As a scrapper, you should look for the value in things deemed worthless. The artistry of scrapping is knowing where the value is hidden, and how to find it. To most people, copper seems to be the way to make money; “The money in scrap comes from the copper” says they. Well methinks differently. I have a newfound obsession with nickel. Nickel, Ni, atomic number 28 is a wonderful metal. It is found most commonly as an ingredient in high grades of stainless steel, in superalloys, and magnetic shields. The point is, its a damn useful metal thats just as important as copper, and lucky for us scrappers, much more valuable.
Nickel spot prices are currently hovering around 10 dollars per pound. Thats 3 times as much as copper.
Thats wonderful, you think, but what is the scrap price. Well thats just it. Scrap nickel is a hard thing to come buy and people dont recycle it often.
A scrap metal network is structured as such. You bring metal to a yard. The yard buys from you and everybody else. The yard sorts and stores large quantities of specific metals. The yard sells these large quantities to the largest bidder, usually refineries, or sometimes a second buy paroxetine australia middle man, who then sells to refineries. For a scrap yard to pay you a good price for nickel, they need to have good connections to sell the bulk nickel.  Because people don’t bring in nickel scrap often, the scrap yards don’t have current prices, or very good connections for that matter, to sell their bulk nickel scrap.
Near me, this happens to be the case. I happened upon some nickel alloys and thought I would sell them, but most of the yards near me would only buy them as a relatively low grade stainless steel. After I called around, I got to talking to the manager of a yard that had a decent connection in the nickel refining market. He called his guy, and then called me to offer me $5 a pound for my alloy. Now weather I was getting a good deal or not, I don’t know; but I tell you what, it was much better than the 2.55 per pound for copper I have been getting.
So, with a bit of luck, skill, and reverse engineering, maybe you can find some nickel and make a pretty penny….Sorry.

Anonymous February 5, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I have been scrapping for about 6 months now. But I have a hard time telling the metals apart. I usually have to ask someone around me what they are. So do you have any helpfull tips on being able to identify nickel? or any other metals for that mater? I do cary a magnent and that helps some.

Derrick Headen February 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Hi, I love the fact that their are still some good people in the World willing to inform others on how to make a honest and good living. I have been in the scrap business since April of last year, I do alright but I know I can do better. I am trying to find out what is nickel or has alot of nickel in it so I will stop getting ripped off. If you can help I really would appreciate it.

joe October 21, 2015 at 1:28 am

This is a comprehensive list of items that often contain nickel, but it is not exhaustive. Test the metal items you often contact.

Belt buckles
Bra hooks
Brass fixtures
Cell phones
Cello strings
Cigarette lighters
Chrome fixtures
Costume jewelry
Eye glass frames
Gold – especially white and yellow 10K and 14K
Guitar strings
Hair pins
Hand tools
Handbag clutches
Heirloom jewelry
“Hypoallergenic” jewelry
Jean studs
Kitchen utensils
Lipstick holders
Metal buttons and snaps
Metal items at work
Musical instruments
“Nickel-free” jewelry
Paper clips
Pocket knives
Powder compacts
Suspender clips
Watches and watch bands
Interesting fact: Expensive white or yellow gold can contain enough nickel to cause sensitization when used in ear piercing.

blogcoach July 6, 2012 at 2:26 am

I would also welcome help in identifying the nickel in metals. Thanks for this invaluable site.

Mirlaziz Saidov July 12, 2012 at 6:53 am

Hi, am doing sale of non ferrous metals including scrape.
have about 60MT of Nickel scrap with the total content of nickel 10%.
Besides, I sell, secondary aluminum, zinc and brass

If anybody interested to purchase or sell, please let me know


aaron October 3, 2012 at 1:59 am

i have a bunch of round solid nickel spools. i am looking to sell them. What would you offer me a pound

anthony kingston September 21, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Mirlaziz im interested.

Necole November 19, 2012 at 7:45 pm

I just found this website and love it! What years were Nickels had from real nickel? Thanks in advanced.

ScrapMetalJunkie November 20, 2012 at 10:24 am

Nickels are still made of real nickel! But they are only 25% nickel, and 75% copper! In Canada, they previously made their 5ยข pieces from pure nickel!

necole November 20, 2012 at 10:32 am

Then what would be reasoning for collecting older Nickels? I seen a guy at gas station sorting nickels, I assumed the metal had changed. Maybe he was looking for buffalo nickels or something.

ScrapMetalJunkie November 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm

Was this in Canada? In the USA, the nickels made in 1942-1945 were made of 35% silver because of the war effort. Or maybe he was looking for buffalo nickels.

john September 4, 2013 at 7:17 am

i have bunch of blanke keys what is it worth

Steven Hix June 7, 2014 at 2:12 am

I enjoy your site. Very informative and helpful. I lost so much money when I started scraping 5 years ago. I would get ripped off at scrap yards because I had no clue what I was doing. I wish I would have known about your site then. I went from starving to making bank in 5 years. I paid my dews believe me. It’s very hard work. The sky is the limit I believe. I make a very respectable living scraping now. Paid cash for my home. I love it. I work when I want. Answer to no one. Cash money. It’s the only job I have had fun doing. I’m 56 years old. Never been stronger. Thanks

Emily June 30, 2014 at 1:28 pm

We’ve had a bucket of scrap nickel in our garage for years, well since we moved in really, and I had pretty much accepted the advice of my father-in-law that finding a scrap yard that buys the stuff is nearly impossible. Well today, after reading this on your site, I decided to do some research for myself, and while it seems this was partly true, it only took three phone calls to find DHGriffen (which I drive past at least three times a week!). I’m dragging this fifty lb bucket of the stuff down there now after getting a quote for about $3/lb. I know that it’s likely worth much more, but I was just happy to even get an offer for this stuff that I had long deemed useless to me. Thanks for the site, and if you live in the Greensboro area of NC, DHGriffen is your place for just about ANY scrap building materials! I believe they also have other locations along the east coast, TN, etc… Good day, and happy scrapping:-D

lucien November 14, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Are chrome plated rims pure nickel or what are the percentage of other metals in car or truck rims that are said to be nickel?i called a few local scrap yards in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada an they claim that the rims aren’t 100% so they will only pay. 60 cents per lb. Please tell me what has or the percentage of nickel is in car or truck rims or what i should keep an eye out for in this new found hobby i work construction so any info ypu can give would be great an most appreciated thanks have a great day ๐Ÿ˜€

Bill Kelton July 19, 2015 at 10:43 pm

Great site, very informative. I will use what info I have read and see if I can make nickel one of my new favorite metals to scrap. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thank you..

Bill Kelton, Amateur Scrapper

trashdigger December 22, 2015 at 12:39 pm

you can find small amounts of pure nickel in hard drives for computers used to shield the magnets inside there is usually two plates a few oz but it adds up quick

Nick lord August 30, 2016 at 4:47 pm

Hi… I have a load I’d of epns cutlery and such.. is this worth anything in scrap? I know it is always a mixture of metals?… thanks

Infidel December 29, 2016 at 4:08 pm

Glad to find out about the hard drive shields. Can anyone tell me other places to find nickel?
I’d like to come up with a few pounds, to make an Edison battery. It uses nickel and iron, and lasts a lifetime. Thanks

Jim February 2, 2017 at 9:24 am

I have approximately 1000 lbs. of 100% pure nickel. Can anyone give me names-numbers of scrap buyers? Thank you. Jim.

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