Scrap Gold Blog


Thursday, 16 June 2016

The ancient art of precious metal recycling

At Scrap Gold, we don’t just recycle gold but we also buy silver items, which are then turned into new products.

Because gold and silver do not lose their quality, they can be reused time and time again, and in the modern world, recycling precious metals is a great way to reduce the environmental harm that large-scale mining can cause – and of course, earn some extra cash at the same time.

But you might be surprised to learn just how ancient a practice this is. According to archaeologists who have unearthed a hoard of Roman-era silver jewellery in Scotland, the Romans were also in the habit of reusing their precious metals.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen, who have been studying what is known as the Gaulcross Hoard of silver pieces found in Scotland, wrote in their report: “Late Roman silver was recycled and recast into high-status objects that underpinned the development of elite society in the post-Roman period.”

The first pieces of the hoard were unearthed nearly 200 years ago by workers using dynamite to clear a field of rocks. They found a silver bangle, a chain and a pin but didn’t continue their search.

Now archaeologists have discovered around 100 silver items at the site, from ranging coins to broken pieces of jewellery and silver ingots that may have been used as money, Antiquity reported. There are also fragments of silver dishes and spoon handles made from silver.

The search took 18 months to complete and the team believes the items date back to the fifth or six centuries AD.

Archaeologists call a collection like this a hoard when they suspect it has been purposely buried or hidden. But if you have a hoard of your own of broken or unwanted gold or silver pieces, don’t just leave it hidden way in the back of a drawer. You can earn some great prices for precious metals at the moment, thanks to the current values of gold and silver.