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Separating silver from gold


#1

Orchid Metalurgists:

HELP! I have been working with Precious Metal Clay since January. I like
it and plan to continue with it. But I have a problem with "melt downs"
until I can afford to get a better kiln or oven with a controller.

Until today I thought my problem with melting down a kilnload of pmc was
one of the past. Today’s lesson: never take anything for granted!

Today’s firing contained some earrings with gold flakes on them. (I was
told in Tucson that these were mined in the Yukon and were at least 18K.
They were #10 in size, if that means anything to you.)

My question (finally) is: Is it possible to remelt the silver and
retrieve the gold flakes from it? I bought a crucible, but have never used
it, and have an acetylene/oxy Little Torch. When answering, please keep
in mind I have never melted any metal (on purpose, that is!).

Thanks for any advice or info – even if it’s something I don’t want to
hear! Candy


#2

HELP! I have been working with Precious Metal Clay since January. I like
it and plan to continue with it. "

Candy, I would love to hear more about your experiences with precious metal
clay. I have read much about it, and have used it once, unsuccessfully.
@mbm


#3
My question (finally) is:  Is it possible to remelt the silver and
retrieve the gold flakes from it?

Sorry Candy, the gold will melt along with the silver. However, you might
be able to dissolve the silver in a solution of nitric acid, which
shouldn’t touch the flakes. You could use it cold. Just pour some into a
beaker and set it somewhere safe, perhaps out in the sun, for a few days.

Jeffrey Everett


#4

I don’t think you will be able to melt the silver and gold , and retrieve
the gold flakes. It will be too difficult to get the right temperature to
melt the silver, and it has already gotten into the pores of the gold
flakes. Also, you will probably melt the gold also.

What you might try, if you’re comfortable working with acid, it to soak the
articles in nitric acid until the silver dissolves. This will take a while,
and please observe the cautions and safety procedures, using acid.

#10, is the size of the gold flake. It is about the smallest size flake I
like to use, when making nugget jewelry.

I hope this has been of help, and I’m sure other members will add their
advice.

     John,       jvalonis@aol.com

#5

Thanks for the replies to my question. I don’t think I will try the acid
just yet.

I have found some of the melted lumps of silver to be thin enough to saw
out the gold. Doesn’t matter that the silver is fused to it since I will
be fusing it to silver again.

I do have some pieces that will require the acid, so I am filing this info
for future use.

Candy