Posts for the ‘Silver’ Category

Troy Ounce Silver Price

1-30-14    Posted by: admin

Question: “I have recently inherited a silver coin collection and the coins have “one troy ounce, .999 fine silver” written on the back of them. What does troy ounce mean, and how much can I expect to get from each of them?” – From Hayden in Portland, Oregon

Hi Hayden,

Troy-OunceThank you for sending us pictures of your troy ounce silver coins. Silver is unique in that, because it is a universal precious metal, there is a standardized measuring method that is used for determining its worth. The American version of ounces does not equate to a troy ounce, which means that when precious metal items are refined or sold they must be weighted and assessed in troy ounces. A great way to determine the difference between a troy ounce and an average ounce is by using our Silver/Gold calculator.

The daily troy ounce prices for silver as well as other precious metals are determined by the New York Comex, and thus fluctuate daily. So if you should decide to send in your silver coins for refining, know that we will be able to give you the silver Comex price for the day we receive them not the day of shipment.
Here are some quick conversions for you:

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

Review our shipping materials and packing slip should you decide to send us your silver coins.
Your question was greatly appreciated, thank you Hayden!

Here are some previous blog posts that may be helpful for you:
Silver Tea Set
Silver Powder

*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: Silver, Uncategorized


Using the Magnet Test to Determine Value of Silver Tea Set

12-11-13    Posted by: admin

Silver tea set

 

“I am looking to sell an unmarked antique sterling silver tea set.  How do I find out if it’s sterling silver? I got it from my grandmother who says it’s real. From Ashley in Pelham, Georgia”

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for the inquiry about your grandmother’s antique Silver Tea Set. Some older Sterling Silver Serving Sets will sometimes have a number i.e., 925 or 825 which prove authenticity, however, some pieces may have no indication at all especially if they are very old or are made in different countries that may have their own markings.

The easiest and quickest way to determine if it is sterling silver at home is through the sterling silver magnet test. Take a magnet and press it against your tea set, if the magnet sticks then the tea set is not made of sterling silver. Though the magnet test is not infallible, it does offer a broader idea of whether your sterling silver set is authentic or plated silver. If it determined to be plated silver it will have little to no precious metal value and is not worth refining.

However, if it does not stick that does NOT mean 100% that you have sterling. There are some acid tests out there that can indicate sterling, but these can be unreliable and degrade the piece if too much acid is used. Some jewelers may be able to help if you bring in your pieces, they may even offer you a price for them for the silver content, but we would recommend shopping around and seeing what Arch can offer you.

If you have a small piece, you can send it in and we can test it for you. Once we let you know what you have, you will have the option of sending the rest or we will send your piece back to you (we do not pay shipping).

Hope that sheds some light on your antique Sterling Silver Tea Set. Here is our packing slip should you decide to sell or have us test a piece of your set: Arch Enterprise Packing Slip

Best of luck!

*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: Silver


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


Recover Silver from Black and White Photo Film

6-20-13    Posted by: clientadmin

I have tons of old negatives and was wondering how much it takes for it to actually matter. Also if we don’t have enough where would we take them to dispose of them. Thanks from Tori in Juliet, TN.

Hi Tori,

By a “ton” do you mean hundreds of pounds or truckloads? Some people’s perception of having a “ton” of photo film is very different. We would recommend having at least 300 lbs of material. If you do not have this much, you could still send it to our facility and we could recycle the material for you, however would not be able to offer a return and you would still have to cover the shipping fees, which may not be cost effective for you.

age-old film

Other places you could try if you do not have enough, might be a local recycling company or even a school. Our advice would be to call around in your area to find out.

If you have more than 300 lbs., let us know and we may be able to help arrange freight for the material (especially if you literally have a “ton”). Make sure that you have your black and white film separated from your color film, as the color does not contain silver. Hope that helps!

*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: Silver


Silver Recovery from Tungsten Silver Sludge

5-18-13    Posted by: clientadmin

Hi, we have high silver containing sludge from DE-brazing tungsten carbide mining tools. Do you recover silver from this sludge? From Jain in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Hi Jain,

We do have the capabilities to recover the silver from the tungsten silver sludge that you describe. As a precious metal refiner, our facility is designed specifically to handle this type of industrial material.

It would be helpful to know the weight of your material. We would recommend having at least 5 lbs. of silver sludge material to justify the freight and refining costs. If you are unsure about the purity of your sludge, we can arrange to test a sample of the material before you ship the whole amount.

We would first require a sample of your tungsten silver sludge and then could give a more accurate percentage and price when we know the purity and volume of your material.


Posted In: Silver


What is Silver Holloware?

3-25-13    Posted by: clientadmin

I have heard the term holloware about silver pieces. What exactly does this refer to? Does holloware have value? From Susan in Los Angeles, California.

Hi Susan,

“Holloware” or “Hollowware” is a term that is basically used to describe everything except flatware this includes serving pieces and tableware such as pitchers, teapots, sugar bowls, butter plates, food covers, creamers, silver artwork and sculptures, cake stands and other similar items.

Like flatware, hollowware can be sterling silver or plated silver, so you still have to be careful to know which you have as it will greatly affect the value. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver, whereas silver plated items contain only a very thin layer of silver, to the point where it costs more money to refine plated silver than we can get out. That is why we do not accept silver plated items.

We will however, accept sterling silver holloware items. Make sure that your items are sterling. Note that some of these items can be weighted or contain other materials in them to make them stronger (such as knife blades that are usually stainless steel). If you can find the weight of just the sterling silver material, you can plug it into our silver value calculator for an estimate of the market value of your sterling silver items. We typically pay 75% of the silver value back to our customers. Hope that answers your question!


Posted In: Silver


Sterling Silver Flatware Refining Example | Precious Metal Refining Blog

3-4-13    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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 Black & White Negatives from Photography

5-15-12    Posted by: clientadmin

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 Scrap Silver from Jewelry Making

4-25-12    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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 about of silver that is available in each on that you can multiple 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 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


Platinum Markings & Hallmarks for Selling

3-14-12    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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.




Value of Raw Silver Beads

2-15-12    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


What is the Metal Under Silver Plated Flatware?

1-30-12    Posted by: clientadmin

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


Where to Sell & Refine Dental X-Ray Film

12-8-11    Posted by: clientadmin

Do you know of a place to sell silver from dental x-rays? From Denny in Panama City, Florida

Hi Denny!

You have come to the right place! We have the capabilities to handle large shipments of x-ray film here at our refining facility in Mexico, Missouri including those from dental offices.

Here are the bullet point things to keep in mind. And we have also included some of our past blog articles about selling x-ray film:

  • Quantity: You will need to send at least 300-400 pounds of X-ray film, removed from the paper jackets, to receive a payment and recover the shipping cost.
  • Shipping: We would recommend filling one or two 50 gallon drums of X-ray film and then shipping the film in the drums.
  • Sorting: We can help sort and purge x-rays in eight states including Alabama, Northern Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Which would include Panama City if you have enough material to need the service.

We currently work with eight of the top 100 hospital groups in the country and are able to process large amounts of film with quick turnaround time. Please inquire further either by phone or on our contact forms as to the amount of x-rays you have and needed services dealing with selling dental x-ray film.

Check out these blog articles:

How Much Is Silver In X-Ray Film Worth?

Recycling X-Ray Film

How To Sell Medical X-Rays




Sell Gold Jewelry Scrap & Sterling Silver

11-29-11    Posted by: clientadmin

I have about 12 ounces of jewelry scrap from about 60 years ago. I think it might be gold but have not gotten a definitive answer yet. Can I send you some samples? I also have 5 to 10 pounds of old sterling silver and would like to know its value (buckles, money clips, pins, etc.) Can you also let me know if you would be interested in buying it? Thanks. From Mary in Rochester, New York

Hi Mary,

Thank you for your question. Sounds like you are doing some cleaning which could result in some extra cash for you, which is always a plus.

scrap-gold-january

Since you are unsure about the purity of your gold items, we would test your pieces, refine gold that is9 karat purity (37.44% gold) or more and then either send back what is not able to refine or we could recycle it for you. If you have specific instructions for us, please indicate those on our packaging slip.

5-10 pounds of sterling silver is a large range. If your pieces are pure sterling silver, 92.5% silver, at a $35 silver price, 5 pounds of sterling silver could be worth over $2,000 silver value.  Arch would be able to pay 75% of the silver value back to you on your pieces. However, if not all of your pieces are sterling, we would recommend sorting the items you know are sterling and then check to see if your other pieces are sterling or not.

It may be better to send all of your pieces together, but would help if you kept the gold separated from the silver in different bags.

Hope that helps! Let us know if you have any more questions. Or you can upload an image to show up on our Contact Form.

*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.




Recover Silver from Silver Sludge Material

11-22-11    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


Where to Sell Sterling Silver Scrap Beads

10-7-11    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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.




1971 – 1976 Eisenhower “Ike” Dollars

8-25-11    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


How Much are Silver Strike Coins Worth?

7-18-11    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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.




Value of Silver Oxide Batteries

5-31-11    Posted by: clientadmin

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


Refine & Sell Sterling Silver Belt Buckles

5-23-11    Posted by: clientadmin

I have a collection of sterling silver belt buckles. I bought them based on being sterling. Some of them have gold and are marked, e.g., 22k Gold on Sterling, 1/10 10k Gold on Sterling and so on. How can I tell the value of the gold parts? Thanks, Rod from Cleveland, Ohio.

Hi Rod,

Thanks for your question! The markings on your sterling silver belt buckles indicate the purity of gold and silver used to manufacture the items. However, it does not tell us how much gold would be available, if any to recover.

Most of the time we are not able to refine any of the gold from these belt buckles you have described, because the amount is so small. If you cannot physically separate the gold from the silver before the melting process begins, then there is no way to recover the gold from the silver.

Also the marking 22k gold on sterling sounds like they used a 22k gold plating material over top of a part of the buckle. Like we say to people with gold plated silverware, the plating technology has advanced to the point where the gold cannot be recovered and separated from the silver during the refining process.

If you can separate the gold from the silver before you ship, then we would run tests to determine the purity of the gold and the silver, then refine and melt them with separate refining methods.

You can go to our website to learn more about the ideal types of silver to refine. Hope that 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.




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

3-31-11    Posted by: clientadmin

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


Sell and Refine Silver Oxide Watch Batteries| Precious Metal Refining Blog

3-22-11    Posted by: clientadmin

I have a large amount of silver oxide watch batteries that I would like to have refined for the silver. We are talking several hundred pounds of this material. Can you give me a price per troy ounce or price per pound? From Jim in Houston, Texas

iStock_000019552085Small

Hi Jim,

Silver has been in the headlines as the price has reached $36 USD per troy ounce for the first time in 30 years. So now it a great time to have silver oxide batteries you have refined. When you say “several hundred pounds” are you sure that they are all silver oxide batteries?

Other batteries that may look like silver oxides are lithium or alkaline batteries, that are not manufactured with silver at all. Though it is still a good idea to recycle these batteries in an environmentally friendly manner so the toxic contents of the batteries do not leak out into the earth, we will not be able to offer a return on non-silver batteries.

It saves us time and money if you have already sorted your batteries. However, if you have a comingled lot we can discuss our sorting fee if you would like. Also because you have such a large amount, we can quote special pricing for you.




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

3-8-11    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


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

2-8-11    Posted by: clientadmin

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


Precious Metal Refining Blog | Refining and Selling Silver Bars

2-1-11    Posted by: clientadmin


Posted In: Forum Questions, Silver


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

12-28-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


Refine Sterling Silver from Russia| Precious Metal Refining Blog

10-28-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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


Send Medical X-Ray Film to a Refiner | Precious Metal Refining Blog

10-21-10    Posted by: clientadmin

I have about 320 pounds of X-ray film. Do you pay per individual X-ray or per pound? From Jim in Chester, Virginia

Hi Jim,

Because we refine X-ray film by the truckload it would be nearly impossible to keep an accurate count of individual X-rays. The amount of silver in one X-ray is negligible. We pay per pound of X-ray film because it is more accurate and easier for us to track.

The amount returned can add up if you have large quantities of X-ray film, especially when silver is trading for more than $18 per troy ounce. You will need to send at least 300-400 pounds of X-ray film, removed from the paper jackets, to receive a payment and recover the shipping cost. We would recommend filling one or two 50 gallon drums of X-ray film and then shipping the film in the drums.

Please let us know if you have any more questions and don’t hesitate to give us a call. Thanks!


Posted In: Silver, Uncategorized


Kennedy Half Dollars | Precious Metal Refining Blog

10-19-10    Posted by: clientadmin

Why are some of my Kennedy half dollars from the late 1960’s dirty looking , and yet some of them are pristine and shiny? Does this mean that some of them have more silver than others? Will Arch pay me approx the same amount per coin ( i.e. 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969 ) or might some of them contain more silver? From Seth in New York City.

Hi Seth,

Because your Kennedy half dollars have been in circulation for around 50 years they have no doubt changed hands, pockets, cash registers and who know what else. These coins experience some wear and tear and the coins that look rough around the edges, maybe even with some chips in them, will weigh slightly less than coins in mint condition.

We typically see a 1-2 percent drop in the silver weight on these older coins. Because this affects the weight, it will affect the silver melt value and your return. However, unlike a coin collector we will pay the same amount on a “dirty” looking coin as a shiny coin of the same weight.

Additionally, pre-1964 Kennedy half dollars were made with more silver than those minted after 1964. A pre-1964 Kennedy half dollar contains about 0.3617 ounces of silver in mint condition. While a mint condition Kennedy half dollar from 1965-1970 contains about 0.1479 ounces of silver. If you have coines minted 1964 or earlier, you may want to separate these out as this may give you a better idea about how much silver you have.View the difference the these Kennedy half dollars below:

1964 Kennedy Half Dollar – 0.3617 Ounces of Silver in Mint Condition

1965-1970 Kennedy Half Dollar – 0.1479 Ounces of Silver in Mint Condition

Let us know if you need anymore information. Or you can find more information about common silver coins we refine on our website page about silver coin refining.


Posted In: Silver


Silver Electrical Contacts to Refine | Precious Metal Refining Blog

10-12-10    Posted by: clientadmin

I have 193 troy ounces of silver electrical contacts to recycle. Can you refine this? – Thanks from Don in Salt Lake City, Utah

Hi Don,

Silver has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. That is why it is used in a variety of industries and applications. Silver electrical contacts are commonly used in circuit breakers, relays, switches and electrical discharge machining (EDM) applications.

We do refine silver electrical contacts.  This material typically comes to us in gallon size buckets or drums and we pay about $10-$15 per pound depending on the quality and amount of silver they contain. The silver is refined and put back into industries that need it.

Based on a conversion rate of 1 pound to 14.5833 troy ounces, we estimate that you have about 13 pounds of silver electrical contacts.  As such, we could return about $132 – $198 for your silver material.

Thanks for your question and thanks for recycling!


Posted In: Most Popular, Silver


Selling Sterling Silver Tea Sets | Precious Metal Refining Blog

10-7-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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.




Where to Sell Silver Tableware | Precious Metal Refining Blog

9-14-10    Posted by: clientadmin

I have a 20 year old collection of sterling silver tableware including flatware, cups, plates, trays, candlesticks, vases — anything you can imagine, all stripped & cleaned. I have about 1050 troy ounces of items and want to know the best place to sell silver. Thanks from Betty in Richmond, Virginia

Hi Betty,

That sounds like quite a collection of sterling silver you have! With so many pieces, it will be important to consider your options.

If you do not want to deal with the hassle of separating and selling in groups or piece by piece, you could send it all in to a refinery like us. We will run analytical testing on your materials and send back pieces if we find they are not sterling.  Assuming all of the pieces were .925 sterling silver is typically .925 silver and using a spot price of silver at $18 per troy ounce, your 1050 troy ounces would have a market value of approximately  $17,500. However, items such as candlesticks and knife handles are often weighted with other materials that contribute to the weight of the item, but contain no silver.  As such, this estimate is probably a best case scenario.

You should also consider that a silver refiner only pays on the silver content in items.  Refiners do not consider the collection value, condition or design.  Therefore, you’ll need to consider if the market value of an item is going to be more than its melt value and whether it is worth the time and effort to try to find a buyer for the item.

Here are some tips that we recommend for people with large collections of sterling silver tableware:

  1. Separate all the pieces that are marked sterling silver from the pieces that are not marked. For the items that are not marked, you may want to do a few tests on those to find if they are in fact sterling. A magnet test is the easiest, if any of your unmarked pieces stick to a magnet they are not sterling.
  2. Determine if some of your pieces could be weighted with another material. Wax, cement or lead is often added to items such as candlesticks to help stabilize the items. As a result, they are not 100% sterling silver materials. Other weighted items include candelabras and salt and pepper shakers. Also, many knife blades are stainless steel as sterling silver is too soft to function as a cutting device. Here is a silver refining video where you can see a candlestick and knife taken apart to expose filled and hollow centers.  To reduce shipping costs, it is ideal to try to remove the weighting materials if you know you are going to send the item in to be melted.
  3. If you know that any of your pieces are antiques and in good condition, they could have collection value that is more than the silver content value. You may find that you can make more on these items by selling them on eBay, Craigslist or even to a local jeweler or antique shop.

Unmatched collections, broken pieces and outdated styles of sterling silver are typically ideal for refining as they have very little market value. Many people also send items in great condition to us simply because they don’t want to deal with the hassles of trying to sell the items themselves.  We typically pay 75% of the fine silver value by weight and welcome you to use our free silver value calculator to help guide you in your decision making.

Good luck with your collection and let us know if you need any more refining information.


Posted In: Silver


Where to Refine Silver Sludge from Photo Processing | Precious Metal Refining Blog

9-9-10    Posted by: clientadmin

Hi, I have approximately 7.8 lbs of silver sludge from black and white film development in a plastic bottle. Can this be refined? If so, how much is it worth? From Kent in St. Louis, Missouri

Hi Kent,

Thanks for your question. Silver sludge generated during film development can be refined and Arch Enterprises does process this type of material regularly. We normally recommend a minimum of at least 5 pounds of the sludge material to justify the freight and refining costs so you should be in luck … especially since you are located near our refining facility.

The value of the silver sludge will depend on how much silver is available to refine. 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.

We have more information about refining industrial precious metal on our website.


Posted In: Silver


Refine Sterling Silver Sheet, Wire & Scrap | Precious Metal Refining Blog

9-7-10    Posted by: clientadmin

I have sterling silver sheets, wire, and scrap from when I took a jewelry class in the early 1990s. It’s approximately 13.5 standard ounces. What is this worth melted down? From Deanna in Destin, Florida

Hi Deanna,

Silver used in jewelry making such as wire, sheet and clasps is typically 925 sterling silver so it probably contains 92.5% silver.  Unfortunately, components and scraps are often not marked so we would need to run analytical tests to determine the exact percentage of silver in your items.   For evaluation purposes, let’s assume all of the material is sterling silver.

Given this, you can use our silver value calculator, plug in the market price of silver, and calculate its value.   *Today the price of silver is $18.35 USD per troy ounce. Note that standard ounces or avoirdupois ounces are different than troy ounces (1 troy ounce = 1.09714 avoirdupois ounces). Below is a screenshot of the calculator showing the steps you would go through to find the market value of 13.5 avoirdupois ounces of 925 silver.

Based on these figures, the market value of your silver is $208.85.  Of course, the calculated value provides market indications of what your silver is worth if it were in an investment grade form.   As a refiner, we will need to refine the silver, put it into sellable form, and execute the transaction with a buyer.  As such, we typically pay 75% of 925 sterling silver value by weight.

Note: The price of silver changes daily. The given price may not reflect the current price of silver.


Posted In: Silver


Where to Sell Pre 1964 US Silver Coins | Precious Metal Refining Blog

9-2-10    Posted by: clientadmin

Hi, I wish to sell some pre-1964 silver coins with a face value of $153.50. Can you give me a feel for how much these are worth and where I can sell them? – Thanks. From Jon in Ottumwa, Iowa

Hi Jon,

Thanks for your question. Not all US coins minted 1964 and before contain the same amount of silver. Dimes, quarters, half dollars and nickels all vary in the amount of silver they contain. So just giving the face value of your silver coins is not enough information to return an accurate estimate about how much the silver in your coins is worth, but I can try to provide you some information that may help.

To give you an idea for their value here is a list of some common pre-1964 coins with their silver content:

(1942-1945) Silver War Nickel 0.0563 Standard Ounces of Silver in Mint Condition

______

(1916-1945) Mercury Dime 0.0723 Standard Ounces of Silver in Mint Condition

______

(1932-1964) Washington Quarter 0.1808 Standard Ounces of Silver in Mint Condition

______

(1964) Kennedy Half Dollar 0.1479 Standard Ounces of Silver in Mint Condition

______

(1878-1921) Morgan Dollar 0.7735 Standard Ounces of Silver in Mint Condition

______

So as you can tell, the amount of silver in each of these coins is different. Because of this, the value of the coin will differ. Typically we return 90% of the fine silver value in weight on US silver quarters and dimes minted before 1964. For US silver nickels minted before 1964, however, we can only return 40% of the silver value because the large amounts of copper alloy in these coins requires significantly more energy (cost) to refine.

Also keep in mind that listed above is the amount of silver for coins that are in mint condition. After several years in circulation, many of these coins often have a slight drop in silver weight, around 1-2 percent.

You can visit our website for a larger list of silver coins that we can refine. Additionally we have posted other information about more specific silver coins on our blog.

About US Silver Dimes
About Silver Morgan Dollars
About Silver Washington Quarters and Half Dollars
About Silver War Nickels


Posted In: Silver


Retailers Sell Sterling Silver Jewelry for Refining and Recycling

8-3-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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


Sell Sterling Silver Flatware & Tableware – Gorham Silver

7-29-10    Posted by: clientadmin

I have about 96 ounces of Gorham brand sterling silver. What is this worth?  From Eli in Rogers, Arkansas

Hi Eli,

Thanks for your inquiry about selling sterling silver flatware. While we are not experts in regards to the collectors or market value of specific brands and styles of sterling silverware, we can help estimate its melt value. First, troy ounce is the measurement used for platinum, gold and silver. Troy ounces are actually heavier than standard ounces. If you have 96 standard ounces you have 87.4999 troy ounces (1 ounce = 0.911458333 troy ounce). Today the market price of silver is $18.73 UDS/troy ounce.* With that being said we can offer 75% of the fine silver content by weight for sterling silver. We would recommend that you use our silver value calculator with the current silver price to determine the silver value.

There are a couple of other items to keep in mind. You did not specify exactly what types of silver flatware you have – I am assuming that you have a set or a mix of forks, spoons, and/or knives. It is important to note that knife blades are sometimes stainless steel, making them more durable for cutting. Also, knife handles are sometimes weighted so they fit more comfortably in a user’s grip. If you have not done so already, we would recommend weighing spoons and forks separately from knives. Though sterling silver knives still have value, it can be significantly less than spoons and forks.

Also, since you have branded silverware I would recommend you checking out this previous blog post about sterling silverware that was also Gorham brand.

*Note: the price of silver changes daily.


Posted In: Forum Questions, Silver


Start an X-Ray Film Recycling Program | Precious Metal Refining Blog

7-27-10    Posted by: clientadmin

We have YEARS worth of X-ray and MRI films that we would like removed and destroyed.  They are all in paper jackets on shelves in a storage room here in our office. Not exactly sure how much film by weight, but have enough to fill 4-5 full size pickups for sure. Please get back to me on how to move and refine this material. From Gene in Tallahassee, Florida

Hi Gene,

We do refine and recycle large amounts of hospital X-ray film like you have described. Since you’re located in Northern Florida, we could arrange these sorting and pickup services for you. This just makes things easier for you because we will bring all the necessary materials such as Gaylord boxes, skids and drums, so you won’t have to figure out how to pack and ship the X-ray film.

All of our medical X-ray refining and disposal procedures are done in a HIPAA compliant manor and we offer Certificates of Destruction and documentation of general liability. We have helped many medical offices, hospitals and laboratories clean out years worth of X-ray film from overstuffed storage rooms.

There is virtually no work on your end because we can take care of everything for you from labor and sorting to disposal. Also, because about one-fifth of the world’s silver is used in X-ray film, recycling these items is optimal for the environment. Hope we can help you out with your crowded X-ray film storage room.


Posted In: Forum Questions, Silver


Sell Old Watch Batteries | Precious Metal Refining Blog

7-22-10    Posted by: clientadmin

I have about 6 pounds of silver oxide batteries from watches. How much silver is in these? What are they worth? From Jennifer in Atlanta, Georgia

I would like an estimate on about 20 pounds of silver oxide, alkaline and lithium batteries. From Jon in Rapid City, South Dakota

Hi Jennifer and Jon,

Thanks for your submissions about refining silver oxide batteries, also known as silver zinc batteries. These batteries are used in many applications such as watches, hearing aids and other small devices. You will find that most refineries will only take silver oxide batteries if you have hundreds of pounds of this material. Since Arch Enterprises refines so much silver, we offer approximately $10 to $15 per pound depending on the quality and quantity of batteries you have to refine. So you have the peace of mind that these batteries are being recycled and disposed of properly and will receive a cash bonus for your efforts. It’s a win-win!

However Jon — we do not take alkaline or lithium batteries, since there is no precious metal available for us to extract. We would only be able give you a return on the silver oxide batteries. Let us know if you have any more questions!


Posted In: Forum Questions, Silver


Where Can I Sell Silver Dimes | Precious Metal Refining Blog

7-15-10    Posted by: clientadmin

I have about 710 silver dimes that were left to my family.  I’m not sure of the exact weight, but they are all 1964 and previous years, so I think the weight of silver in them is around 51.333 troy ounces.  Where can I sell silver dimes for more than the face value? Thanks! From Anthony in Fort Smith, Arkansas

Hi Anthony,

Thanks for your inquiry. US dimes minted 1964 and earlier are often called “junk silver” as they have silver value but little to no numismatic or collection value. Because they have a high percentage of silver content, they can be sold and refined for much more than their face value of 10 cents. Below are examples of the type of dimes you described.

Dimes Image

As you can see the Mercury Dime and Roosevelt Dime have different designs. However, both contain the same amount of silver approximately 0.0723 troy ounces. Based on a silver price of $18 per troy ounce, each dime would be worth about $1.30.

Keep in mind however, that some of these coins may have been in circulation for almost 100 years. Many undoubtedly have experienced significant wear and often have a slight drop in silver weight, around 1-2 percent. The 0.0723 troy ounces of silver is from a coin in mint condition. That is why recommend actually weighing your coins before sending them in as we calculate the melt value based on the actual weight. We typically pay about 75% of the silver value to melt them and put them in a form that can be returned to the industry. Hope this information helps!


Posted In: Forum Questions, Silver


Where Can I Sell Sterling Silver Flatware – Gorham Greenbrier Brand?

7-8-10    Posted by: clientadmin

I want to sell my sterling silver flatware set.  It is Gorham Greenbrier brand and includes 12 5-piece settings with a butter knife and 8 serving pieces: 2 medium size spoons, 2 medium size forks, a gravy ladle, a sugar spoon and 2 larger size serving spoon/forks. What is all this worth and where can I sell it?  From Karalyn in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hi Karalyn,

Depending on the condition of your set, you may have a number of options of where to sell your sterling silver flatware. The first thing we would recommend is to find out as much as you can about your silver tableware. Since you already know the make and brand is Gorham Greenbrier, look at the hallmarks and make sure you know exactly what they mean. Other things to look for are the age and country of origin.

Based on this information, you may be able to assess whether the set has much market value or if it is better to sell for its melt value. If you feel the market value is high, a local consignment shop may take them for you, but consider that they will probably take about 40% to 50% of the sale price as their fee to put your set in their store. They will also take into consideration quality, brand, collectability and the completeness of your set whereas precious metal refiners will only look at the weight and purity of the silver content available to extract.

So, if you don’t think your set has much market value or don’t want to deal with the hassle of taking your items to a store or selling on eBay or Craigslist, you can send them in based on the melt value. As a silver refiner, we will pay you on the actual value of silver in your set. You can use our silver value calculator to find the approximate value of your items at market price.

Take into consideration that knife blades are often made from stainless steel. Also, some knife handles and serving piece handles are weighted, meaning that they are filled with another material making them heavier and so they fit better in a user’s hand. This will affect the sterling silver melt value. We would recommend taking the knives out from the group and weighing everything else separately.

Also, silver prices do change regularly so we pay 75% of the fine silver content based on the market price of the day received and can typically process your sterling scrap silver and return payment within 1-2 business days. For delivery we recommend shipping with the US Postal Service’s flat rate shipping boxes. Please request the “Delivery Signature Required” option. Hope this was helpful to you!


Posted In: Forum Questions, Silver


What is Pure Scrap Silver Powder Worth | Precious Metal Refining Blog

7-1-10    Posted by: clientadmin

I have around 10 pounds of pure silver powder I would like to sell. How much do you think its worth? From Robin in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Hi Robin,

To determine the value of your silver powder, you would first need to know how pure the silver is.  For instance, fine silver is 99.9% silver, but if your silver powder contains other ingredients, then it would not be as valuable, assuming the other ingredients are not some other highly precious metal like gold or platinum.

If your silver powder is marked 999 silver anywhere on the container or label, then it is most likely 99.9 % fine silver and you can estimate its value by converting your 10 pounds into 145.833 troy ounces.  (Please note that Silver commodity prices are measured in Troy ounces and not the standard avoirdupois ounces that most Americans think of when they see the word ounce.  Many people mistakenly estimate silver value by multiplying standard avoirdupois ounces by the price per ounce and get a higher value.)

Once you have your weight converted into troy ounces, you can multiply this number by the silver exchange rate published on sites like CNN Money http://money.cnn.com/data/commodities/index.html. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s assume that the price was $18 per troy ounce.  Given this, the market value of your silver would be about $2,625.

Of course, this price fluctuates and as a refiner, we still would need to process the silver and find a buyer for this particular material so we typically pay 75% of the silver value by weight but could pay up 90% depending on the fine silver content of your powder. If it has no markings, we will have to run additional analytical tests to determine how much silver material is available to extract. Not only will this require more time to refine, but the silver may a much lower purity than the 99.9% used in our example.

We would advise that you send us a small sample of the silver powder so that we can measure its purity and provide a more accurate estimate.


Posted In: Forum Questions, Silver


X-Ray Film Recycling | Precious Metal Refining Blog

6-29-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


Sterling Silver Flatware from Grandma

6-3-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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


How to Sell Silver Washington Quarters and Half Dollars

5-27-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


What is Nickel Silver?

5-11-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


Pre 1964 Silver Dimes and Quarters

4-14-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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


How to Recycle Old X-Ray Film

4-8-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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


Silver Battery Recycling

3-22-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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

3-15-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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.




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

3-3-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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.




45 Rolls of War Nickels

2-17-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


Electrical Contact for Silver Refining

1-18-10    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


How does your medical x-ray film recycling work?

12-1-09    Posted by: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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: clientadmin

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


What is the best way to sell silver coins?

10-1-09    Posted by: clientadmin

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

9-21-09    Posted by: clientadmin

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


Refining Silver Flatware and Tableware

7-22-09    Posted by: clientadmin

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


Watch Battery Recycling

6-24-09    Posted by: clientadmin

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


Arch Enterprises is one of the nation’s leading precious metal refineries. The company is happy to answer questions about precious metal refining for items made from gold, silver or platinum.

I want to sell my platinum ring – it says 950 on the inside. It weighs about 1 – 1.5 ounces. How do I quickly proceed? How long does it take? Thanks. From Andrew in North Bend, Washington. Hi Andrew, This sounds too heavy for a ring, but the mark you are referring to indicates […]

CLICK FOR MORE>>

I have a 57 piece sterling silver set that includes 10 place settings of 5 each plus 7 extras; gravy scoop, meat fork, table spoon, pierced spoon, pie server, butter knife, and sugar spoon. How much would this roughly weigh, and roughly what is the value if I sell to melt it? Thanks! From Jeff […]

CLICK FOR MORE>>

Jason from Boston, MA has silver contacts on copper to sell and refine. Arch Enterprises replies to his question about how to send in silver contacts to be refined.

CLICK FOR MORE>>

See more questions...