Skip to main content

Precious Metals in Electronics

Precious metals and computersDo you recycle? It’s becoming more and more common for people to recognize the value of resources in our everyday trash.  For instance, plastics and glass is separated into the recycling can at home.  However, you may not realize that we have even more valuable resources contained in common items around the house as well.  Like the precious metals in electronics, such as laptops, smartphones and more.  Let’s distinguish what treasures are found in electronics, and why.

Deep down, your old electronics harbor a higher value than most people realize.  Electronics are full of hidden surprises such as precious metals.  Here is a quick list of the most common precious metals found in electronics.


Precious metals bars of gold,, silver, platinum, copper and moreBelieve it or not, your home electronics are chock full of gold.  Gold is a great conductor, so it often gets used in wiring and connectors, on motherboards, in flash memory devices, and even in touchscreens.


The best may be called the “gold standard,” but in actuality, silver is the best conductor. It’s also less expensive, which makes it a favorite among electronics manufacturers. In addition to silver wiring and connectors, silver is used in your touch screens and your plasma TVs, in your laptop and watch batteries, and even in your CDs and DVDs.


Platinum is another well-known precious metal that is used in home electronics. Because platinum can withstand corrosion and high voltage, making it an ideal choice for demanding conditions. It’s also used in wiring as well as in hard drives and optical storage devices.


You may or may not have heard of palladium before since it’s not used in jewelry, but that doesn’t mean it’s not in your home.  In fact, palladium is used in computer chips, circuits, circuit board frames, and fuses.  It is sometimes preferred over gold because less of it is needed, and can be mixed with silver to offer improved qualities over both.  The world of electronics as we know it would simply not exist without palladium.

Other Metals

Precious metals found in circuit boards of laptopsThere are other metals that can be found in electronics as well.  Nickel in rechargeable batteries, copper in wiring, cadmium in lithium-ion batteries.  Last, but not least is mercury.  Which is in practically everything.

How to Get Out Precious Metals in Electronics

With so much wealth and resources tied up in our old electronics.  You can perhaps see why we should no longer be letting them collect dust in our basements and garages, or heaven forbid, throwing them out!  Instead, sell electronics to a recycler and let them worry about how to remove precious metals from electronics.  By taking your old electronics to a pawn shop like Oro Express Chandler, which can recycle the precious metals inside them.  You could actually be doing the entire world (and not just your wallet) a favor.

Photo: Maxx-Studio/Shutterstock