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Recovering gold from electroformed roses


#1

Hello all,

I have a few of those roses that have been dipped in 24kt. gold and
would like to recover the gold. From what I have read I can purchase
a piece of compressed charcoal and chisel a depression in it, break
up the gold covered rose, put it in and melt it with an oxy-acetylene
torch, sprinkling on some borax powered occasionally.

This sounds too easy so I am thinking there is way more to it. One
question is, what happens to the rose that is surrounded by the gold?
Won’t all the charred remains mix in with the gold? I imagine this is
something that most of you learned years ago, but I have not been
able to find much on how to except very basic as I said
above.

Can someone elaborate on the process for me. I have never tried
anything like this, in fact the way I found the Orchid web site was
searching for some on how to melt the gold off these
roses. I have the torch set, but that is all, and I have read that
using oxygen is not good for some reason.

Years ago I had a friend in Vancover BC that was a jewler and spent
some time with him, he did lost wax and all sorts of things and I’d
really like to try me hand at it, so first off I need to get the
material off the darn rose.

Thanks,
Gary


#2

The rose itself will just burn away when you heat it to the melting
point of gold, but I’m afraid that’s the only bit of good news to be
had in this regard. Plating leaves such a tiny amount of gold on the
surface that you’re not likely to end up with very much metal at
all. Worse yet, to plate non metallic surfaces, you have to first
coat them in conductive paint. I couldn’t guess as to whether burning
that off is toxic to you, but I’d expect that whichever metal made up
the base of the paint, probably copper, is going to outweigh the gold
by a wide margin, leaving you with a very poor alloy.

I’ve never dealt with gold plated roses, but if I had to guess, I’d
say that you’d be better off selling them in their present state and
using the money to buy gold from a supplier.

Best of luck,
Willis Hance


#3
Worse yet, to plate non metallic surfaces, you have to first coat
them in conductive paint. I couldn't guess as to whether burning
that off is toxic to you, but I'd expect that whichever metal made
up the base of the paint, probably copper, is going to outweigh the
gold by a wide margin, leaving you with a very poor alloy.20 

Copper doesn’t make a good base for gold. It wouldn’t surprise me if
the roses were plated with an electroless process. Either electroless
or electroplate may use a dip containing platinum for the “seed”.
It’s not really a paint, but produces an invisible layer that the
gold will deposit on.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#4

24k gold “dipped” roses wholesale @ $25 or less. After subtracting
profit, and the cost of the rose, labor, overhead, etc., there may
be $5 worth of gold, at most. Anything you do to refine this amount
of gold will cost you more than $5. Sorry.