Refining Gold at Home
Why would anyone want to collect scrap electronics? Is it even worth it?. Well, let me answer those questions for you. For several years now, I have been collecting and refining scrap electronics containing gold. For every batch of electronics I process, I get a small piece of a gold nugget. Yes, from unwanted and broken electronics I have been making my own gold nuggets collection. I look at this as an investment. People invest money in stocks, bonds and other types of investments, I invest my time in scrap gold. Did I mention my gold is 99.9 %? It all started as a hobby and then became an investment for my retirement.
Ok, let’s see what is needed to start making your own gold nugget from scrap electronics. We need:
A spray bottle
A plastic funnel
A plastic or glass steer rod or spoon
A plastic or glass measuring cup
2 heat resistance glass containers, pickle jars or coffee pots will
work like a charm
1 glass Bowl or pan to place the coffee pot in boiling water
Crucible to melt the gold
Muriatic acid (31.45%)
All the materials needed can be obtained easily from your local
Gold recovery process
OK, people let’s begin, I'm sure by now you are excited and ready to start making your own gold nugget. One last thing I feel it is important to mention is that before we move one please ensure you are conducting this in a very well ventilated area away from your family and pets also use extra caution when handling this chemical, wear your safety glasses, gloves and do not inhale the fumes produced.
By wanting to refine your gold from scrap electronics I am assuming you have done your homework and have sorted out all of your scrap gold, all materials to be refine needs to be trimmed down, we want to cut off anything that does not contain gold. One example will be computer cards like memory sticks, etc. these cards have gold fingers, this is the area where it slides in the computer socket, it is recommended to cut off these fingers and process them without the rest of the board to reduce contamination. Contamination can affect the purity of your gold that is why we want to ensure our materials are trimmed down as much as possible.
- Ok, place all your gold fingers or plated material to refine inside your coffee pot or pickle jar whichever you have (for the sake of this tutorial I will say coffee pot).
- Now we want to pour muriatic acid inside the coffee pot until all the gold fingers are covered, use your measuring cup to dump the muriatic acid inside the coffee pot. For this tutorial let’s say we used 200ml.
- Next, let’s add hydrogen peroxide, since we must use 2 parts of muriatic acid and one part of hydrogen peroxide then that means we will need 100ml of hydrogen peroxide.
- Steer material with your glass or plastic rod to mix both solutions.The solution will turn green and fumes will start to produce. Please make sure you are doing this in a very well ventilated area and do not inhale this toxic fumes. Also make sure you wear your protective equipment guys.
- Let the solution sit overnight, what we are looking for is to have all the gold foils come off the materials. If by next morning you still have foils that have not separated you can add another 100ml of hydrogen peroxide, steer it again and let it sit until all the foils have been separated from the materials.
- Once you see all the gold foils has come off the materials, place a coffee filter inside your funnel then place the funnel on top of your coffee pot.You want to pour all the solution into the coffee pot and capture only the foils inside the coffee filter leaving behind the unwanted materials. Use your spray bottle to rinse off the foils stuck in the materials and keep pouring the gold foils inside the coffee filter.
- Once everything is filtered you should have all the gold foils inside the coffee filter, let it dry out and place in a glass container to refine later on.
Gold Recovery Process Video Tutorial
Gold refining process
Ok now that the filter is dried out and we have collected all the foils we are going to refine it to make our very own gold nugget, the result should be 99.9% pure 24k gold. Refining is probably the most difficult and most dangerous part because we will deal with extremely dangerous acids, Nitric acid and hydrochloric acid are highly corrosive acids and skin contact should be completely avoided. If inhale serious injuries or death can occur, use extreme caution and always wear your protective equipment.
- Place your collected foils inside a coffee pot.
- We are going to add 50% water and 50% nitric acid, Use the glass measuring cup to add the water first, make sure the water level is above the foils then add the same amount of nitric acid.
- A quick reaction will occur, you will see bubbles and the solution will turn green, this process will dissolve all metals leaving behind the gold. *DO NOT INHALE FUMES*.
- Fill a pan with boiling water and place the coffee pot inside, we are warming up the acids to get a quicker and better reaction.
- Once you don't see any more bubbles, add a few ml of nitric acid and see if there is any reaction. If you see any reaction that means there is still impurities in the gold and you must wait until everything is dissolved.Once there is no more reaction you will be left with a blue solution, add water to dilute and let it settle overnight.
- Now that the gold has settled at the bottom of the coffee pot, we will pour just the diluted solution thru a coffee filter, not the gold, try not to disturb the gold by pouring the water slowly. repeat this process a few times to wash your gold.
- Next, we will add 1:3 mix of nitric and hydrochloric acids. For this tutorial, I will add 2ml of nitric acid and 6ml of hydrochloric acid. The gold will be dissolved, and the water will turn yellow. We have converted all the gold in liquid form to filter it and remove any impurities that stayed behind. Placing the pot inside a pan with boiling water can speed this process.
- Now filter the yellow water into another coffee pot, using the spray bottle spray the coffee filter until you see no yellowish color in the paper filter. We don't want to throw away a coffee filter full of gold, that will be painful.
- Now let’s bring back our refined 24k gold. Add an equal amount of water to the yellow water (your gold).We will convert the liquid gold again into a solid form by adding 2 tablespoons of UREA into the yellow water.You will see bubbles forming indicating that the gold inside the solution is transforming into a solid again. Once the bubbles stop add another tablespoon of urea and make sure there are no more bubbles. If you do see more bubbles, that means there is still liquid gold in the solution and you will need to leave it a bit longer.
- Let it settle overnight, the last thing you need is to lose half of your efforts. I had my share of regrets once when I started, I didn't wait till next morning and ended up losing half of my gold when I filtered out the water, big mistake.
- After settling all night, you should notice that at the bottom of the coffee pot there is a brown powder, this is your pure gold in a powder form. carefully drain the water leaving behind your gold dust. Try your best not to move the pot too much, you want to keep the gold dust at the bottom of the pot.
- Once drained you might have a bit of water left in the pot that's ok, place your pot in a warmer to dry out the water left behind. After your pot is dried, remove your gold dust carefully into a clean glass container.
- Now lets melt the powder. Using a torch heat up your crucible, this will speed the process of melting the gold. Place your gold dust carefully inside your hot crucible. Using your torch at a low setting first, start in a circular motion around the outer edge of the gold dust and begin applying heat. Do not get the torch too close to the gold dust at first, you might end up blowing off all your gold out of the crucible. Keep your distance and once it starts to harden then you can get closer and change the torch to high settings to finish up.
- Once you see the gold has completely melted you can drop the melted gold into your ingot if you have one if not you can use a bucket of ice water and drop it in there.
- Enjoy your new gold nugget.
© 2014 Rey Mendez