How do I Recycle the Gold From the Inside of Computers?

Written by katebo
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How do I Recycle the Gold From the Inside of Computers?
Reclaiming and recycling scrap gold can make you money, but only if you have a lot of scrap gold. (gold image by ennavanduinen from Fotolia.com)

You can salvage gold from old computer memory chips by dismantling computers and taking the insides to a scrap metals refinery that deals in precious metals. To recycle and reclaim a quantity of gold that is of significant value, you will need to acquire hundreds of old computers. Most refineries expect you to bring at least 90.7 Kilogram of computer memory to extract gold from.

You can find gold on integrated circuits and connectors within the computer. You could extract it at home yourself, but the toxic chemicals used in the extraction process are very dangerous.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Hundreds of old computers
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Bubble wrap
  • USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate box

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove and set aside the outer plastic components of the computer, using pliers and a screwdriver. Make a pile of all electronic components that appear to have gold on them. Look for objects that resemble fingers, and for the connectors they attach to. You can find these on the circuit boards.

  2. 2

    Call a scrap metals refinery in your area that deals in precious metals. Ask what percentage of the spot price of gold the refinery pays for scrap gold. The “spot” price is the value at which gold is traded on the open market on a particular day.

  3. 3

    Check online for the spot price of gold, and compare it to the refinery’s offer. One place to find the spot price is at goldprice.org.

  4. 4

    Contain the computer parts in bubble wrap or other packaging material, and mail them via United States Postal Service Priority Mail to the refinery; or, deliver it in person. Insure the package before you mail it.

Tips and warnings

  • Call several refineries to compare payout prices. Search online for customer reviews to determine the reputations of refineries you are interested in working with.
  • The spot price of gold is based on pure 24-karat gold. Lower-carat gold, such as 14 carat, is an alloy. This means pure gold is mixed with other metals. An alloy is worth less than pure gold and, therefore, less than the spot price. Ask the refineries what percentage of the spot price your gold is worth.

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