The simplest way to tell what type of metal you have is by using a magnet. If a magnet sticks to your metal, you likely have a ferrous metal, such as steel or iron. Most ferrous metals are not worth much money but can be accepted and recycled properly.
If a magnet doesn’t stick, you likely have a non-ferrous metal, such as copper, aluminum, brass, stainless steel or bronze. These metals are very valuable to recycle and are oftentimes worth money.
Once you have determined if you metal is ferrous or non ferrous, you can then use color, texture and image comparisons to figure out exactly what type of metal you have.