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topic 13044 p2

Mercury damage to gold jewelry

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A discussion started in 2002 but continuing through 2019

Contact with mercury instantly ruins jewelry, but boiling it in coconut oil can fix it! Read on . . .

August 26, 2010

hello, my grandmother was a gold miner and she used mercury to separate her gold.she kept her mercury in a gun case. since her passing my mother found her mercury and has been using it to separate gold that has been panned. my mother showed me a vile of what she said was pure mercury. she told me to shake it to see if I could see a gold nugget inside. so I shook it and put it down on the scale and silver balls started rolling off. come to find out there was a crack in it and mercury was on the outside of the bottle. she is not being very careful with it. I have seen silver mercury balls on her jewelry box and etc, my concern is my 3 young children in the house, I don't want them exposed. am I being paranoid or is contact that deadly? please put my mind at ease.

latasha garcia
goldminers granddaughter - manteca California

August 27, 2010


When I was a boy lots of kids played with mercury quite a bit, so it's clearly not universally deadly. At the other extreme, the phrase "Mad Hatter" derived from the fact that hatters who used to work extensively with mercury would get mercury poisoning. Dangers are all relative. All loose mercury should be cleaned up so it does not emit mercury vapors, and your mother should know that mercury exposure is bad for you, and should mend her ways, especially with small children around. Beyond that, some people would urge you to hire a specialist to decontaminate the house, but based on how much mercury I've seen, personally I wouldn't pay for professional decontamination. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

December 11, 2010 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

My wife cracked a mercury thermometer on her wedding ring and I would like to get it fixed. I have no idea who to turn to or trust with my wife's ring. Can anyone shed some light, it would be GREATLY appreciated.

Mike vezina
- Staten Island, New York USA

December 23, 2010

Hi,Mike. As you can see, we have been unable to locate any jewelers offering the restoration service. You could try boiling it in coconut oil [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], the sooner the better.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

February 11, 2011

Just had my wife's gold rings restored to as new state by a jewelry polishing business who used a sulphuric acid solution to remove the mercury stains before polishing the rings back to original condition. It worked perfectly.

John Bradley
- Solihull. Warwickshire, England

February 26, 2011

Where did John Bradley
from Solihull, Warwickshire, England, have his wife's rings polished, given it's not far from here? I have three rings with new mercury stains on from a barometer, and would like to ask his jeweller if he'd do mine or recommend someone locally to here. Thanks,

Anne Bull
- Ledbury, Herefordshire

February 28, 2011

I have had the mercury from my 3 rings removed by the London assay office. After breaking a thermometer and my rings first turning silver then dull gold. I asked advice from a jeweler and he said nothing could be done. I called my insurance company for help and they said that they would send in a assessor to quote replacing the rings. As I have had my wedding ring for 40 years this June I just wanted them free of mercury.Someone else suggested the Assay office in London have a lab and they may be able to help. A phone call to them confirmed for a small fee they would burn off the mercury I posted the rings to them and to day I had a phone call to say that the rings have successfully been decontaminated, I paid them by card over the phone and anticipate their return to me ASAP...

Rosie Paul
- Southampton England

The Dose Makes the Poison
from Abe Books


March 6, 2011

I note a number of people have highlighted the toxic nature of mercury. Whilst it is not ideal to inhale mercury vapor, I feel the need to highlight that the UK government, plus others, are quite happy to still use mercury for dental fillings.

Finally mercury is found in fish. A food we are encouraged to eat.

All in all, this does suggest that very low doses of mercury cause little harm.

Mike Perkins
- Worcester, UK

May 1, 2011

thumbs up signcoconut oil [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] boiling works to remove mercury from gold, thanks for advice, people.

sumit gandhi
- gurgaon, India

July 31, 2011

thumbs up signThanks for the advice. My wife had spilled mercury from broken thermometer on her gold bangles. Heating the jewelry in coconut oil [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] has worked.

- New Delhi, India

August 13, 2011

thumbs up signThank god, coconut oil [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] worked to remove mercury from my favorite ring.. today I spilled mercury from blood pressure operator on it.. thanx for advice, god bless you people...

sima beauty
- saudi arabia

August 14, 2011

thumbs up signAfter nearly selling my rings for scrap after they came in contact with mercury, I decided to try the coconut oil. it worked! the yellow gold came back, (though it is a bit dull).

J Marko
- Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, USA

October 6, 2011

thumbs up signThanks to the Internet and Parachute coconut oil [linked by editor to product info at Amazon].
We get rid of the problem by boiling the ring in the oil.
This saved a day of miserable happening. Thanks a lot .

Karanam RamaRao
- Pune, India

January 16, 2012

thumbs up signHeating the gold ring with coconut oil really works out; I have done and I am very happy now ... ha ha aha

Douglas Barretto
- India

February 15, 2012

A. 1. boil with coconut oil ... it works!!
Spread the coconut oil over the ring and then burn it over the stove!!
2.dip the ring into nitric acid.

Pankaj Sharma
- Rajasthan, India

March 4, 2012

thumbs up signThank you all...

Boiling in coconut oil [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] removed mercury splashes on gold.

It's awesome.

Nice, thanks all

Bharath Kumar
- Hyderabad, India

June 30, 2012

Q. Mercury was spilled on my gold ring -- what can I do?

Vanita Sharma
- Chandigarh, India

July 2, 2012

A. Hi Vanita. I suppose you could start by reading this page, where many readers swear by boiling in coconut oil :-)


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

July 6, 2012

Hi, and thanks Ted

Vanita Sharma
- Chandigarh, India

September 1, 2012

A. To clean your mercury contaminated rings check out the below url:

You need to follow from step 5.

Laurie Todd
- Bradford UK

September 1, 2012

Hi, Laurie. Thanks.

Most links break in short order, so it's probably best if I describe the thrust of the link -- which is to dissolve the mercury in nitric acid. But I think I'd rather go with the coconut oil. Thanks again.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

July 15, 2013

Q. The same thing has happened to my mother's gold ring.
I actually want to ask Anusha Raj if her idea of "boiling in the coconut oil" really works. And if it does then what kind of container should be used?
Help me!

Ritesh Bhat
- Pune, Maharashtra, India

July 15, 2013

A. Hi Ritesh. I don't quite understand your question: She already said it really works. A dozen other people have also said it really works. As I mentioned earlier, please use a disposable pot liner or at least a plastic bag inside the pot so you don't contaminate the pot with mercury. Best of luck!


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

November 2, 2013

thumbs up signFrom this page, I got the solution. The gold jewelry was kept aside the Mercury tablets (to be kept inside the grain). The jewelry was kept in a plastic pouch in the grain tin. The jewelry was not in direct touch with the mercury tablet and also the tablet do not contain the real mercury in its original form. Even then, the jewelry turned white to some extent. After, getting solution from this page, the jewelry was boiled in the Coconut oil for two/three minutes, thereafter, allowed to cool down and washed with soap leather. To my surprise, the original gold shining returned. Thanks a lot.

Pradip Kumar Pandya
- Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

November 20, 2013

thumbs up signCoconut oil really worked, thanks to all for this solution. My diamond and gold. Ring that turned white due to contact with mercury turned back to gold colour after I boiled it in coconut oil and to bring back the shine on the gold I rubbed dry Colgate tooth powder ( you can get it in Indian stores in a Colgate tin packing) and the ring is now shining like before.
I usually use Colgate powder to clean all silverware, it works very well to clean gold as well,

- Kingston Canada

November 20, 2013

Q. My wife broke a thermometer and it got into gold chain and bracelet ... and it changed its color ... can I get its original condition?

sobuj oni
- dhaka, bangladesh

November 21 2013

A. Hi Sobuj. I realize people sometimes want hand-holding and personal assurance when faced with a serious issue like damage to their gold -- but I can't even easily count all the people who have already told you that they boiled their rings in coconut oil and it worked. What can anyone possibly add or detract in light of such a massive response except to say, yet again, the sooner the better :-)

Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

Alginate molding powder

December 17, 2013

A. Hi. I work in the Dental field and all of my co-workers are indians with full golds around their body :-)
Anyway, one of my workmates tried to use our old BP Apparatus and it seemed that it was broken so mercury went directly to her wedding ring covering 75% of it. She cried the whole morning because she recently just got married :-(

Fortunately, one of our Dental Interns is so bright. She rubbed this ALGINATE (powder used to take impressions or models for teeth) towards the ring and it went back to its normal condition in just few minutes! Just go to a nearby Dental Clinic and ask for Alginate or Pumice powder. Afterwards, just a little polishing is needed. Hope this helps :D

JM Villadarez
Dental - Mabalacat Pampanga, Philippines

April 14, 2014

Q. How can we get original gold ring from the reacted gold ring with mercury which is turned totally white? Is it possible to get quantitatively & qualitatively the same amount?

anupa wasti
student - nepal

September 20, 2014

Q. I have my ring half dropped in mercury of 24 carat gold what do I do?

Stanzin chospel
- haldwani uttarakhand India

September 2014

A. Hi cousin Haldwani. Please see my reply of Nov. 21, 2013. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

Before & after use of coconut oil, photos courtesy of Yesha Duggad:



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