Over the years I've accumulated a bunch of electronic surplus, much of
it gold-plated (edge connectors, PC boards, etc).
I was wondering whether anyone has a simple process for using this
scrap as the sacrifical electrode to perhaps "plate" all the gold onto
another object, from which it may be easily scraped off and
recovered? My only experience with similar processes is electrolytic
Is it possible to plate the gold without also transporting the base
metal to the plated electrode?
thanks and regards,
Kind of. There's a guy who has come up with a new process. It
doesn't actually plate the gold onto anything, but it does
remove the gold and it precipitates out. It doesn't work on
non-conductive substrates like PC board edge fingers, though.
You could actually de-plate the gold onto something like
graphite, but it is very slow and you still get base metals.
See http://www.goldrefiningforum.com/for a new forum discussing
this. They've just moved the forum to new servers, and so I'm
not sure where everything is now. You have to "join", but it
will be WELL worth your while to do it. This is one of the best
resources I've ever seen on the net!
I have been salvaging gold from connector edge fingers with a
highly toxic solution sold for this purpose (cyanide). The
company that makes it wants to do the recovery from solution for
you, but you'd need a hazmat license to ship the stuff back to
them, so I couldn't if I wanted to! I have been fooling around
with this and have recovered about 3/4 Troy Oz of gold so far.
I have no idea how much I may be losing in the process.
The process the above web forum describes looks very good, it is
all done with drain cleaners and such from the hardware store,
and the amount of gold these guys are getting out just about has
me drooling! Just so you know which one I am talking about, I
think it is "LazerSteve" has a process where he uses sulfuric
drain cleaner plus glycerine to deplate the gold. Another guy
figured out you could put a layer of the pins on a stainless
steel screen and the pins would deplate just the same, with much
less handling. He uses a lead anode on the bottom of the jar.
When the solution is full of the "black" colloidal gold, he then
dilutes the solution and filters out the gold with coffee
filters. He then purifies the result with another process to
remove the small amount of base metal.
Jim, look at the link that was provided:
Now you have already determined that it doesn't work, so assume it is
malformed in some way.
With that assumption, try removing the end of the address (the "for") and
see if it gets you anywhere.
I don't know why you are having the problem, but they just moved to a
new server, maybe that has something to do with it. But, this is ONE
site where I will stand up and say it REALLY IS worth it to try to register.
If you can't, send them an email telling them you are having a problem.
These guys are truly experienced in the gold reclaiming art, and are not
selling anything. They have descriptions of a bunch of different
techniques, info on how to build your own equipment, results of the
different techniques and types of salvage material, it is really good.
Having worked as a refiner of precious metals for roughly 20 years, I am one
of the contributors to that forum. The move to a new server occurred just
yesterday (Thursday July 19th), and there are some issue yet to be resolved.
Registration is one of them.
Let me assure you, the information you can access on that forum is
outstanding. It is worth the effort to get signed up, so be patient and
keep trying. There is enough information already posted that would allow a
rank novice to refine gold, silver, platinum and palladium, assuming you are
willing to follow instructions.
I believe this link will lead you to the new board:
Richard J. Kinch, responding to a post, said the following:
Jon Elson writes:
"Right. All those centuries of purifying with cyanide was a waste. Stuff
from Walmart will do it."
Centuries? Purifying with cyanide? Cites, please.
What reason do you have to doubt the claims of common household chemicals
being used for gold extraction? What makes you think cyanide is used for
gold purification? You couldn't be more misinformed if you tried, and that
boggles the mind.
It may come as a surprise to you, but cyanide is not used in the refining
process for gold. If you think it is, perhaps you can enlighten us as to
how it is applied, so we, too, can know. I'm thinking you not only can't
tell me, but don't have a clue why.
Sometimes it pays to keep your mouth closed and your eyes and ears open, and
quit trying to be the leading authority on every damned subject there is.
This is one of those times.
Do a little research on gold mining and the processes used there. I
think you will find that cyanide is, or was, used in the extraction process.
I'm well versed in the use of cyanide for extraction, and have used the
process in an agitation tank to recover values from a high grade gold
complex. The operation required the use of bromine, which allowed the
cyanide to dissolve the values. From this process I recovered a mix of
silver and gold.
While you are correct, extraction has nothing to do with refining. They
are two distinctly different processes, which was the point I was, and still
am, addressing. Kinch needs to learn to shut his mouth.
No, it's not a case of semantics. Not if you understand the chemistry of
gold. Cyanide is unable to separate gold from silver, and can in no way be
construed as a refining process. It is commonly used as an EXTRACTION
process. They are not one and the same, not to those that are informed.
You might say that a colt is a horse, but a horse isn't necessarily a colt.
By sharp contrast, because silver can not remain in solution in the presence
of chlorine, the parting of silver and gold are easily accomplished in an
Just to interject a note-
I did some research into this years ago. Didnt like the cyanide
process at all.
There was another system I saw that used sufuric acid in an
electroplating process. You'd put the scrap on an aluminum screen and
the process would depsit the gold dust in a small pile below the
positive terminal. The thing ran off a 12 volt battery.
I got this out of a book at the library, so I have no idea where to
find it on the net, but it IS possible.
Well, this sounds a lot like LazerSteve's process. He has a
bunch of videos describing it, linked to from the GoldRefining
forum. I haven't tried it yet, as this is a spare-time pursuit
for me, and I haven't had any of that time lately. I have
gotten a lot of help with other reclaiming processes (I have a
lot of scrap PC board card edges that need a different process)
on the group, and previously from Harold, who really knows what
he is talking about. He has refined a veritable Fort Knox some
That's a patented process, and works very well. (Patent # 2,185,858). It
can be used to strip various precious metals without removing base metals.
Like cyanide, it does not refine, but is a wonderful reclamation tool.
It was originally intended to salvage parts that had defective plating, but
were otherwise good. The federal government ran a gold reclamation
operation in New Mexico during the 70's, at which time I visited their
facility and witnessed their stripping cell, which I subsequently duplicated
for a customer, with minor changes.
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