In addition to being a popular jewellery material, gold is used in dentistry, electronics, drinks and food. It has even been used by some as an alternative medicine for arthritis. While gold doesn't have any taste or nutritional value, it does add a touch of elegance to food and drinks. It is a soft metal that is easy to work with once you have practised with it. Many people like to melt it down and make their own golden creations. Because gold has a moderately low melting point for a metal, it can be melted with a standard propane torch. Once melted, gold can be poured into moulds to harden or pounded with a mallet into thin strips.
Put on safety goggles, a long-sleeved shirt and a face mask to protect your skin should the molten gold happen to pop or burst.
Put the gold in the bottom of a cast-iron pot. Cast iron is good to use because it's readily available and has a melting temperature almost 482 degrees C higher than gold.
Turn the propane torch on and set it to a medium flame.
Hold the end of the flame directly against the gold. As the gold heats up, it will turn to a liquid state and form a puddle. Depending on the size of the gold, this can take anywhere from a minute to an hour.
If you are melting gold that is thicker than a half-inch, you may want to cut it in half with a band saw to reduce the amount of time it takes to melt.
Tips and warnings
- If you are melting gold that is thicker than a half-inch, you may want to cut it in half with a band saw to reduce the amount of time it takes to melt.