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Have you chosen the right precious metals refiner for your dental scrap?


Working with a refiner is an important decision that’s built on trust and service. Finding the right refiner impacts both the size of your return and the protection of your precious metal materials. Regardless of which company you choose to work with, the more information you have, the better your overall relationship will be. Keeping this in mind, we have 5 questions you should ask before you choosing your refiner:


5 questions that you should ask before choosing a precious metals refiner

Question #1: How long will the refining process take?

The length of the refining process depends on the material being handled. High-grade materials like karat gold and silver, for instance, can be processed much more quickly than low-grade sweeps or carpeting. Typically high-grade materials are processed in 3-5 business days whereas lower grade materials can take up to 12 business days. The quicker the turnaround time, the sooner you get paid. Beware of a refinery that offers “same day service”. They may ultimately be taking shortcuts that are not in your best financial interests.

Question #2: What fees are you charging me?

You must have a full understanding of each and every charge related to the refining of your material – and always get everything in writing. Sometimes different types of materials have varying charges, for the same service. Refiners may try to entice you by offering a “flat fee” processing with no additional charges. The numbers may look good, but often it’s too good to be true.

Question #3: Do they have an in-house laboratory?

This is important for a variety of reasons. 1). It increases the processing time, so you get paid out quicker. When your material is processed in-house it can be received, evaluated, and processed within a few business days – depending on the material. 2). Your material is protected. When your valuable materials are transported and “changed hands” more than once it increases the likelihood that things can get lost. 3). Cuts down on the processing fees. Some refiners have hidden charges for outsourcing their processing. These more often than not fall on the customer, you, to pay.

Question #4: Do they use the latest technology to process your material?

Using the latest processing methods can mean the difference between a great return and an average return. When it comes to processing your materials, it’s important that they extract the most precious metals. A classic fire assay is the gold standard (no pun intended) method that has been accepted by the precious metals industry. With a fire assay, precious metals such as gold and silver are separated from non-precious metals by fusion. When performed properly it has an accuracy of 1 part in 10,000.

Other materials like platinum, palladium, and low-grade materials need to go through a separate process ICP (inductively coupled plasma). In a nutshell, ICP ionizes the sample to isolate certain ions and identify them. It provides a reading of the concentration of the precious metal elements within the sample.

Question #5: Do they verify the weight received?

Why is weight important? Basically, because the weight of your material should match what your refiner receives in. Knowing the weight of your material throughout the process will protect you. Read more about Why Weight is Important?

Knowing the weight of your material is the easiest way to provide fairness and transparency during the entire refining process. Reconsider your decision to work with any company that won’t provide you with this information.

In Conclusion: Be well informed before choosing a precious metals refinery.

It is not just about one company charging “X” while another refiner charges “Y”. The more information you have, and the more satisfactory answers you have to the questions above, the easier it will be to choose a refiner that works for you.

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