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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who Will Buy Sterling Silver for Scrap Value - Update Regarding Refineries

I've posted a few articles regarding selling sterling for scrap but most were written when the commodity price of silver was much lower than it is now. Since the price of silver has increased dramatically during the past year or two (2010-2011), I've gained new insight and experience regarding selling silver for scrap.

It appears that the best price for your scrap silver will be obtained from a business that actually does the refining. It is not unusual to find a refinery who will pay 90% of the world spot price for silver. There is a catch - many of these refineries only do business with other businesses and do not offer their services to retail customers. So, you may have to search around to find a refinery to work with you.

You should also be aware that you will have to trust the refinery to do the right thing. Once they refine your sterling, they will produce some sort of report regarding the weight and purity of the items you handed over to them. They should tell you:
  • The weight before refining
  • The weight after refining
  • The purity of the silver
If you disagree with their assessment, it may be too late to do anything about it - it's already been melted!

Here are some things to remember:
  • Sterling is 92.5% silver content by weight.
  • Knives and similar "hollow handle" pieces are about 15% sterling by weight (this is just an educated guess).
  • Some pieces, such as candlesticks, may contain cement "weighting" material inside - sterling content may be relatively small.
  • Silver plate pieces have very little silver content.
If you want to pursue a relationship with a refinery, submit one or two small batches for refining first. Look at the results and see if they agree with your estimate. Understand any deviations. Once you feel comfortable with a business, you can submit larger batches of sterling for melt down.

You'll see some ads at the top of the screen. Scroll right and you'll probably see several ads from refineries. Google attempts to display ads from businesses in your general location.

You might also try searching. In the Google search box on the right of this screen, enter "silver gold refinery refining". You might add the name of your city to the search. After you click the "Search" button, a new window will pop up. Check out the ads at the top and the right of the new window.

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