Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long will it take for my scrap to be processed?
In most cases, your scrap will be processed in no more than two weeks and be officially settled on the 2nd Wednesday following the conclusion of the week in which the lot was received. We reserve the option to extend the settlement turnaround time for any lots arriving in excess of 500 troy ounces. These larger lots are assigned settlement dates “To be determined” and can take upwards of four to a maximum of six weeks to finalize, depending upon size and time of year. Generally, however, these lots are settled in no more than three to four weeks, except during peak season which starts on or around October 1st.
Q: Why scrap with Jensen when others have lower rates?
We can sum it up in three words: dependability, accuracy and honesty. While it's true that some refining companies may offer lower rates, that doesn't necessarily translate into more money for your scrap on the bottom-line. This is a business of integrity and Jensen's got what it takes. We disclose all of our charges and conduct a thorough review of your scrap transaction for your approval at time of settlement. Essentially, we do our very best to make sure you are a satisfied customer.
Q: Why don’t you automatically assay for platinum and silver?
Silver prices are typically very low and platinum is typically found in low quantities in scrap lots. Therefore, in most instances, the return on either element does not make up for the cost of the assays. That's why there are separate charges for these assays. We are happy to perform assays for any precious metals you request.
Q: How do I know I am being paid for everything I sent in?
When you send us scrap, we must alter its form in order to properly analyze its value. This is one of the reasons we try to supply you with as much information as we possibly can about your lot before, during and after it has been processed. If you're a scrap customer, our hope is that you become a Jensen customer and look to us for your other needs. We work hard to earn your trust and don't want to do anything to jeopardize that trust.
Q: Do you accept amalgam or non-precious scrap?
No, we do not. Amalgam contains mercury, which can be dangerous in our operations. Mercury is easily vaporized when it's melted and may wreak havoc. If we suspect the presence of mercury or amalgam in your scrap, we will contact you before we begin the processing procedure to arrange for the return of your materials and refer to you a licensed alternative vendor. As for non-precious scrap, we're not set up to handle lots of this nature. Not only do these lots contain unusually high nickel chrome content, which jeopardize sampling accuracy, but certain non-precious alloys also contain beryllium, which is dangerous - just like mercury. In both instances, the shipper is ultimately responsible for the proper disposition of these hazardous materials.
Q: I like the company I have used for years. Why should I change?
In most business relationships there is a comfort zone that develops over time. The scrap business is unique in that the value of the material is not known until after it's processed. This leaves room for error and dishonesty. That's why it's so important that you can work with a company you trust. Sometimes it's a good idea to try someone new to make sure you're getting the value you deserve, but it’s far better to send an entire lot off for evaluation, than trying to “split” a lot into two halves simply because dental scrap materials are so heterogeneous in content.
Q: Do you do your own refining or are you a ‘middle-man’?
For the most part, "refining" is a generic term. While it's true we do refine some portions of samples, it would be more accurate to say we "process" your scrap. Here at Jensen, there is no "middleman" from the standpoint of doing the work required to determine the value of your scrap. We do it. So, to answer the question in the way it is most commonly asked, yes, we do our own refining.
Q: Why do you not pay in cash?
The primary reason is that couriers will not insure cash from our door to yours and the U.S. Patriot Act of 2001, Section 352, now requires all US refining companies to institute an Anti-Money Laundering program that involves a heightened level of scrutiny, documentation and documentation archiving for all cash-related transactions and the customers who request them. While this section of the Patriot Act was designed to prohibit and actively prevent money laundering and the funding of terrorist and criminal activities, we have chosen to limit our exposure (and that of our customers) to the ramifications associated with cash transactions in the post 9/11 era.
Q: What’s the minimum amount of scrap I can send in?
This can be a tough call. We have minimum charges that will affect scrap lots valued under $450.00. Talk it over with your Jensen Account Manager. He or she should be able to help you make a wise decision. If for some reason your scrap lot is too small and this drives the refining costs up too high on a percentage basis, we'll be happy to return it at no charge or store it in our safe until you have more to send in.
Q: What are my options when my scrap lot is settled?
We can provide you with just about anything but cash. We will be happy to apply the money to your account, send a check, or use the balance as payment towards other Jensen products that you may need.
Q: Why the disparity between scrap payments and alloy prices?
Precious alloys and scrap are two very different markets. Each process has a unique set of costs that's considered when we determine our pricing structure. Premium alloys by nature command a relatively higher price in the marketplace because of their level of purity and value. Scrap metal does not command the same price as "virgin" palladium or gold and therefore is sold at a lower mark-up.
Q: Do you use scrap metal in the manufacturing of your alloys?
We have never used scrap metal in our alloys -- not even before we were originally ISO 9001 certified and subsequently certified as ISO 13485. Our protocol for obtaining elements for the production of alloy calls for us to have approved precious metal trading companies and banking institutions that sell exactingly pure elements.
Q: I am waiting for the markets to increase. Why ship it now?
No one is clairvoyant with respect to predicting market moves and it’s improbable that someone could consistently pick the “highs.” That being said, we urge customers to routinely send in scrap in regular defined intervals, such as monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually. By observing this discipline, customers will essentially “dollar average” the markets over time by either sharing the upside in escalating markets or softening the downside in declining markets. Remember, if you want to speculate, they are many other ways to play the markets, without putting your dental scrap – which is essentially part of your overall working capital - at risk. Last but not least, the fact is, if you need money, it is always a good time to send in your scrap. If you do not need the money, and the markets seem low, convert the value to alloy. Remember: if the markets are down, so is the cost of alloy.
Q: Is there a way to process my scrap faster than two weeks?
Although it's not a common request, Jensen may be able to accommodate people with a real need to get their return in less time than usual. Naturally, if everyone asks for an earlier settlement date, we may not be able to oblige. The processing and assaying of precious metal bearing scrap does take time, and we will not process lots more quickly at the risk of inaccuracy.
Q: What is the best way to package my scrap?
Jensen will provide you with bags, boxes, jugs, and drums if you need them, including a Customer Notification Form (CFN) and tamper-evident, high security seals. We suggest that you package your scrap carefully to avoid leaks. Heat sealing or doubling and tripling the bags can also be done before applying a final seal, either your home made version or ours. Make sure the container you choose to ship the scrap in is the right container for the job. Use strong boxes and include your completed CNF. Make sure your name appears on both the inside and outside of the package, but never write descriptions, such as “Scrap, Gold, Precious Metals, etc.,” on the outside of your package for obvious security reasons.
Q: What is the best way to ship my scrap?
Most couriers will only insure up to $100.00 for small packages. If you package your material correctly, and do not ship it in a very small package, you can probably do well with any of the larger carriers. (FedEx, Post Office, UPS, Airborne). As a free service, Jensen provides insured scrap coverage limits of upwards of $2,500.00, provided that: (i) The pickup is Jensen-arranged utilizing either FedEx or UPS and (ii) The customer has amply packaged, described and secured the contents of each shipment and its container.