Prices Paid For Dental Scrap?

baidaho

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I owned a pawn shop for a few years and have bought plenty of gold and silver. I am thinking about branching out into buying dental scrap and making calls on the local dentists offices and see if I can make an offer on their scrap dental.

I have been trying to do some research on the best way to go about this. The refinery I send my product to charges me $150 to separate the metals and told me most of his clients who buy scrap dental send in 500 grams at a time.

I also did some research online and I found a lot of refineries socialite dentists sending their products into them. Some buyers go to the dentists office and break up and separate the metals and test them on the spot and make an offer. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZJCCDLGVzA

One question I have is how could they test the silver scrap for how much Plat and palladium is present?

I saw another scrap buyer who says he pays $4 per gram for silver dental scrap. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcvrvAzmE4I

I am confused here. I have been trying to research online exactly what is in silver scrap or amalgam and it does not mention gold, Platinum or palladium:

"Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. Approximately 50% of dental amalgam is elemental mercury by weight."

That does not sound like it is worth $4 a gram.

I can see where silver caps and crowns may be worth that. I believe those may be as much as 30% gold.

Is there anyone out there that has found any formulas that would be willing to share? Has anyone found numbers that work for buying filling and silver crowns?

I am comfortable buying gold dental scrap. I can test that like any other gold and see the percentage. I am not ready to start handing over money for silver dental yet though. I would sure appreciate some help. Thanks in advance.
 

baidaho

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I may be wrong here, but as I research more, I think there may be two types of silver colored dental scarp: "amalgam or fillings" and " the alloys used to make crowns, bridges and appliances". The fillings most likely do not have gold, plat and palladium in them and a crown mostly will be at least 9 karat.

Does this sound about right?
 

Lou

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Yes, but there is a third type that is cobalt and a fourth type that is chromium and of course easily detected titanium. Until you know dental alloys well, proceed with caution.
 

jimdoc

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The Pawnbrokers Guide to Testing Metals


http://goldrefiningforum.com/phpBB3/download/file.php?id=1765
 

baidaho

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This is my idea so far. I smash the teeth and separate the metals. I then simply do and acid test for gold and make an offer based on that. If other metals show up at the refinery it is an added bonus. I make a good high offer for the gold content because I know there may be more.

I be completely honest with the seller and let them know there is X amount of gold here and my offer is this. I tell them I am offering a high because I know there may may be some more metals.

That is being safe. I am concerned I may be outbid by other buyers that are willing to take a risk on the other metals though.

Is there a way to test for other metals at the dentist office?
 

baidaho

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jimdoc said:
The Pawnbrokers Guide to Testing Metals


http://goldrefiningforum.com/phpBB3/download/file.php?id=1765


Very helpful. Thank you. :) But he pretty much says the same thing I new and that is it is hard to test.

I go back to original question. Does anyone have a flat rate or a test that works for them? The guy in the video link I provided says he pays $4 a gram for silver dental scrap.
 

Palladium

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Dental scrap is tricky like Lou said. I've had several of my customers get stuck while dealing with it. But just doing a field test to confirm the presence of a element still wont give you the amount or make up of the item.
I guess you could use a xrf. Don't know! I don't buy it, i only refine it! :mrgreen:
 

upcyclist

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Palladium said:
Don't know! I don't buy it, i only refine it! :mrgreen:
I think that would be my approach, in a slightly different way: toll refining. I sure don't know enough to buy it outright. Then again, I'd need to be comfortable with mercury before I even considered it.
 

rickbb

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Most dentists sell their PM scrap back to the same lab that made them. They know exactly what is and is not in them.

I've asked my dentist if he was interested in letting me toll refine the gold ones, he wasn't. He keeps the interesting ones, (or at least what an dentist would consider interesting), for his collection and sells the rest back to the lab he uses.

Shame really because he said he has a couple of quart jars full of old gold crowns.
 

justinhcase

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I find the nice dental alloys tend to be more pliable than the Nickel or chromium alloys ,which tend to be very brittle.
If it is gold in colour or bends easily then I find them very nice.
Some of the cheaper alloys have a gold finish but the main alloy still seems to brake easily.
You can not use complicated test's at an auction, but you can give them a bit of a twist when no one is looking. :D
 

4metals

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Be careful and wear gloves handling any used dental appliance in a dentist's office. AIDS can be transmitted through dental scrap, I always incinerate it or heat it to a red heat with a torch before working with it.

Every refiner will melt the material with the proper flux and sample it for payment. Even in a refinery the presence of mixed metals, some high melting temperature metals, and some low temperature melting metals, makes it very difficult to get a homogeneous sample. Dental may be one of the most difficult materials to sample properly, just because you can melt it all together into a bar, doesn't necessarily mean the bar is the same assay one side to the other.
 

nickvc

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4metals advice is as usual spot on, when you have PGMs in a bar in any reasonable percentage getting a homogeneous melt is very difficult as the PGMs tend to stratify if they can , if you are drilling to take samples drill all the way through the bar at least twice and have multiple assays done and take an average so long as the samples are reasonably close in results.
 

4metals

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Most refiners add copper to the melt until the results come out consistent. They don't drill, instead they shot it into water and sample multiple grains until the results are consistent. If the results are inconsistent, they remelt with more copper.

The downside to this is if the PM percentages drop off enough the major refiners pay out at a lower rate. (Or try to, some negotiation may be required!) But they were having discrepancies with assays between the smaller collector refineries and the major refineries when the dental material is melted with little or no copper.
 

4metals

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I've heard the low melting point metals like Gallium but the majors complain of Nickel and Chromium being the metals screwing up the melts. Their logic could be why even mention Rhodium and Iridium if they have no intention of paying on them anyway!
 
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