4-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: I have 59.50 grams of 22 kt yellow gold of handmade jewelry from India. Includes 1 necklace, 2 bracelets and 2 earrings. — From Aasha in Dallas, Texas

BlingHi Aasha,

Thank you for your submission. Gold jewelry from India is usually of very high quality and made with a very high gold content, giving the gold a yellow color. 22k gold is 91.52% gold alloyed with 8.48% of some other type of metal.

Are there any hallmarks or markings that prove the purity of your items? Since you indicated that your items are handmade, we are guessing that there are not hallmarks. We run unmarked pieces through our XRF analytical testing machine that uses x-ray technology to tell what these pieces are composed of. We find that with handmade jewelry from India the standard percent of 22k is not always exact. Sometimes there is a little more and sometimes a little less to recover.

As precious metal refiners, we will pay on the value of your items according to how much gold there is to refine (weight), how high of gold content your items are (purity), and the current price of gold.

Also keep in mind that gold is measured in troy ounces. 59.50 grams = 1.913 troy ounces. Based on our payout schedule, we would be able to offer 85% of the gold value back to you.

*Images displayed are only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


Where to Sell Sterling Silver Scrap Beads

10-7-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I am looking to sell my sterling siver .925 beads as “scrap” metal. Do you buy this kind of silver? Thank you. From Brian in Fort Dodge, Iowa

Hi Brian,

iStock_000020801642SmallThank you for your question! Arch purchases and refines really anything made from sterling silver. These scrap sterling silver beads that you describe sound like the ideal type of material for a refiner. We work with many jewelers and others that sometimes have these beads left over from projects or because they have given up the jewelry making hobby or business.

We only offer return for the silver value. The beads actually get melted down in the refining process and put back into industries that use it.

We would need to know how much of this material you have before we can recommend shipping methods and give you an estimate on your items. If you only have a couple beads, than it might not even be worth shipping. However, if you have pounds of beads or a large amount we can work with you to purchase. Also, unless the beads are marked in some way, we might have to run some analytical tests to test the purity – but let’s go down that road when we come to it.

Let us know if you have more questions or if you would like a silver estimate, you can visit our form to give us some more information about your sterling silver beads.

Here is a previous blog article about “Raw Silver Beads: Value of Raw Silver Beads” that might help you out! Thank you for your question.

*Images displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Refine & Sell Towle Sterling Silver Flatware

9-30-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 133 pieces of Towle Sterling Silver flatware purchased 39 years ago. How should I weigh these sterling silver pieces? Thanks from Jan in St. Louis, MO.

Hi Jan,Towle Sterling Silver

We recommend using a postal scale or food scale to weigh your sterling silverware. You might have to weigh each one at a time, but it will be more accurate than using a scale that you step on for your own weight. Each of the same fork, spoon or knife should have the same weight. So, you might only have to weigh one of each. However if some pieces are broken or worn, they can weigh less than other pieces.

Another thing that we tell people is that many times knifes and serving pieces have weighted handles. So if you weigh these pieces without considering the extra weight that is not sterling silver, it will skew your results. The only way to really tell how much weight to take out is by taking apart the knife/piece and removing the weight which can be made from wax or other material.

Here is a video of Arch literally taking apart a sterling silver knife weight to see what is inside.

We would only do this if you are sure you are going to refine your pieces. Removing the weight could damage the pieces beyond repair.

The bottom line is that you want to weigh all your pieces that you know are pure sterling silver separately from the pieces that may have weights in them.

Once you have an accurate weight of the silver, plug it into our silver calculator with the current price of silver. This will give you an idea about how much your silver is worth. We would also recommend Requesting an Estimate once you get your silver weight.

Here are some more blog posts about shipping and selling sterling silver.
http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/sterling-silver-buyers/
http://www.precious-metal-refining.info/how-to-sell-your-precious-metal-items/

*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Gold Over Sterling Silver Jewelry Value

9-20-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Does gold over sterling jewelry have any value as scrap? Thanks! From Sherri in San Antonio, Texas

Hi Sherri,

Pendant on golden chain isolated on the whiteWe have been getting a lot of questions about silver and gold plated material. In most plating situations the plate really does NOT have any value. Silver and gold plating techniques have made it so that only a very small amount of actual gold or silver is used in the plate and makes it impossible to recover or separate from the metal underneath.

We tell people that it is the metal UNDER the plate that will either have value or not. In your case, if your jewelry is sterling silver than your pieces would have value for the silver only, not the gold.

In other cases where the metal under the plate is a “base metal” – iron, nickel, lead, zinc or copper, the value of the pieces will be significantly less than those made with a precious metal – gold, silver, and platinum. As precious metal refiners, Arch would NOT be able to refine anything made from one of the listed base metals.

If you would like an estimate on your sterling silver jewelry, please give us some more information about your pieces on our Request an Estimate Form. Thanks!

*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.




How Long Does Precious Metal Refining Take? What are the Steps Involved?

9-13-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

How long does refining precious metal take – from the time you receive the metal until the check is mailed? What are the steps involved? From Lee in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hi Lee,

Thanks for the question! Because of how time sensitive precious metal prices can be, we do our best to ensure quick turnaround times to our customers. We try to give our customers as much information before they ship to speed up the process and so that all questions are answered beforehand.

For a more efficient process it is beneficial to do the following:

  1. Include a packing slip
  2. Include any copies of emails you may have had with a representative.

Our Process

Caculate Precious Metal Value request precious metal estimate ship precious metal

Also it depends on the type of materials you are sending. If we will have to run tests to check the purity of your items, the process may take a bit longer. If you are sending in marked items of silver or gold we can get your items refined quicker.

We normally can return in 3 business days of receiving your material. If additional testing and verification is needed it can take 5-7 business days. We will use the precious metal price of the business day that the material arrives at our facility. You can find a step-by-step process about how to ship precious metals on our website.

Hope that helps!




How to Ship & Sell 14 K Gold to a Precious Metal Refiner?

9-7-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have assorted 14 K jewelry consisting of 3 bracelets and three rings weighing 96 grams. What would you anticipate the shipping cost to be? From Molly in Los Angeles, California.

Shipping & Selling 14K GoldHi Molly,

The great thing about gold is that you really don’t have to have much in terms of weight to have a very valuable shipment. So it is relatively inexpensive to ship, but the return can be great.

We would recommend sending in a bubble envelope. Flat rate services for priority mail envelopes with USPS is $4.95 for sizes 10″ x 5″ through 12-1/2″ x 9-1/2″. These envelopes will ship anything under 70 lbs. We would also recommend checking the “Signature Upon Delivery” option and Requesting an Estimate on your items so you know how much to insure the package for. While not a requirement, we would recommend insurance for valuable shipments. These services with the USPS start at $10.75. Packages can be insured for up to $5,000. Registered Mail service can be insured for up to $25,000.

Learn more about adding insurance to USPS packages here: https://www.usps.com/ship/insurance-and-extra-services.htm.

Visit our page about Shipping Precious Metals and let us know if you would like a free estimate on your pieces. Thanks!

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


Selling 14 Karat Gold Pocket Watches

8-31-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have two pocket watches. One weighs about 46 grams the other about 22 grams. Both are marked 14K. From Uriah in Kalamazoo, MI

Hi Uriah, Pocket watch

Thank you for your question. Old gold jewelry is very common for selling for the precious metal value. Keep in mind that as refiners, we will buy your watches based on the gold value alone, whereas other buyers such as pawn shops and jewelry resellers might buy for the watch functionality. Think about if your watch has any value because of the collectability, rarity, beauty or function. If you think that is has value beyond the gold value, please look in to checking with a jewelry dealer.

If you want to get a better idea of what the gold value of your watches are, we recommend stripping down the watches by taking out as much non-gold items as you can. All of the non-precious metal watch mechanisms should not be included in the weight of your gold. Note that by doing this you may be damaging the watch beyond repair. This would not affect the gold value, but would affect the retail value mentioned above. Another item you may consider is the chain (if there is one) on the watches. If they are marked (look on the clasp) a karat purity of gold then add them to the gold weight/total. If they are not marked then they may not contain gold.

Being 14 Karat, the gold in your watches are 58.24% pure gold. Our payout schedule varies according to how much gold you have. See our Karat gold jewelry payout schedule on our website.

Thanks!

* Please keep in mind that we are not jewelry appraisers or dealers and cannot give estimates based on the value of collectable, rare or vintage jewelry. As a precious metal refiner, we only give estimates based on the weight of items and the amount of precious metal available for recovery.

*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

 

 


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


1971 – 1976 Eisenhower “Ike” Dollars

8-25-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 84 1971-76 Eisenhower dollars From Dee in Camden, AR

Hi Dee,

Eisenhower or “Ike” silver dollars are tricky because there were two versions made between 1971 and 1976. Ike Dollar

The first is the Eisenhower silver dollars that were made NOT for circulation. These were meant for purchase by collectors, were in special packaging and not released for circulation. These coins are composed of 60% copper and 40% silver. These coins will have an S marking on them indicating that they contain silver. In mint condition, an Ike Dollar will have 0.3162 ounces of silver.

The second, more common type of Ike dollar was also made between 1971 and 1978 and was the first dollar coin released for general circulation NOT made of silver. These are made of mostly copper and DO NOT contain any silver and also referred to as clad coins.

Besides the S marking, you can tell the difference between these two types of Ike dollars by their weight. Because they are composed of different metals, they have different weights.

The copper-nickel (clad) version weighs 22.68 grams (may be less due to wear)

The copper-silver (silver) version weighs 24.59 grams (may be less due to wear)

Our advice is to go through all of your Ike dollars and separate out the ones with silver. Those would be the only ones that we could offer you a return on your silver. Visit our website about other silver coins to sell for refining.

Hope that helps!

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Sterling Silver Buyers

8-11-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hello, do you buy sterling silver flatware or do you just refine? If you buy how do you pay and how long does the process take? From Richard in Tucson, AZ

Hi Richard,

Good question. There are so many different gold and silver buyers out there that it is hard to know which ones are middle men or the actual end refiners.

Arch Enterprises buys gold and silver AND refines it. You will find that many refineries will not work with individuals with precious metals. They will only work with businesses and/or large industrial companies to refine. We have found that is it profitable for both parties to accept lots of silver and gold from households. Because of the energy that goes into refining precious metals, we do have some minimums in place. For example, it would not be worth sending in one silver spoon to a refinery.

OUR PROCESS

  1. We would recommend either calling or filling out our Request an Estimate form so both parties have a better idea about how much the material is worth and how much we can return.
  2. Complete a packing slip to ship with your materials and request the “delivery signature required” option.
  3. We will review your material and mail a payment to you in 3-5 business days or less after the material is received.

You can read more about our process on our website. Thanks!

*Images displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.

While we are happy to give estimates on precious metal items, we are NOT antiques dealers, researchers, or retail sellers. As a precious metal refiner, we only consider the weight and amount of precious metal available to extract during the smelting and refining process.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


What is the Gold Value of 14 Milligrams Pure Gold?

8-5-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

What is 14 milligrams (mg) of gold worth? I am considering purchasing some Buffalo tribute coins that are clad in 14 mgs of pure 24 kt. Gold and want to know what this gold is worth. – Thanks from Julie in Chicago, Illinois.

Hi Julie,

Gold is measured in troy ounces. When you see the daily price of gold, you are mostly likely seeing the price per troy ounce. This can be confusing when you are working with other units of measurement.

Here are some quick conversions to give you an idea about how much a troy ounce is in comparison to other units of measurement.

1 gram = 0.0321507466 troy ounces
1 milligram = 0.001 grams
1 milligram = 0.0000321507465686 troy ounces

14 milligrams = .0004494 troy ounces

Now that we have done the correct conversion, let’s talk money! Today (8-3-2011) the price of gold is at $1,637.50 USD per troy ounce.*

1 troy ounce of pure gold = $1,637.50 USD*
1 gram of pure gold = $52.65*
1 milligram of pure gold = $0.05*

14 milligrams of pure gold = $0.74*

As you can tell, 14 milligrams of gold is small. Plus these coins are clad (or covered) in gold and not made from solid gold, so it is not like we could even refine this small amout of gold from these tribute coins.

See more information on the Gold Buffalo Nickel Tribute Proof.

*Prices given reflect the price of gold when this blog post was written. Gold price may or may not be the actual current price of gold.




What is the value of a $50 2011 Buffalo Gold Tribute Coin?

8-5-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

What is the value of the Gold Buffalo Nickel Proof by National Collector’s Mint? From Dan in St. Louis

In order to comment on your questions, we reviewed the company’s commercial on their website and uses some terminology that is confusing people.

Please read our translation of this TV advertisement. You have to “read between the lines” of the commercial and catch all of the important bits of information.

Gold coin

Advertisement Translation
2011 $50 Gold Buffalo Tribute Proof Obviously, this coin does NOT have a face value of $50.00. It is a tribute proof coin that has no face value. They are a novelty only and that is why they can sell them for under $10.
Description of ORIGNIAL Gold Coin “America’s purist gold coin ever. It was the first one ever struck using .9999 pure 24K gold” … “Price of the original edition is going through the roof.”

They are describing the ORIGINAL coin. NOT the replica they are selling.

This coin is only a COPY of the original. It even has the word “Copy” printed on the coin.

Clad in 14 mgs. Of Pure 24 KT Gold

1) Clad means that it is only plated with gold and is made mostly of some other metal

2) 14 mgs. is worth is about $0.50 to $0.75 cents of gold value.

Read more about the value of 14 mgs of gold on our previous blog post.

Distributed by the National Collector’s Mint Despite the official sounding name, this is a private company. It is NOT an official US government mint. They make replicas
“With gold skyrocketing past $1,300 an ounce, price can only be guaranteed for 7 days.” This is an area that could cause confusion as it implies that the market price of gold has an effect on the value of this coin. The reality is that the amount (14 mgs) of gold is so small that a change in the price of gold by $100 would only affect this coins gold value by 4.5 cents.

The bottom line is that these tribute gold buffalo coins that you see advertised on TV have no gold value. People wishing to invest in gold should not buy these coins. Think of them more like commemorative spoons or plates.




How Much Can I Sell my 18 Karat Gold Bracelet for?

7-25-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

How much can i sell my 18 karat gold bracelet with the stamp 750 that weighs 52 grams for? Thanks! — From Cory in Seattle, WA

BlingHi Cory,

This is a great question to plug into our gold conversion calculator. This is because there are a few calculations that you have to do before knowing what your gold is worth.

You first have to convert the weight of gold jewelry into troy ounces without any other gems or stones. That is the unit of measurement used for precious metals.

Then you have to use the current price of gold and multiply it to how much actual gold you have. With your bracelet being 18 Karat, your piece is 74.88% gold. The stamp on your bracelet 750 indicates that it is 18 Karat gold that is about 75% pure gold.

Your 52 grams converts into 1.67183 troy ounces. According to our payout schedule we would offer you about 85% of the pure gold value. For larger lots we can sometimes offer over 90% of the gold value.

Note that the calculator provides an approximate value for the amount of fine (or pure) gold or in your item. It does not factor in intrinsic value that may apply to rare collectibles and coins or branded jewelry.

Gold Jewelry Calculation

*Price of gold used in this calculation may not reflect the current price of gold as it changes daily.

Thanks for your question. Here are some other blog posts that might help you in finding the value of your gold bracelet.

*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


Is Now the Time to Sell Gold & Silver?

7-20-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

We get asked this question constantly. And because no one can really predict where the prices of precious metals will go in the next month or even week, it is difficult to give a “yes” or “no” answer.

We can reflect on the history of gold and silver prices and say that back in April 2011 when gold hit $1,500 an ounce it was a BIG deal. And now that it has hit over $1,600 an ounce it is a BIG deal. Learn more about refining precious metals at www.ArchEnterprises.com.

From Daily Finance, here are 5 tips about selling gold:

1) Measure your gold against a penny. If you don’t know how much gold you have, measure its weight against the penny. Ten U.S. one-cent coins are equal to an ounce. An ounce of pure gold is currently worth about $1,600 USD.

* Note that the price of gold changes daily. The price listed above may not be the current price of gold.

2) Every gram adds up. A collection of small pendants, lockets, or pins made from 14-karat gold (58% gold mixed with other metal alloys) can add up. A gold tooth or small pin might be made from five to seven grams of gold.

*Remember to take out any gems or non precious items that may be able to be sold separately. These items have not refining value.


3) Know what the market is doing. Gold investing is serious business and there are many specialty gold products that act as investing tools.

*We recommend checking the spot price of gold.


4) What’s your emotional attachment? Wedding rings from long-divorced exes may be good to throw into the melting pot, but grandpa’s pocket watch probably has more value as a keepsake or sell it to a private buyer as an estate piece.

*Remember that when you sell items such as watches or jewelry to a refiner, you are only selling the gold. If you sell to a private buyer or estate sale you are selling the piece in its entirety (as a watch).


5) Keep the gold plate. Anything made with gold-plate or gold-fill isn’t worth much to a refinery. Keep the costume jewelry. Wear or sell the rest.

*CORRECT! We cannot offer returned on gold plated material.

Here are the prices of Gold, Silver and Platinum today (they are down just a bit from yesterday) July 20, 2011. Please check http://money.cnn.com/data/commodities/index.html for the CURRENT precious metal prices.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions


How Much are Silver Strike Coins Worth?

7-18-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: How much are silver strike coins worth they say .999 pure silver on them and they weigh 1 oz each. They are from casinos in Las Vegas. – From Lou in New York.

Hi Lou,

Even though your silver strike coins weigh 1 ounce each, only the middle of them are actually silver which usually accounts for about 60% of the coin. As precious metal refiners we only give returns based on the amount of silver available in the coin. We usually payout 90% of the silver value back to you. Most often the outside of the coin is made from brass that we would recycle but the amount is so small that we do not offer a return on the brass.

We would recommend doing some research first, because many times silver strike coins from Las Vegas are collectible and sought after for more than their silver value. It really just depends on how rare the coin it is, from which casino and from what year.

It is important to note that coins that have experienced significant wear often have approximate a 1% drop in silver weight. Arch Enterprises can refine the silver from all types of silver coins.


Please keep in mind that we are not a coin dealer and cannot give estimates based on the value of collectable, rare or vintage coins. As a precious metal refiner, we only give estimates based on the weight of items and the amount of precious metal available for recovery.

*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


1847 Rogers Brothers IS Silver Value

7-7-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I Have a set of – 1847 Rogers Brothers Silverware with The Letters “IS” and “Eternally Yours” printed on each piece. What is the value of this set? From Patsy in Richmond, Virginia.

 

I have 4 pounds of 1847 Roger Brothers IS. I was just wondering what it was worth. I would like to know more about it before I decide whether or not to sell it? From Tim in Pacific, Missouri.

iStock_000001910119Small

 

Hi Patsy and Tim,

Since you both have 1847 Rogers Brothers IS Silver, I wanted to address your questions together. There are a few main points that we try to address when talking about Rogers Brothers:

“1847” and “IS” Marking on Rogers Brother Silver
The first thing we tell people about 1847 Rogers Brothers Silver is that the 1847 is NOT the manufacturer date. This is the founding date of Rogers Brothers that they include in the hallmark of all their silverware.

The “IS” stands for International Silver who has owned Rogers since 1898.

The point is that neither of these markings gives any indication about the purity or value of the silver.

Rogers Brothers is NOT all Sterling
Make sure that you are aware that NOT all sets and pieces by Rogers Brothers are sterling. Some pieces are silver plate. Sometimes people automatically assume that old silver pieces are sterling, but silver plating techniques have been around since the 1800s.

Selling Rogers Brothers Silver
The most important item to know is whether or not your silver is sterling. No matter who you sell to, usually sterling silver is more valuable than silver plate, stainless steel, copper or some other non-precious metal.

If you have sterling, check to see if you have a complete set and if any pieces are broken or damaged. If you have odd and end pieces Arch Enterprises, precious metal refiner will pay for the silver.

Otherwise for non-sterling, check to see what items are going for on eBay to get an idea about the value. The prices on eBay we found for “Eternally Yours Rogers Brothers Silverware” range from $235 -$295. But also keep in mind that these are large 52 piece to 72 piece sets in good condition, and some of them in their original boxes which makes a difference in their resale value.

*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.




Refining Silver Electrical Contacts

6-13-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

What is a good place to sell silver electrical contacts? Do you all do this? How much silver is in electrical contacts? Thanks! From Dan in Waterford, Michigan

Hi Dan,

Thanks for contacting us!

You will be happy to know that you have come to the right place. We can refine silver electrical contacts. In our experience of refining electrical contacts made from tungsten silver, they can contain between 25-30 percent silver.

Refining this type of material is ideal because of the significant amount of silver to extract. How much of the silver material do you have? We can help arrange freight if you have a very large shipment.

Find out more information about electrical contact from relating blog posts here:

*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.




Arch Enterprises on Facebook

6-6-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

It is not news that Facebook is HUGE! And since our employees, customers and basically everyone are on Facebook we decided that Arch Enterprises should be as well. And with an ever changing industry that has to follow the price of precious metals on a daily basis, we wanted to keep people updated on the latest news and company happenings. Find our page here: http://www.facebook.com/archenterprisesinc.

Below are the latest stats from Facebook.com

FB Stats

We have found Facebook to be a great place where we can answer questions, post pictures and keep people updated about silver, gold and platinum prices. You can expect to receive new updates and general updates about PMs from our Facebook posts.

Do you have a business that we could follow? Please let us know and send us a link to find you. Or start following Arch and Like us on Facebook today!

arch enterprises on facebook


Posted In: All, Uncategorized


Value of Silver Oxide Batteries

5-31-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 20-30 lbs. of silver watch batteries. I have already hand sorted since these were still packaged and I have maybe a pound or two of the lithium batteries. What are you currently paying and how do I ship these. From John in Des Moines, Iowa.

Hi John,

Thank you for submitting your question.

It is great that you were able to separate your silver oxide batteries from your lithium batteries. This saves us time when it comes to the refining process.

Because you are shipping used batteries you should be able to ship in a cardboard box. So the batteries do not shake around, you might want to fill with newspaper in the box, but that is up to you.

We are paying around $30-$40 per pound of silver oxide batteries with the silver price being around $35-40 per troy ounce. However, this pricing is subject to change according to the fluctuation of the price of silver. If you call us on the day that you ship we will be able to give you a more accurate quote given the amount of silver batteries you have and the spot price of silver.

We have recently increased our capacity for refining silver oxide batteries. Check out our latest press release for more information.

* Price quoted is based on the daily market price of silver the day this blog post was published and may not be the current price viewers are reading this posting.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Precious Metal Refiner BBB Rating

5-16-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Gerald recently asked us what our rating is with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which is a great question to ask any company that you are working with. Accreditation with the BBB means that the business meets accreditation standards which include the following standards:

  1. Build Trust
  2. Advertise Honestly
  3. Tell the Truth
  4. Be Transparent
  5. Honor Promises
  6. Be Responsive
  7. Safeguard Privacy
  8. Embody Integrity

You can look up any company’s rating in on the BBB’s website. You can also see if there have been any customer complaints filed against the company and if they were resolved.

Arch has maintained an A+ rating with the BBB and has not complaints filed to date.

BBB Logo


Posted In: All, Uncategorized


Sell and Refine Platinum Mesh | Precious Metal Refining Blog

4-18-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have a small quantity of platinum mesh that was used in testing/measurement equipment. I’ve read some of the questions that have been sent to you and understand you offer 70% of the market value, is that correct? How do I send the platinum mesh to you? I can weigh and convert to troy ounces, but what is the time frame to receive payment? Thanks! From Robert in Alma, Michigan.

Hi Robert,

You are correct in that our typical return for industrial platinum material such as platinum mesh is 70% back on the platinum value that is refined.

We always recommend weighing your items at home and please fill out our packing slip. In the special notes section you can put the weight that you had and we will match it to what we find. We will notify you if our findings do not match your description.

Turnaround time on your material should be no more than 7 business days. However, we can normally mail a check after 3 business days of receiving your material. If we have to test or analyze your material further, is what can take longer.

Because precious metal prices are always changing we use the most recent price when your items come into our facility. Platinum is trading at around $1,766 USD per troy ounce.*

Please use this information if you would like to insure your items through the mail. And choose the “Signature Required Upon Delivery” option so that we sign for your package.

*This price may not reflect the current price of platinum, as it is not updated daily as the price changes.

Visit our website to learn more about our platinum refining.
Or view more blog posts related to platinum.




Sell 925 Silver Flatware and 985 Silver Tea Set | Precious Metal Refining Blog

3-31-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 3 or 4 pounds of .925 sterling silver flatware and 3 or 4 pounds of .985 silver tea set. Do you offer more for the higher density? Or are they purchased at the same rate? From Curtis in Bowie, Maryland

Hi Curtis,

We will give different returns based on the purity of your silver items. Anyone that puts all of your silver on one scale and gives you a flat rate for the lot is probably offering much less than what your items are worth. Since 985 silver is not as common as sterling silver or 925 silver, we might run some tests will ensure the purity of the material. Is there a marking indicating the 985 purity?

We see 985 silver used mainly in fine jewelry product lines. The stamp 985 means that your items are 98.5% pure silver and then alloyed with 1.5% of some other metal.

Silver tea set

Typically we can return 75% of the fine silver value back to you for fine sterling silver pieces. Today silver is making headlines for breaking through $36 USD per ounce for the first time in 30 years. And because you have pounds of silver, your items should give you a fairly large return.

Precious metals are measured in troy ounces, which is a little less than a standard ounce. Here are some quick conversions for you:

1 troy ounce = 1.09714286 ounces
1 pound = 14.5833333 troy ounces

Hope this information helps!

*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Silver Cake Server and Serving Spoon Stamped with “SILVER” | Precious Metal Refining Blog

3-8-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Question: I have a cake server and serving spoon that is stamped SILVER on it. Any idea if this stamp means plated or sterling?

Hi Josh,

Clean cake server isolated on white backgroundIs that the only marking that your items have on it? Usually sterling silverware will have the purity of silver included. A stamp of .925 or 925 indicates sterling, meaning that sterling silver is 92.5% silver alloyed with 7.5% of something else. Other common markings that give indications about the purity of the silver include: 800, S, SS, STERLING, 900, or STANDARD.

We can not say what the purity of your silver cake server and sterling spoon is with the information that you provided. We would recommend trying to do some research to find out if you have sterling silver or not. If you know your items are old or could be considered antiques than you might want to have an antique dealer appraise your items.

Unfortunately there is no easy way to determine if you have sterling sliver, plated silver, or something else by just looking at it. There are test kits out there that require you to scratch through the coating. We use an XRF analytical machine that uses x-ray fluorescence, however on just a few items it might not be worth send them in for testing.

Also keep in mind that serving items are often weighted in the handles, so you may not have an accurate weight of silver in your items without taking out the weighted material.

Hope this helps!

*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


How Much is Silver in X-Ray Film Worth? | Precious Metal Refining Blog

2-17-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I was talking to a friend who told me silver prices are at 30 year highs. The company we have been using at my hospital shreds our films and says it’s the law to do so. Once you factor in the shredding charge, we don’t get any money back for our film. Are we getting taken advantage of? I would think with prices where they are we should be getting something back? From Lori in Chicago, Illinois

Hi Lori,

The thing to keep in mind when you are selling x-ray film for the silver is that you need to have a substantial amount to make the freight and refining cost worth the effort. The amount of silver in one X-ray is negligible. However when you have 400 pounds or more of the material then you should expect to see a return, based on the silver price today.

You are correct when you say that silver is at an all time high today. Here is a quick bit of the history of silver in the United States. At the beginning of 1980 silver reached a record high of around $49.00 per troy ounce, however right after that it started to drop and in 1981 dropped to under $9.00 per troy ounce. After the huge drop it seemed like no one wanted to invest in silver anymore. In the last few years we have seen gold and silver prices climb. Other factors to consider include inflation and the value of the dollar. A dollar does not get you as far today as it did in 1980.

Silver Price Chart

34 Year Silver Price Chart from Silverprice.org

There are government regulations in place when companies destroy personal information such as x-ray film. We follow HIPAA guidelines and provide certificates of destruction for our customers. When the company you are using say they are following the law by shredding these x-rays they might not actually be refiners, but only middlemen shredders. By shredding x-ray film they are destroying the material in a HIPAA compliant manner. However, if you have your film sent into a refiner, we do not shred the film but recover the silver and destroy it according to HIPAA rules. This is an issues that some of our customers had questions about so we addressed in our latest press release: Arch Enterprises Addresses Industry Concerns about X-Ray Recycling

How much x-ray film are you sending in at once? If you are sending more than 300-400 pounds at a time, then you should question the company you are using about a return.


Posted In: All, Silver


Refine Platinum from EP Catheter Tips

2-15-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have about 28 ounces of EP catheters that I would like to sell for the platinum. How does your refining system work after you receive my material? From Judy in Nashville, Tennessee

Hi Judy,

After we receive your material we will analyze it to determine how much platinum is available for platinum recovery. Depending on how much analysis is needed, we can usually return a payment to you in 5-7 business days or less after the material is received. The turnaround time is usually a little faster and we will try and send payment in 3 business days.

Ep Cather Tips

We typically pay about 70% of the platinum content by weight. This will depend on the type of platinum EP catheter tips you have. Other factors that will determine the value of your items include the number of electrodes you have, diameter, and weight. The platinum content will vary based on the mentioned criteria.

For shipping we recommend sending your items in a padded mailer or double plastic bags. Makes sure that you choose the “Delivery Signature Required” option when you ship which will ensure that we have received your material.

We also ask that you prepare your EP Catheters by sterilizing the top prior to shipping. Use the method that your hospital recommends. You can also cut the wire so that you are only sending the part that contains platinum. Trimming the wire might also save you on postage and packaging.




Precious Metal Refining Blog | Value of Rogers Bros Sterling Silver Dinnerware

2-8-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

My mom gave me her old sterling silver dinnerware set that she got from her mom. She told me to be careful with it because she said it came from my grandfathers first marriage. She thought it was originally from Virginia. It is a set of twelve with a serving set also. One dinner fork is missing. All have “sterling” inscribed on them. A few of the pieces have this information 1847 ROGERS BROS 6 and then it looks like a circle like O. Some other pieces have 1847 ROGERS BROS 12 with something at the end that looks like a circle or perhaps the inc. symbol? What do you feel I have going on here. And what do you think it may be worth? Thanks for your help. From Virginia in Newnan, Georgia

Hi Virginia,

Because the word “sterling” is marked on your silver pieces we can say with confidence that you have sterling silverware which is .925 silver or 92.5% silver. Bcause we are precious metal refiners we don’t know too much about sterling silver manufactures and brands. Doing some quick research online, I found that the 1847 date is the founding date of Rogers Brother and does not refer to the date your pieces were made.

What is metal under

Keep in mind that precious metal refiners, like Arch Enterprises will only pay customers based on the precious metal content of the items you send to us. It sounds like you have a pretty large set so I think it would be worth doing some research into exactly what you have and where the best place would be to sell.

Many sterling silver knives and serving pieces are weighted for usability purposes. So the handles are filled with some kind of cement or wax. We weigh these items separately from those that are 100% sterling such as forks and spoons. Once you separate out any pieces that might be weighted we would recommend weighing everything else on a postal scale. Then use our precious metal calculator which will give you a good idea of what your items are worth based on the silver value. (Make sure you check the 0.925 silver check box on the calculator).

Hope this information helps! Let us know if you need more information about selling your sterling silver to be recycled and refined.

Watch this video about finding the value of sterling silverware.

*Image displayed is only a representation of the items described in this blog post and may not be true images of the items in question.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


What are My 14K Gold Wedding Rings Worth?

1-4-11    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have two 14 K white gold weddings bands. Together they weigh about 0.35 ounces on the digital postal scale. How much do you think they are worth? Thanks. From Paul in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Hi Paul,

There is usually not a significant difference in the melt value between white gold and yellow gold. The plating used over the gold to make it silver/white in color accounts for a very small portion of the ring’s weight.

Precious Metal 8

I would recommend using our gold calculator to help determine how much your gold rings are worth.

First, visit our Gold Value Calculator. Most likely your postal scale measured in average or standard ounces, so choose that option.

Second, click on the silver/gold link that takes to the current precious metal prices. *Today gold is trading at $1,406.20 USD per troy ounce. Don’t worry that you weighed your items in standard ounces, because the calculator will convert the measurement for you. Plug the price of gold in the calculator and you should be ready to click the “Calculate Value” button. See the calculator screen shot below.

This calculator gives you the approximate market value of your items without anyone taking any percentages.

Third
, visit our Payout Schedule page located here: http://www.archenterprises.com/precious-metal-payout-schedule.html. Since you have less than 0.5 fine ounces of gold we could pay you 70% of the fine gold content back to you.

*Gold price taken may not reflect the current price of gold.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


What do the markings 70% and SSS on my Silver Flatware Mean?

12-28-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have some silver flatware marked 70%, and one marked SSS. Is there ANY value at all ? From Gwen in Salem, Oregon

Hi Gwen,

We are not familiar with the marking SSS as an indication of the grade of silver you have. Usually sterling silver is stamped with an S or SS. An SSS might mean your item is stainless steel. Do you have any other information about this flatware piece?

To sell sterling silver, it must be 925 or 92.5% silver. All other markings mean that it is some other type of silver. Different markings can indicate that it was made somewhere else since each country has their own system for hallmarking precious metals manufactured in that country.

Is it an exact “70%” that is stamped on your silver? Or does it look like “.700” or “700?” All of these could mean that you silver flatware is 70% silver alloyed with 30% of some other metal (s). For items that we are unsure about, we run XRF analytic tests to determine how much silver, if any, is available to refine. If you have a large amount of this material, we would recommend sending us an item that we can test before you send the whole lot.




Is My Sheffield Silver Tea Set Worth Anything?

12-21-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Can you please tell me the value, if any, for a Sheffield 241B Silver Tea Set? It was a gift years ago and I was just wondering the value of it. – From Kim in Dallas, Texas.

Hi Kim,

Using the term “Sheffield” to describe your silver can mean a couple different things. Silver has been manufactured in Sheffield, England for centuries. It is associated with the term “Sheffield plate” which is an older silver plating technique.

Many times the place of origin will be stamped on silver items along with the date, maker and/or hallmark or purity of the silver item. Sterling silver flatware made in Sheffield, England will have value to a precious metal refiner because the item is in made mostly with silver. Sterling silver should carry a hallmark indicating its purity. Look for the following to verify that you have sterling silver:

S
SS
Sterling / sterling
.925 / 925
.800 / 800

Old Sheffield Plate and Sheffield Plated are terms that indicate that items have been silver plated. Old Sheffield Plate is a term used to describe an earlier plating technique which fused a sheet of copper to a thinner sheet of sterling silver. These pieces produced primarily hollowware and this plating technique is not widely used anymore. The term “Sheffield Plated” is sometimes used to describe a more modern electroplating technique that usually involves copper.

As a precious metal refiner, we cannot return a payment on silver plated items. If you have Old Sheffield Plate we would recommend you taking them to an antique dealer since these items may have historic value because of the way they were made.

Silver tea set


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


What are Used Watch, Calculator and Hearing Aid Batteries Worth?

12-14-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Do all watch, calculator, and hearing aid batteries contain silver. If not, how do you tell which ones do and which ones do not? And how much would approximately 400lbs. be worth refined? From Greg in Los Angeles, California.

Hi Greg,

There are many different batteries used in watches, calculators and hearing aids. Some of them contain silver which can make them profitable when refined. These are called silver oxide batteries and sometimes referred to as silver zinc or watch and button cell batteries.

We cannot return payment back on mercury, alkaline or lithium batteries as there is no silver to extract from these batteries. Some of your older batteries may be mercury batteries, but these are not used as much anymore because of the toxic chemicals that leak out in landfills.

We would prefer that you try and separate out the silver bearing batteries before you ship. This will also save you money on shipping costs, as you will not have to ship non silver bearing batteries. Separation is difficult if you are not familiar with serial numbers and the look of silver oxide batteries. Arch can do the separation for lots over 200 pounds for a fee.

If you have at least 5 pounds of silver oxide batteries, we typically offer between $15 – $20 per pound for this material. If you have over 30 pounds of the silver batteries we can offer special pricing for this larger amount. Hope this was helpful for you!


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Recycling X-Ray Film

12-7-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

We have x-rays to dispose of, is there a way to recycle them? From Stephanie in Champaign, Illinois

Hi Stephanie,

It’s great that you are thinking of ways to put the silver from X-ray film back into the industries that use it. Because about one-fifth of silver used each year is used in X-ray film, all companies who use silver in operations should be conscious about recycling.

The best way to recycle X-ray film is to have it refined so that the silver is extracted. Depending on how much you have, you can actually receive payment for them. We ask our customers the following questions to get a better idea of how we can help. By answering these questions you can also get a better gauge of how much your X-ray film is worth.

1)    How much X-ray film do you have? We weigh X-ray film out of any paper jackets and recommend that you have at least 300-400 pounds of film before you have it refined.

2)    Does the X-ray film need to be sorted? Or is it already out of the paper jackets?

3)    Do you need help arranging freight?

4)    Do you have a loading dock available?

It is also a good idea to make sure your recycling or refining company provides certificates of destruction for the material if you need it. Arch complies with HIPAA regulations and provides certificates of destruction upon request.

Thanks Stephanie!


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Quote for electrical contacts from busbars

11-23-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Can you give me a quote for processing electrical contacts that have been removed from busbars? – Chad in Abilene, TX

Hi Chad,

We would offer between $10-$15 per pound depending on the quality and silver content. For those of you who do not know what busbars are, they are used in electrical power distribution and are usually made of copper or aluminum. So, you may be asking yourself where the silver content comes in. Often the joints between high-current bus sections have silver-plated surfaces to reduce contact resistance. These scrap silver electrical contacts can be ideal for refining.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Does silver get black when it gets old and dirty?

11-16-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Does silver get black when it gets old and dirty? And does this affect the melt value? – John in Frenso, CA

When silver comes in contact with oxygen it oxidizes or turns black, this process is called tarnishing. No matter what form of silver your items are, sterling silver and pure silver alike tarnishes. The black/greenish substance that rubs off is called silver sulfate. Silver tarnishes not based on the type of silver, but based on the silver item’s environment. When materials like wool, rubber, fossil fuels and latex come in contact with silver it causes the item to tarnish more quickly. Also, the climate can affect this process. High humidity results in silver tarnishing faster and results in a darker and blacker form of tarnish build on the item.

As for the second part of the question, tarnish does NOT affect the melt value of items. Refiners will take silver items, not matter the condition. If you have scrap metal pieces, it could be to your benefit to not clean them. Tarnish does not just lay on the surface of silver, it is chemically bound to it. Harsh silver cleaning treatments could remove some of the silver content and affect its value.

As a warning, you should never clean silver with other metal items. A chemical reaction might occur resulting in a loss of silver off the item.

Note: If you have silver coins, you may want to be more careful in how you clean them. If you use a harsh cleaner or applicator you could destroy the original surface of the coin, significantly decreasing its numismatic value (more than its precious metal value). Consulting a coin dealer before you clean silver coins may be in your best interest.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


How to Sell Your Precious Metal Items

11-4-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

1) Have reasonable expectations. Unless you know for a fact that you have valuable precious metal items, be prepared that there may be very little precious metal available for extraction. Also keep in mind that a refiner’s offer only reflects the value of the item by weight and quantity alone, not the retail value.

2) Do your homework. So you are not surprised, try to assess how much your items are worth beforehand. This could include several steps such as researching precious metals online, making a trip to a local jeweler or requesting an online estimate. Also, remember to remove stones and any other non-metal materials before sending them to the refiners.

3) When you’re ready to sell, research a dealer you are comfortable with. There are many gold buying scams out there that you want to stay away from. Here are some tips to avoid being taken advantage of:

  • Determine if the dealer is a middleman or the refiner. A middleman will buy your items for less in order to resell to a refiner and turn a profit. Refiners have more knowledge of the actual process and can offer a better price than a middleman. Arch Enterprises is a refiner and offers between 60%-90% of the metal value to sellers.
  • Look for creditability through who endorses the company. If reputable companies stand by a refiner, this reflects positivity on their business dealings. Arch Enterprises is endorsed by the Missouri Dental Association and the Kansas Dental Association.

4) Insure your items through the mail. Make a note of what you’re sending off by writing descriptions, taking pictures or both.

5) Be organized. Cover all your bases by making copies of all the documents you send and receive to keep for your records, including emails. Even record all phone calls with the date, time and information discussed.

6) If you have a positive experience selling your precious metals, tell others and spread the word.


Posted In: All, Uncategorized


Refine Sterling Silver from Russia| Precious Metal Refining Blog

10-28-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have boxes of various silver pieces from a tea set originally from Russia. I would like to know how I could sell it and its worth. Thank you. From AJ in Chicago, Illinois

Hi AJ,

The first thing to check for is if there are any Hallmarks on your silver pieces. Hallmarks are indications of metal content, and sometimes the maker’s mark or signature is also included. You mainly want to determine if your silver pieces are sterling silver, some other metal or plated silver.

In Russia, two-digit numbers refer to zolotnicks, which is a Russian weight measure where there are 96 zolotniki to a troy pound, thus:

96 zolotniki = 96/96 or 1000/1000 parts pure silver or .1000 silver
90 zolotniki = 90/96 or 937/1000 parts pure silver or .937 silver
84 zolotniki = 84/96 or 875/1000 parts pure silver or .875 silver
72 zolotniki = 72/96 or 750/1000 parts pure silver or .750 silver
62 zolotniki = 62/96 or 645/1000 parts pure silver or .645 silver

Usually the zolotniki is indicated by 62, 72, 74, 76, 82, 84, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91.

The hallmark is the only part of the markings that indicate its precious metal value. Sometimes other markings give indications of such things as the date, maker and place of origin. These are all things that might be important to an antiques dealer or silver collector. Typically sterling silver pieces that are dented, broken, scratched or in less than ideal condition are good contenders to sell for their precious metal value to refiners. If you believe that your pieces are valuable based on their craftsmanship or antique qualities you may want to have them professionally appraised.

When silver comes into our refinery, we test it based solely on the silver content that is available to refine. Whether it’s made in the United States or Russia we return 75% of the fine silver value to customers for sterling silver pieces.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Selling Sterling Silver Tea Sets | Precious Metal Refining Blog

10-7-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Is a silver tea service generally more valuable than the silver content? From Heidi in Central Missouri.

Hi Heidi,

There is not an easy yes or no answer to this question. There are many factors that you need to consider if you are thinking of reselling silver tea service such as the condition, completeness, brand, quality and collectability. As refiners, we only take into account the market price of silver and the fine silver content by weight.

Given this, pieces that are broken or damaged are ideal for refining. We are also sent lot of mismatched sets and random silverware that do not go with a larger collection. If you have any of these items, selling for the silver content would probably be your best way to go.

If you have a branded, complete set that is in good condition, you might want to have it appraised by an antique dealer and sell it to them or consider selling on eBay or Craigslist.  Of course, an antique dealer or Pawn shop will probably offer you a fraction of its market value as they need to sell it at market price and make a profit and eBay and Craigslist have drawbacks as well.

Also, the price of silver changes daily. In the past 52 weeks the silver price has fluctuated between $13.27 USD and $19.80 USD. When selling to a refiner, we would recommend keeping an eye on the price of silver and knowing their turnaround time. Here are a few blog posts that deal with sterling silver that might be helpful:

Silver Cookware and Serving Pieces
What Do All These Markings Mean on My Silverware
Refining Silver Flatware and Tableware

If you have a lot of time on your hands, you can evaluate the many options you have and see where you think that you will get the best return.  You can estimate the silver value by using our silver value calculator.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Recycle X-Ray Film | Precious Metal Refining Blog

10-5-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hello, I have several old x-rays that have been deemed trash and I have been left in charge of destroying/recycling them. I’ve been told that you can melt them down and get silver from them. Is this true? Who would I need to talk to about having this done? Thank you! From Kevin in Charleston, West Virginia

Hi Kevin,

X-ray film does contain silver that can be extracted by precious metal refiners like Arch Enterprises, but each individual X-ray contains a very small amount of silver, so even sending a few pounds of film is typically not worth the shipping cost. To make refining X-ray film worthwhile, one typically needs at least 300-400 pounds of X-ray film.

Refining X-ray film is not a simple process. The melting process utilizes refining equipment that will withstand very high heats for extracting the silver from the other components of the X-ray film. Additionally, if you are dealing with medical information, we typically need to follow HIPAA compliant guidelines during the refining process.

We would recommend taking all film out of any paper jackets and storing in large 500 gallon drums. If you have more than a couple drums then it would be worth the shipping costs to refine this material.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


How to Sell Sterling Silver Tableware | Precious Metal Refining Blog

9-30-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have several very heavy large silver serving trays, 55 pieces of silver plate and sterling silver utensils, and another 30 pieces of assorted sterling and silver on copper pieces. I have about 30 pounds of this stuff. Watched your videos and your website is very good. I need to either sell for scrap or melt to refine the various pieces. I am just tired of storing this stuff. What’s my next step?  Thank you for your informative videos. From Matt in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Hi Matt,

Glad to hear that you watched the videos about valuing sterling silverware.  Since you watched them, you now know that the pieces that are silver plated over copper have very little value and that some of your other items may be weighted or contain parts made from stainless steel.  Based on this, we would recommend sending in only your items that are clearly marked 925 sterling silver, sterling, or 800 and holding out any plated items, and removing the weighting materials from any items.

For the benefit of all who read this, silver plated copper pieces are not good candidates for precious metal refining as they contain very little silver.  If you have a lot of this material, you may be better off selling these to a scrap metal dealer. If you have pieces that are not marked sterling, you may have to conduct some research on your own to determine if they are in fact sterling. We would recommend first running a strong magnet over your items and if the magnet sticks to anything, they are not sterling. Our testing equipment would determine this, but we would hate to see people pay to ship in worthless items.

If you see any of the following markings on your pieces, chances are they are not sterling silver and you can take them out of the refining pile. These markings indicate something other than sterling such a plated or nickel silver.

Nickel Silver – or Alpaca
Silvertone
Plated Silver – Marked as EP or EPNS
G – German Silver

To get a rough estimate on what your sterling silver items are worth, make a pile of items that you know are sterling and that are not weighted. Weigh these items together and then you can use our silver value calculator to find the market value of these items. You can send all your items into our refinery and we will process and evaluate all the items. We typically pay 75% of the fine silver content by weight for your items. On your packing slip, please indicate the following options:

  • If you would like us return any non sterling items back to you.
  • If you would like us to call you before refining.

Otherwise, we will refine all the available sterling silver and recycle any metal that is not precious. If you would like more information on silver refining please visit the following resources:

Refining Sterling Silver Flatware Information
Finding the Value of Sterling Silver Video


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Silver and Gold Jewelry Refining | Precious Metal Refining Blog

9-28-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have a good amount of 925 silver jewelry, as well as some 14k gold, and some 22k gold from India. I may be going into the gold buying business and I have a question. What you are paying per troy oz of each? I know it depends upon the daily precious metals market, but is there a standard percentage of that you pay? Please advise, Thanks! From Jack in Birmingham, Alabama.

Hi Jack,

We do work with many people and stores that run gold buying businesses so we may be able to help you. As you noted in your question, the market price of silver and gold will have a major influence on how much we can pay for gold and silver items. Because these prices fluctuate daily, we use the commodity price of the day that we receive the material at our refining facility.

On 925 sterling silver items we typically pay 75% of the fine silver content by weight because the value of silver is relatively low when compared to gold and yet the time and energy involved in refining the material and running the transaction through our system is similar. Since gold is trading for over $1,000 UDS per troy ounce all of this year, we can pay a higher percentage based on the amount you send and the purity of your items. Keep in mind that it takes about the same amount of energy to refine 1 ounce of gold as it does to refine 3 ounces, so it is more cost efficient for us to refine larger quantities at one time. For estimation purposes, we typically pay out according to the schedule below:

  • 70% of the fine gold value by weight for less than 0.5 fine ounce of gold
  • 80% for less than 1 fine ounce
  • 85% for 1-2 fine ounces
  • 90% for more than 2 fine ounce

We do offer slightly higher returns to many of our customers who run gold buying businesses and meet our frequency and volume minimums. Arch is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and maintains fast, professional service in an industry where ethical business practices are many times questionable. We are here for our customers to answer questions on our blog and are always just a phone call away.

Good luck in your new business.




Gold Reaches Record High | Great Time to Sell Gold

9-24-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

If you’ve seen this morning’s financial news you probably saw that the market price of gold touched $1,300.00 U.S. dollars per troy ounce today and many of you have been asking me if it a good time to sell gold.  The answer to this question is that it’s a better time to sell than when it was at $1,200 per ounce, but realistically, one can only speculate as to where the price of gold or any commodity will go in the future.

As a general rule, investors turn to gold and other precious metals when there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding the values of traditional currencies and investments.  There is currently a great deal of speculation that the U.S. Government is trying to keep the value of the dollar low in order to make U.S. exports more competitive in a global economy in the hopes that it will help its economy and create more jobs.

The general state of the economy, low interest rates and overall anxiety related to government debt lead people to consider safer, more tangible investments like gold and silver.  As a result, the spot price of gold has risen and some economists don’t see it stopping here.  David Rosenberg for one has been quoted as saying “Forget Gold $1300, It’s Going To $3000.” See Business Insider.

Other economists subscribe to the theory that gold tends to be an investment that people turn to in uncertain times and warn that if the world economy stabilizes, gold will pull back.

So back the question of whether it is a good time to sell gold?

Since we refine gold and try to not get involved in speculating on gold prices, I would say that compared to historical prices, it is a good time to sell, but if gold prices to continue to inch upward you may want to wait.  In other words…I don’t know.


Posted In: All, Gold


Convert Scrap Gold into Coins or Bars | Precious Metal Refining Blog

9-16-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hello, I have been in the rare coin and paper money industry for some time and I have in the past few months started to buy scrap jewelry and other “unwanted” items from people all across Northeastern United States. I was wondering if I could have the scrap gold items melted down by a refining company and receive coins, bars, or a “brick” of the refined metal in return? Thanks so much. – Craig from Hershey, Pennsylvania

Hi Craig,

Because we are a gold refiner and not a gold mint, we typically pay for scrap gold with cash (technically a check…but you get the point). Unfortunately the raw gold generated during the refining process is not marked, stamped or hallmarked.

Given this, we sometimes return payments in the form of silver or gold minted coins or bars instead of cash, but there are additional fees involved. By using minted coins or bars, there will be no questions to the value of your gold or silver and you will be able to hold the items as investments.




Retailers Sell Sterling Silver Jewelry for Refining and Recycling

8-3-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I am a jewelry retailer and have about 20+ pounds of outdated styles of sterling silver jewelry that I would like to melt and sell for cash. Can you handle this quantity? Thanks! From Jack in Providence, Rhode Island

Hi Jack,

As one of the largest silver refineries in the United States, we have the capacity to handle truckloads full of material, so 20 pounds will not be an issue. We work with many jewelers who are clearing out tarnished silver and outdated styles to make room for new merchandise. Along with high returns, we send out fast payments, usually within 1 – 2 business days after receiving the material. With that large quantity we can pay you for 80% of the silver value, for less than 20 lbs we will pay 75% of the silver value.

Hope this information helps!


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Value of 14 k Gold Jewelry | Precious Metal Refining Blog

7-20-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hi, I have a 9” curb link gold bracelet that I no longer wear and am interested in selling. It weighs 93.6 grams and is 14 k gold. What is this worth? From Ryan in Clearwater, Florida

Hi Ryan,

Just knowing the value of how much your items are worth will make you more a more educated gold seller. We recommend visiting our gold value calculator which will give you the approximate market price of what your scrap gold items. You can go from there and determine who is going to give you the best deal for your gold.

The calculator converts your measurements into troy ounces. Ryan, your 93.6 grams is 3.009 troy ounces, of the 14k gold which is about 58.24% gold. Based on these numbers and the price of gold today at $1,226.00*/troy ounce, the market value would be approximately $2,210.  Keep in mind that the market value is what the end consumer expects to pay.  We need to refine the gold and convert it into a form that we can sell at this price. Based on this, Arch Enterprises typically offers 80%-85% of the fine gold value in weight for small, one-time transactions.

* Since the price of gold changes daily this price was taken June 11, 2010 and may not reflect the day of this blog post.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


X-Ray Film Recycling | Precious Metal Refining Blog

6-29-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hi, I work in a pet hospital and would like an estimate to recycle about 400 pounds of X-ray films. Can your firm help me?  From Donna in Knoxville, Tennessee

Hi Donna,

Thanks for your inquiry. Arch Enterprises is one of the largest x-ray film recycling companies in the U.S. and we not only have the capability to recycle X-ray film, but we recover the silver content from them so instead of paying for the items to be recycled, you may actually get paid for your film (depending on the volume of actual X-ray film you have and the transportation costs). Your area in Tennessee also falls within our range of locations where we offer X-ray film pickup services so this is beneficial.

Before we make freight arrangements, there is some helpful information that you can provide so we know what we are dealing with. First, are the X-rays in paper sleeves or just alone in a container? And do you have a loading dock available at your facility? Also, are your X-rays are on a pallet? If not, what are the box dimensions and how many boxes you have? This information will give us a better idea of how long the pickup and X-ray refining process will take and what kind of loading equipment we will need onsite.

Find out more about our X-ray film pickup and refining services on our website.


Posted In: All, Silver


Sell Silver Morgan Dollars Minted 1964 and Earlier

6-25-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hi, I would like to sell silver coins minted before 1964. Most are Morgan Dollars. I have about 300 + ounces of coins. How much do you pay on these silver coins? From Alberto in San Diego, California

Hi Alberto,

Thanks for your question about selling silver US Morgan Dollars. Morgan Dollars were minted from 1878 to 1904 and again for one more year in 1921. While most of your Morgan Dollars would be considered “junk silver,” meaning they do not have numismatic or collection value, you might want to look up if there were any special editions made that you could have in your stash. If these are in decent condition, you may receive more money from a coin collector than from a refiner like us. Below is an example of the US Morgan Dollar.

Morgan Dollars

A Morgan Dollar can contain up to 0.7735 troy ounces of silver in mint condition. So using the spot price of silver today at $17.29 UDS/troy ounce,* one Morgan Dollar at market price can be worth up to $13.37. We can typically pay about 90% of the fine silver content by weight on these coins after refining and converting into a pure form.

Please weigh your coins before you ship them. If you only look up how much silver is in a mint condition Morgan Dollar, your estimate could be off slightly. Due to significant wear from years in circulation, coins often experience a slight drop in silver weight, around 1-2 percent.

*Note: the price of silver changes daily.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Refine Platinum from Laboratory Electrode Wire and Mesh

6-8-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have laboratory electrode wire and mesh to recycle. Most of it should be 97% platinum and 3% rhodium. Mesh may be 100% platinum. I have about 38 grams combined.  What is the value of these items? From Ken in Omaha, Nebraska

Hi Ken,

We can refine the platinum from the electrode wire and mesh that you have described. We will analyze the material with our testing equipment and can typically return 70% of the fine platinum value back to you based on the that days market price of platinum.

Indicate on your packing slip if you would like us to call you after we have evaluated the platinum. These items are perfect for refining because they are so platinum rich. Other laboratory items that may contain precious metals that we can refine include the following:

  • Evaporation Dishes
  • Vacuum Bags
  • Air Filters
  • Polishing Residue
  • Casting Sprues and Buttons
  • Gauzes
  • Electrodes
  • Crucibles

Let us know if you have any of these items you would like recycled. You can also visit our website and learn more about our platinum refining.




Sterling Silver Flatware from Grandma

6-3-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have approximately 250 pieces of sterling silver flatware. My grandmother collected it over 50 years, not from one set, but from everywhere!  There may be closer to 300 pieces. From Greg in Farmington, Missouri

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your inquiry. We always recommend weighing silverware first before you ship. If you are sure that all the flatware from your grandmother is sterling, then we would recommend separating the knives from the batch and weighing those separately from forks and spoons. We tell people to do this because many times knife blades are stainless steel, not silver. Also, knife handles are sometimes filled with another metal. This is done to add weight to a utensil so that it sits better is a user’s hand.

If you do not know for sure if all your pieces are sterling, we would recommend trying to separate your pieces into one pile where you can find a marking indicating sterling and another “unidentified” group. We would recommend looking for markings or hallmarks at the base of the handle or back of the utensil. The following markings indicate sterling:

  • Sterling
  • .925
  • 925/1000
  • .800
  • 800/1000
  • .900
  • 900/1000
  • S
  • SS

It would be helpful if you kept your piles separated during shipment, in bags work fine. We pay 75% of the fine silver content by weight on 925 silver. Let us know if you have any questions. We can take all your silverware, but we can only pay returns on sterling silver.

Watch a video about sterling silver flatware and see a refiner take apart some silver pieces.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Electrophysiology Platinum Tips for Sale

6-1-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hi, I have about one pound of electrophysiology platinum tips for sale. Could you let me know how much you pay for this type of material and what the best method to ship is? Thanks From Neil in St. Louis, Missouri

Hi Neil,

We can refine the platinum out of medical devices such as electrophysiology catheter tips. We typically pay about 70 % of the platinum content by weight. Depending on the type of electrophoresis electrodes you have. Factors such as number of electrodes, diameter, weight, and platinum content on electrodes will vary.

To cut down on your shipping costs you can cut off the end with the electrodes and trim close to the electrodes. This is not necessary, but it can help you save on postage. We recommend sending in your items in a padded mailer or double plastic bags with zips inside your shipping box. UPS flat rate shipping works great, but you may use the carrier of your choice. Please choose the “Delivery Signature Required” option.  Please sterilize the tips prior to shipping with the method your hospital recommends.

Visit our website for more information about our medical device recycling programs.




How to Sell Silver Washington Quarters and Half Dollars

5-27-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

How much would 370 Washington silver quarters, minted between 1951 and 1964, and 97 Franklin and Liberty silver half dollars be worth melted? From Melissa in Tampa, Florida

Hi Melissa,

We do buy silver coins like yours for the silver value of the coins. Turning these older coins into a refiner is extremely profitable. We buy them for 90% of their fine silver value by weight which makes them worth well over their currency face value.

Today Washington quarters are made out of an alloy of 91.67% copper and 8.33% nickel that is also called clad or “sandwich metal.” However, Washington quarters minted with the date 1964 and earlier typically contain about 90% silver. Sometimes you can tell the difference by the clink sound of the coins. Instead of a ring, the silver coins against others sound like a thud.

An important item to note is that coins that have experienced significant wear often have a slight drop in silver weight, around 1-2 percent. That is why we recommend weighing your coins before you ship.

Because you have a significant amount of coins we would recommend using the US Postal Service’s flat rate shipping boxes and choosing the “signature required on delivery” option.

Visit our website for more information about our silver coin refining service.


Posted In: All, Silver


Where to Sell Silver Bars and Gold Eagle Coins

5-25-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 100 ounces .999 fine silver bar from Tri-State refining and a 1 ounce Gold Eagle coin. Would you be interested in buying one or both pieces? From James in Columbia, Missouri

Hi James,

We do buy silver bars and gold coins. We can pay for 90% of the silver value in the bar for bars that are minted and for 90% of the gold value in the coins. We will pay you based on current market prices of gold and silver at the time of settlement. We would recommend insuring your items through the mail and make sure that you request the “Delivery Signature Required” option at the post office.

American Gold Eagle coins were first issued by the U.S. mint in 1986. Since then, Gold Eagle coins have risen to the rank of the #1 gold bullion coin. Gold Eagle coins are 91.67% fine gold (22 karat). The remaining is made up of silver and copper. Given this, they are not worth 1 ounce of gold as many people think and since buyers want to pay market price, we have to buy at a discount.

For more information about our gold coin refining service please visit our website.




Where to Sell Silver Serving Trays

5-20-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have several large silver serving trays I would like to sell and also a tea set with silver over copper. Would they be of any value to melt down? From Ryan in Phoenix, Arizona

Hi Ryan,

Silver serving trays can be worth a fair amount of money melted down but you need to make sure your materials are in fact sterling. Silver tableware pieces that we will be able to refine are usually marked or hallmarked with one of the following markings:

  • Sterling
  • .925
  • 925/1000
  • .800
  • 800/1000
  • .900
  • 900/1000
  • S
  • SS

Find out more about where to sell silver for cash.

Markings on silverware can be located anywhere on the piece, but we see them most often on the backside close to the base of spoons, knives, and forks or on the back of the handle.

Because plated silver items have so little actual silver in them, they are not worth refining, consequently the tea set that you describe being copper and plated with silver will not be valuable to a precious metal refiner melted down. You may have more luck selling it online or checking with a local antique dealer.

If you are unsure about if your items are sterling silver or plated, watch this video that describes how to determine is a silver tray is sterling or plated.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


The Do’s and Don’ts for Shipping Precious Metal

5-18-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

How would you recommend shipping silver and gold material through the mail? From Kara in San Antonio, Texas

Hi Kara,

Shipping precious metal material through the mail does not have to be a daunting process if you follow some general guidelines. You can even cut your shipping expenses by using flat rate shipping boxes which we found are great for sending heavy precious metal items such as silverware that does not take up too much room. Also, for quicker processing you can choose the option to overnight mail packages or express mailing.

What to DO:
DO get a precious metal estimate and decide if you are comfortable or not with insurance and to what degree.
DO request the “Delivery Signature Required” option so you know your items are signed for.
DO weigh your items before you ship.
DO include a packing slip with your shipments.
DO track your shipment with your carrier.

What NOT TO DO:
DO NOT write gold, silver, platinum or any other identifying words on the outside of your shipment.
DO NOT send in silver or gold plated items to precious metal refineries.

We also advise consumers to consider the name of the company they send to. For instance we do not use “gold,” “silver,” or “precious metal” in our name intentionally so no one will know the contents of the package just by looking at whom it is shipping to.

Visit our easy 5 step process about how to ship precious metal on our website.




Where to Recycle Bench Sweeps

5-13-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hi There, I am an independent bench jeweler and ever since my old refiner went out of business, I have nowhere to send my bench sweeps. Do you refine sweeps, and if so, is there a minimum? And what is the approximate turn around time? From Sadie in Columbus, Ohio

Hi Sadie,

We do have the capability to refine and extract precious metal from bench sweeps. Shipment methods will depend on how much material you have. There is no minimum amount, but we would recommend shipping more than 0.25 lbs. Ship by putting all your sweep material into a plastic container with a tight lid or double zipped plastic bags.

Once your materials arrive at our refining facility we will test and refine your materials then return a check to you generally within 3-5 business days. However, sweeps take longer than a typical refining process as we have to test the materials extensively to ensure we extract the maximum precious metal available.

We would recommend trying to keep your sweep material separated while you are collecting it. Working on smooth surfaces might make it easier to collect scrap. Cleaning and separating scrap will be easier if you maintain a clean work station throughout the day. Here are the groups we find easiest and most helpful to maintain:

  1. Fillings, Grindings and Snips
  2. Solids – Chain, Wire, Parts
  3. Polishings and Sweeps
  4. Platinum
  5. Silver – Try and keep gold and silver separated if you can. If this is not possible, send all your materials in combined.

Additionally, we commonly refine precious metal from floor mats, sink traps, carpets, rags, vacuum bags, and towels from jewelers’ working facilities. Visit our website for more information about our refining services for jewelers.




What is Nickel Silver?

5-11-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hi, I am wondering whether there is any value in recycling flatware that’s marked nickel silver, Panama silver, Brazil silver, Yukon silver, or Alaska silver? From Brandon in Wichita, Kansas

Hi Brandon,

Thanks for your question.. Nickel silver is named for its silvery appearance, but ironically it actually contains no elemental silver.

Nickel silver is different from plated silver in that nickel silver is not plated with silver and does not contain any real silver at all. Plated silver is metal that is actually covered in a very thin layer of silver. EP and EPNS are other markings that indicate plated silver.

Given that nickel silver has no actual silver content, it is not worth anything to precious metal refiners. Unfortunately, there is nothing of value to extract. With that being said, your pieces still might be worth something if you try to sell them on eBay or to a scrap metal dealer. Good luck!

If you have questions about silver war nickels visit our blog post “Silver Recovery from War Nickels
Or visit our website for silver items that are valuable for their silver content on our Silver Refining webpage.


Posted In: All, Most Popular, Silver


How to Sell Rough Poured Silver Bars

4-26-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hi I have 6 silver bars weighing a total of 743.69 ounces. I would like an estimate of the value. I would also like to know how and where to sell these bars. Thanks! From Sarah in Mobile, Alabama

Hi Sarah,

Thank you for your question! First off I am going to assume that your weight is in standard ounces and not in troy ounces, because that will effect the price a bit, but not significantly. We can pay you 75% of the bars’ fine silver value by weight. We do pay more for minted bars because they typically contain 99.9% silver and are made by certified manufacturers, but it sounds like yours are not minted or marked with a mint stamp — so they would be rough silver bars.

However, if they are not marked with a silver quality mark we will not know the true concentration of the fine silver they contain until we get your bars into our testing lab. They could be 70% fine silver by weight or less or more.

I recommend that you insure your shipment of silver bars assuming that your bars for an amount you are comfortable with. We recommend using US Postal Service’s flat rate shipping boxes. Also, make sure that you choose the “Delivery Signature Required” option at the post office.

Hope this information helps!


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Where to Sell Silver Dollar Coins

4-21-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have several silver dollar coins that I would like an estimate on. They are as follows:

Year / Number

1923 / 48
1922 / 30
1924 / 10
1925 / 10
1926 / 4
1927 / 3
1800’s / 47

Thanks! From Jordan in Cleveland, Ohio

Hi Jordan,

Thank you for your question. We would be able to pay you for 90% of the fine silver value on your silver dollars that you have described. However, we do not take into account the numismatic or collection value of any coins that we refine. Please send them to us if you know that the actual silver value is more than what you could get if you took them to a coin dealer.

I would especially recommend taking your coins from the 1800’s to a coin dealer to check on their collection value. Even coins that are not in pristine condition can still have collection value that may exceed its silver content value.

Let us know if you would like to refine your silver coins based on their silver content. Thanks!




Silver Cookware and Serving Pieces

4-21-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have about 13 pounds of Anchor Hocking brand silver cookware and serving pieces. They are very old, dating back to the early 1900’s or before. Could you please tell me how much these are worth? From Kim in Long Beach, Florida

Hi Kim,

There are a couple things you should consider before sending your items in to be refined. The first thing is to make sure that your items are in fact sterling silver and not stainless steel or some other non-precious metal. The easiest way to do this is to look over your items to see if they are marked in someway with an 800, 900, or 925. If you do see these markings, then they are sterling silver and we could pay you for 75% of their fine silver value by weight.

It gets a little trickier if your items are not marked. When you say that you have “silver cookware,” if you are referring to pots and pans then it is unlikely that these are sterling, unless they were used as decorative pieces. Sterling silver serving pieces like gravy boats, trays and pitchers are common, but pots and pans were rarely made from silver.

Here are some markings indicating silver PLATED items:

  • EP – electroplated means silver plated
  • EPNS – electroplated nickel silver (ironic because there is not silver in nickel silver)

Sometimes you can tell the difference between sterling silver and other metals by the color of your items also. If you can see places where the silver appears to be worn away or flaked off then most likely you have silver plated items. Also if you try to polish your items and black tarnish rubs off, then that is a good indication that you have sterling silver, but not a guarantee.

As a precious metal refiner, we have sophisticated equipment that can test for precious metal content, but please note that we will only be able to return a payment back to you on sterling silver items.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Gold Value for Independent Gold Buyers

4-19-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Hello, I am looking for a good refinery to purchase my gold. I have been researching gold parties for sometime now, I am an independent gold buyer and seller. What are your rates for people with a substantial amount of gold? From Donnie in Orlando, Florida

We offer competitive refining rates for independent gold party operators and gold buyers. And typically we can wire the funds to your account the same day it comes in if the gold is received early in the day. We often pay more than 90% of the value of gold content for customers with significant amounts of gold that send shipments to us on a regular basis. However, this high percentage return is based on the amount of gold you send. You must have over 2 ounces of gold to receive over 90% of the fine gold content by weight.

Interestingly, we have more and more customers like yourself these days who are looking for a trustworthy refiner that offers quick payments. We know that gold buying businesses rely on paying people quickly so we cater to them by paying quickly as well. Here is some feedback from one of our gold operator customers, Kelly Rostic – owner of the Gold Lady:

“What most impresses me about Arch Enterprises is their quick turn-around time and customer service. I overnight my gold to the refinery and by the next afternoon, the gold is processed and I have money wire-transferred into my business account. Since the price of gold is constantly changing, I feel I have the best chance of getting top dollar because I don’t have to wait long for processing. Whenever I call Arch Enterprises, everyone I deal with is polite and professional. With the gold business booming right now and as we approach the holidays, I hope for continued success with my business, The Gold Lady.”

Good luck with your gold buying business Donnie. Let us know if you need gold refining services! Thank you for contacting us.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


Pre 1964 Silver Dimes and Quarters

4-14-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have about 22 pounds of silver dimes that date before 1964. What is the value of these items please? From Matt in Rochester, New York

I have 277 Washington Quarters and 560 Roosevelt Dimes. What are these worth refined? From Jody in Olympia, Washington

Hi Matt and Jody,

We do buy dimes and quarters with a mint date of 1964 and earlier. We can pay you for 90% of their fine silver value by weight. Contact us for an estimate at current silver prices. Please weigh your silver coins before sending them in and indicate the weight on the packing slip.

Jody – please check and make sure your quarters and dimes are dated 1964 and earlier.

Also, it is important to note that coins that have experience significant wear often have a slight drop in silver weight, around 1-2 percent. We mention this because if you simply take the weight of a freshly minted coin, it will almost always be more than one that has been in circulation for years. Long story short, weigh your coins before sending them in.

We recommend shipping small, heavy items such as silver coins in the US Postal Service’s flat rat shipping boxes. Also request the “Delivery Signature Required” option with your shipment. For list of shipping pricing please refer to a previous blog entry about shipping costs.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Is Gold Filled or Gold Plated Jewelry Worth Anything?

4-12-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I want to sell gold filled and gold plated necklaces from the 1950s, made in Korea. I have dozens of them equaling several pounds. From Becky in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Hi Becky,

It is nearly impossible to recover any relevant amount of gold from plated items because the gold is plated so thinly that there are only a few microns of actual gold in each plated item. Furthermore, the cost to refine plated items is higher than with 10 Karat – 24 Karat gold so there is no value in refining it.

Gold filled jewelry on the other hand, may have some value. Typically, a few pieces of gold filled jewelry will not yield much return but if you have pounds, you should get some return. I suggest using the US Postal Service’s flat rate shipping boxes. They are great for shipping small, heavy items such as jewelry. Remember to request the “Delivery Signature Required” option when you ship.

Because we can not take your gold plated jewelry items, we would recommend selling them as costume jewelry on EBay or local consignment shops. Hope this helps!


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


How to Recycle Old X-Ray Film

4-8-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I work for a Veterinary Clinic and we are in need of purging old x-rays films. How do we go about getting them recycled? From Sandy in Louisville, Kentucky

Hi Sandy,

The way to go about recycling old x-ray film will really depend on how much you have. For small amounts less than 200 lbs it is not worth paying for transportation and we would recommend taking them somewhere more locally. You could check your local recycling center. However, their conditions vary so you might want to call first to see if they do take X-ray film.

For large amounts we can help you arrange freight, as well as return a payment back to you for the silver content we extract from the x-ray film. If your shipment is worth refining, we would recommend separating the X-ray film from the jackets so you are only transporting the necessary material to the refining facility.

If you can provide a more accurate measure for how much X-ray film you are dealing with, we can give you a more accurate estimate.


Posted In: All, Silver


Gold and Platinum Recovery from the 1800’s

3-24-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 8 ounces of gold sheets for dental use from the 1880’s and platinum from the 1800’s as well. The platinum is in a powder form. Wondering what the value of these items would be today. From Katie in Memphis, Tennessee

Hi Katie,

To know the actual value of the precious metal contained in your dental sheets we would have to weigh them separately and test for the level of fine gold they possess. Because your items are over 200 years old, the dental products were probably manufactured much differently than they are now, so it would be hard to classify them as dental scrap like we do today. We pay less for dental scrap than, for instance gold jewelry, because it is harder to separate the gold from the other metals that dental scrap is alloyed with. If the gold sheets are very pure we could offer as much as 90% if you have more than 2 ounces of pure or fine gold.

It’s hard to say what kind of estimate we could give you on your platinum without knowing how much you have. We usually pay 70% of the dollar value of the platinum recovered.

If you have any documentation on the gold or even pictures that might help us identify the purity of your material, we may be able to provide a more accurate estimate for you. Thanks!




Silver Battery Recycling

3-22-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have about 10 pounds of silver based batteries to recycle. What could you pay me for them? – Linda in St. Louis, Missouri

Hi Linda,

We can recover the silver from watch batteries or silver oxide batteries. We pay between $15-$20 per pound. We do not accept co-mingled lots, so you will have to separate these batteries out if they are among other items. If you ever have over 30 pounds of silver batteries, we can usually pay you more.

We recommend using USPS priority mail flat rate boxes with signature required. They are great because you don’t have to worry about high shipping on heavy weight packages.

Hope this information helps!


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Refining Platinum from Catalytic Converters

3-17-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have about 50 catalytic converters come in per month. I also have bare copper wire and copper tubing some with and some without solder joints. Are these items worth anything? – From Dave in Kansas City, Missouri

Hi Dave,

We can recover platinum and palladium metals from catalytic converters. However, refining this material is not only difficult, but very time and energy consuming. As such, we do not buy whole catalytic converters but rather the pellets and honeycombs from units that have been “de-canned.”

Call or email for a custom quote if you have greater than 100 lbs of “de-canned” catalytic converter material.

For less than 100 lbs of pellets or honeycombs we pay the following prices:

Non-Diesel Engines

  • For  loose pellets from non-diesel engines we pay $3.00 per pound.
  • For honeycomb material from non-diesel engines we pay $8.00 per pound.

Diesel Engines

  • For loose pellets from diesel engines we pay $3.00 per pound.
  • For honeycomb material from diesel engines we pay $3.00 per pound.



Refining Silver from Old X-Ray Film in Doctor’s Offices

3-15-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I work in a dental office and we have about half of a large Rubbermaid filled with old x-rays. We have already gone through the files and separated everything. How does shipping and pricing work for this kind of material? – From Tessa in Minneapolis, Minnesota

We are purging old x-ray films from our files. Do you have a buyer in Iowa? – From Dr. Carmicheal

Hi Tessa and Dr. Carmicheal,

Thank you for your questions about our silver x-ray film recovery services. I wanted to address your questions together and give you both some more information on our x-ray recycling program.

Because there is such a small amount of silver to recover in dental x-ray film, we do not pay for them. So Tessa, unfortunately your shipment is too small for us to return a payment to you. You can ship them to us via UPS and we will recycle your x-ray film for you, but that is the best we can do.

Dr. Carmicheal, if you have a significant amount of traditional medical x-ray film we can recover the silver and return a payment back to you. We also offer on-site purging services available in Iowa locations. This is done on a custom basis, so please call us if you think this service fits your needs. However, if you have dental x-ray film we will not be able to buy them, and would recommend the same advice we gave Tessa – to find a local company to recycle these.




Dental Scrap Refining | Gold Teeth and Crowns

3-10-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

  • I have 2 gold crowns. What is the gold value from these? – From Rob in Des Moines, Iowa
  • I have 5 lbs of very small pieces of dental scrap that came from a retired dentist. – from Larry in Phoenix, Arizona
  • I have several teeth and crowns with gold filling that have been extracted. I would like the gold recovered and returned as a single nugget. – From Stacy in Raymond, Illinois
  • I have about 10 grams of a three tooth bridge, two gold caps and one gold tooth. – From Matt in Chicago, Illinois

Hi Rob, Stacy, Larry and Matt,

I wanted to address your questions together as they are all about dental scrap to refine. As you may know, gold used in dental products can come in may grades and this grade and the amount of gold used can vary greatly from tooth to tooth and crown to crown.

Because of the weight variance and how the gold is alloyed with other metals, it is a very difficult process to extract the full amount of precious metal from the scrap. Arch Enterprises has technicians to handle the recycling of dental scrap, but it is still a difficult process compared to coins or jewelry.

In all of your situations we would melt your pieces together and analyze the gold content. This will ensure total gold consistency for the assay and would result in a higher payout for all of you.

For more information please refer to a previous blog post, “What is My Dental Scrap Worth?”




Watlow Platinum Thermocouple Wire for Refining

3-8-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 3-4 ounces of Watlow platinum thermocouple wire I would like to sell. How much could you give me and how does the process work? Do I send you the metal to evaluate first? – From John in New Orleans, Louisiana

Hi John,

We can buy and refine platinum thermocouple wire. We will not know the percentage of platinum in the wire without an analysis. However, we have testing equipment that provides this information to us. Once we know the metal content, we can provide you an estimate. Given the costs involved in refining thermocouple wire, we typically pay about 70% of the platinum content.

As for shipping, 4 ounces isn’t too heavy. Therefore, you could send using the U.S. Post Office’s priority mail boxes, but you can use DHL, UPS, or FedEx, without incurring much cost. Visit our website for more information about the shipping process. Also remember to request a signature required upon delivery.

For platinum items we can call you if you would like after we have evaluated the platinum. Please indicate that request on the packing slip with your shipment.




Silver Recovery from X-Ray Film and Collection Bucket from Fixer Used to Process X-Rays

3-3-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 300-400 pounds of used x-ray film, out of jackets, as well as one silver collection bucket from the fixer used to process the x-rays. Could you please give me an estimate of the value of the film and collected silver? Thanks. – From Joseph in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Hi Joseph,

We can recover the silver from x-ray film and from your silver collection bucket. For the film, we could also help you coordinate freight or transportation.

I think you are talking about a small filter that is called an MRC or CRC that is used to exchange silver from iron from fixer solutions. Depending on the silver concentration from the collection bucket we could return 60%-70% of the silver’s value.

It’s great that you are recycling these items instead of throwing them out. It’s a great way to add a little more money in your pocket, as well as having the peace of mind that the silver will be recycled and reused in such industries as medical, jewelry or auto. Thanks so much Joseph!


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


What Do All These Markings Mean on My Silverware?

3-1-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have silver tableware with the following markings: .925 fine silver | 5 troy ounces | id # 060061 | silver town. What do these mean? And what is the value of my items? – From Sue in Newark, New Jersey

Hi Sue,

It is better to have too many markings on your silverware than no markings! Your markings can give us a good indication of the value of your silver. I’ll try and break it down.

.925 fine silver means that your items are 92.5% silver.

5 troy ounces is the weight. Troy ounces are different than your standard ounce that you can find on a postal scale. Average ounces or standard ounces are called avoirdupois ounces.

The formula to change standard ounces to troy ounces is as follows:
Standard Ounce Weight x .912 = Troy Ounce Weight

For example:
16 standards ounces x .912 = 14.59 troy ounces

ID # is the number given to the items by the manufacturer. I am assuming that silver town is the manufacturer, although I cannot find a record of the company. This information might be important if you were trying to sell these items for their retail or collection value instead of their melt value.

We can offer 75% of your tableware’s fine silver content by weight. However, keep in mind that many times the knife blades are stainless steel as silver is too soft to create a reasonable cutting device, obviously this decreases their melt value as steel is not a precious metal. On heavy items like tableware and silverware, we recommend using the US Post Office’s flat rate, priority mail boxes because you can fit a lot of material without worrying about the weight. For more information about refining silverware, visit our website. Hope this information helps!


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Old “Gold” Tableware

2-24-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have some old goldware with a Hindu or Indian God on the tip and markings on the handle of the spoons, forks and cake knife. Do you know how to tell the age? There are no markings and the only thing I found is a broken clasp with the words Cheney England stamped on it. From Vin in Las Angeles, California

Hi Vin,

You may want to take your items to an antique store or dealer for an appraisal or some sort of assessment if they are really old or not. If you want to sell them for their precious metal melt value then we can help.

We recommend doing the magnet test on your items. Run a strong magnet over your tableware, if the magnet sticks then your items are most likely plated and have no melt value. If your items are not magnetic then you can send them to our refinery and we can test them and determine their gold or silver concentration and call you. Sometimes sterling silver is plated to make look like gold but it is the sterling silver that has value. However, keep in mind that if the material under the plating is stainless steel or something other than sterling silver, we will not be able to buy your items.

We will buy them for their melt value only. If you do send them to us please note on your packing slip that you need a phone call after the items are tested.




Platinum from Catalytic Converters

2-22-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have removed the platinum from catalytic converters. What is the value by weight? – From Rob in Pleasant Hill, Oregon

Hi Rob,

We do buy the pellets and honey combs from catalytic converter units that have been “de-canned.” It sounds like your materials are already “de-canned.” Some other information from you would help us give a more accurate estimate for your material such as how many pounds do you have? Do you have loose pellets or honeycomb? Are the catalytic converters from non-diesel engines or diesel engines?

For shipments less than 100 lbs., we go by this payment schedule:

Non-Diesel Engines

For loose pellets from non-diesel engines we pay $3.00 per pound.
For honeycomb material from non-diesel engines we pay $8.00 per pound.

Diesel Engines

For loose pellets from diesel engines we pay $3.00 per pound.
For honeycomb material from diesel engines we pay $3.00 per pound.

If you have greater than 100 lbs. of “de-canned” catalytic converter material, please contact us for a custom estimate. Hope this information helps!




45 Rolls of War Nickels

2-17-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 45 rolls of US War Nickels, which is 1,800 coins. What are these worth? From Nathan in Birmingham, Alabama

Hi Nathan,

Because of the significant amount of copper in War Nickels, the refining process takes quite a bit longer and requires more energy. This makes extraction more expensive and time consuming because the precious metal material has to go through extra treatments for longer periods of time.

We pay 40% of War Nickels’ silver by weight. This percentage is lower than some other coins that do not contain so much copper. Old quarters, dimes and half dollars usually contain more silver and less copper, allowing us to return a higher percentage on these items. Examples of junk silver coins include:

  • Mercury Dime (1916-1945)
  • Roosevelt Dime (1946-1964)
  • Washington Quarter (1932-1964)
  • Liberty Half Dollar (1916-1947)
  • Franklin Half Dollar (1948-1963)
  • Kennedy Half Dollar (1964)
  • Kennedy Half Dollar (1965-1970)
  • Morgan Dollar (1878-1921)
  • Peace Dollar (1921-1935)
  • Eisenhower Dollar (1971-1976)

For more information about junk silver coins, visit our website.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Value of Silver Plated Flatware

2-15-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have a sterling silver plated large serving tray and 2 wine goblets. What would the dollar valve be? – From Karen in Southern California

Hi Karen,

I am sorry to tell you that we do not buy plated silver items because the silver is plated too thinly to return any money based on the precious metal content. You would be better off trying to sell these items as a serving tray and goblets.

Silver plating techniques have become very advanced so that the plating manufactures use the smallest amount of silver possible to get the desired silver sheen. Many times the silver plating is so thin that it can be scratched off by hard objects such as a coin or paperclip.

If you have a silver item that you don’t know is plated or silver, we recommend running a strong magnetic over the items. Precious metal is NOT magnetic, so if the magnetic sticks then your items do not have value based on their precious metal content. Find out more about our silver refining services on our website found here: http://www.archenterprises.com/




Jewelry Designer from NY

2-10-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I’m just a humble jewelry designer from NY who is trying to get used to all this stuff! From Natalie in New York, Arkansas

Hi Natalie,

Don’t worry if you don’t pickup on everything right away. It takes sometime to get to know the precious metal industry. Here are some helpful tips that I’ve put together for you and other jewelry designers out there that may have some scrap precious metal to refine.

It’s great that you are learning and researching about this now so you have all the tools at hand. We work with jewelry designers, jewelry sellers and gold party representatives from all over, let us know if you have any questions about precious metal!

Keep in mind that precious metals include: gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium.

Pay attention to where you scrap is going.

From small gold chain links to shavings of silver, try to account for it all. For larger pieces of gold, silver or platinum that you cannot use in creating or fixing jewelry its best to keep them as separated as you can. We recommend working on smooth, dark surfaces so you can see scrap easier.

Don’t throw anything out, it could be precious!

Even your facility that you resize, shape and design jewelry in can contain valuable precious metal scrap. Areas where precious metal can be accumulating include sink traps, floor mats, carpets, rags, floor sweeps and vacuum bags. Think about this when you’re cleaning your facilities. If you regularly clip, size and shape precious metal chances are small pieces of it have gotten away from you. As precious metal refiners we can extract even the smallest amounts of precious metal from these items.

Keep your stones and gems.

As precious metal refiners, we only return payments for metal materials, not stones and gems. To reclaim the value on these items, make sure you remove them before sending them to any metal refinery.




What is My Reed and Barton Bowl Worth?

2-8-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have a Reed and Barton bowl marked 900. It weighs 30 troy ounces. What do you think this is worth? – From Ryan in Reno, Nevada

Hi Ryan,

We could offer to pay for 75% of your bowl’s fine silver content by weight. However, because your bowl is Reed and Barton which is a well known silver brand name, this item may have retail value that is beyond its precious metal value. By doing a quick Google search you can easily see how much Reed and Barton bowls are selling for today at places like Amazon.com and Macys.

If you bowl is in good condition, you may be better off polishing your bowl and selling it online. Even the silver plated Reed and Barton bowls have a high resell value. Make note of the year your bowl was made. However, sending in your bowl for the silver content is a great option if your bowl is dented or broken, which significantly decreases the resale value.

Watch a refiner demonstrate how to find the value of other silver items on this YouTube How to Value Sterling Silver Video.


Posted In: All, Silver


Should I Sell or Refine My Silver Coins?

2-3-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 3 Morgan coins – 2 coins dated 1921 and 1 dated 1880. And 1 Peace coin dated 1924. These coins were my grandmothers and are in pretty good condition. Could you tell me how to get a good price for my coins? From Katara in Severna Park, Maryland

Hi Katara,

Your coins do contain silver, but four coins are not worth very much based solely on their silver content. Since you mentioned that the coins are in good condition, a coin collector may be a better option for you.

As a precious metal refiner we only buy coins for their scrap silver value, not for the collection value or “numismatic” value. I recommend bringing them in person to a coin collector. I would also advise getting several appraisals from professionals.

Some coin collectors will buy coins for their silver content and then sell them in bulk to refiners. This price will probably be significantly lower than if your coins are collectables. Make sure you know if they are buying your coins for the silver or for the collection value.


Posted In: All, Silver


What is the Value of 10 Pounds of Sterling Silverware?

1-27-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have a 12 person set of sterling silver from the late 1800’s. There are roses around the edges with M etched into the pieces and ornate roses on the handle. I have about 10 lbs. of silverware. – From John in Lapeer, Minnesota

Hi John,

Thanks for you inquiry. Though you did not indicate any silver markings, most sterling silver is 925 silver, that is 92.5% silver. In that case, your silverware is ideal for refining because the scrap silver content is valuable. Arch Enterprises can pay you for 75% of your material’s fine silver content by weight.

An important thing to keep in mind for anyone who is selling or refining silverware is that the knives most likely have stainless blades, not silver blades. This would reduce the silver weight of tableware sets. So, it might be a good idea to weigh your materials sans knives to get a more accurate silver value.

Here is an example of how a refiner takes apart sterling silver items including tableware knives on our Arch Enterprises YouTube Channel.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


How to Request a Precious Metal Estimate

1-25-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

In the last six months we have received some great questions! In order for our customers to receive the best information and most accurate quotes we encourage everyone to give very detailed descriptions of the materials you would like us to buy and refine. Even things that you may not think are significant can indicate what kind of material you have and what the grade is. Here are the main elements we take into account when people ask questions about their materials.

  1. Type of Metal – of course the type of precious metal your items contain is the main indicator of how much they are worth refined.
  2. Markings/Hallmarks – these are especially important on sterling silver sets and flatware. Always try and indicate if these items are marked with the word ‘sterling’, 925 or 800. 925 silver is 92.5% silver, where as 800 silver is only 80.0% silver.
  3. Weight – there is a very big difference between the weight of items before they are refined and then the weight of the actual precious metal contained in items. We try and estimate only on the value of the precious metal content. So account for the fact that 40 lbs. of material is not the same as 40 lbs. of pure silver.
  4. Quantity – the amount of precious metal you have to refine is important because often times we can offer you a higher return on larger amounts of material. This is because it is more energy efficient to process large amounts of material at once than several smaller quantities at different times.

On our Submit Your Question Form, there is an image upload capability where you can send us a photo of the items you wish to refine.

As always, let us know if you have any questions.


Posted In: All, Uncategorized


Cash for Gold on Good Morning America

1-22-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

It seems like many media sources are conducting investigative reports on the cash for gold business. This is due to the many customer complaints about companies such as the one highlighted on Good Morning America this morning – Cash4Gold. Our goal with this blog is to help people become more educated consumers in this industry that historically has not always been the most trustworthy. With these huge operations you really have no idea who is giving you your quote or who is actually melting and refining the material. We recommend getting to know the people you work with either by giving them a call or sending them an email.

The consumer alert from Good Morning America highlighted the fact that some companies will only give 11%-29% of the gold’s value back to their customer. Also that these companies do not want the public educated on the gold buying because they thrive on people’s ignorance towards measurements and value. Here are some things to take into account when choosing a company to work with.

  • Check out the company’s endorsers. If they are a member of the BBB, look at their rating and you can also see if they have had any recent customer complaints.
  • Look to see if they have an actual business location, so they are not some guy working out of his basement. If they don’t look reputable, then chances are they probably are not.
  • Get the on the phone. Because each piece of gold is different, each estimate will be different as well. This will allow you to ask any questions you have, establish a relationship with your dealer and give you an indication of what your customer service will be like.

Good Morning America also commented on gold parties which are becoming more popular. Remember that you don’t have sell your gold to the operator. We recommend getting some estimates either online or locally before you attend. That way you will have some idea of what your material is worth beforehand.

Did anyone else see the Today Show? We would love to hear your comments or questions.


Posted In: All, Uncategorized


Can you evaluate and process large orders?

1-20-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Do you have a facility in TN? Can you evaluate and process large orders? Do you buy and what is the process and how long does this take? – From Roger in Knoxville, Tennessee

Hi Roger,

We have a representative in the Tennessee area but not a facility. Our facility in Missouri can handle large orders. We can take shipments by the ton. With three thermal oxidation processors and three large-scale R4-B rotary furnaces, there is almost no job involving precious metal too large for us to handle.

For large volumes of material we can work with you directly and arrange shipping and/or transportation. For large orders we like to speak with our customers so we both have a better idea about the job we are dealing with. Then we can more accurately estimate how long it will take to process and what the payout will be. Sometimes it is better to send a sample that we can test before refining. Let us know what kind of material you have, and then we can talk about dollar estimates and times.

Visit our website to find out more about our precious metal refining facility.




Electrical Contact for Silver Refining

1-18-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have some 10lbs of electrical contacts, some of which are 1inch square X1/8 inch thick. Are these worth refining? From Jesse in Springfield, Missouri

Hi Jesse,

We would offer between $10-$15 per pound of silver-bearing electrical contacts depending on the quality and silver content. Keep in mind that the amount of silver in electrical contacts can vary and we won’t be able to determine an exact amount until they are at our facility, tested and refined.

If they do contain a significant amount of silver, then they would be worth it to send to a silver refiner like Arch Enterprises.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Silver and Gold Jewelry Refining

1-13-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have a large quantity (about 40+ lbs.) of sterling and 925 silver jewelry. And I have over 1000 dwts of clean scrap gold (no stones). Also let me know if there are any other hidden charges.  From Betty

Hi Betty,

We pay 75% for sterling silver and between 80-90% and sometimes more for large quantities of gold. For those of you that are unfamiliar with “dwts,” this is a unit of measurement used in the industry that is an abbreviation for pennyweight. You might also see “pwt” or “PW” used. Pennyweight is a unit of mass which is the same as 24 grains, 1/240th of a troy pound, 1/20th of a troy ounce, approximately 0.055 ounces or approximately 1.555 grams. We have a previous blog post about other precious metal terms.

It sounds like you may have encountered some other dealers or refineries with hidden charges. With Arch Enterprises all you pay for is shipping. For consumers items like jewelry, we will review your material and mail payment to you in 3 business days or less after the material is received. There are no hidden charges!




Silver Recovery from War Nickels

1-11-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have a large number of rolls of 35% silver WWII nickels. Can you refine them into a 100 oz silver bar for me?  From Tim in Schuerch, Arkansas.

Hi Tim,

We can buy your nickels but we cannot refine them into a silver bar and send the bar back to you. We pay for 40% of their silver value by weight for “war” nickels.

Silver “war” nickels were produced by the United States from mid-1942 through 1945 and are in fact 35% silver and of course worth more than their currency value of .05 cents. The government used silver instead of nickel because nickel was in higher demanded for manufacturing military supplies. Today, nickels are made of about 75% copper and 25% nickel.

Knowing if your nickels are “war” nickels is to your advantage because they are worth more refined than spent in a vending machine. However, when the price of silver rose in the 1960s many of these valuable nickels disappeared, but every once in a while you can find one in your change. Here are a few ways you can tell the difference between “war” nickels and the others.

  • Usually war nickels are a little darker in color than others.
  • On the backside of war nickels there is a P, D, or S marked above the building (Monticello’s dome) and under E Pluribus Unum. (On nickels distributed today this marking is on the face side under the year.)

Visit our website for more information about where to sell silver coins.


Posted In: All, Silver


Silver Flake Refining

1-6-10    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have approx. 5 pounds of “silver flake” extracted from scrap x-ray film 15 years ago. I’m not certain of the purity. I used to sell it to a buyer in the Reno area. Do you have a buyer in the Las Vegas area? – From Jay

We do not have a buyer in the Las Vegas area, but we have people ship silver to us from around the US every day. If you send it to us we can pay you much quicker than a remote buyer or broker since we are the refiner. Please let us know if you would like to send it in, I can obtain an estimate for you. We will be able to pay you 75-85 percent of the silver value for the silver flake.

Because about one-fifth of the world’s silver is used in x-ray film, recycling these items is optimal for the environment. All the silver that Arch Enterprises refines is sold directly back into industries that utilize silver such as the medical industry, photography industry, jewelry industry and more.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Is a Gold Plated Light Fixture Ideal for Refining?

12-28-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have an 18k gold plated wall sconce light fixture. It retailed for $2300 new. Since it was so expensive, I’m wondering if it has more than just the typical thin layer of gold plating and if so, would it be possible to salvage the gold? – From David

Hi David,

Without seeing or testing the light fixture I cannot say for certain if the gold on your light fixture is more than a plating. However, usually the retailer and/or manufacturer will let the buyer know if an item contains a significant amount of gold because it would be a major selling point for them.

Also, it can be easy to get hung up on the retail price of an item, but it is very different from the melt value of the item. Even though the retail price is high does not mean that price translates to the precious metal value, which is the only value that refiners take into consideration.

If the piece is not damaged, I would guess that the retail value of it would be worth more than the precious metal value. Arch Enterprises would not be able to offer you a return for the gold plated item because there would not be enough gold to extract. I would check to see if your wall sconce is a brand name and even if you could sell pieces of it separately. Hope this helps!


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


Platinum Thermocouple Wire to Refine

12-23-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have thermocouple wire to sell/refine. Total weight is about 2000 grams. Half is pure platinum, the other half is 87% platinum, 13% Rhodium. Do you buy from the general public. Also, do you pay for the rhodium content or only the platinum? – Steven from Virginia

Hi Steven,

We are a precious metal refiner that does buy from the public. We will pay you for 70% of the fine platinum content by weight. We do pay on rhodium, but the rhodium amount you described is too small to offer a payment. You can find more information about our platinum recovery services on our website.




How does your medical x-ray film recycling work?

12-1-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

How does your medical x-ray film recycling work? Do I have to send in my x-rays? – Sara in Memphis, TN

We recommend finding a dealer that will come to you. Arch will conduct on-site purging of x-rays and x-ray refining in eight states: Alabama, Northern Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. This just makes things easier for you because we will bring all the necessary materials such as Gaylord boxes, skids and drums.

Another feature to look for in your refining service is if they are HIPAA compliant and offer Certificates of Destruction and documentation of general liability and environment insurance policies. You can also find a service that will sort and remove the x-ray films for you.

If you do not live within the above locations, you can send in your x-rays to a refiner, but the shipping costs will fall on you. Look around your area and try and find a refiner that will conduct on-site x-ray film recycling.




How much is the silver from developing negatives in printing worth refined?

11-25-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have 7.7 silver from developing negatives in printing, how much would this bring if I took it to refine? – Trisha in Pittsburg, KS

Hi Trisha,

If am not sure if your silver is from a silver recovery unit and is in pounds or ounces. Let’s assume it is silver flake from an electrolytic silver recovery unit, in this case it may be very rich in silver content by weight. We can refine it and return 75%-90% of the silver value back to you via check depending on the actual quantity and quality. If you would like us to test a sample please let us know.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Is it worth recycling 160 pounds of old negatives?

11-19-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

We are clearing out our office and realized we still have about 160 pounds worth of old negatives from our monthly publication. Wonder if these are worth recycling? – Dixie in Berkeley, CA

Hi Dixie,

The amount of negatives you have is not enough for us to pay you for them. This is because the cost for us to extract the silver is more than what the precious metal would be worth. We will gladly recycle them but you would have to pay the shipping charges to get them to our facility.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


How much would 33 quarters and 39 half dollars be worth refined?

11-17-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have quite a few silver coins: 33 quarters and 39 half dollars. I’ve been watching silver prices and thought now would be a good time to sell these. How much are these silver coins worth refined? – Terri in Carrollton, Texas

Hi Terri,

You’re right, silver prices are at an all time high and now would be an ideal time to add a little extra money to your pocketbook when you’re ready to sell. The first thing to look at is if your coins are “junk silver” coins where the silver content is worth more than their numismatic value. The most common quarters and half dollars we see at Arch are as follows:

  • (1932-1964) Washington Quarter
  • (1916-1947) Liberty Half Dollar
  • (1948-1963) Franklin Half Dollar
  • (1964) Kennedy Half Dollar
  • (1965-1970) Kennedy Half Dollar
  • (1920-1967) Canadian Quarter
  • (1920-1967) Canadian Half Dollar

If your silver coins are in-fact junk silver and you have 33 quarters and 39 half dollars we would estimate their melt value to be $258 per pound based on a silver price of $17.75/troy ounce. We will retain a small 10% fee of the $258.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Is there an easy way to determine if my gold necklace is real gold or gold plated?

10-28-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Is there an easy way to determine if my gold necklace is real gold or gold plated? – Magen in Chesterfield, MO

There are many plating materials out there that make an item look like gold or silver. If you are questioning what type of metal you have there are a few things that may help determine if your item is solid and “real” without damaging the item.

  • Check for a hallmark. However, you must be careful because sometimes sellers can be deceiving in making buyers think they are getting solid gold or silver with a hallmark when in fact, it is a counterfeit.
  • Run a magnet over the items. Neither gold nor silver attract to magnets. If the magnet sticks to the item, without question it is NOT “real” gold or silver and probably contains very little of the precious metal.
  • Gold in its purist form is actually soft and will bend when squeezed in your hand. Alloying it with other stronger, less expensive metals makes it harder.

If you try these methods and still do not have answers it may be time to take your items to a professional. There are acid tests that can be administered, however they involve making small cuts or incisions into items and working with acids can be a dangerous and difficult process. Refineries have the necessary instruments to measure the amount of precious metal in an item.


Posted In: All, Gold


Where to sell gold plated flatware?

10-11-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have a 51 piece 24K gold plated flatware set that is supposed to contain 63 pieces (I’m missing 12 salad forks.) If it were a full set, it’s only going for about $50 on E-Bay. It is not marked 24K, but the certificate included with the set states they guarantee it to be so. So let’s just assume this to be true. Would I be better off to sell this online for $40 or $50 or sell it as gold scrap? Thanks. – Mark in Las Vegas, Nevada

Gold Plated Silverware

Gold Plated Flatware

Hi Mark:

Unfortunately, plated gold flatware typically only contains a microscopic layer of gold. In most cases, the flatware is plated so thinly that it costs more in energy and time to remove the gold than the gold is worth. Therefore, most precious metal refiners cannot offer payment for gold plated items.

However, the value of your flatware depends greatly on the metal underneath the gold plating. In some cases, manufacturers plated the gold over sterling silver. If your set is gold on sterling silver, the set should be worth more than $50.00 for the silver value (market price of silver and weight depending). If they are gold plate on stainless or copper or another base metal you are best to sell them on ebay.

To give you a feel for the melt value, we buy sterling silver by weight and pay around $175 a pound at this time.* If you want to determine what metal is under the gold plating, you can send us one piece to test in our XRF analytical lab to determine if it is silver underneath the gold or you might be able to dig up some information by calling/writing the manufacturer.

You can see how the XRF machine works Arch Enterprises Video Site.

* Price reflects the price of silver when this blog article was published and my not reflect the current price of silver, which changes daily.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


What is the best way to sell silver coins?

10-1-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have some old silver coins that I would like to sell.  What is the best way to go about this? — Amber in Pensacola, FL

If you are looking into selling silver or gold coins, the first step to consider is whether or not your coins have numismatic value. Coins with numismatic value are those that are worth more than their precious metal content. The value of rare coins is determined by four criteria:

  1. Rarity
  2. Quality
  3. Grade
  4. Popularity

For these types of coins, we recommend working with a rare coin dealer as you don’t want to sell them for their melt value.

Other silver coins are commonly referred to as “junk silver.” These coins have no value beyond their silver content. In the United States, most silver coins minted before 1964 have a fair amount of silver content and have value based on this precious metal content.

Here are a few examples of the most common junk silver coins we at Arch see.

  • (1942-1945) Silver War Nickel
  • (1916-1945) Mercury Dime
  • (1946-1964) Roosevelt Dime
  • (1932-1964) Washington Quarter
  • (1916-1947) Liberty Half Dollar
  • (1948-1963) Franklin Half Dollar
  • (1964) Kennedy Half Dollar
  • (1965-1970) Kennedy Half Dollar
  • (1878-1921) Morgan Dollar
  • (1921-1935) Peace Dollar
  • (1971-1976) Eisenhower Dollar
  • 1920-1967 Canadian Dime
  • 1920-1967 Canadian Quarter
  • 1920-1967 Canadian Half Dollar
  • 1935-1967 Canadian Dollar


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Is there any way to tell if my platinum ring is pure platinum?

9-23-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Is there any way to tell if my platinum ring is pure platinum? — Beth in Stillwater, OK

The two most common purities of platinum used in jewelry are:

Plat – 950 Plat is considered nearly pure platinum and usually contains 95% platinum and 5% iridium.  It is quite expensive and typically the highest grade of platinum available for jewelry making.

IridPlat – This platinum is 90% pure platinum with 10% other metals mixed in…typically iridium. These rings can be marked with a hallmark of “.90 Plat” as well and therefore have a slightly lower melt value than their purer platinum counterparts.

Obviously pure platinum will yield higher returns, however at around $1,322.00/troy ounce, platinum alloyed with other materials can return a surprisingly high melt value.




Is there an easy way to tell what grade a silver item is?

9-21-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Is there an easy way to tell what grade a silver item is? — Austin in Naperville, IL

The easiest way without testing equipment or chemicals is to look for hallmarks that indicate whether an item is sterling silver.

You may notice small markings on items, usually found in the inside of rings, on clasps of necklaces or on the back of plates. These markings are called hallmarks and can indicate what type of metal you have and how much it may be worth. They are often extremely small so you may need a magnifying glass to read them.  As long as you bought the item from a reputable source, they tend to be very accurate.

Sterling silver items are called Sterling, Sterling Silver or Solid Silver and they are typically marked with 925, 925/1000, 92.5 or .925. The abbreviation SS is also commonly seen for sterling silver. These markings reveal that the item is made from 925 parts out of 1000 of fine silver, the minimum allowable quality for an item to be considered sterling. It is the law that the name or U.S. registered trademark of the company or person is on a quality marked silver item.  We will often ask people the brand and make of their silverware so that we can help them determine whether their silver flatware is sterling or plated although our testing equipment ultimately tells us for sure once we get the items into our facility.

For older pieces, silver may come in many more varieties.  800 silver which was 800 parts silver was very common outside of the United States and before the 1900s as were other 750, 825, and 830.

Another common form of silver on older items is 900.  It refers to coin silver which is 90% silver and 10% copper.  It’s composition was dictated by United States FTC guidelines and established in the 1820s for minting silver coinage.  As such, it is often called “coin silver.”

For further information, see video on refining silver flatware.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


Precious Metal Terms and Uses

9-18-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I am an avid metal detector user and am studying up on some of the industry terminology as I prepare to get some of the items I have found refined. For example, what is meant by “gold filled”, “troy ounce” and “pennyweight.” — Rick in Louisiana, MO

Thank you for you inquiry, following are some of the common terms used in the precious metal refining industry.

Carat – a unit of weight for gems
Karat (K, kt) – is measure of purity for gold
Fineness – the proportion of pure precious metal in an alloy, often expressed in parts per thousand
Fine Weight – the metallic weight of a coin, ingot or bar
Gross Weight – the total weight of an item, including the alloying metal
Gold Standard – a monetary system in which a region’s common medium of exchange are paper notes that are normally freely convertible into pre-set, fixed quantities of gold
Hallmark (plate mark) – an official mark or stamp indicating a standard of purity, used in marking gold and silver articles.
Luster – a substance, as a coating or polish, used to impart sheen or gloss
Ounce – a unit of weight. In the precious metals industry, an ounce means a troy ounce equal to 31.1035 grams
Spread – the difference between the buying price and the selling price of a precious metal
Troy Ounce – a unit of weight equal to 480 grains or 1/12 of a pound
Grain – the smallest unit of weight
Face Value – the nominal dollar amount assigned to a security by the issuer
Retail Value – the sale of goods or articles individually or in small quantities directly to the consumer
Pennyweight (dwt, pwt, PW) – a unit of mass which is the same as 24 grains, 1/240th of a troy pound, 1/20th of a troy ounce, approximately 0.055 ounces or approximately 1.555 grams
Hardness (HV) – sometimes called “scratch resistance,” the Vickers Hardness scale tests hardness of a metal by pushing a pointed object into the surface with a specific load and gauging penetration
Metal – any category of electropositive elements that usually have a shiny surface; typical metals are from salts with non-metals, basic oxides with oxygen and alloys with one another
Salt – crystalline chemical compound formed from the neutralization of an acid by a base containing a metal or group acting like a metal
EPNS – electroplated nickel silver or silver plate
Gold Filled (G.F.) – an item that has a thin outer layer of gold over a base metal. Items must be at least 1/20 gold by weight to be called gold filled
Gold Rolled (R.G.P) – Popular during the 19th century where a very thing sheet of solid gold is laminated to a lesser metal then fused together
Gold Plating – also referred to as electroplate (GEP), is a process where one metal is coated with another metal using electricity
Pinchbeck – gold substitute made with a combination of 9 karat gold, copper and zinc
Vermeil – usually gold plated sterling silver

Are there any precious metal terms we left out that you would like to know?




Are there differences in melt values between White Gold and Yellow Gold?

9-16-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

Are there differences in melt values between White Gold and Yellow Gold? — Sue in Cleavland, Ohio

For the most part, gold jewelry of the same karat value will have about the same melt value whether it is white gold or yellow gold. Aside from 24 karat (pure gold), all other karats of gold are alloys that include some other metals in them.  For example, an 18 karat gold item is about 75% gold alloyed with other metals that in turn affect the item’s color and hardness. Palladium and nickel are often used to create white gold while copper and silver are used for yellow gold.

Of course, nickel has dermatological health issues with it and palladium is expensive, so some white gold alloys actually include magnesium or chromium. Today, you are more likely to find rhodium plated gold as this metal often provides the look that consumers want, but the cost is so high that it is typically just plated onto the gold.  As a general rule, there is usually not a significant difference in melt value between an 18 karat yellow gold ring and an 18 karat white gold ring of the same weight.

24 karat gold is 99.84% gold (not achievable in white gold)
22 karat gold is 91.52% gold  (not achievable in typical white gold)
20 karat gold is 83.33% gold
18 karat gold is 74.88% gold
14 karat gold is 58.24% gold
10 karat gold is 41.60% gold
9 karat gold is 37.44% gold


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Gold


What is my dental scrap worth?

9-14-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I am a dentist and have some old gold crowns that I have recently taken out of patients mouths. At what point does it become profitable to send them in for refining.  Do I need to have 20-30 crowns before it makes sense? — Dr. Norton

It can be hard to judge how much precious metal is in dental gold scrap because so many different alloys are used in the industry. Typically dental gold alloys range in the 10 to 22 karat range with 16 karat gold being the most common.  A 10 karat crown would have 41.6% gold while a 22 karat crown would have 91.5% so there can be a big difference in value even for two crowns of the exact same weight.

Dentists also use a lot of silver-colored alloys for crowns and bridges that can have high precious metal content.   Despite their color, they may have a fairly sizeable proportion of gold or be made with other precious metals like platinum or palladium.  Unfortunately, without testing equipment, it is often difficult to tell the difference between these precious alloys and other “white” alloys that have no scrap value whatsoever.

Of course, the price of gold on the day your gold crowns are received for refining will also impact the value.

The last major variable is who you are going to sell  the scrap dental gold to.  If you sell it to the same company that is supplying you with other dental products, then they are probably just going to take a cut and pass the crowns to a precious metal refiner.    However, if you only have one or two, they may batch it with crowns and bridges from other dentists as many refiners will not accept small quantities.
If you work with us at Arch Enterprises, you do not need a minimum quantity of dental gold to receive payment. We will evaluate your items and pay you based on the weight and quality of the gold in the crowns. We have analytic equipment that can evaluate each piece individually for the gold, silver, platinum and palladium content. We pay 85% of the metal value back to you in a check in 2-3 business days.  We are endorsed by dental associations and have worked regularly with many dentists.

If you need some basic guidelines, let’s assume that the average crown weighs 2.5 grams or about .08 troy ounces (the value in which gold is traded) and that the price for the day is $1,000 per troy ounce.  Based on this, a

  • A 2.5 gram crown made of 10 karat alloy (41.6% gold) would be worth (.08 x.416 x 1,000) or $33.28 before refining costs of approximately 15%
  • A 2.5 gram crown made of 16 karat alloy (66.6% gold) would be worth (.08 x.666 x 1,000) or $53.28 before refining costs of approximately 15%
  • A 2.5 gram crown made of 22 karat alloy (91.5% gold) would be worth (.08 x.915 x 1,000) or $73.28 before refining costs of approximately 15%



Refining Silver Flatware and Tableware

7-22-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

As one of the largest silver refiners in the U.S., we process thousands of different silver items every year.  One of the most common is silver flatware.  In today’s less formal world, many of you apparently just don’t have a need for that set of sterling you inherited or those silver candlestick holders you got as a wedding gift years ago.  Check out this video where we explain some of the issues related to valuing silver flatware and weighted items.


Posted In: All, Silver, Uncategorized


Value of 14K Gold Ring

7-22-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

I have a 14 karat gold ring that weighs 0.3 ounces on my postal scale. Can you tell me what the value of gold in this ring is and what I should expect to get for it from a refiner? – Bob in Columbia, MO

To determine the value of gold in your 14K gold ring, there are a few issues to consider:

  • Weight – Unfortunately postal scales are not accurate enough when one is considering the valuing of a gold item, but in this case, we measured the ring that you sent in and found it to actually did weigh 8 grams or 0.2822 ounces.
  • Percentage of Gold – 14K Gold is supposed to contain 58.24% gold while the rest is typically made up of copper, zinc, nickel, and other metals.  We ran your ring through our X-Ray analyzer and found that it actually contained 66.89% gold.  See Video Clip.

  • Price of Gold – On July 22, the price of gold closed at $951.42 per ounce.  Keep in mind that gold is valued in troy ounces and Americans typically think of an ounce as what is termed a avoirdupois ounce.  Troy ounces actually weigh a little more than avoirdupois ounces so you actually have less than .2822 troy ounces of gold.  To get your value in troy ounces, you would actually have to multiply .2822 avoirdupois ounces by .912.

So, the amount of pure gold in your particular 14K gold ring weighing .2822 avoirdupois ounces with a gold percentage of 66.89% was 0.18877 ounces.  To figure out its value in troy ounces, we mulitplied this number by .912 to get 0.172 Troy Ounces.  Mulitplying this by today’s rate for gold of $951.52 and your gold is worth $163.79.

Of course, the refiner needs to melt this into a form that someone wants and make a profit so you should expect anywhere from 70% to 90% of this value from a refiner.  Most refiners won’t deal in quantities this low.  At Arch Enterprises, we do, but we pay on a scale that ranges from 80% for those who send in less than 1 ounce of pure gold to over 90% for those sending in over 2 ounces.




Watch Battery Recycling

6-24-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

My husband and I own a jewelry and watch repair store and for years have been saving the spent watch batteries for recycling. We understand there is some silver content in many of these batteries, but mainly we just want to know that they are recycled. What can we do with these? – Gwen in Memphis, TN

Refiner Response – Gwen, it is admirable of you to consider the environment when thinking of how to dispose of these spent watch batteries. Many watch batteries are actually referred to in the industry as “silver oxide batteries” and as the name implies, they contain a small amount of silver. Most precious metal refiners are not going to be too excited about recycling these unless you have hundreds of pounds of them. Since we at Arch Metal Refining process so much silver, we are able to pay out approximately $10 to $15 per pound depending on the quality and quantity of batteries you have to refine. Obviously, the primary benefit is knowing that these batteries are being recycled and disposed of properly, but the fact that you can make a little money on them can be an added bonus.


Posted In: All, Forum Questions, Silver


What is my gold worth?

6-23-09    Posted by: Arch Enterprises

This is probably the most common question that we get here at the Silver & Gold Refining Blog.

There are obviously a lot of companies advertising on TV offering “Top dollar for one’s gold”, but the reality is that gold is a worldwide commodity with a price that fluctuates by the minute and is posted by the commodities exchanges.

Realistically, no refiner is going to pay more than the gold is worth on the open market because the gold has a strict value which can be calculated using the following formula.

Weight  x  Purity  x  Price of Gold

There are, however, a few issues to consider:

  • The price of gold is set in Troy Ounces which are heavier than what most of us in the U.S. consider an ounce (the avoirdupois ounce). So, if you measure your gold in standard ounces, you need to multiply your weight in ounces by 0.91145833 to get the weight in Troy ounces.
  • How accurate is your scale? If gold is trading for $900 an ounce, refiners like us are not going to place your items on a postal scale and round up to the nearest ounce. We typically measure using sophisticated scales that measure in 1/100th of a gram increments.
  • Purities vary. While most minted items are very accurate, jewelry marked as 14K gold may actually contain more or less than the 58.24% gold that it takes to classify as 14K. One can typically only tell this with very sophisticated testing equipment, but it is a consideration nonetheless.
  • The price of gold fluctuates constantly during the trading day.

Based on this, people can often get very different values, but the formula should get you close.  The bigger difference comes in what the refiner, broker, jeweler, or other gold buyer pays out as your percentage.  Regardless of whom you sell your gold to, this person/company takes some risk in that the price of gold fluctuates by the minute so gold buyers often have to build in some profit to ensure they don’t lose money caused by these fluctuations.

Base on our research, the companies that spend millions of dollars advertising on TV or that travel across the country renting hotel suites and advertising gold buying events in the local paper need to make huge margins to cover their advertising expenses so they typically pay back about 1/6 to 1/2 the value of the gold and keep the rest to cover their marketing costs and make a profit.

In fact, since many of them are not even precious metal refiners, they have to pay a gold refining company to convert items like broken jewelry and such into gold bullion that can be sold on the open market.

Because of these low returns and the shady nature of many of these aggressive companies, people often recommend going to a local jeweler or coin shop that you can trust.  While these companies are not refiners, they typically have relationships with gold refiners and will often pay 1/2 to 2/3 the value of your gold as they have less invested in marketing.

As one would imagine, the best opportunity to get the most return on your gold is to work directly with a gold refiner.  These are the companies that actually melt your gold into bars and such so it can be sold to industry or minted and sold to investors.  Gold refiners typically pay out about 85% to 90% of the value of your gold although many don’t deal with small consumer transactions so you have to look around to find those that will deal in small quantities unless you plan on going into business hosting your own gold buying parties.


Posted In: All, Gold