With Scrap Silver Jewelry
It’s becoming more and more difficult to convince people to part with their cash for a worthy cause. And who can blame them? The prices for gas, food and other necessities continue to increase at a dizzying pace. However, these same increases are reflected in the price of Silver. Everyone talks about gold prices while Silver has actually been outperforming gold, on a percentage basis, for about three years.
Before we had recycling services picking up newspapers, aluminum cans, glass, etc. at our door various organizations from Scout Troops to Churches were constantly promoting drives collecting and converting what once was waste into dollars. The logistics were formidable to say the least. Strong arms, pickup trucks and storage areas were the order of the day. Not fun by any stretch. So, wouldn’t it be sweet to promote a drive for scrap that could be picked up, or better yet, be dropped off in a small Ziploc baggie? After all, can you imagine a jewelry box or a dresser drawer in America today without a discarded piece of Sterling Silver Jewelry? Whether it’s a little broken chain, mangled ring or something that’s never worn at all. How about one earring instead of a pair? That must be just as common as one sock. Individually these bits and pieces do not have a lot of value but collectively they can and will generate cash for your cause.
Most Silver Jewelry is the real thing. So promote jewelry donations but don’t discourage others from donating heavier items such as tableware, serving platters and other decorative pieces.
Tips & Pitfalls
Create a theme. "The Silver LiПing Drive." Just use your imagination.
Your group is probably going to be the first organizing this in your area. That’s a good thing. Anyone tired of silent auctions yet? And, your volunteers are going to be asking for scrap!
Don’t limit your donor base. Aunt Betty in Duluth can put her donations in a bubble envelope and mail it to California.
The collected Sterling Silver is going to be shipped to a refiner for conversion into dollars and your group is going to pay the shipping charges. Make certain any heavy pieces flatware, tableware, candle holders, etc. are all stamped .925. Although it’s not a guarantee, that will have to do unless you’re lucky enough to have an expert in the organization. You do not want to pay for shipping worthless plated silver items.
Should any of the donors offer to contribute jewelry that’s as black as coal please accept it. That, along with the .925 hallmark, is pretty much a sure thing. Neglected .925 Sterling Silver Jewelry does turn black.
This is important: Instruct the people that are collecting the jewelry to have the donor describe the item donated, state their own value and sign or initial any receipt that you give them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do we need to collect to make the project worthwhile?
Set your goals high. Take the time needed to gather a substantial amount. A minimum of 3 Kilos or roughly 6 pounds should be your low end goal. Don’t freak out here. Silver is heavy and you’ll be surprised how fast it adds up. However, keep in mind that .925 or 92.5 Sterling is being collected and refiners pay based on .999 or Fine Silver. Deduct the 7.75% in alloy. Other deductions are soldering points on the jewelry. Solder has about half the content of Sterling in order to melt faster. Semi-Precious Stone Silver Jewelry is fine to accept. The stones will be deducted from the weight but they are very light. If any sterling dinner knives are donated you can figure the handles are probably weighted with lead. Also, the refiner is going to deduct around 5% for their profit.
I like the concept. How do I sell the idea to my organization?
What will our start up costs be?