I have a lot that look like brass. We had a guy at the scrap yard going
when we dumped them(3000 lb) on the light iron scrap pile. " ya mean
that those brass chips are worth a lot more than light iron? " We
finally told him that they were chrome iron.
If you mean turnings -- chips -- swarf -- then I think that the
odds are vastly against you finding them in gold or silver. Both are
sufficiently expensive so:
1) Most things made from them are cast to near shape, with only
minimal machining being done to them afterwards. (A wax master
may be turned on a small lathe, and used in lost-wax castings,
but not the metal itself.
2) All possible leftovers -- cut off sprues, filing dust, and even
possible turnings, are re-melted and used for the next project.
3) You should expect to pay close to as much as you would for metal
of equal purity in an ingot.
As for brass -- that should be easy to find.
Copper is a pain to turn, so you are less likely to find that in
most hobby shops (and you are mostly reaching the hobby metalworkers in
If you *really* want gold and silver turnings, you should expect
to buy your metal in ingot form, and turn it yourself, because any
jeweler would be instantly re-melting whatever he produced, before it
blew away as dust.
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In my years of precious metals refining, I can't tell you the number of
carpets that were refined for values. They need not have even been in the
work area, just in the traffic areas of a shop. Carpet from behind the
counters of a store that had a bench in the back room were quite valuable.
They act as a collector for fine gold particles, which settle to the bottom
and won't vacuum up.
Gold and silver chips by the pound? Assuming gold @ $645/ounce (troy),
and 14K, in theory, a pound of chips (7000 grains, which is an avoirdupois
ounce) would be worth $5,486 in gold, plus the value of the small amount of
silver contained within.
Hope this person has a strong financial backing.
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