Precious Metals

Posted on August 15, 2011

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It sits on the Lynnway one block south from Commercial St. where the DPW is headquartered.  The exterior facing the street is a handsome brick facade with a cannon above the central entry and two humongous bell hanging from chain sculptures.

I suppose my visit to Solomon Metal Corporation came about as the result of my water heater breaking. The plumber pointed to the brass fittings on the old one, saying that new ones cost $40 a piece. The previous occupants of my home had left a box of scrap metal, everything from a hefty brass drain trap to an old-fashioned cabinet handle.

Solomon is a dealer in non-ferrous metals. Ferrous metals such as steel contain iron. Non-ferrous metals like copper and aluminum are non-magnetic. Non-ferrous is where the money is; hence, thievery is rampant where aluminum ladders and copper wire is concerned. There’s money in them thar backyards and construction sites.

This past Saturday I brought my box of scrap metal over to Solomon. On the way, I stopped to ask two elderly men with metal detectors on the Common what they thought I could get for my bounty. Larry of Larry’s Metal Detecting (“What is buried in your backyard? Coins, Lost Watches, Jewelry, etc. Let’s take a look.”) said that the price of aluminum was around $1.00 per pound last time he checked and pointed me to the website, Kitco.com. I thanked them and went on my way, but not before Larry attempted to sell me on the merits of his hobby.

Entering Solomon Metal Co., I was out of my element, but the help was friendly and polite. Sparks flew as a man fed large metal pieces into an electric saw. It was dirty and dark with splinters of metal littering the floor. A copper or brass metal bust of a town founder sat in a corner. Decorative pressed plates hung on the cement wall. My 15 pounds of brass fittings netted me $30. Happily I ascended the steps to the office and was given a check by the young woman behind the plexiglass partition.

Whenever I walk into unfamiliar environments like this, I tend to think that I’ll be taken advantage of. But this little adventure turned out alright.

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