When choosing a refinery to process your gold or silver you should carefylly analyze their expertise and services and your needs as a customer.
“Don’t be hasty and take your metal to a cash-for-gold company because they’ll simply sell it to a refinery at a better price,” says Terry Hanlon, President of Dillon Gage Metals. You should take the time to evaluate your needs to avoid compromising your return. While a full-service refinery offers speed and accuracy, they may not accept smaller lots. In this case, a consolidator may make sense.
A firm delivering precious metals to a refinery should assess the risks involved, however. “Evaluate the refiner’s longevity and financial stability by word of mouth and a little research,” Hanlon advises. In recent years many companies have set up shop in towns all across America, calling themselves refiners. These are often smaller companies looking to capitalize on the hot gold and silver markets and they actually do not have the equipment or, more importantly, the expertise to refine metals.
Compare the refiner’s strengths to your firm’s needs. If you accurately assess your needs, you’ll ask the right questions when talking with a prospective refiner. Ask what their fees are and how quickly can you expect payment. Ask what their verification process is. Do they conduct multiple assays as part of a self-check and balance? If asked, the refiner should be willing to allow you to witness your melt and take a portion of the pin sample with you for independent assay verification. If the refiner hesitates or refuses, it’s time to find a new refiner. Also, ask if they will re-assay if requested, and, if there is a significant discrepancy, will they enlist the services of an umpire to run a third-party assay.
In addition to asking questions of your refiner, you should also educate yourself. Take the necessary steps to make sure you are testing and weighing your material properly. Make certain you understand how to calculate the overall purity of each lot so you have an idea regarding the expected return before you tender your lot to someone else.
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