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Everything You Need to Know About Scrap Gold Recovery

Updated on May 1, 2014

Scrap Gold Recovery

The term scrap gold recovery refers to the process of extracting gold from old circuit boards, computer chips, computer parts and connectors. Depending on your source of the aforementioned this can be a very affordable way for you to obtain gold. In this article we will look at how you can get hold of old chips and boards etc and how best you can recover the gold from them.

How to Get an Old CPU Chips and Circuit Boards

Old circuit boards and CPU chips are probably going to be your best source of scrap gold for recovery. How much gold is in the chips and circuit boards will depend often on how old the they are. The older they are typically they have more gold in them. A good rule of thumb is that a laptop or an old computer will have maximum 1-2 grams of gold in it and a cell phone much less.

CPU chips and mother boards are often available on Ebay in large lots. When you start out it may be difficult to gauge how much gold you can get from a particular lot and thus how much you should bid for it. If you do decide to do this start out with a small lot to experiment to see how much you actually end up extracting

Other options are to ask friends and place ads in local classifieds online for old, broken laptops and mobile phones and then extract the boards and connectors from them yourself.

The Scrap Gold Recovery Process

There are many different processes for gold recovery. This article describes the chemical process.

Step 1

Cut off the parts of the circuit boards that contain gold and put them in the bucket. You can throw away the other parts of the board. If you also have CPU chips hot them with a hammer as the gold parts are usually inside the chip. Place these in the bucket too.

Step 2

Take a clean 5 gallon bucket and either use aqua regia (nitric acid and hydrochloric acid) or much better is a product from Shor International called Subzero. If using Subzero add 1lb of sub zero to 1/2 gallon of hydrochloric acid. Remember to use gloves these are very hazardous materials. Almost all the subzero should dissolve into the acid liquid.

Step 3

Place your CPU chips and cut up boards in a plastic wire mesh basket and then place this in the solution. The metal should start to fizz and give off a brown fume. (these fumes are toxic so make sure you are doing this process with an adequate mask or in an open area!) This chemical reaction is the gold dissolving into the acid solution, this process can take up to 2 hours so leave the boards in the solution for a while. Come back in 2 hours and check the boards to see that all the gold has been dissolved.

Step 4

The gold is now dissolved into the acid solution. This acid is reusable until there is no longer a chemical reaction of fizzing and fuming. Once the acid liquid is no longer reacting and dissolving the boards then remove the basket and check the liquid to see if any lumps of other material still remain in the liquid. If there are then filter this liquid or simply decant it into another container leaving the solid lumps behind.

Step 5

Your acid liquid should be a dark green clear liquid, if it looks cloudy or there are bits floating in it then you need to decant it or filter it until it is clear. Once this is done then add some urea to the acid liquid little by little. It should react by fizzing - keep on adding the urea until the liquid does not fizz anymore.

Step 6

Once it has stopped fizzing you need to add precipitant to the acid liquid to extract the pure gold. You need roughly 1.5 spoonfuls of precipitant for every ounce of metal dissolved so remember to roughly weigh what you dissolved in the first place. Add the precipitant to a clean bucket and then add the acid solution. The precipitant and the acid will react forming a muddy solution that should sink to the bottom. This mud is your pure gold! To know whether you have extracted all the gold from the acid liquid - test some of the acid for gold content - using a gold detection liquid - if there is any gold in the acid still the gold detection liquid will turn purple brown. If there is still gold in the acid then add more precipitant.

Step 7

The acid should now be a clear green or amber color with mud sunk to the bottom. Pour off the acid into another container leaving only the mud. When the acid has been poured off add 2 or 3 gallons of water to the mud then pour off the water making sure you dont pour off any of the mud. The rinsing ensures the high purity of the gold. Test the mud with aqua ammonia for the purity of the gold. If it turns blue then you need to keep rinsing. Give a final rinse with distilled water.

Step 8

Once you are sure of the purity of the gold then you have your mud or powder. You can melt the powder and you will then have your pure gold.

Viability of extraction

As you work with this process you have to see how economically viable it is. Keep an eye on the live gold price indeed all precious metals prices and balance that against the cost of the cpu boards, chemicals and time spent. When you come to sell the pure gold bullion you may get 90-95% of the gold price live or online gold price.

Scrap Gold Calculator on Your IPhone/Droid

The Best Coin Bullion and Scrap Gold Calculator for your iPhone or Android
The Best Coin Bullion and Scrap Gold Calculator for your iPhone or Android | Source

Warning & Disclaimer


This process involves handling extremely corrosive chemicals.Also the gas given off by the dissolving gold is potential hazardous so make sure you take the correct precautions before attempting this process and please research for yourself what those precautions might be


The information in this article is from my own research, trial and error as an amateur gold enthusiast. It does not represent professional advice of any kind or a recommendation to take a particular course of action and should not be construed as such.

Scrap Gold Recovery Secrets


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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Hammerman is a hugh puss

    • profile image

      Luis Barreda 

      4 years ago

      thank you and keep up with the good work God Bless

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I would suggest since some people on here are saying that there is not much gold on boards, buy a gold testing kit before scrapping. They have them they are liuid you put a drop on the metal and it will show the gold content do this before wasting your time. The idiot who said this was illegal is a moron and the type of person who probably works with these chemicals so feels they are special and no one else could "possibly be smart enough to work with such a dangerous chemical" haha just do it outside and watch it. Be careful use your head.

    • profile image

      basil onyewuchi 

      5 years ago

      thanks for your information, i need more at

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      when you say "add precipitant" what exactly are you referring to?

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Пожалуйста помогите деньгами кто сколько может Перечислить Доллары Liberty Reserve U0088331

      Please help me with money but who can enumerate Dollars Liberty Reserve U0088331

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Важно помнить не только как наносить румяна но и как подобрать правильно их тон. В идеале он должен подходить по цвету губной помаде: красная помада – красные или розовые румяна, абрикосовая помада – персиковые румяна. Таким образом, выбирая цвет помады, вы одновременно подбираете тон румян. Важно, чтобы выбранные chanel, mac dior румяна подходили цвету лица: для смуглой кожи – малиновые оттенки, для светлой – розоватые. Если не можете выбрать что-то конкретное – воспользуйтесь универсальным вариантом – персиковыми румянами.

    • profile image

      muhammad naseem 

      6 years ago

      how to recover gold from cell phones

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      Illegal is just a sick bird.

    • InGoldWeTrust profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Colorado

      Please note that I am not recommending anyone to do anything and I am pretty clear that it is potentially a hazardous process, that I am not a professional and this is not professional advice and that people need to be responsible and find out the proper precautions to take. Please can you explain in more detail why this is illegal. Which laws does writing this article break. If it is true then I will gladly remove the article.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      What you are recommending above is criminal, dangerous, and negligent. Aqua regia is nothing to be fooled with - proper equipment, ventillation, etc required. Why don't you just recommend that people go out and buy cyanide gold stripper (please don't - even more dangerous in the wrong hands). The green color of the liquid is dissolved copper and you will have created a liquid hazardous waste which requires proper disposal.

      The amount of gold now days on electrical connectors is extremely small (usually a flash of .000003" gold with possibly palladium underneath or simply nickel). The amount of gold recovered will not be worth your time.

    • profile image

      Omer Schiffeleers 

      6 years ago

      I have the green filterd liquid after dissolving computer scrap in AR. What should I use to precipitate the gold out of it?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My mud also turned green, so I had it laser tested and it was 98% copper. So I figure my gold is still in the solution. I precipitated the copper instead of the gold. Why did this happen and how do I precipitate the gold instead?

    • profile image

      gold maker 

      7 years ago

      the mud at the end of the process turned green what does this mean

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great hub with useful information - thanks


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