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Best and Easiest way to refine gold dust to get 99.9% purity


Q. Hello Experts;

I have just started to venture and little money in gold business, but I'm no where related to gold and chemicals. I have searched the internet and I came to know a lot about Aqua Regia Method and few steps on how to refine gold. But the steps and the vocabulary is too difficult for me to understand. 'I'm familiar with acid names. But all I would like to learn is or get a detailed, simple, easy and best procedure to refine Gold Dust to get 99.99% gold. I will be experimenting with small quantity at home so that I get to know how it is done and practice to get better results. Please experts, I will be highly grateful to you if can help me and tell me in simple words, step by step procedure to get 99.9% purity.


Mohsin Iqbal
- Dubai, UAE


A. Burn the dust at 650 °C temperature. Sieve it and remove iron by magnet.

Take 1 kg fine dust in 5 l glass beaker; add 1.5 l aqua regia (1 part HNO3 & 3 part HCl) in it very slowly. Boil the solution up to 30 min., then cool the solution and then filter by using buchner funnel.

Add urea water & FeSO4 into your filtered solution until green colour reaches dark black colour. Settle the solution for 1 hour, then decant the solution into another drum. Remove the brown powder in a beaker. Wash it very well with HCl, and then wash with hot water until pH paper does not change.

Then dry that powder on heater slowly & melt at 1064 °C in melting furnace.

Bhupesh Mulik
jewellery - Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Ed. note: Thanks for the highly detailed response, Bhupesh. Readers should be aware that these are dangerous operations and the instructions are intended for people who have been trained in safe handling of these materials.


Q. Hi,
I would like to know the reagent required to precipitate palladium.

Vidyadhar Sumant
- BOMBAY, India

October 17, 2009

A. To Vidyadhar Sumant, you asked how to drop Pd from a solution. I assume a Pd Chloride solution that has been de- NOXed (HNO3 driven off and tested with starch-iodine paper) Pd Chloride will precipitate with Ammonium Hydroxide. As the pH rises to 7+ a pink precip called "magnus salt" will appear, as more NH4OH is added this will redissolve and around pH 7.5-8 depending on the temp of solution a bright yellow precipitate of NH3PdCl4 Ammonium Chloro Palladate. If you need to wash this on the funnel use cold concentrated ammonium chloride solution as NH3PdCl4 is somewhat soluble and you can have considerable metal loss if you don't know this. The "spent" solution also still has some metal left (around 1 gram in 10 liters), test it and do the math, is it worth the cost to recover, or concentrating? Good Luck.

Kiwi Bruce
- West Grove Pennsylvania


Q. Is there any other way to do the refining without boiling the solution?

Sarven Ozdemir
- Buenos Aires, Bs. As., Argentina


Q. To an experienced professional,
I wanted to learn how to easily refine silver from scrap litho film; this has been in my family for generations, my grand father was a silver and gold refiner but he did it in old fashioned way and same goes for my father. Instead of refining gold I became a gold manufacturer at the age of thirteen, and I have been doing this for about twenty-eight years. I have been searching the internet for couple of years to help my dad out so he does not have to go through a long process when he can do it easily. I tried to find a new and advanced way to refine silver and gold but was not successful at it. Please, if anyone can help me out I will really appreciate your aid.

I am not exactly sure about the amount of chemicals he uses but the way my dad refines gold is first he combines silver along with gold and melts it then he throws it in the water which becomes grains, then he puts the stuff in stainless steel or a glass bowl along with the nitric acid. The nitric acid eats up the silver and leaves the gold on the bottom of the bowl, after that my father dumps the liquid in a plastic bowl and washes the gold and then melts which makes it into a 99.99% purity (24 Karat). Now to separate the silver from nitric acid, for this step you have to leave a copper wire in the bowl for 5 to 6 hours that makes leaves the powder on the bottom of the bowl and you throw the water out. Now you melt the powder which makes it into silver. Once again, I will be highly grateful to you if can help me and tell me in simple words, step by step procedure to get 99.9% purity. Thank you.

Tariq Feroze
Gold manufacturer - Iselin, New Jersey


Q. I have just started to venture and little money in Platinum, Palladium or Rhodium gold Dust business, but I'm nowhere related to Gold and chemicals. I have searched the internet and I came to know a lot about Aqua Regia Method and few steps on how to refine gold. But the steps and the vocabulary is too difficult for me to understand. I'm familiar with Acid names. But all I would like to learn is or get a detailed, simple, easy and best procedure to refine Platinum, Palladium or Rhodium Gold Dust. Is there any other way to do the refining to get 99.99% Platinum, Palladium or Rhodium Gold without boiling the solution?

I will be experimenting with a small quantity at home so that I get to know how it is done and practice to get better results. Please experts, I will be highly grateful to you if can help me and tell me in simple words, step by step procedure to get 99.9% purity.

Maqsood Ahmed
prop - Maharastara, Mumbai, India


Q. I want to inquire how much it will cost to refine gold dust of around 25 kg.
I think I will get my answer soon from this site.

umesh rai
purchasing agent - Delhi, India


Q. Dear Sirs
I have platinum ore but am afraid to process it for fear I will lose possible Rhodium also in the ore. Could you so kindly give some direction on how to process these metals from my little operation at home. Any help greatly appreciated.

Art Meyer
Jeweler - San Diego ,California

June 19, 2009

A. About refining GOLD. I've spent 8 years it it, and I think for a small quantity and only 99.9%. you do it this way:

Decrease% of gold to < or = 25%, as low as possible by copper or silver. Then put in 35%-40% HNO3. Wait 1 or 2 hr, filter solutions with filter paper. Rinse well with D.I water. The black powder is gold. Dry it and melt it and you have 99.9% gold this way without the iron inside the metal.
Anther way to refining gold 99.99% with any alloys: put 600 gram metal in beaker, then put in 3 liters of agua regia (1 HN03 + 3 HCL). Wait 1 day or finish reaction. Filter solution with filter paper. Put UREA slowly into solution until finish boil. Use SO2 gas (compressed gas) put pipe in solution, open the valve slowly. Wait 30 min or 1 hour until all the gold falling the bottom. Solution change to gray or black or blue-gray(precipitating finish). Filter solution and rinse well with water and hot water. Dry and melt. Now you have gold 99.99%. Good luck.


Ed. note: Thanks very much, Tran. Again, these instructions are for people trained in the same handling of the materials mentioned.

March 11, 2011

Hi, out of 100% gold 9 ct how much gold would I get back. Thank you.

Ana Lay
student - victoria

March 14, 2011

A. Hi, Ana

9 karat gold is 9 parts gold out of 24, and 15 parts of other metals. So if the gold was separated at 100% efficiency, you get back 3/8 (9/24) as much pure gold.


pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

October 31, 2011

A. As we here In Tanzania do, is very simple and accurate procedure. Just take the gold and then use a hammer and a steel doll and hammer the gold till it takes the form of sand particles. Then take a steel pot and pour the gold in it. Then pour some water. When the water comes to the boiling point pour Nitric acid (HNO3) in the pot and let the other particles evaporate from the substance. Then start the same process for the next 2 times. That makes a total of 3 times and what's left shall be 24 kt pure gold. But if done once you shall always get a loss. That is what always happens here in Tanzania and that is why many buyers end up getting losses here. Better stand near the material till the process ends. A blink of your eye shall change everything. People who have come here might understand what I just stated.

Murtaza Rizvi
- Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania

January 10, 2012

Q. Hi,
I have a metal which contains 10% of gold, 10% of silver, 70% of copper and some percentage of zinc and lead in it. Can you tell the process for extracting gold from the metal?

Yash Vyas
- India

March 5, 2012

Q. Dear Sir,

Can anyone explain if 92% purity gold dust of 1 kg weight of 22 Karat, means 92% pure? How to convert it to 99.999 pure of gold and prepare one Tola (11 gram) gold coins ?


Saeed Mohammad Ali
- Dhaka, Bangladesh

March 6, 2012

Hi Saeed.

Yes, 22 karat means 22 parts gold out of 24 total parts, or approximately 92 percent gold. Sorry, I can't help you with the rest.


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 5, 2012

Q. I dissolve computer processor gold in aqua regia, and I want to know what acid is required to make this dissolved gold into a dust gold?

Ahmad Waqas
recycling - New York

December 8, 2012

Q. Dear sir,
I want to know what's the effect on gold purity if we melt the sample 2 or 3 times?
Will purity increase or decrease when we compare with first result?
Please tell me.

Thanks and regards

Jai Deep
- Delhi, India

December 10, 2012

Q. Hi,
I am running a gold testing center. I purchase gold as per my testing report. But I can't get pure (999) as per report. I lose gold: for 200 grams to 400 gms of old gold at least 1.500 grams to 4 grams for one sitting.
My purification formula is:

300 grams gold (old gold) melting and it's dropped into water (only old gold, not mixed in silver).
It (melting gold) is dropped in box and 400 ml of nitric acid and 1200 ml of HCl. It will do as 1 hour then we keep at for night. Tomorrow morning we will take the gold mixing water and filter the water. The filtering water we mix the chemical water to that (per 100 grams old gold, 1 liter chemical water). Then we wait for 1 hour. then the gold will be down on the bucket. Then we clean the gold and melting.
But first time it will come very well, but nowadays it will not come 999. Please tell me what is the chemical name and how to do it.
Any other type of methods to not lose our gold and take 999 for the old gold.

Shiva Savant
- Andrapradesh, India

January 18, 2013

Q. Please give answer to my question; am waiting for 20 days from my post.
Or any other way to get 999+ pure gold. System is available for it?
I really tried to recover gold like old system but it could not came 999+. It came 99.80% only. This system I explain to you, that is 1st half am doing old gold melting in crucible and make it all old items on %. Then EXP; 100 grams old gold +200 grams of pure silver and melting drop into water to take grains. Then take the grains into stainless steel bowl and add nitric acid and slowly give heat when the brown powder is down.
In bowl then old nitric is dumped in other basket and take new nitric acid add to boil for 30 minutes, then take distilled water and raise the powder with, then heat powder and melt it. But comes only 99.70 to 99.80 only and loss of gold also.
When I test the pure gold it shows Ag id 0.15 and 0.09% Cu and Iridium also.
What can I do for 99.9% gold recovery anybody know please let me know to how it's possible in this method.

Shiva Savant [returning]
gold testing center - Andrapradesh, India

August 2014

thumbsup2Hi Shiva. Sorry you didn't get an answer yet.

I'm only the website administrator, with no experience in this topic, and can't help you -- it's all about readers helping each other. There are many readers with questions standing in line in front of you. You complain that no one is helping you, but you didn't help them -- just exactly how did you think this free forum was going to work :-)

Please jump in and help someone while you're waiting.

Thanks and Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

January 30, 2013

RFQ: I am looking to buy nitric acid and hydrochloric acid to start up some experiments about gold recovery. I searched the net and could not find any. Please let me know if you know where to buy the 2 chemicals. Also, do I need a business license to purchase them?

Maj Joseph
- Charlotte, North Carolina

February 4, 2013

A. Hi Maj. As far as I know a consumer would not need a license to purchase things in consumer quantity that are available for sale to consumers like this. For larger quantities, you might need a license or you might simply encounter people unwilling to sell to you. Companies are justly concerned about liability if one of their products is misused, and might only want to sell to licensed industrial facilities. Regardless of laws or licenses, you need to understand how hazardous these materials are.


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

Nitric Acid

Muriatic Acid

May 10, 2013

Okay I am trying to extract gold from computer processors but having trouble in calculating aqua regia. Any help would be really appreciated.
I am using 10 processors as an experiment, so how much HNO3 and HCL should I add (1 to 3 grams gold is expected in it)?

trix maxer
- karachi ,pakistan

May 23, 2013

Q. What is happening. My third request and I cannot get answer from this site. I want the easy method of gold purification system to get 99.99%.

shiva savant
gold testing center - andrapradesh, India

May 27, 2013

Hi Shiva. Sorry, but this is simply a public forum where readers try to help each other out. Gold recovery is not within my experience as the website administrator, and I simply can't help.

As previously mentioned, why not help someone else who has been waiting longer than you, and hope that the favor will be returned. Good luck.


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey

May 28, 2013

A. Hi Shiva
The big question is why someone from a Gold Testing Centre is asking such an elementary question.
Looking at some of the suggestions in the thread, I would expect the losses to be considerable and the purity suspect.
If any of you are running gold reclamation as a business you should at least have a basic knowledge of chemistry and some lab skills. It is not enough to know how to do the job, it is even more important to know what to do when things go wrong - and they will!
So, rather than give a direct answer, I suggest that you consult the many text books on extractive metallurgy and gold assaying.
You could make a start at:
But avoid cyanide and mercury processes unless you fully understand the risks.

Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England

May 31, 2013

A. Shiva,

First of all, it is quite difficult, if not impossible, to produce 99.99% gold by purely chemical means. To produce that purity, the gold is usually first chemically purified and then run through an electrolytic Wohlwill cell. There are also solvent extraction methods methods that will produce 99.99% purity. It is possible to get 99.95% gold through an aqua regia (AR) process, but you would probably have to process it twice. When inquarting with silver or copper and then leaching with nitric, the results you got, 99.8+% pure, are about as high as you could ever expect. To get higher purity, the brown powder would have to be processed in AR.

Most all karat gold contains silver, which ends up as the main contaminate of purified gold. When you dissolve the karat gold directly in AR, silver chloride (AgCl) is formed. It is fairly soluble in strong AR but precipitates when the AR is diluted with rinse water. This AgCl then contaminates the reduced gold powder. The AgCl can be mostly removed by either chilling with ice and filtering or by diluting and filtering the AR before precipitating the gold. In the latter, add at least 3 times as much water as you have AR. Also, in case any AgCl gets though the system, many refiners leach the filtered and rinsed gold powder with ammonia, preferably hot. This will dissolve any remaining AgCl.

If lead is present, usually from solder, it is also a possible source of contamination. After diluting the AR, as above, add a small amount of sulfuric acid. This will precipitate the lead as lead sulfate and that can be removed along with the AgCl by filtration.

Chris Owen
- Nevada, Missouri, USA

July 8, 2013

A. Hi Shiva,
Don't be disappointed -- I have an answer to your question.
You use hydrazine hydrate, dilute as 500ml in 4500 ml water, and use as a gold precipitating chemical.

Bhupesh Mulik
jewellery - Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

November 4, 2013

Q. Dear Friends, I am getting the three type of color powders from under ground nearly 30 feet depth, and I think these powders are nearly 2700 years back. It's heavy protected inside of ground; I think this is Gold Dust. The colors are Brown, a type of Green and a type of Red. I have to search on line for Gold Dust colors same-to-same, matched these colors. Also I have to test H2SO4 and sulphate but not getting proper response. Please tell me how to test this powder.

Sri Bangaram
- Hyderbad, Andhrapradesh, India
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^

November 12, 2013

RFQ: I want training to learn refining of gold.

bappa paul
- beldanga, west bengal
  ^- Privately contact this inquirer -^

Gold Refining by George Gajda

Gold recovered from PCB fingers disappeared when nitric acid was added

August 13, 2014

Q. Trying to find a correct answer to solve a problem a coworker did while we were refining Gold fingers.

He left the bucket in which the acid bath (Hydrogen Peroxide & Muriatic Acid Mix) outside and it rained. He thought the H2O would ruin the Gold for some reason so he said he added roughly 1 gallon of Nitric Acid to 3 gallons of the Acid Mix. When he did this he said it started to produce brown fumes and all of the Gold that was already off and separated from the computer parts just disappeared, turning into liquid & gas form. He pretty much went straight through to it looking like the Aqua Regia process. I could have killed him when I got back from a doc appt.

Can you PLEASE tell us there is a solution for our BIG problem. We would really appreciate your great knowledge and help us out. Great Forum btw, very helpful. Thanks and keep up the good work! We will keep checking your forum every day for your mighty knowledge in helpful answers and tips. Thanks again,

Matt Thomas
- New Orleans, Louisiana

August 13, 2014

A. You now have a lot of aqua regia with a little bit of gold dissolved in it, relatively speaking. In order to precipitate the gold with a reducing agent, such as sodium metabisulfite, you must first eliminate the huge amount of nitric acid (an oxidizing agent) that the guy dumped into the solution. Urea won't work. In your particular situation, the most straight forward way is to evaporate the whole thing down to a syrup. Get it quite hot but don't boil or you will loose gold in the vapors. Reduce the heat when the solution level gets low or the solution will splatter. Once this is done, add a little HCl and evaporate again. Repeat 2 more times. Dilute with at least 2 volumes of water. Filter. Precipitate the gold from the clear solution.

Chris Owen
- Nevada, Missouri, USA

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