And to complete our refining "kit", we need someway of melting the raw gold into the shiny metal that people have lusted after for millenia
Thankfully, all we need to do is head to the nearest hardware store and get something along the lines of this badboy ... a propane powered torch. This is the one I use because it has a self-igniting switch built in, so no need to use matches to get it going. Also has a rotary button to control the strength of the flame. No problems whatsoever in finding one as they're a common handyman item and it easily melts silver and gold.
Well, thats it ... that's all the simple equipment that we need to start producing our very own 99.9% pure gold bullion and then watching it appreciate over time !
And as you can see, all of it is extremely easy to find.
As for the material containing gold that will be processed, sure you could use old bits of gold jewelry or anything else that you've got lying around with a reasonable gold content. But personally, I found the simplest way to get all my "raw gold" is in the form of "gold nuggets" purchased on eBay ... especially after having used up all my wife's gold jewelry ... just kidding Quite often you can get some really good deals.
As an example, last week I purchased a total of 10 gms of gold nuggets. Each nugget will usually contain 95% or higher amounts of gold with minor traces of impurities such as quartz grains. Sure beats trying to find them yourself and dig them out of the ground the hard way !
Here's 2 of them:
Ok, for the purpose of this tutorial, lets process some scrap gold that I've got lying around and recover the pure gold from it. The gold "button" has impurities so I'll use this tutorial to re-refine it. The pins and edge connectors came from 2 old computer motherboards and a few sticks of computer memory. There is gold to be found in computer parts but usually it's just a very thin coating ... still, gold is gold !
To dissolve the metal contaminants, we need to use a 50/50 mixture of nitric acid and water. The amount of nitric acid required will be approximately 20 mls mixed with approximately 20 mls of water. Using the plastic pipette, the water is added first followed by the nitric acid.
To help speed the reaction along, the entire glass tube is placed in a bath of boiling water. Periodically, as it cools, replace the bath water with fresh boiling water to keep the reaction going.
There is an immediate strong reaction as copper contaminants immediately start turning the liquid a blue colour.
Also notice the release of brown nitrogen dioxide gas. At this point, walk away from the reaction and do NOT inhale the gas. The reaction can proceed unattended until there is no more bubbling visible.
When the reaction finally stops, add an additional very small quantity (a few mls) of nitric. If bubbling starts up again, then not all the contaminant metals have been dissolved yet and once again, allow the process to continue on its own. If adding further nitric does NOT result in bubbling, then all metal contaminants will have been dissolved leaving behind relatively pure gold.
At this point, you can dilute the blue liquid with water, wait for the gold to settle to the bottom, then carefully pour most of the liquid into another container. Just be careful and don't pour away any of the gold !!
Add some more water to the settled gold to dilute even further any remaining liquid, then let the gold settle again, then carefully pour most of the liquid into another container ... again, DON'T pour away any of the gold.
After repeating the dilute/pour procedure a few times (basically "washing" the gold), we end up with something like this:
The above is the gold obtained from those computer motherboard pins and memory edges.
Note: If you use gold jewelry or any kind of gold/silver mixture, then chances are good that the blue liquid that you've been diluting/pouring off will contain reasonable amounts of dissolved silver. In that case, the silver can also be recovered by using the method I described in my earlier Dummies Guide to EASY silver bullion refining at home as a long term precious metal investment thread.
Having successfully removed almost all of the contaminants leaving the gold in an "almost" pure state, we're now going to process the gold one last time to remove any minute stubborn contaminants and end up with essentially 99.9% pure 24k gold ... woohoo !!
In this final step, we're going to do some "alchemy" ... just like the Ancients used to do !
Continued next post ...