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Sourcing Precious Metals: The Ultimate Guide for DIY Enthusiasts

Whether you’re a jewelry designer or a DIY enthusiast, sourcing precious metals can be a daunting task. With fluctuating prices and a variety of suppliers to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to start.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the best places to source precious metals, including online retailers, local hardware stores, and even thrift stores. We’ll also discuss reputable metal dealers and suppliers that can provide you with quality materials.

Sourcing Precious Metals

One of the most important things to keep in mind when sourcing precious metals is the fluctuation of the spot price. This refers to the daily price of precious metals, which can vary depending on a number of factors.

It’s essential to stay up to date on the fluctuations so that you can get the best deal possible. Many online retailers and metal dealers offer spot pricing on their websites.

This is especially important if you’re purchasing large quantities of metal.

One of the most popular places to source precious metals is through jewelry suppliers and metal dealers.

They offer a variety of metals in any configuration you may need, from basic metal supplies to intricate alloy blends. It’s crucial to find a reputable supplier to ensure that you’re getting high-quality materials.

You don’t want to compromise your design or product with subpar metals.

However, when dealing with these types of suppliers, you may run into a focus on commercial sales.

Customer service may take a backseat to profits. Horror stories of dealing with inexperienced salespeople or long shipping times are not uncommon.

You should always do your research on suppliers before making purchases.

Online Retail Platforms

When it comes to online retail platforms, Amazon is a name that comes up time and again. While they may not necessarily be your favorite source, they offer a range of metals that cater to price-conscious and premium buyers.

If you’re in a pinch and need an emergency supplier, they offer expedited shipping.

Similarly, Etsy offers a similar range of metals to Amazon, albeit without Prime Shipping.

It’s a great alternative if you’re looking for something unique but don’t want to break the bank.

For bullion suppliers, Apmex is a popular choice.

They offer a rolling mill, fine silver, sterling silver, and a precise scale for measuring. What’s better is that their products are interchangeable.

Hardware Stores

For those in need of copper, brass rods, or copper wire for wire-wrapping, hardware stores are an excellent choice. They offer high-purity metals at reasonable prices.

Brass and copper are the most common metals available.

Bead and Jewelry Stores

Big box craft stores don’t typically have much to offer when it comes to jewelry and metal supplies. However, specialized bead and jewelry stores carry a range of fittings, beads, and chains.

While the prices may be higher, you’re more likely to find unique pieces that aren’t available elsewhere.

Thrift Store Scrap Metal

For those looking to work with scrap silver, thrift stores are an often-overlooked source. They may offer metals under spot value that can be repurposed for jewelry-making.

It’s important, though, to have some knowledge of hallmarks and maker marks.

Reputable Metal Dealers and Suppliers

Rio Grande is a well-known supplier for hobbyists that offer easy-to-use websites. They offer a range of silver and gold metals.

However, they are a bit more expensive and have more complaints lodged against them.

An excellent alternative to Rio Grande is Monster Slayer, a great supplier with cheaper prices.

They offer beads, stones, and findings on top of metals. Their website, though, feels a bit outdated.

Cooksongold is a UK-based supplier that is more favorable to Australians. UK laws and controls on precious metals tend to be stricter, making them a more trustworthy supplier.

By ordering through Cooksongold, Australians can avoid insane shipping charges from US-based suppliers.

Other suppliers specialize in fabrication, sheet metal, wire, casting grain, findings, and beads.

Whether you’re a jewelry supplier or a hobbyist, it’s essential to dig deeper to get the best bang for your buck.


Sourcing precious metals requires knowledge, diligence, and a bit of creativity. Always stay up-to-date on spot pricing to get the best deal possible.

Choose reputable suppliers and be wary of commercial suppliers that prioritize sales. By diversifying your sources, you’re more likely to find unique pieces and save money.

Finally, always do your research on suppliers. By following these guidelines, you can have confidence that your project has quality materials.

In conclusion, sourcing precious metals can be a challenging endeavor, but with knowledge, diligence, and creativity you can navigate through the different options and find reputable sources that provide quality materials for your projects. It’s imperative to stay up-to-date with spot pricing, choose reputable suppliers, and research your sources thoroughly.

By diversifying where you source your materials, you’re more likely to find unique pieces while also saving money. Hopefully, this guide has been informative and helpful in your journey of sourcing precious metals.


– What is spot pricing?

Spot pricing refers to the daily price of precious metals which undergo fluctuations and affects the cost of purchasing metals.

– Why is it essential to choose a reputable supplier when sourcing precious metals?

Choosing a reputable supplier ensures that you receive high-quality materials, which can also have an impact on the quality of your final product.

– What are some common sources to purchase precious metals?

Common sources include metal dealers and jewelry suppliers, online retail platforms, hardware stores, bead and jewelry stores, and thrift stores.

– How can I avoid purchasing subpar metals?

Researching suppliers, avoiding commercial sales focus, and opting for reputable suppliers with frequent positive reviews are some ways to avoid purchasing low-quality metals.

– How can I get the most bang for my buck when sourcing precious metals?

Diversifying sources and doing research on suppliers can lead to you finding quality materials at reasonable prices.

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