Is Dental Gold 16K?


Gold has been used in dentistry for thousands of years.  Higher grade gold is soft and would not survive a career of chewing, so dental gold is typically said to be around 10 – 16 karat.  This estimate isn’t entirely true because dental restorations use not only gold, but alloys.  An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals.  The original dental alloy is gold-silver-copper.  Since then, platinum group metals (PGM) have been used for their superior strength and their resistance to tarnishing.

In fact, some such ‘gold tooth’ alloys are silver-copper-PGM, using little or no gold!  These alloys are made in any one of thousands of dental labs in different combinations.  Refining a dental replacement means separating metal from non-metal, and it also means separating the different metals from the alloy.  A refiner who accepts dental crowns should be willing to specify how much of each precious metal is recovered.  It simply isn’t all 16 Karat gold.

Your Porcelain Fused to Metal May be Very Valuable


Do you have collections of porcelain fused to metal?  They may be very valuable.

Although Porcelain has no metal in it, it is being used to veneer an alloy that contains gold, silver, palladium or platinum.

And since there are as many dental labs out there, as there are ways to lose a tooth, there are many metal combinations being manufactured.  A refiner can’t tell you, for sure, what precious metals are in a porcelain-fused alloy without refining them.

A refiner can melt down and remove the non-metal material. From that process comes an ingot (a solid bar) of metals. After this we use a chemical processes to recover each precious metal, one by one.  It’s fun.

Keep your porcelain-fused materials, in a collection separate from your PRECIOUS METAL EXTRACTIONS?  Some of what you send to your refiner will be base metals. And some of it will be gold, silver, palladium, and sometime platinum.

George Washington’s Dentures

When Washington was inaugurated in 1789, he had only one tooth left in his mouth.  He had experienced dental problems for most of his life, and the replacements available were a source of constant stress and pain.

George Washington Teeth Dentures
click photo to enlarge


The surviving complete set of his dentures include a spring assembly to keep them suspended open.  So he had to constantly clench his jaw to keep his mouth shut.


They bulged out and changed the shape of his face.  On the dollar bill, you’ll see this  puffiness.  It’s the same on Gilbert Stuart’s famous unfinished portrait.  The dentist who made his dentures was John Greenwood.  When Washington’s final surviving tooth was pulled, it was gifted to Greenwood, which he kept in a small container on his watch chain.


Wooden dentures were developed early on in Japan, and continued to be manufactured until the early 18th century. Only the first wooden dentures were entirely wood.  Modeling was done in beeswax.

Were Washington’s dentures wood?  Were they cut from off his old cherry tree?  No.  Over the course of his life he has several sets, but the materials used ranged form human and cow teeth to elephant and walrus ivory.  While Washington would never leave home without his tooth scrapers and brushes, the ivory used would stain easily giving them the look of a wooden grain.

Accurate Precious Metals Analysis

Does your refinery rely on x-ray alone?

Core Scientific Provides Accurate Precious Metals Analysis.

Our precious metal analysis and melting techniques reflect the highest possible standards for accuracy and consistency.

The goal is to reclaim the maximum amount of precious metals for our customers. We maintain a high client retention rate due to our accurate process analysis.

Our in-house laboratory is equipped with state of the art technology, including the use of Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy and ICP Mass Spectrometry. We combine these technologies with tried-and-true fire assay for maximum accuracy.

Our competition’s fast and cheap x-ray methods can mean a margin of error of up to 2%!