How to chemically extract gold from plating

Written by mike marcoe
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How to chemically extract gold from plating
Extract the gold plating from your old dinnerware. (gold dipper image by Marko Korac from

Traditionally, recovering and extracting gold from gold-plated items was a complex and dangerous process. With advances in technology and scientific methods, extracting gold plating from computer scrap and old vintage ceramic and glass dishware has become a profitable hobby. Using the right equipment, in combination with nontoxic chemicals, you can extract gold plating in your home or a small workshop.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Gold recovery equipment and supplies
  • Separate work area
  • Gold-plated items
  • Digital scale
  • Copper spoon or scoop
  • Paper towels
  • Safety gloves
  • Safety mask

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  1. 1

    Visit the Shor International website and purchase a gold recovery unit that uses Subzero nontoxic chemicals for gold plating recovery (see Resources). There is no comparable product on the market that offers nontoxic chemical processes and equipment to safely recover gold.

  2. 2

    Set up a separate work area with plenty of ventilation. Choose a space that will not be disturbed by visitors, pets or children. Set up the gold recovery unit in this space. Put a box of your gold-plated items in the work area.

  3. 3

    Watch the instructional video that came with your gold recovery unit.

  1. 1

    Add the nontoxic chemicals to the gold recovery unit.

  2. 2

    Add some of the gold-plated items to the gold recovery unit. Let the gold-plated items sit in the chemical solution for 10 to 15 minutes, unless the video specifies otherwise.

  3. 3

    Remove the items from the chemical solution. The solution should have stripped off the gold plating.

  4. 4

    Remove the gold and precious metals sludge from the bottom of the gold recovery unit, using the copper spoon or scoop. Place the gold sludge on a paper towel.

  5. 5

    Wearing safety gloves, squeeze any excess Subzero chemical solution out of the gold sludge and back into the gold recovery unit. Let the gold sludge dry.

  6. 6

    Weigh the recovered gold on the digital scale and make note of it.

Tips and warnings

  • If you have old computers, the central processing units will have gold-plated electronic components and gold-plated computer chips inside them.
  • Look around for old ceramic and glass dishware that is gold plated.
  • Use a safety mask, gloves and other safety precautions as advised by the manufacturer.

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