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Easy refining gold (Thanks,Peter Rowe)


#1

Aloha Peter, You just killed my new book deal.LOL!! You are
right,There is no(relatively)easy way to properly refine
gold,without the proper equipment.You said it well,Thank you.

Regards,
Christian Grunewald
Precision Modelmaking
Hawaii


#2
   Aloha Peter, You just killed my new book deal.LOL!! You are
right,There is no(relatively)easy way to properly refine
gold,without the proper equipment.You said it well,Thank you. 

Christian,

Your welcome, of course. The thing is, of course, that basic
acid refining isn’t all that hard to do. It’s just that doing it
economically, and with sufficient safety, is harder than it
sounds. It’s easy to overlook such details, to one’s physical
or financial chagrin. I’ve got a copy of a little 1980 paper
bound pamphlet by Harry Burge that describes what is called a
simplified method of refining gold. Sounds simple, till you
read between the lines. In his description of the parting
process, where the scrap, reduced to 25% (6K) or less is
dissolved in Nitric, he’s got a parentheses of “(with exhaust
system running)”. It says nothing else. A beginner might think
a simple bathroom fan would suffice. Big mistake… He mentions
reacting the scrap with the nitric till no more brown fumes are
evolved. Good enough. No mention is made of just how corrosive
and toxic those fumes happen to be…

And my own curiosity driven trial and error self education in
refining, worked out in the late 70s before I found all the books
on the subject had some nice high points too. Like the time
before I figured out the dire need for reliable ventilation, when
I was doing it in my apartment’s kitchen corner converted to a
workshop, directly in front of a window with a strong window fan
exhausting the fumes. Worked well till the outside wind
momentarily blew harder than the fan. Had to leave the apartment,
coughing and choking, till the air cleared again. And that short
exposure to the fumes, from which I recovered quickly enough,
was enough to cover every steel tool on my bench with a rather
nice coat of rust. Plus, by the time the beaker was done
reacting, the window screens were literally gone. Another
expensive lesson got learned when for unknown reasons, a beaker
dissolving scrap with well over an ounce of fine gold content for
some reason cracked and spilled. Having learned my lesson from
the above mentioned experience, this was being done outside on my
back deck. The wood in the deck still has the purple stain, and
the dirt under that deck has an unusually high gold content. Oh,
and the hot plate didn’t survive it either. This, mind you, was
pretty close to that point in time when gold was over 700 an
ounce. Ouch. Memories of youthful mistakes… (grin)

Peter Rowe