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The Scrap Pile
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Categories: Experiences and daily life; Jewelry; Commerce and business

Word count/read time: 369 words; 1-1/2 minutes

How simple it would be to throw all metal scraps into a pile and let the recyclers sort it out. If it wasn't for the precious metals that would be the easiest choice. But the scrap pile in a jewelry or similar shop is quite different. A handful of dust can be worth, literally, thousands of dollars.

There are companies that will cut a check for any and all metal scrap. Some will take just precious metals in any concentration or mixture and do the same. The payoffs are directly proportional to the diligence that went into keeping the various metals separate from each other. I fully recycle and refine the precious metals myself and send the other stuff away.

It doesn't cost any money and scrappers will happily avail themselves to acquire a small hoard.
Is it worth saving all metal scrap? Not from an economic standpoint because most is worthless to the average person but it is the right thing to do regardless of the financial gain. It doesn't cost any money and scrappers will happily avail themselves to acquire a small hoard. For the opportunist, it doesn't have to be owned or possessed. A fork truck can fetch $500 in scrap alone and a phone call can reserve a flatbed to take it to a junk yard.

While I had kept the various silver alloys in separate piles, it is one giant melting pot now. Broken, twisted, dented, obsolete, shavings, cutoffs, mistakes, experiments...they are all there and more. Instead the scrap is separated by worthiness, usability, desirability, and other obscure metrics. The worthiest will be sold and can be found in the Last Rites List.

There are many scrap piles. Gold and the other precious metals have one place. The unknown goes into either the gold quartering mixture or the silver pile. Whether gold or something else, the leftovers gets passed down the proverbial precious metal ladder. Silver is the last stop.

The scrap pile hosts some spectacular specimens from bowls and plates to jewelry and industrial waste. I wear a rescued JPL3 necklace as an education tool, kind of like a scarlet letter. Despite being substandard, it's a testament to my workmanship. Plus, it won't upset me if someone disses it because, after all, I already know it is a reject.

Posted by M: February 19, 2018

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