Updated on February 4, 2016

Selling scrap metal

General information

What is scrap metal?

In the Kitco context, scrap metal includes gold, silver, platinum and palladium in any form that is not usually sold on Kitco’s online store. This includes precious metal bars that bear the stamp of any entity other than a refiner named on an industry-standard Good Delivery List, jewelry, watches, metal filings, silver tableware and decorative items, dental gold, etc. This section of the FAQs pertains to the sale of scrap metal to Kitco. For further information on selling coins, bars or Kitco Rhodium Sponge, see our Selling precious metal bullion products FAQs.

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Who can sell scrap metal?

Private individuals cannot sell scrap metal to Kitco. To sell us scrap metal, you must represent a business whose activities have a logical link with the sale of scrap metals. Examples of such businesses are jewelers, pawn shops, antique dealers, manufacturers, dental laboratories, etc.

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Can I send you scrap metal as an individual or a private customer?

No. To sell us scrap metal, you must represent a business whose activities have a logical link with the sale of scrap metals. Examples of such businesses are jewelers, pawn shops, antique dealers, manufacturers, dental laboratories, etc. As an individual or a private customer, if you do send in scrap metal, it will be returned to you at your own cost.

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What types of scrap metal does Kitco buy?

Kitco buys a wide range of scrap metal from businesses whose primary activity pertains to precious metals. To see a list of what we buy, click here.

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How much melt loss should I expect if my material is melted?

Whenever your material is melted, the impurities in it (including alloying metals) are eliminated. This leads to a decrease in its weight. A decrease in weight may also occur when gemstones, enamel and other imbedded metals are separated and retained in borax (a cleansing substance).

The average loss in purely metallic material (without gemstones) can be as much as 1%. This will increase for items that include gemstones. Materials such as gold filings can lose up to 30% of their weight, depending on how clean they are — the greater the contamination, the higher the melt loss. Melt loss can also vary depending on the presence and amount of extras such as teeth and composites from dentures.

To aid in the melting of substances containing palladium or platinum, copper may need to be added to dental melts. In such cases, the melt loss is difficult to estimate and will vary from case to case.

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How will Kitco test my scrap metal?

Kitco will scratch test your scrap metal by using a touchstone and acid. If the precious metal content of your material cannot be determined by this method, Kitco can melt and/or assay the materials at your request.

The assaying process is destructive and materials that are subjected to it cannot be returned to you in their original condition.

Note that Kitco's tests can accurately determine purity only up to 18 Karats. Material believed to be purer than 18K must meet the test criteria for 18K and have a recognized stamp. If the material scratch tests at 18K, but bears no stamp or an indistinct stamp, we will purchase the item at the 18K scrap price.

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Can I send in material just to be tested?

Yes, you can send material in just for testing. The fees for testing are as follows:

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What will it cost to have my scrap metals tested by Kitco?

If Kitco can verify your material with a scratch test, there will be no processing fee. However, if we determine that a melt and/or assay are required, we will contact you before proceeding. Following your approval, Kitco will melt and/ or sample your material before forwarding a sample to an independent lab for analysis. A breakdown of the material, fees, processing times and sample sizes is given below.

Material Charges per melt Charges per essay Minimum lab time Minimum sample size* (grams)
Gold $30 $30 Two business days 1
Silver N/A $30 Two business days 1
Platinum N/A $37 Five business days 1
Palladium N/A $37 Five business days 1
Rhodium N/A $250 15 business days N/A
Polishings N/A $50 minimum 10 business days 20
Dental gold N/A $50 minimum Two business days 1

*Sample sizes may change depending on the amount and type of material to be tested.

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How can I check Kitco’s suppliers and bank references?

You are free to check our references at any time. A full list of potential referees can be found here.

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Preparing and shipping materials

How do I prepare and package my materials for shipment?

To expedite the processing of your sale and to receive your payment with minimal delay, please prepare and separate your material as follows:

Material Notes on preparation, packing and valuation
Gold bullion
  • Separate your bullion by purity (14k, .900, 22k, 24k, etc.)
  • Separate jewelry from coins
Silver bullion
  • Separate your bullion by purity (pure 999 or sterling 925)
  • Remove bars and coins from plastic protectors, capsules, books, etc.
Melted bars (scrap that has
been melted down to a
single bar)
  • No special packaging instructions
  • All melted bars need to be assayed
  • Click here to see applicable assay charges
Gold jewelry
  • Sort jewelry into separate bags by purity (10k, 14k, 18k, etc)
  • Clearly indicate the purity (karat) and weight of the contents on each bag
  • Remove any stones and gems before sending jewelry
  • Kitco does not pay for any stones or gems
  • Stones and gems will be discarded and a fair weight for these will be deducted from the total jewelry weight (this does not apply to lots being melted)
Silver jewelry
  • Remove any stones and gems before sending jewelry
  • Kitco does not pay for any stones or gems
  • Stones and gems will be discarded and a fair weight for these will be deducted from the total jewelry weight (this does not apply to lots being melted)
Watches
  • Remove mechanisms and face glasses
  • Remove bands not made of precious metals
  • Bag watches separately from other scrap
  • Indicate the purity and the weight on each bag
Filings
  • Sift the material to clean the filings
  • Indicate the weight of the material on the bag
  • Dirty (un-sifted) material will have to be assayed for a fee
Polishings
  • Call 1 877 775-4826 before shipping polishings
  • Separate polishings from all other scrap
  • Place polishings in garbage bags
Dental gold
  • To avoid melt and assay charges, remove all teeth
  • Bag white gold and yellow gold separately
  • Bag separately from other gold scrap
  • Indicate weights on the bags
Unused dental material*
  • Bag separately from other scrap
  • Include manufacturer's certificate indicating metals present if the material is in its original sealed packaging
Silver-containing U.S. and Canadian currency coins
  • Separate coins by purity
  • Do not roll coins
  • Pack coins in bags/containers that are sturdy enough to hold them
  • Clearly indicate the weight and purity (or year) of the contents on each bag
Silver knives with stainless steel blades
  • Remove steel blades from knives
  • Kitco will deduct 90% of the weight before buying if blades are not removed
Silver candlesticks
  • Bag separately from other scrap
  • Remove paste/filling and other non-metallic material from the base
  • Kitco will deduct 90% of the weight before buying if non-metallic material is not removed
Silverware
  • Separate silverware into the following five categories:
    • Sterling knives
    • Candlesticks
    • Sterling silverware that has no solder (plates, forks, spoons and butter knives with silver blades)
    • Silver that is 80% pure rather than 92.5% Sterling
    • Everything else
  • Remove all wax and steel rods from filled silverware (like candlesticks, for instance)
  • Kitco will determine the approximate weight to be deducted if the material is not suitably prepared as instructed
Electrical contacts
  • Remove as much non metallic material as possible
  • Bag separately from other scrap
  • Gold contacts (we accept only gold fingers) must be in quantities sufficient to cover assay charges(generally, around 5 kg)
Gold filled
  • Bag separately from other scrap
Gold plated
  • Bag separately from other scrap
Placer gold
  • Kitco buys placer gold only after melt and assay results
Photo flakes
  • Dry photo flakes before dispatching
  • Kitco buys photo flakes only after melt and assay results
Batteries
  • Kitco buys only silver oxide batteries and not lithium or any other type of battery
Odd items (e.g. carpets)
  • Kitco buys odd items such as carpets from work areas
  • Carpets must contain metal in quantities sufficient to cover assay charges

*Please note Kitco does not refine nor purchase silver amalgam.

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Is it necessary for me to separate my material?

Yes. To accelerate processing times, Kitco recommends that you separate all your material (as instructed above) and indicate their weights clearly on the bags.

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How should I ship my materials to Kitco?

To ship your scrap metal to Kitco:

  1. Create a packing slip after separating, weighing and identifying your material. Note that you must have a Kitco account to create a packing slip and that you will have to enter your Kitco account number into the packing slip. You can create a packing slip online or call 1 877 775-4826 for assistance (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET).
  2. Print a copy of your packing slip and place it inside the package with the material. Be sure to indicate your Packing Slip Reference Number on the outside of your package to accelerate processing times. If more than one box is needed, please include a copy of the packing slip in each package and indicate on each package that it is part of a set of multiple packages by writing: Multiple Packages – 1 of 3, Multiple Packages – 2 of 3, and so on.
  3. Use heavy-duty boxes with strong packing tape and double-box your materials. Pack them so that items do not move around during shipping. Please do not overstuff your packages. Shipments that are received by us in a damaged condition will be refused and returned to you for a content audit at your expense.
  4. Kitco recommends shipping all precious metals by registered and insured mail.

For more detailed information on how to pack your products, download our shipping instruction sheet. Shipments that are packaged exactly as instructed with all the relevant information provided as requested will be processed faster than those that are missing any information.

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Where should I ship my material?

If you are shipping from the USA, you should ship your material to our Rouses Point facility. If you are shipping from Canada, you should ship to our Montreal office. The full address and instructions will appear automatically on your Kitco packing slip.

If you are shipping from outside North America, we recommend shipping to the office to which the shipping costs will be the lowest.

Please note that Kitco is not responsible for the customs clearing, duties, or transportation on any package. All costs relating to these issues remain your sole responsibility. Kitco will also not provide any letters of guarantee or credit.

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Making a sale

Do I have to complete a packing slip online before shipping my material to Kitco?

Yes, we do require you to complete a packing slip and include it with any material that you send us. By creating a packing slip and indicating the generated reference number on the outside of your package, you will ensure that we have at hand all the relevant information required to process your sale without any delays.

Note however, that you must have a Kitco account to create a packing slip and that you will have to enter your Kitco account number into the packing slip.

Click here to create your packing slip.

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Does completing a packing slip mean that my prices are confirmed?

No. The price for a sale can only be confirmed by calling 1 877 775-4826 from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. For further information, please see our Confirming a price FAQs.

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How much will Kitco pay me for my scrap metal?

Kitco's buying prices (see refining and scrap) are constantly updated in accordance with prevailing market prices. These are the prices you will be paid at the time of settlement, unless you have previously confirmed your prices.

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Can I confirm a price shown online?

Yes. You can eliminate the uncertainty of the market by confirming current prices for a specific quantity of precious metal. For more details on how to confirm a price, as well as all of our policies and procedures please see our Confirming a price FAQs.

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Can Kitco ever refuse my package?

Yes, there are three conditions under which Kitco can refuse your package:

  1. Kitco will refuse to take delivery of your package if it appears to have been tampered with. To minimize the likelihood of this happening, please follow the instructions listed under “How do I prepare and package my materials for shipment?”
  2. If the items that you send to us are found to contain metal contaminants beyond certain acceptable limits, they may be impossible to refine and we may have to refuse your package.
  3. If you are an individual and send us precious metal scrap. For more information on what types of items individuals and companies can sell to Kitco, see “Who can sell scrap metal?”

If your package is refused by Kitco, it will be returned to you at your expense (including the cost of insurance, if you desire it).

Kitco also reserves the right to cancel your sale if your metals are found to be contaminated. Should your sale be cancelled, you may be liable to pay an administrative fee and reimburse Kitco for any market loss sustained as a result of the cancellation

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What will happen if Kitco rejects my package after I have confirmed a price?

If we reject a package that you send us after you have confirmed a price, we will contact you to advise you of the rejection of your package. Your confirmed price will still be honored by Kitco provided that you advise us of the new shipping tracking number, and that Kitco receives the package within 15 days of the initial rejection. If these conditions are not met, your sale may be cancelled and you may be liable to pay administrative fees and market loss charges as described in our Confirming a price FAQs.

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Will Kitco contact me once my package has been received?

Yes. If you have completed your online packing slip, Kitco will send you a confirmation email upon receiving your package.

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Will Kitco contact me once my material has been tested?

Yes. Upon verification of your material, we will contact you to review the contents of your package and to ensure that your package is finalized according to the payment option indicated on your packing slip.

NOTE: An agreed payment option cannot be changed once a price has been confirmed.

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What happens if the weights that I have indicated do not match those determined by Kitco?

In case of any discrepancy between the weights you supply and those that we determine, the weights determined by Kitco will be applied. Should these be found to be less than the ones indicated by you when your price was confirmed, you may be charged for the difference (see “At what point will market loss repayment fees be applied?”) All the scales that Kitco uses are legal for trade and are calibrated in accordance with government regulations. You can rest assured that the final weights that we determine and apply are highly accurate.

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What are my settlement options? How will I be paid by Kitco?

Depending on your country of residence (or the location of your principal place of business), you may choose any of the following settlement options:

Mode of payment U.S. and Canadian customers Customers from other countries Service fee
Check sent by regular mail* × None
Check sent by courier* × $30
USD or CAD bank wire sent to a bank in the USA or Canada $40
USD or CAD bank wire sent to a bank outside the USA and Canada†‡ $60
GBP or EUR bank wireठ$60
Bullion products normally carried by Kitco None
Credit to the funds on your account None
Credit to your Kitco Pool account None

*Checks can only be sent for USD or CAD payments to US/Canadian residents.

If this is the first time that you are receiving a bank wire payment from Kitco, please fill in and submit a Bank Wire Information form.

For USD or CAD bank wires sent to banks outside the USA and Canada, Kitco will pay all intermediary bank fees.

§Payments in GBP or EUR can only be made by bank wire or credited to funds on account.

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Can I have the payment for my sale sent to a third party?

No, Kitco cannot send the payment for your sale any individual or entity who is not a designated account owner due to anti-money laundering legislation. Payments for sales from a Business Account can be made in the business name only. For Sole Proprietorships, payment can be made in the business name or the sole proprietor’s name, provided proper authorization documentation has been received by Kitco. For further information about nominating other persons to your Kitco account, call 1 877 775-4826 or 514 313-9999.

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Can I exchange my scrap metal for precious metal bullion products?

Yes. Kitco is pleased to offer you precious metal bullion products as a settlement option for your scrap metal. For details, call 1 877 775-4826 (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET).

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How long will it take for me to receive my payment?

It usually takes two to 10 business days to assay your products and verify their purity. Once your product is so verified, Kitco will send you your payment within two business days. Depending on the method by which you choose to be paid, it can take up to 10 business days for you to actually receive your payment. Exceptionally, in the case of U.S or Canadian statutory holidays, extraordinarily high market activity, very high-value sales and other unforeseeable circumstances (such as transport strikes or natural disasters), the processing of your sale and the sending of your payment may be delayed.

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Can I choose to settle my material at a later date once your representative calls me?

You can send your material without confirming a price. If you do not confirm a price beforehand, you have two choices once we finish processing your package. You can:

  1. Accept the market price that is prevalent when Kitco contacts you and you confirm over the phone or by email that you agree with this price
  2. Opt to receive a credit for the relevant amount of pure metal to your Kitco Pool account

Please ensure that all your contact information on file with Kitco is accurate and updated to prevent delays in processing and payments.

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Can I have my material returned to me?

Yes. You may choose to have your material returned to you at any time up until the point at which we send your payment.

If you choose to have your material returned before it has been tested, the following fees will apply:

  1. Return shipping fee (depending on weight and method of shipping)
  2. An administrative fee of $50 (if a price has been confirmed for your sale)
  3. Depending on how the market moves, repayment for any market loss that Kitco may sustain (if a price has been confirmed for your sale)

If you choose to have your material returned after it has been tested, the following fees will apply:

  1. A $70 handling fee
  2. Any applicable processing fees (i.e. melt and assay fees)
  3. Return shipping fee (depending on weight and method of shipping)
  4. An administrative fee of $50 (if a price has been confirmed for your sale)
  5. Depending on how the market moves, repayment for any market loss that Kitco may sustain (if a price has been confirmed for your sale)

Please note that:

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Confirming a price

What is a price confirmation?

A price confirmation is a binding agreement between you and Kitco Metals Inc. under which we agree to purchase your scrap metal at the relevant price that prevails at the time when this agreement is made. Confirming a price in this manner helps you to eliminate the uncertainty of the market. Note that all such price confirmations are binding and are subject to our terms and conditions. Failure to comply with these may result in you incurring subsequent charges.

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How does price confirmation work?

Because markets change frequently, metal prices may change from the time you confirm a price for your sale to the time we receive your shipment. You will therefore be responsible for any charges incurred as a result of defaulting on sale. If the amount of pure metal received by Kitco is less than the amount of pure metal that you confirmed a price for, you will be charged for the difference (see here). However, if we receive more pure metal than you confirm a price for, Kitco will buy only the originally reserved quantity at the confirmed price. The surplus metal will be bought at the relevant market price prevalent at the time of settlement.

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When can I confirm a price for my sale?

You can confirm a price for a sale by calling 1 877 775-4826 or 514 313-9999 between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. ET (Monday to Friday). You may do so at any time up to the moment when Kitco contacts you to settle the material.

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How can I confirm a price for my sale?

You can confirm a price by contacting Kitco's Refining Services at1 877 775-4826. A valid credit card (Visa or MasterCard) number is required for all price confirmations. To confirm a price for sales worth over $50,000, Kitco requires a 15% deposit on account. To know more about funding your account, see “How can I add funds to my account?”

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Does a price have to be confirmed for all sales?

No, it is not mandatory to confirm a price for all sales. If you do not pre-confirm a price, Kitco will finalize the material using the market price that prevails at the time of the settlement. If no prices have been confirmed, there will be no charge should you finally decide to not send the material.

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What are the terms and conditions for confirming a price?

Once a price is confirmed, you enter into a binding agreement with Kitco for the specified quantity and purity of precious metal. Any failure to meet the following requirements will result in the cancellation of your sale and the imposition of an administrative fee and market loss repayments. If you confirm a price, you must:

Kitco reserves the right to refuse a sale when the confirmed price is incorrect due to computer-related problems.

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