What’s the Difference between Appraisers, Assayers, Smelters, Refiners and Recyclers?

When you’re selling gold items, it’s important to understand the difference between appraisers, assayers, smelters, refiners and recyclers.

What Do Appraisers Do?

Appraisers are professionals, ideally members of The American Society of Appraisers (APA), that you hire to research the history of the items that you own. They are concerned with provenance, meaning that your gold items have an interesting or significant history. If your gold ring once belonged to Cleopatra or Elvis, for example, it has collectible value that probably exceeds the value of the gold that it contains. Or if the gold watch that you want to sell is highly collectible, it would be a shame to melt it down by mistake.

What Do Assayers Do?

How much gold is actually in these Gold-plated circuit boards that Our customers have shipped to us for recycling and refining? That's what an ASSAYER Like  GOLD  REFINERS.COM  can tell you.

How much gold is actually in these Gold-plated circuit boards that Our customers have shipped to us for recycling and refining? That's what an ASSAYER Like GOLDREFINERS.COM can tell you.

Assayers are concerned with the metals that are contained in your gold-bearing items. For example, we are assayers here at GoldRefiners.com, part of Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners, LLC. By accurately testing your items, we can tell you the Karat rating of a gold item, whether it’s pure gold or an alloy, whether it contains other metals, and if those metals affect the value. And we can tell you exactly how much money will you receive for your items if you choose to recycle and refine them, and how quickly you’ll get paid based on how long the processes involved will take.

By the way, we won’t harm anything during our testing procedures – a simple, non-damaging metallic test is all that is needed. (In some cases, we rub your item on a stone or special cloth to obtain a tiny sample of metal to test, but that sample is so small that it will not diminish the value of any item you submit to us for testing.)

What Does a Smelter Do?

Photo of gold refiner pouring molten gold into a mold, used on GoldRefiners.com website. Credit: Slovegrove/iStock.

You probably think smelting has something to do with melting metals, and you are correct, in part. Melting is only part of smelting, which uses chemicals, gases, and pressure (not only heat) to extract pure metals from ores and minerals. Smelting is a sophisticated process that uses very advanced equipment to separate precious metals from a wide variety of compounds and chemicals, not only from rocks.

When the smelting process is over, we’re left with the pure metal – in this case, gold.

What do Refiners and Recyclers Do?

A gold refiner removes impurities and produces more refined, purer gold. The same holds true for a gold recycler. That’s a company that returns previously used precious metals to a new, useful life.

What is Gold Refiners.com?

We are a division of Specialty Metals Smelters & Refiners, LLC, a respected gold refinery that has been serving government agencies, hospitals and multinational corporations for over 35 years. We are assayers, smelters, refiners and recyclers.

Through our GoldRefiners.com division, we buy gold from consumers just like you. We test your samples accurately and we pay you top dollar for your gold, based on today’s gold price per ounce as determined by the globally accepted “London Fix” price or a live spot market price.