Precious Metals Refining: Quality Fundamentals

Purchasing 101 dictates that there must be a balance between the performance and quality of what you are buying and the fairness of the price. Unfortunately, in the world of precious metals refining and recycling the essentials of quality often remain hidden.

Most critical is the honesty and integrity of the precious metal reclaimer. Without honesty, all else becomes meaningless. Ridiculously low terms can be given by the company who distorts the precious metals’ content by the tiniest fraction of a percent. Sadly, the precious metals refining industry has seen more than its share of scandals, criminal proceedings and convictions for smuggling, illegal dumping of hazardous materials and outright fraud. Customers are encouraged to exercise a high level of diligence in selecting their precious metal refiner: financials, regulatory and legal entities, and both industry and traditional media should be consulted to ensure a proper investigation. Requesting records and certifications for safety, environmental and other regulatory adherence is imperative.

Secondly, even the most honest precious metals refiner must achieve accurate sampling and analysis. With clients seeking deeper and deeper discounts many vendors are doing everything they can to reduce costs of labor and raw materials, etc. Taken too far however, these shortcuts will reduce the quality of the service, which in precious metal refining business often results in improper sampling and/or improper analysis.

It is always highly recommended that the customer audit the precious metals refiner and witness the weighing and sampling process or hire a reputable third-party to witness on their behalf. A second pair of eyes and ears on-site helps to eliminate the human error factor and provides valuable corroboration of the calibration of machinery and data gathered, and verification that all processing and sampling proceeded precisely as intended.

If you have any questions or would like to chat more - please reach out to Brad Cook at

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Bars of raw metal.Five test tubes holding a variety of metal samples. - Sabin Metals - Precious Metal Refining
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