Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Removing Mercury from rings


Does anyone have a better way of removing mercury from a set of rings other
than burning it off. The fumes are toxic and that’s all I don’t need!

Steve Lamm @Steve_Lamm


Dear Steve,

I just had a customer come back with both rings of the set coming in
contact with mercury (a broken thermometer). The exposure was not severe.
Heating up, pickling and a repolish and the problem seemed to be gone. I
believe the amount of contact with the mercury has a direct a result with
being able to save the ring or not. The rings were only slightly discolored
and I believe the customer when rubbing the set before returning, stopped
the contamination from becoming any worse.

If they return with the rings again with the same look I’ll thread for

Best Regards,

TR the Teacher & Student



heating is still the best way. You can use HCL to remove mercury from the
surface of gold rings, but the trouble with this is that the mercury will
penatrate into the gold, while the acid will only affect the mercury it
can reach at the surface, without penatrating much into the surface. So it
won’t get all of it unless your rings went into the acid almost immediately
after the mercury got on them, before it had a chance to penatrate much.

Solution: Take a portable torch, like a plumbers cheap propane torch or
something, and take it outside, on a day with at least a slight breeze.
Anneal your rings to a dark dull red color, while standing upwind of the
process, and hold your breath if you wish while doing it. It really is
quick, and this way, you won’t be breathing any of it.

Peter Rowe


Try neutralizing the rings in cyanide then buffing them, ultrasonic and