Hatton Garden Refinery Opens A New Dental Scrap Buying Counter In Hatton Garden

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Hatton Garden Refinery is offering a dedicated dental scrap buying counter in Hatton Garden. This new business opened its doors on the 2nd of June 2014. Rising prices for two of the most common metals in dentistry; platinum and palladium mean that there is strong demand for this new service

What Dental Scrap Items Are Bought By Hatton Garden Refineryal?
“Hatton Garden Refinery buys all forms of dental restoration material - as long as they contain metal”, states Steven Fullerton head of operations at the firm. They can also buy lab waste and sweeps if they contain precious metals. “As far as dental scrap the rule is that the item must incorporate a metallic substance of some sort. For example tooth inlays can sometimes have a small amount of metal but we can still buy it”. Mr Fullerton further adds. The only materials the firm can't buy are those which contain mercury amalgam. “There is no precious metals in mercury amalgam what so ever, we don’t buy it, also mercury is classed as a hazardous material and we will simply send it back to the customer”.

How Do They Refine Dental Scrap?
Customers get a rough idea of what they are likely to get from the online dental scrap calculator. The dental scrap calculator incorporates an innovative algorithm. This calculates the customer’s price based the weight, prevailing gold price, and the type of dental scrap. Essentially they break the dental scrap down into Yellow or White. Yellow, for items that would contain over the average in gold – hence the colour. White if the item contains over the average in platinum, palladium and other platinum group metals. The particular item is then classified as clean, dirty or root. The complicated aspect, the calculation, is handled by an algorithm based on market factors and the past experience of the team at Hatton Garden Refinery (http://www.hattongardenrefinery.com/). “We have tried to make the interface as simple and user friendly as possible” With the average yellow coloured gold crown containing 3 grams of pure gold, according to Kitco.com and the average volume of material sent to the refinery standing at 90 grams. Clearly it is very important for customers to have as much information as possible relating to the pricing of their material.

The Process
Once the material is delivered to the offices in Hatton Garden. The team washes, dries, weighs and then grade the material. There is allot of waste material. It is important to get the items as clean as possible as many of the items have come straight from the dentist’s chair. Once wasted and dried, the items are graded according to the colour and material type, either clean, dirty, or root. If the customer is happy we pay that afternoon, states Steven. Or else they can opt for a melt and full assay or “fire assay” on the material. The company has a strong relationship with the London Assay Office, otherwise known as the Goldsmiths Company. They conduct the assay and the results come back within 5 working days.

Everything is Processed In-house
After assay the team at the Hatton Garden Refinery processes all material in-house. This is an important consideration for many customers as feedback from clients to the team has suggested that not all competitors in the market refine and process in-house. According to Steven, “The problems with dental scrap are manifold, compared to jewellery scrap, there are allot more metals contained within the dental restoration, they can be everything from cobalt to gypsum dust, even material from the grinding process. This means it can be profitable in the short term to assay and then sell the material to another refinery”. Customers in any business like control and want to have a good understanding of the processes and policies internally. He further added ,”If you are shipping to a third party this is a problem for many clients”

The Pure Metal
After a complex process involving refining with chemicals such as nitric and hydrochloric acid. The team ends up with ingots of pure material, with gold, platinum and palladium. All wastes throughout this process are dealt with by a specialist waste contractor licensed by the Environment Agency. The dental material is either sold on the open markets as gold for jewellery or minted into bullion bars. These are then sold to bullion investors.

The Marketplace
The market for dental scrap is small according to the team at the Hatton Garden Refinery. Although they feel that this is somewhat of an untapped market and the existing players in the market are perhaps not best catering to the full needs of the customers. Based on previous experience breaking into new markets such as the gold bullion. With just over 500 grams of dental scrap handled by the team on the day of opening, the 2nd June 2014. They are confident the new business venture will be a success.

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Dr M Mansoor Siddique
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