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topic 12264

Gold plating quarters for science project


I would appreciate some advice. I am twelve years old, in the sixth grade, and am interested in the topic of gold plating for my science fair project. I saw a quarter that had been gold plated and would like to try this myself. I read all of the letters on this site, but didn't find any dealing with gold plating (only copper, brass, silver, etc.). I am also interested in a method that uses common household items.

Thank you,

Halil Rebekah Fried
- Lubbock, Texas


You will probably have trouble with this, Halil. Stick with zinc or copper plating for your project. In order to electroplate gold, you first have to be able to dissolve the gold in solution. Gold is the one metal that is found in nature as a metal because it does not corrode or dissolve in anything but the strongent solvents, namely aqua regia or cyanide. So you won't be able to easily electroplate gold because you will not be able to dissolve it in anything safe and readily available.

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

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