Refine & Sell Sterling Silver Belt Buckles

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.

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2 Responses to “Refine & Sell Sterling Silver Belt Buckles”

  1. Henri says:

    That belt buckle does have a significant amount of gold on it. The best way to remove the gold from the silver is to get it off the same way it was put on – solder. Just heat the belt buckle with a silversmithing torch while the pulling the gold with tongs or tweezers. Once the solder begins to flow the gold letter will come off. There will still be a significant amount of solder on the back of the gold letter which may be difficult to remove but you wont be wasting it by melting the gold to recover the silver. The gold is probably worth more anyways.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks for the advice for Rod, but please note that the belt buckle pictured is not the exact belt buckle that is referred to in the the question.

    But Henri is right — that if you can separate the gold from the silver it will probably be worth refining them separately. However many times we have found this gold to only be a gold plating, in which case you would only really be separating silver from silver.

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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.

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