Scrap Returns Made Easy

Returning your scrap to us for Rio Grande credit or a direct refund check* is as easy as can be and will really help your bottom line. See our frequently asked questions below.

*Please Note: Due to provisions in the Patriot Act, we cannot issue checks to parties unknown to us; all payees must have a Rio Grande account. We will create an account for you upon receipt of the appropriate tax documents.

Download Scrap Packing List
scrap sorted into bags
Make sure nothing in your scrap is magnetic

No Ferrous!

Grab a magnet and make sure that nothing in your scrap clings to the magnet. We accept only non-ferrous, precious metals for scrap returns.

remove all stones before sending

Stones Out!

We cannot process set gemstones and cannot return them to you; please remove ALL stones before sending us your scrap. Stones left in their settings slow the processing of your scrap and delay your payment.

sort scrap by metal type


Sort, label and weigh your scrap by metal type. Silver, gold-filled and palladium are weighed by the troy ounce (ozt); karat gold and platinum are weighed by the pennyweight (dwt).

insure your package and ship

Insure & Send!

To the best of our knowledge, USPS is the only carrier that will insure these packages. In order to protect your property, please insure it fully before sending!

What is my scrap worth?

Payment amounts are based on the current market value on the day we process your scrap return, regardless of when it was shipped or received. We do our best to process every shipment within five business days; however, please allow a bit of leeway for circumstances beyond our control, such as high volumes or lots that require additional testing or preparation.

IMPORTANT : Rio Grande reserves the right to physically alter metal scrap in order to determine the purity. Please be aware that your piece may be damaged or malformed during testing.

Please Note: Cleaning your scrap, separating your metals, melting small pieces of like metals together and clearly labeling your scrap before shipping significantly speeds the processing time.

What kind of scrap can I return?

We accept silver, silver-filled, gold, gold-filled, palladium, platinum and PMC® items.

We cannot accept gold-filled watchbands (due to the underlying substrate on these items), base metal, electroplating solutions, photographic processing materials or sweeps*. Please do not send plated non-precious metal jewelry; we cannot recover the precious metal from this type of jewelry.

IMPORTANT : One of our precious metal assessors will be handling this material with care; it MUST be clean and free of all organic debris (waste) and hazardous material.

*If you have sweep metal that you would like to donate to a good cause, please consider our Sweeps for CERF program.

How do I send in my scrap?

You will need to ship your scrap along with the scrap packing list. Fill out the form completely and accurately to ensure the most speedy transaction.

  1. Separate scrap by metal type. Package each type separately in plastic bags.
    Please Note: Do not use tape or any other adhesive to seal the bag—scrap can get caught or stuck and may be overlooked.

  2. Package all bags and your completed scrap packing list in a box, securely sealed, and ship it to us.

  3. After processing, you will receive a copy of your transaction by email (or USPS, if an email address was not provided) listing the type and weight of the scrap we received from you, the rate(s) at which it was paid and the total Rio credit or payment.


The examples below are separated by metal type and clearly labeled; these will be quick and easy to process, resulting in a faster payout.

metals correctly separated and ready to be processed metals correctly separated and ready to be processed metals correctly separated and ready to be processed sorted gold scrap metals correctly separated and ready to be processed


The examples below show various metals jumbled together, non-metal materials, stones still in settings and other random items; these will take hours to process and significantly slow payout.

examples of materials not ready to be processed examples of materials not ready to be processed examples of materials not ready to be processed sorted gold scrap examples of materials not ready to be processed

IMPORTANT : Domestic customers! To the best of our knowledge, USPS is the only carrier that will insure these packages (and only when they are sent Registered Mail). In order to protect your property, we suggest that you ship your package by USPS Registered Mail and insure it fully, regardless of its size. Keep the receipt until your transaction is complete. Whichever carrier you choose, however, please contact them for details about properly insuring your package.

IMPORTANT : International customers! Declare your parcel as "scrap." Should your carrier ask for additional information, the chart below, showing U.S. import tariff numbers, may help. (In our experience, the U.S. Postal service does not charge fees for clearing parcels through customs.) Please be aware that Rio does not pay for or reimburse freight charges, duties, taxes or carrier processing fees; please pre-pay all charges.

Scrap Content Tariff Number
Gold (including metal clad with gold) 7112.91.00
Platinum 7112.92.00
Other (sterling, Argentium®, fine silver, silver-filled) 7112.99.00

Send the box to:
Attention: Returns
Rio Grande
7500 Bluewater Road NW
Albuquerque, NM 87121

IMPORTANT : Please review your invoice immediately. Any disputes regarding metal purity, weight or payment amount must be reported within five days from the date on the invoice.

Returning your scrap metals is an easy way to recycle your materials and recover costs. Please follow the guidelines above to make this process quick and easy and to maximize profitability for your business.

Weighing and Calculating Scrap

Once your scrap is properly sorted and weighed, you can use our Scrap Calculator to estimate your approximate scrap return value. It's a quick and easy way to get a general estimate based on your weights and the current metal market.

With an approximate return value for insurance purposes, you can download our Scrap Form and fill it out. A fully filled-out Scrap Form must accompany your scrap return in order for us to process your scrap in a timely fashion.

IMPORTANT : Pricing shown in this calculator should be considered to be a guide only; final pricing will be based on the most current metal markets at the time your scrap is processed.

Please Note: All scrap must be clean and sorted; free of any organic waste, debris, hazardous materials and gemstones.

Estimate Your Scrap Return  Download Scrap Packing List

Two scales showing the same weight but the difference between troy ounces and avoirdupois ounces

1kg weight shown in troy ounces (ozt) on the left, and 1kg weight in avoirdupois ounces (avdp. oz.) on the right.

The weight of your scrap on your postal or grocery scale (which is normally set to avoirdupois ounces) may vary from what we report. We weigh precious metal in troy ounces. 1.0 troy oz. = 1.097 avoirdupois oz.


Scrap FAQ

Precious metal scrap returns are generally processed and completed in five business days after we receive your scrap.

Please Note: Completed scrap returns means the check has been cut and mailed, the credit has been placed on your account, or initiating the ACH. We have no control over transit time in the mail or the time it takes for your bank to apply the credit to your account.

Yes. Please put each metal type (silver/gold-filled/10K/14K/18K/platinum etc.) in a separate zipper-style bag.

Please Note: Do not use tape or any other adhesive to seal the bag—scrap can get caught or stuck and may be overlooked.

Yes, we can transfer your refund into your checking account, post it as a credit to your Rio Account or send you a refund check. Unfortunately we cannot apply credit to your credit card.

Yes, provided that the check is made out to someone known to us (i.e.: someone who has a Rio Grande customer number).

We do accept silver filings and swarf. We do not accept sweeps for payment, but we are happy to forward these sweeps to CERF as a donation, if you wish. Learn more about our CERF program.

Please Note: There is a distinct difference between sweeps and filings/swarf.

Filings/swarf results from work processes such as drilling, sawing, filing, grinding, etc. and are captured in trays, filters, tools, or on benchtops. Filings/swarf will be the same color as the metal it came from and is acceptable as scrap.

Sweeps tend to be darker in color than the metal they came from as they are mixed with polishing compounds, abrasive cast-off, dirt and other non-metal debris. Sweeps may be sent to Rio Grande as a contribution to our Sweeps for CERF efforts but are not acceptable as scrap.

Please package each metal type in a separate, sealable plastic bag so none of the scrap can fall out. Do not use tape or adhesive on the bag to seal it—this may capture some of your scrap and cause it to be overlooked. When placing your scrap in a shipping box, make sure all the ends of the box are taped so that if some scrap does happen to spill out of the bags, it will not fall out of the box.

Send your shipment to:
Attn: Returns
7500 Bluewater Road NW
Albuquerque, NM 87121

We weigh our metal in troy ounces. Standard postal scales weigh in avoirdupois ounces. We calibrate our scales monthly.

Yes, you may send in your scrap and we will create an account for you upon receipt in order to send you a refund. To create an account for US customers, we require a W-9; for international customers, we require either a W8-BEN or a W8-BEN-E.

No, we cannot split the payout for individual lots of scrap. Each lot of scrap we receive must reflect a selection of just one of the options shown on your Scrap Packing List. It you want to split your scrap payment, you must send the scrap in separate lots each with a separate packing list marked with the desired option for that particular lot.

Please remove any gemstones from your scrap, even if this may result in damaging the stone or item. Rio Grande does not buy gemstones and we are unable to return any gemstones present in scrap to you. Removing these items from your scrap significantly speeds processing time.

Yes, Rio Grande accepts vermeil (gold-plated silver) scrap. However, we only pay for the silver content of vermeil scrap. The amount of gold present is not economical to recover.

No, scrap metal must be free from any organic debris.