Our History

The original family business, specialising in the smelting and refining of precious metals, was founded in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter by Alexander Betts at the dawn of the industrial revolution in 1760.

Now into its fourth century of trading, the ninth consecutive generation of Betts family management is proud of the company’s long history of integrity and commercial strength. Throughout this time, our core principles have been to provide ‘quality’ and ‘service’ – two words that are easily used but rarely fulfilled. These two qualities are the founding principles of all the Stephen Betts Group businesses today.

Stephen Betts & Sons Ltd combines the wealth of experience generated from nearly a quarter of a millennium of operation, with modern, technically advanced processes, to provide a complete service in the smelting and refining of precious metals. The company’s factory contains the latest in recovery equipment, which makes possible the smelting and refining of lower grade wastes containing precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Precious metals can be recovered from many different sources and processes. We recover precious metals from all types of waste; particularly those generated by the jewellery, ceramic, photographic, industrial and dental professions, although our experience also covers many other industries. Whatever the source, our highly trained staff process the materials to ensure the highest possible recovery of precious metals. All recovered materials are sampled and assayed independently to ensure a transparent process, and the customer is informed of the value in line with London market prices.

In 1985, Betts Metal Sales was established to complement the smelting and refining services of Stephen Betts & Sons. It provides a complete service to the manufacturing jeweller by offering a wide range of precious metal products. Our trade counter in Spencer Street is comprehensively stocked with jewellery findings in gold and silver, sheet, wire, tube, grain and wedding ring blanks, which are available to manufacturing jewellers over-the-counter. In addition, Betts Metal Sales offers a range of services for the precious metal investor under the auspices of Betts Investments. Among others, these services include precious metal accounts and the sale of physical gold products (Sovereigns, Maples and Krugerrands etc.) under the Global Accounting System, which involves no VAT on principle value. Betts Metal Sales offers a fast, friendly and professional service, with orders processed via a rapid postal service throughout Britain, Ireland and continental Europe. What is more, Betts Metal Sales operates on a no minimum quantities – no minimum charge basis, making us very cost effective as well. Betts Metal Sales representatives cover the country on a regular basis.

Betts Envirometal was established in 1997, recognising the ever increasing restrictions being imposed on waste movements, and the need to work with customers to develop integrated waste management solutions. With the acquisition of Global Envirotec Services in the south of England in 2002, Betts Envirometal now offers a complete, fully licensed, specialised waste management service across the country for the industries in which Betts has always operated.

Already active in the dental industry through Stephen Betts & Sons’ refining operations, the Group acquired Charles Booth Ltd, a UK dental alloy manufacturer supplying precious and non-precious materials for crown and bridge restorations, in 2002. This acquisition has allowed Charles Booth to offer a more complete service to its customers courtesy of being backed by Stephen Betts & Sons’ refining capabilities, whilst allowing the Group to realise production and refining synergies.