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Where can I get Nitric Acid?

I have been searching for a bit of nitric acid here in North Alabama,
and have had absolutely NO luck. Does anyone know where I can get a
small amount of 10% or higher? I need it to etch the iron meteorites
in my jewelry work and in my collection. At this point, I’ll be
willing to pay the hazardous material shipping charge that UPS charges
(Which will undoubtedly be 10 times the cost of the nitric).


My favorite chemical suppliers for artists:

Karen Christians

I used to get nitric for etching at a company called City Chemical.
It used to be in Manhattan but has since moved, I believe to Queens,
New York. Try looking it up on Yahoo or another such Yellow Pages

Good Luck!

Nina Leto
Lenina Designs

I have a very good source for all kinds of chemicals, and I have used
them for years. Good people to deal with:

Tri-Ess Sciences 1020 Chestnut Burbank, CA 91506 (818) 848-7838

David Barzilay
Lord of the Rings

You should look outside the jewelry field for this. Try some
chemical supply houses and possibly even some pharmaceutical supply
houses. You might also see if there are any industrial platers in
your area and ask them if they can guide you to a local source.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers

Don, at Moonsilver,

A few ideas on finding Nitric Acid for you:

  1. Check the yellow pages for your nearest large city under Chemical

  2. Call your pharmacies and medical laboratories. The pharmacy
    would probably sell you a small quantity and the lab would probably
    give you some.

  3. Contact High School chemistry teachers, too!

Good luck.

Gary Strickland, GJG

When I posted this yesterday, I messed up the URL.

Hi Don, I encountered a similar problem locating ferric nitrate. And
if you do find someone locally or regionally, they may want to sell
you a 55 gallon drum of the stuff! My suggestion is “let your fingers
do the walking” in the phone book, and when told they can’t help you,
ask if they can think of anyone who can.

Also be prepared for some skepticism and interrogation about the
intended use. I usually got a warmer reception when I explained that I
am an artist looking to etch some metal for a new line of pieces. I
guess there is lingering concern about terrorism or other
inappropriate use of the chemicals.

As a side note, if you’re going to be etching silver, consider using
ferric nitrate. It may be easier to find in the quantities you need,
and my understanding is it’s not nearly as nasty as nitric. Karen
Christians of Metalwerx in Boston clued me in on this one! Thanks,

All the best,
Dave Sebaste

If you need a tiny amount and not full strength you could use 14k
Gold testing solution. Buy from any jewelry supplier or get mail
order from Rio etc.

Kenneth Singh 14K (that is Nitric acid slightly diluted)
Just remember if you are working with 14K gold it will not work.