The MGS Precious Metals Blog

Manhattan Gold & Silver is an industry leader in precious metal pricing and refining with more than 30 years of experience. During our time in the business, we’ve found the topic of precious metals to be a vast and interesting one. Here on our precious metals blog, we write in-depth posts about the science of precious metal refining, historical and modern uses for precious metals, market news, and much more. Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay current, and discuss the latest posts on our Facebook page.

Understanding the Value of Precious Metals

June 15, 2011 22:53

People often wonder how to judge or evaluate the value of their scrap metals. What matters is purity and weight. Manhattan Gold & Silver utilizes two main means of judging a lot’s worth – hand testing or melting and then fire assaying a sample. But there are other factors that can influence value in separate markets.

When it comes to coins, for example, there is a difference between “collector” and “scrap” value. For instance, most silver coins with common dates have no value to coin collectors, but do have value from a metal purity standpoint. On the other hand, some coins are rare or unique special date coins, and they do indeed have a greater value than the content of the precious metal making up the coin. In a typical precious metal refining arrangement all coins are equal based on their purity and weight; but to a collector a “less valuable” coin from a precious metal perspective, may indeed be more valuable, due to its rarity.

In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that precious metals are commodities, and their prices can fluctuate greatly from day to day, so the value of your scrap can also vary from day to day, and the price you are quoted on Tuesday, may not be the same price you will get if you decide to wait until Friday to sell. We base our prices on the daily London Fix and pay out up to 99% of a lot’s value.

Finally, when you’re evaluating the best options for your lot, be sure that you understand how your precious metals stack up in terms of purity. Gold and silver are oftentimes combined with other more durable metals to make them stronger. Gold is measured in Karats (K) and the higher the Karat (up to 24K which is considered pure gold), the greater the value. Similarly, silver is usually either 40%, 80% or 90% silver. If you understand what it is that you have, you will be able to make the right recycling decision to suit your needs. Check out our gold and silver historical price charts to learn more about how values fluctuate over time.

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