Facts and Questions

Why should I choose San Diego Refining?

We have built a reputation over the course of more than 30 years as an honest, dependable, and efficient refinery catering to all of our customers needs. We are able to process a wide range of material, and our time to settlement is expeditious. Please see the About Us and Refining pages for more information.

Does San Diego Refining buy gold or other precious metals from the general public?

No, we do not. We cater only to jewelers, scrap dealers, electroplaters, electronics firms and the like. If you are local and would like to find a place to sell your old scrap jewelry or what not, call us and we will be happy to pass along a recommendation.

How can I make sure that I am not being cheated?

We are keenly sensitive to the concerns of our customers as it relates to the proper handling of and payment for their material. First, we stand by our reputation as an honest and dependable precious metals refinery. Second, we are happy to have customers on site to witness the processing and sampling of their material. Finally, we believe in karma, and we have seen through the course of 30 years that those who lie and cheat are inevitably driven out of business.

How long does it take to process my material?

It depends on the material, but turnaround time on karat gold scrap, dental scrap, sterling silver scrap and other high-grade material is generally 2-3 days. The processing and analysis of lower grade material, like film, ceramics, and electronic scrap, can take up to two weeks, depending on the size of the lot and the nature of the material.

You must generate a lot of chemical waste. Aren't you hurting the environment?

Not at all. While the process of refining precious metals is indeed chemically intensive, we are very conscious of eliminating our impact on the environment. To begin with, all of our chemicals are stored in a tightly controlled room, which protects against any chance of secondary spillage outside of the building. Any fumes we generate during the course of refining are run through an intensive charcoal scrubbing process, so that no hazardous gases are released into the atmosphere. Similarly, the smoke from everything melted or burned is run through a high temperature air filtration system, also known as a baghouse. Finally, all of our waste is stored securely on site for no more than three months, until it is hauled away and treated by a certified hazardous waste treatment facility.

In addition, all of our processes are closely monitored by the appropriate local, state and federal agencies.