How Much Gold Is In A Cell Phone?


Cell phones have been around for decades. It sounds funny to read, but it is true. Even before Zach Morris in Saved By The Bell, cell phones existed. Some of the earliest cell phones can be traced to the 1970s and were “car phones,” but they were mobile and on the go. Cell phones have become known as smartphones, and it is hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t have the internet in their pocket, probably even your Grandma!

What’s The Value Of Scrapping Them?

The next logical question to any scrapper is, how much money can I get for old cell phones? Well, that is a great question. Cell phones have a lot of different values, from refurbished to just being scrapped. Think about what a current smartphone does and the technology (not just the software you see) that has to go into the phones to make them run.

There are not a lot of precious metals inside our phones today, but think about the power of the chips that run them. Consider fitting a laptop’s worth of information into something that could fit into your back pocket. Wouldn’t that have a lot of value? Well, gold, silver, platinum, lithium-ion, and other good scrap values have been placed into those cell phones, and that is why they are worth so much money after their intended life is over.

What Happens To The Gold In Cell Phones & Other Parts?

Many companies will buy your old cell phones (or ones that you find in the scrap for anywhere from 3-100 times the scrap value of one), but sometimes the value is just scrap, and knowing where to sell them is valuable. Just as helpful is knowing what tools are needed and how to remove and separate all the materials to get the most money when scrapping, as many of these devices have delicate, expensive pieces and a lot of plastic. Most scrap yards that buy electronic waste like motherboards, hard drives, laptops, and computer towers will take the old smartphones, but you must know where to go. On average, it will take 3-5 cell phones to make one pound of scrap, so you must save many of them to add the weight.

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03/13/2024 10:20 pm GMT

Weight-wise, there is not much gold or other metals inside a cell phone (around 0.034 grams), so we suggest taking out the batteries and selling the old phones to your local scrap yard or e-waste recycler. They will be able to help you understand what it is worth and how to prepare it correctly.

Source: Who, what, why: How much gold can we get from mobile phones? – BBC News