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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 1/13/2006 9:20:17 PM EDT
I've got a chunk of silver at home that seems to be right around 16oz. and I want to have it assayed but I don't want to end up paying almost what the silver is worth to have it done.

Any idea what it normally costs to have this done?

If silver prices go up, I want to be able to sell this chunk of metal for what it's worth.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 12:21:20 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/14/2006 12:23:34 AM EDT by pogo]
Pretty cheap, I imagine. How precise?

It is easy to dissolve in nitric and do an Atomic Adsorption test on it. Any chem lab worth its salt should be able to do it. A special test at a regular full services environmental lab might cost 50 bucks or so - I dont' remember, I was a tech and not in customer management/sales.

You might email/call Chemex or Handy and Harmon (sp) or any local refiners. There should be someone in the area speicalizing in buying gold/silver from local customers.

Chemex charges only about 10 bucks for a run of the mill fire assay on gold ore, so it might not cost a whole lot.

I would do it myself, if I had the time. Don't have the time.
Link Posted: 1/14/2006 1:54:23 AM EDT
Usually $50 or so. Talk to the scrap precious metal dealers in your area. Coin shops, jewelers, film processors and dentists usually have sources.

There are different ways of assaying. Fire assaying is ancient and still very accurate. Plasma can do many elements simultaneously. All but the most anal will accept AA which is usually cheapest.

Link Posted: 2/13/2006 11:33:42 PM EDT
I asked our lead assayer about this - He used to work for Barrick and other large mining companies in Nevada.

For large chunks of silver, they normally drill "pin samples" in a grid pattern with a hollow drill to get a representative sample to assay. Grid size depended on the chunk. He said yes, the silver assay can vary all over the piece with a chunk this large.

One of my classmates used to be a silver miner in North Idaho. He and a buddy found a chunk of Native Silver about 2' long, maybe 1-150 lbs. They cut it up in chunks large enough to fit in a lunchbox, and hauled it home one piece at a time. The piece he brought into class looked like a slab of bacon, cut off about 3x6" at one end, and tapered down to a dull point 8" away. Just small enough to fit in a lunchbox.
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