Best Use of .925 - Smelt or Convert to Bars? (Midwest Refineries?)

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Kenscott
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Best Use of .925 - Smelt or Convert to Bars? (Midwest Refineries?)

Hello All,

I have been blessed enough to accumulate a small pile of sterling over the last three months or so. If the pieces were hallmarked, or had makers marks, I have tried to research them and separate them. Even with this, I now have a nice pile of sterling which I have acid tested.

What is the best way to convert it to .999 bars without loosing a lot of value to fees? Would I do better to send it to a smelting company like Midwest Refineries and just take cash value for it and then use this cash to buy 90% coins and bullion?

Also, has anyone ever dealt with Midwest Refineries? I see them recommended and I cannot use a refinery which only deals with companies seeing I am and individual and not a pawn shop or jeweler.

Thanks,

Kenscott

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:08
Eric Original
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Sterling

I have a box of Sterling spoons that I have accumulated as well.  I have no plans to convert them.  There is a liquid market in them at coin shops, jewelry stores, and ebay just as they are.  They are a perfectly valid form of silver already.   I'll hold them until silver is a multiple of today's price and just sell them as they are.

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BagOfGold
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Eric O...

Good plan!...I will wait until the price goes up & sell "some" of them!!!...

matrixspoon

Bag Of Gold

Kenscott
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Downside to Coins Shops and Jewelry Store

Why would you take them to coins shops, jewelry stores, or E-Bay where you are not likely to get even close to spot value?

Of the options listed, E-Bay is probably the most lucrative but remember that you are automatically going to take a 12% hit in order to sell on E-Bay. Also, look at where scrap sterling is selling on E-Bay and you will likely see it selling for about 20% below spot. So, you are likely to take an approximate 30% hit to sell on E-Bay.

As for coin shops, and jewelry stores, my experience is that they are probably only offering 40-50% of the value of the sterling.

This is why I am thinking about either selling mine or having it converted into bars? The problem is the best quote I have for converting into bars is a $3 per ounce fee in addition to shipping and insurance costs. Also, 10% of the total amount sent in for conversion is taken out as the initial fee.

SilverFocker
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I miss getting the 9.25 on the cheap

I was getting a hell of a deal on this stuff not more than 2 years ago......not no mo, those bars , spoon,knifes, forks, even at at small yard sales they are now watching out.

I will hold my box of this until I need it, as it will be the first to go.

Eric Original
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I guess I'm spoiled

I guess I'm spoiled because the best paying shop in my town pays about 75% of melt.  Maybe because they do a big volume of business?  I don't know.  I've seen them packing up a shipment to go to the smelter.  We are talking laundry basket sized bins of the stuff.  Several at a time.  They pay probably 10% more than anybody else in town.

I also bought all my sterling carefully on ebay about 1.5-2 years ago, always paying well under melt myself.  So the buy-sell spread involved never seemed too bad.  Sometimes I was able to buy it for less than what I could have turned around and sold it for.  I never went out of my way to investigate further.

I've noticed more recently that when I put in those same kind of disciplined bids on sterling I always get outbid by a large margin, so probably those days are done.

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Eric Original
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With all the variety, and the

With all the variety, and the monograms, with names and birthdays, etc, I kind of look at my sterling as my "fun silver".  I sold a little in late April last year (luck!), but the rest will probably be the last to go.  :)

Another reason why I've never been in a hurry to investigate options for it.

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Kenscott
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Best Recent Finds for Resell - Keeping

I found two sterling earrings at a local consignment shop. I watched them from weeks until they were marked down 75% and I think my total was $4.03 with tax included.

I brought them home and cleaned them up. I also noticed a signature on the back (almost always a good thing). I turns out they are made by a well known, female Navajo silversmith and go for about $65 to $85 on E-Bay.

I also recently found a bundle of silverware at a local Goodwill wrapped in plastic tape and marked with a $12 price tag. After digging into the center, I found one marked 1848 Pure Coin with a silversmiths mark. So, I bought the batch for $12.81 with tax included. It turns out there are 11 spoons and they are all from the 1800's and are made by four, different silversmiths. I now know each silversmith and their information. In addition to these, there were five butter knives which I first thought were just silverplate. The more I looked at them, the more I thought they were Sterling. It turns out they were 1907 Lunt knives with Sterling handles. I cleared about $71 off them off E-Bay and still have the 11 silver spoons. I am thinking about keeping a few of them permanently.

Amongst all the neat finds, I also have a Sterling silver bracelet from Princeton University. I know the silversmith, and the silversmith is a well-respected one. Also, the design likely makes it old. Now, I have researched the crest on the front of it and it seems to precede the more modern crests which I have been able to research. I am thinking it may be from the 1920s or 1930s. I wish I knew where to do more research on it. I think it may be my most important find but have no real idea what it may be worth.

Outside these finds, I have a lot of one-of-two set earrings picked up in the broken jewelry baskets at some local Goodwills and other things like necklaces, pendants, pins, and the like. Oddly enough, within about the last three weeks, all but two local Goodwill have removed their baskets where such things could be found. It seems they are not actively searching, and researching, most of their silver and asking top dollar. Two of my favorite ones actually ask too much for what they put out. Also, I am confident that one of the largest, and most active ones, simply takes their silver and sells it elsewhere.

Oh well, in regards to the original subject, I think I am going to hold my Sterling until a certain price level is reached and then send it to Midwest Refineries. Then again, seeing how I am recently unemployed after 22 years, I may send some now. If I do send now, I will likely take the monies and look for good deals on bullion and 90% coins.

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