This is an excellent thread!! Stars and Flags to you, tauristercus.
I've been doing a good bit or research on extracting the gold, silver, and other precious metals from all of the computer and other electronic waste
I've been accumulating over the years. The process you detail here is one of the simplest procedures I've seen yet. The use of a potato as a
crucible is truly prize-worthy!
I look forward to your tutorial on gold reclamation!
For those who may be concerned with upsetting you neighbors by releasing toxic gases into their backyards, you can find plans for building relatively
simple fume hoods and scrubbers.
For those posters who indicate that doing DIY silver reclamation isn't worth the time and money, I would say that your objections are noted. But
that calculation is something that everyone interested in this "hobby" will have to determine for themselves. As far as my
concerned, I think using a potato as a crucible to smelt silver is infinitely more entertaining than American Idol.
For those posters who want to reiterate all of the downsides of using Nitric Acid, and the toxicities of the various intermediate solutions, I concur.
I think the OP did an excellent job of stating the potential hazards involved with performing this process. If someone has enough interest to go to
all of the trouble of acquiring the equipment and supplies necessary to perform this procedure, I would hope they would do enough additional research
to make sure they don't permanently damage themselves. Otherwise, there is no limit on the number of Darwin Awards that are issued each year...
With respect to destroying coins in the US, Title 18 United States Code, Section 331, addresses this issue. It appears to be illegal only when
coinage is destroyed or mutilated in order to propagate fraud. Here's an interesting link:
Is it illegal to destroy American Currency?
Unfortunately Nitric Acid is rather expensive. The cost and availability of that product is the one thing that might make this process cost
prohibitive. But, if you are particularly industrious, and fearless, you can make your own Nitric Acid from Sulfuric Acid, Hydrochloric Acid and
Potassium Nitrate. I recall seeing a YouTube video detailing the procedure. As I write this I can almost hear the gasps of some of the more
knowledgeable readers... Just remember: You too can be a member of the exclusive club of Darwin Award winners.
One last comment. If you live in the Imperial USA, your purchase of any of the above listed chemicals may get you on the DEA/ICE/FBI/Homeland
Security radar. And any strange chemical smells emanating from the vicinity of your residence may elicit a visit from your local SWAT team. Such are
the benefits of living in the land of freedom...
Thanks again for such a wonderfully detailed tutorial. Bravo!