Precious Metals Refining

4 Steps to Follow Before You Drop Your Metal Off at the Refiners

Most businesses that collect precious metals expose themselves to multiple layers of value loss throughout the refining process. The result is a far lower dollar amount for your returns. And a far higher profit margin for your refiner.

However there are 4 steps you can take to maximize your precious metals return value before you ever reach the refiner.

Step #1: Know your metal

Understanding your material and keeping it safe is a vital pre-step in the refining process.

Theft can happen before your metal goes to a refiner. Here’s how to protect yourself:

  • Have a solid understanding of your metal type.
  • Sort your metal by type, component, or another way that makes sense to you. It doesn’t have to be perfect, as the goal is to have an approximate quantity.
  • Keep your metal secure. Think of your scrap metal as money, and store it as such.

Step #2: Logically estimate your returns

Prior to sending your metal to a refiner, anticipate your returns by calculating measurements and mass balance returns. If historical results are available, look for patterns and deviations.

Your goal is to be as informed as possible and to minimize surprises. It also shows the refiner that you know what you’re talking about and that you will be looking for a specific return, based on historical data.

Better yet is to use a precious metals calculator to estimate the value of your returns based on the weight.

Step #3: Know who handles your metal

Your refining process should be handled by you or a well-trusted employee.

As previously stated, the chance of theft starts in-house. Don’t leave the tasks of selecting a refiner or handling the contract procurement to just any employee. If you can’t oversee the process yourself, choose a staff member with a proven record of honesty and integrity. Typically this should be someone with a lengthy employment history whom you would trust with the key to your company’s safe.

Step #4: Prepare your packaging

Packaging materials are an often overlooked way to maximize your returns. Start by making sure your containers or the ones the refiner sends you are completely clean and intact.

Then weigh the containers for gross weight, tare and net. Record the weights for every batch. Finally, make sure the containers are tightly sealed prior to shipping.

The Bottom Line

Maximizing your precious metals returns begins before you ever ship materials to your refiner. However, it doesn’t stop there. To learn more about making more money from your precious metals, download our 12 Little Known Secrets to Maximizing Your Precious Metals Returns.


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