Shipping A Refining Lot
Advice to help jewelers get the best return
Note: This primer on when and how to send in a refining lot is adapted from the digital publication A Refined Approach: Tips for Capturing Precious Metals, Choosing a Refiner, and Maximizing Returns (MJSA Press, 2021). The book offers a comprehensive approach to ensuring you can effectively manage your metal inventory, capture metal waste, and prepare your lot for refining. It also explains the sampling and assaying processes, as well as provides an overview of witnessing (in which you or a representative can see the lot being sampled) and umpiring (in which an independent party is brought in to test a sample and settle a dispute). MJSA members can click here to download copies of the publication for free; nonmembers can purchase copies for $9.99.
When to send in a lot for refining will ultimately depend on the size of your operation and how much scrap you’re regularly generating. Smaller lots tend to cost more to process, so it’s often in your best interest to hold off on sending in scrap until you have a decent-sized lot or you need to replenish your inventory with fresh new metal, or need to improve cash flow.