Glossary

assay: The fire assay process is a miniature refining process on multiple samples to determine the precious metal content.

alloyed: Refers to the "mixing" of different metals with Gold to increase hardness and/or change the color. Two or more metals are melted together, resulting in an alloy.

base metal: Any metal that is non-precious such as copper, zinc, iron or nickel.

environmentally-friendly: does not cause harm to the environment

fire assay: The fire assay process is a miniature refining process on multiple samples to determine the precious metal content.

gold: A yellow-colored precious metal that is very soft when pure (24 Kt.). Gold is the most malleable (hammerable) and ductile (able to be made into wire) metal. Gold is alloyed (mixed with other metals, usually silver and copper) to make it less expensive and harder. The purity of gold jewelry is measured in karats.

gram: Unit of weight in the metric system, based on the weight of one cubic centimeter of water. One kilogram, or 1000 grams, = 2.2046 pounds. (31.103 grams = 1 Troy ounce).

hallmark: the marking on a piece of jewelry or other precious metal item that determines its metal makeup. Examples are 14K, PT950, and Sterling

karat: Indicates the amount of pure gold present in a metal. 18K yellow gold consists of 75% gold and 25% other metals; these are usually copper and silver. 14K yellow gold consists of 58% gold and 42% other metals.

metal markets: The price of gold and other precious metals fluctuate on a daily basis. Our payouts are affected by the metal market rates. Learn how precious metal market prices are set daily.

middle man: someone between you and the refiner; an intermediary or agent between two parties; a dealer, agent, or company intermediate between the producer of goods and the retailer or consumer

palladium: A white, precious metal in the platinum family, used in dentistry, jewelry, and chemical and electrical equipment. Can be used to make white gold, without causing the stress corrosion that can happen in nickel alloys. Palladium does not tarnish at ordinary temperatures and is used (alloyed with gold) to make jewelry.

pawn shop/pawn broker: one who lends money on the security of personal property pledged in his keeping

platinum: A white metallic element, popular in jewelry making. In it's pure form, it is soft and malleable. Hardness is noticeably affected by rolling and heat-treating, also by the presence of impurities, even in small amounts. Alloys containing 10% iridium or 5% ruthenium possess hardness and working qualities highly desirable in jewelry making, and are known as "hard platinum."

recycling: the act of re-using something; making something old new again

refining: the process used to free precious metal from base metals, impurities or unwanted material

precious metal mining: The jewelry industry relies heavily upon mining companies to generate source materials for their products, but this is not good for the Earth. In fact, the production of one beautiful gold ring will generate five tons of environmental waste, contaminating water and lands which endangers the health and lives of humans and animals.

precious metal scrap: Metals prized because of chemical and physical properties such as resistance to corrosion, hardness, strength and beauty. Common precious metals used for making jewelry are platinum, gold, silver and palladium.

silver: A metallic element, used in jewelry, coinage, dentistry, photography, etc. It is the whitest of metals, harder than gold, softer than copper, more malleable and ductile than any metal except gold, and probably the best conductor of heat and electricity.

white gold: An alloy of gold, with nickel or palladium having a pale platinum-like color. Its white color is obtained from the other elements that are added to the alloy, normally silver, platinum and palladium. White gold is hallmarked based on its level of purity. It is often used as a setting for diamond jewelry.

XRF: X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Spectrometry is a non-destructive analytical technique used to identify and determine the concentrations of elements present in your scrap. The spectrometer measures the individual component wavelengths of the fluorescent emission produced by a sample when irradiated with X-rays. XRF is used when hallmarks are not visable on the precious metal.

yellow gold: The most popular gold alloy. An alloy of gold, silver, copper and sometimes zinc. It is a highly sought-after precious metal in jewelry, in sculpture, and for ornamentation since the beginning of recorded history. Gold is dense, soft, shiny and the most malleable and ductile pure metal known. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without rusting in air or water.