seems like each week several new "We Buy Gold & Silver"
store-fronts open in our area. The new store openings seem to
correlate with the "Spot Price" of gold and silver.
The higher the Spot Price, the more new stores open their doors.
of these stores have short term leases, and most will probably
not be around for very long. They are simply trying to take advantage
of the rush to scrap gold and silver based upon today's high prices.
before you rush out and scrap your family's treasures and heirlooms
BEWARE!!! You had better understand "How
the Scrap Silver Game is Really Played" because if you
are not extremely careful, the windfall you are expecting
may end up in the silver dealer's pocket, and not yours.
Note: Different countries have different silver standards,
using different fineness standards, and different markings.
This article is designed for silver using the more common
"Sterling Silver" standard, and silver that
is clearly marked "Sterling" or "925".
Although the principles covered here apply to other international
silver standards and fineness, as well as silver coins, silver
bars & bullion, and silver decorative accessories, dealing
with that silver is intended for another article.
are several key factors that must be considered when valuing silver.
fineness of the silver.
weight of the silver.
spot price of the silver.
percentage of spot price that silver dealers will actually pay.
is a 5-step approach to understanding "How the Scrap Silver
Game" is Really Played.
1: Determine the "SILVER FINENESS": Pure
.999 silver is a soft and malleable metal and by itself is too
soft to use for jewelry, flatware, or decorative accessories.
Rather the silver is mixed with a base metal (e.g., copper) to
strengthen the metal and vary the fineness of the silver. As required
by the "Sterling Standard", any item marked "Sterling"
must contain 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% base metal. No
more and no less. Although other countries may have different
silver standards (e.g., Mexican Sterling is often 90% pure silver,
10% base metal), British and US "Sterling" will
always yield 92.5% pure silver. Also remember that some silver
is unmarked and can only be verified by testing. (We can test
it for you).
2: Calculate the "GROSS ITEM WEIGHT": You
must understand that only the silver has value. There is no silver
value to metal pins, metal clasps, stones, etc. The dealer will
literally rip all such non-silver apart and weigh only the silver
content. Once it's ripped apart, the silver's intrinsic value
is gone so be 100% certain that you are ready to let the item
go before proceeding. And remember to take the stones because
they may have a separate value.
Spot Price is quoted in Troy Ounces. However, many non-jeweler's
scales will yield "Avoirdupois Ounces" which
are different from Troy Ounces. Since silver spot prices are quoted
in "Troy Ounces", you will need to convert the
"Gross Item Weight" from Avoirdupois Ounces to
Troy Ounces using a conversion factor. This will yield the "Gross
Item Weight" of your items in Troy Ounces.
Ounces apply when dealing with larger volumes or amounts of silver.
But when dealing with jewelry, prices are often quoted in "Pennyweights"
or "Grams". Jeweler's scales will display "Pennyweights
(dwts)" and/or "Grams (g.)" but, if
you are not using such a scale, you will have to do a little basic
math to convert the Gross Item Weight to Pennyweights or Grams.
3: Calculate the ".999 SILVER WEIGHT": As
mentioned in Step 1, silver is combined with another stronger
metal to enhance its strength. To determine the amount of pure
.999 Silver Weight, multiply the Gross Item Weight in Step 2 by
the "Silver Fineness" percentage in Step 1.
4: Calculate the "GROSS SILVER VALUE": Like
the stock market, the spot price of silver is constantly fluctuating.
To determine the "Gross Silver Value", multiply
the number of pure .999 silver Troy Ounces, Pennyweights, or Grams
in Step 3, times the current "Silver Spot Price"
per Troy Ounce, Pennyweight, or Gram. This will yield the "Gross
5: Calculate the "NET SILVER VALUE": Steps
1-4 are relatively easy to calculate. Step 5 is the trickiest
step of all, this is where the "Smoke & Mirrors"
usually occurs, and this is where most people who don't understand
how the "Silver Game" is played get taken advantage
you plan on melting and refining the silver yourself, the refinery
will have to make a profit, and any middlemen (i.e., the silver
dealers) must also make a profit. So you will NEVER receive
the "Gross Silver Value" in Step 4 above. Rather,
you will receive a "discounted" amount based upon the
dealer's "Percent of Spot Price Payment Factor",
which factors in expenses and profits for any middlemen left in
is the Key Point: Most silver dealers will never tell you
what their "Percent of Spot Price Payment Factor"
is. And most individuals new to the scrap silver game don't
understand what factor to expect, and don't ask what factor was
applied. And this is where the silver dealer has the advantage.
a typical transaction, you bring your silver to the silver dealer.
The silver dealer will perform their own 5-Step calculations,
and then simply make you an outright cash offer of what they are
willing to pay. You can accept their first offer, reject it, or
make a counter-offer. But since most people don't know how the
silver game is played, most accept the first offer on the table.
And the silver dealers know this.
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summary, silver dealers are not all the same. They all claim to
pay more than anyone else and dealer payment factors can vary
by 25%-50% ... or more ... for the same merchandise! It
is imperative that you locate the silver dealer that will pay
you the highest "Percent of Spot Price" possible.
Today is a great time to sell your un-needed silver but, if you
fail to learn how the "Silver Game" is played,
you could end up losing literally thousands of dollars. Don't
let this happen to you.
because of our knowledge of the silver selling process and our
higher selling volume, we can negotiate a higher selling price
for your precious metals than you could achieve on your own. If
you feel that you could use our help, or if you have any questions,
call us at (215)-264-4304.