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topic 5048

How to Extract Gold from Computer Circuit Boards?

A discussion started in 2000 but continuing through 2017


Q. I have access to over 4 tons of old Computer Circuit Boards. I am wondering if anyone knows of a way that the gold can be extracted from these. I have heard that there is a solution you can soak the boards in and the gold will just "lift off" but I don't know what this is called and I'm not sure if it will actually work. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Mandi C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Spokane Washington

Kindle edition: E-Waste Gold


A. The amount of gold you will get from 4 tons of circuit boards may not be worth the effort and cost.

There are at least two ways to get the gold: (1) cut off the tabs and strip them in cyanide (2) burn the entire collection, smelt the copper and gold out of the ash, then extract the gold from the copper. Both methods are highly regulated environmentally, as well as being dangerous. I suggest you stay out of the business.

bill vins
Bill Vins
microwave & cable assemblies
Mesa (what a place-a), Arizona 


A. Hello, those boards if made before 1990 should be worth a dollar per pound after you cut the gold plated material off. There are better ways of gold extraction other than cyanide. I have refined gold for many years and have never used any form of cyanide. Use a dilute Aqua-regia.

Arnold H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Hamilton, Ohio


Q. I have managed to slice the gold/copper strips from the PCB eliminating the board process. I now have an average size pill bottle full of these shavings. Would it be in my best interest to now try separating the 2 or should I sell them outright not knowing what percentage of this plated scrap is gold. The boards are of 86-92 era. I also am very curious as to why these shavings are magnetic when neither gold or copper are magnetic. One answer I got was that since electrical current has flowed though them they now have a charge to them. This sounds logical to me or is it perhaps another alloy that I don't know about. I would really appreciate any light you can shine on these matters for me.

D Marshland
hobbyist - Wallingford, Connecticut


Q. Hi. My husband and I have access to a large amount of really old circuit boards. We are not sure of the quickest and safest way to extract the gold from them? Here in Calgary, Alberta people will pay insane amounts for the gold.

Marie S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Q. Hi I have access to a lot of computer circuit boards brand new in fact. I want to know where can I recycle them. I heard that some people pay good money for them and I was just wondering if someone could give me their opinion on where to start even looking for a place to recycle them.

Heather B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Pheba, Mississippi

March 27, 2008

Q. I am metal merchant and need to find out how to extract the gold from thousands of boards I have. Please help

Matthew D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
recycling - England

April 8, 2008

A. Hi, Marie, Heather, Matthew --

E-waste has become a curse on the planet. The first problem is that amateur recycling is a wrecking ball that scatters toxic waste everywhere. Add to it that the cost of recycling the whole item is so close to break even that the rest of the toxins become unrecoverable and buried everywhere if people do 'cherry picking' on the waste. The following video, and there are dozens like it from many major environmental organizations, explains why leaving the scrapped electronics whole is a pivotal ingredient in the world gaining control over the e-waste problem:

One convenient widget for locating green recyclers is on the Crutchfield site at


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

April 17, 2008

Q. I've been thinking about putting together a not for profit substance abuse recovery home and I'd like to understand the ins and outs of breaking down to a component level, home and business electronics and then selling them for salvage.

Do I sell circuits boards one place. Batteries another, plastic in yet another and of course our end goal is to provide some employment and fund raising.

If this won't stand on its own are there government underwriting funds available? Do you know of a guide to such grants?

Thank you,

Tod Pidgeon
recycling - Dayton, Ohio

April 22, 2008

A. Hi, Tod. There is a "green recycler's pledge", which is intended to make sure the recovery of e-waste is part of a sustainable economy.

So "green recyclers" are forbidden from using prisons or slave labor, or other tricks which would make it impossible for legitimate businesses to compete against them. It's not possible for a small real business to compete against politically-connected firms for whom the public is paying much of their bills . . . so grants violate the spirit of the green recycler's pledge. And as we see time & time again, as each particular feeding trough runs dry, the real businesses in that field have been driven out by the unfair competition, the grant mill has moved to greener pastures, and the public is left with nothing but bills and shuttered businesses. Good luck in your endeavors, but please foreswear grants.

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

August 31, 2008

Q. I have some old and new computers and just wanted to know if the processor has more than the other parts.I think the older computers have more than the newer one's but which parts have the most maybe I will just go for that part and leave the rest alone. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR TIME.

Dennis Rogers
hobbyist - Indianapolis, Indiana

"Recovery And Refining Of Precious Metals"
by C.W. Ammen

from Abe Books
info on Amazon

Recovering Precious Metals
from Abe Books


October 16, 2008

Q. How is the last stage to recover after go through the process and end up with gold liquid and prevent it to become black during burning

Amir Hamzah Ismail
research and development - Malaysia

December 14, 2008

A. Ok curious.... I read one on here that said wouldn't be worth the time....
I broke down 5 comps.... I got 2 ounces of GOLD. from it... ok is the GOLD not going for $1000 to $1200 per ounce now?

Chuck C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
scrap - Knoxville Tennessee

December 17, 2008

Hi, Chuck. I doubt that your recovered gold is anywhere near pure yet, because it sounds improbable that a computer would have $500 to $600 of gold in it and sell for $399 complete :-) Please let us know how big the check actually is after you actually get it! Don't rely on extravagant claims as evidence that you will recover valuable amounts of gold -- we sometimes see people post glorious tales about how much money they recovered from scrap, only to find the same person selling scrap on ebay . . . and it becomes obvious that they made that claim to try to inflate the value of the junk they were hawking :-)

Good luck.


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

March 14, 2009

A. Well here goes. I know it is very possible to profit off of old pc boards because the price of gold was a lot lower then say in the nineties gold may have been 600.00 hundred per ounce compared to now 975.00 per ounce so yes it can be profitable to dissect old boards for gold silver platinum and copper just be careful of health hazards. I will be honest, most people don't want you to know $$$$ in them there computers

Michael Renforth
recycle - Weirton, West Virginia

April 23, 2009

Q. Was gold ever used in welding joints in old cars, can it be reclaimed?

mark green
hobbyist - Amarillo, Texas

April 25, 2009

A. This strikes me as highly improbable, Mark, but if you can provide a reference I'd certainly love to look at it.


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

May 17, 2009

Q. I came across some electrical contacts from heavy duty connections and was told they were platinum or silver. They are soft enough to scratch and are harder than lead, I'm trying to find out if precious metals were used in high voltage connections.These pieces are about 50 years old, and I believe came from an old steel mill. Also the dime size pieces are quite heavy 4 of them weigh almost 1 ounce.Thank you...Any info would be helpful.

jim passione
hobby - valencia Pennsylvania

May 19, 2009

Electronic scale

A. Hi, Jim. If they truly are dime sized (0.0207 in3) and four of them weigh 1 ounce, then their density is 12 oz per cubic inch, i.e., .75 pounds/in3, which is much heavier than silver or lead, a little heavier than gold, and about the weight of platinum.

For this to have any validity, though, you need to weigh them, not guess, and you need to carefully measure that they are dime-sized, not eyeball it. If they are rounded or odd shaped so that you can't easily calculate their volume, look up what Archimedes exclaimed "Eureka!" about -- if you drop them in water they will displace an equal volume of water.

If they are as heavy as you say, they are worth taking to a jeweler or gold dealer to be checked, as only precious metals or tungsten would be this heavy.


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

May 20, 2009

A. In reference to the platinum in computers. i.e hard drives. there is only a very thin layer of in located on the disks themselves and even the amount in that is based on the age of the hard drive. the process involved in recovering that involves a lye solution which can be EXTREMELY dangerous using if all safety precautions are not followed.

robert godsey
- alhambra, Illinois

July 21, 2009

A. Your circuit boards are worth Serious money if you have "tons" of them.

Average Circuit Board Values range from 25 Cents per pound for low grade power supply boards to over $4 per pound for main frame computer boards.

There has not been any computer related product with any solid gold since the early 70's and that was some main switch gear from at&t.

Everything else is gold plate from 10,000th's of an inch for standard computer products to 30,000th's of an inch for military specs.

An average pc (personal computer) has a mother board, and a few riser boards. Current market value for these mother boards is $2 per pound, and $2.50 per pound for the riser boards---better known as "finger" boards ---because of the gold plate edge connector plate.

Processor Chips which we refer to as "high-grade" can be worth $25 to as much as $100 per pound.

Hope that helps everybody---don't get "snowed"

Dollar Bill Norcutt
- Richardson, Texas

October 1, 2009


Patti L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
first timer - Stockton, California

October 14, 2010

A. To Patti L: Your pins off the chips are most likely gold-ruthenium alloy, still valuable. Ru is paramagnetic so it will stick to a magnet. The gold passes the acid test, and Ru tests magnetic.

Laszlo Seres
- Toronto, Ontario, Canada

December 1, 2009

Q. Hello all,
I learned about the problems with E-waste in a college class just yesterday, and I was wondering how much of an entire computer is actually recyclable and how much isn't. can anyone give me a precise breakdown?


John O'Brien
- Newport News, Virginia

December 1, 2009

Hi, John. You pose an interesting question, but it isn't answerable until it is rigorously defined.

Actually, 100% of anything is recyclable. But if you need to spend 2 pounds of chemicals and a lot of energy to recover 1 pound of product, do we call it recyclable or not? It's surely not worthwhile to create 2 pounds of waste to recover a pound of sand. But how about to recover a pound of gold?

Environmentalists often consider business an enemy, so it's probably hard to say this in your college classes, but a good way we can answer your question is by considering something recyclable if it is economically viable to recycle it. I think that since it costs you money to recycle a computer, rather than paying you money, computers are presently "not recyclable". When we reach the point where people pay you for scrap computers rather than you having to pay them for responsible disposal, that's the point at which they can be considered "recyclable".


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

August 11, 2010

Q. Can I know the methods in separation of metals in mother boards and hard disk drives
At least Where can I get the information from?

Panickar Sobhan
student - chennai

August 14, 2010

A. I believe this web page answers how to separate gold and metals from computer equipment:


Melissa Vanessah
- Austin, Texas, USA

April 16, 2011

First of all, there are more than 2 ways to extract the gold from these pieces. All of the ways that have been so far mentioned are extremely dangerous if you do not know what you're doing, and can be very costly not only to you but to the environment as well. There is a way to get the gold out without aqua regia or cyanide. It is a device called simplicity or the simplicity, I'm not too sure, but it is made by a company called Shor =>

I did a lot of research and found this site. Also the thing about the electric current making them magnetic is completely lies and makes no sense at all. Magnets will only stick to iron, cobalt, or nickel. Most of these pieces are nickel and cobalt alloys. Hopefully this site helps anyone looking to start recycling gold for cash.

Jacob Peake
- Manistee, Michigan, United States

August 26, 2010

Q. I have a large number of direct TV satellite receiver's at my disposal. First let me say I do have intentions of recycling them at an approved e-waste facility in my town. I have been hearing and looking at the different ways to recover the gold from old computers. I was wondering if there was any, or is any way for this to be done on a home level. I was wondering if there was any gold in these old receivers. Doing the right thing with them is my intentions but thought if there was a chance to have some fun and maybe make a nickel at the same time it would be worth the effort. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Jay Nightingale
hobbyist, construction, environmentalist - Moline, Illinois, United States

October 25, 2010

A. To the people who want to know how much gold, platinum and silver is on electronic scrap you just have to multiply by the actual weight in pound. For gold multiply by .002, for platinum .001, silver .008 this is for electronics scrap segregated but not sorted I hope this is useful for somebody, thanks.

ulderys frances
- hialeah, Florida usa

February 26, 2011

Q. Hi Ulderys Frances

My question is about the numbers you have given above.

Is this a percentage or we multiply the pounds of weight with these to get the weight of the metals?

Can you give an example, say I have 20 pounds of PCBs, RAMS, CPU and Peripheral cards, what can I expect in terms of the precious metals.

Roger Kumar
- Santa Clara California USA

May 11, 2011

Q. I have been doing scrap metal for 5 years and I separate all components in p.c's and sell the board at 2 dollars a pound but I have bin saving all plated pins and processor chips. I have the pins separated magnetic and non but I want to know what value I should get. I have 27.6 pounds of non magnetic and 33 pounds of magnetic with no plastics on them. should I send it out for processing or sell as is they are all in Ziploc bags with half pound in each. Nowhere that I go will anyone give me a straight or fair answer; any feedback will be helpful

Anthony Panetta
scrap metal - Babylon New York U.S.A..

July 31, 2011

Q. I have some large silver-coated copper pieces used at a coal power plant and I need to know A. where I can sell these to? and/or B. what is the best way to separate the silver from the copper?

Bruce Napierkowski
- Lake Bluff, Illinois, USA

November 6, 2011

A. Place large copper piece in clean fish tank; cover with distilled water; attach positive of 12v car battery charger to copper piece; attach negative to steel plate; place 2 inches away from copper; turn on. Silver will attract to steel; then scrape; as steel is harder than copper. it is much easier to remove plating.

Mike Hunt
- Adelaide South Australia

Ed. note: This advice is for those who know what they are doing! Connecting a car battery to plates that are 2 inches apart in water is an invitation to a dangerous short circuit or shock for those who aren't careful.

January 4, 2012

Q. Hi, I'm just wondering if anyone's actually sent their scrap parts off to get money for them, and if so how much they got and where they sent everything. I've got a bunch of circuit boards I'd like to send out but I want to make sure I don't get shorted. Thanks!

Taylor Wright
- Alexandria, Virginia, USA

People are welcome to say how much they received but, sorry, Taylor, this is the wrong site for recommendations of who to do business with. This site is "no registration required" and semi-anonymous, and shills have been unable to refrain from posting with fictitious names, posing as satisfied customers, and glowingly describing the service of their own company :-)
Apologies but we don't post company names or testimonials here.

January 24, 2012

Q. This is a very broad question and I don't expect a specific answer. I have access to a large amount of E-waste of all types, containers full. This waste is located on a Pacific island and I would like to ship to The U.S. main land for recycling. I am not looking to profit from this only to cover costs. Would it be better for me to break the E-waste down into its sellable components or to ship it as is to recyclers. I am very early in the discovery process and would be grateful for any input.

Jeff Monroe
Waste Disposal - Chico, California, U.S.

January 27, 2012

A lot of people on these blogs rush to tell you how there's no money to be made from these boards, when in fact the gold/platinum is there. I can only assume that they tell you this in order to scare people away from the practice in order to further their own goals, namely reclaiming themselves.

When there is a greater demand for anything, as you know, the price goes up ... and once enough people find that there is money to be made in these boards, of course they will become harder to get ... hence the damnation of anyone asking questions. (Yes I already know these people are going to complain about my posts, but you asked a question, and I am not one to lie in answer for my own gain).

Here is a simple and inexpensive way to go about it.
For riser cards (which of course are the easiest), simply soaking the gold fingers in muriatic, (hydrochloric) acid will make the gold coating simply "slip" off. (Muriatic acid is easily obtained from your local hardware store). Now as to the board itself, things here get a bit more difficult. The best method is to remove the gold-bearing pins and connectors from the board before soaking them in the solution. If as you say, you have literally "tons" of these boards, you likely have about a pound of gold you can reclaim. After you soak your items (boards), in the muriatic you will end up with a muddy mess that surely looks like pure trash .... do not be misled, this "mud" likely contains silver, gold and platinum. At this point you will need to revert to "Aqua Regia" in order to separate the different metals from the "mud". Let me say that Aqua Regia, while simple and cheap to make, is an extremely dangerous liquid, the fumes can not only KILL YOU but also do substantial damage to any metals that a concentration of the fumes comes in contact with.
I am not going to go into detail on Aqua Regia whereas there is a wealth of information on the web which can instruct you much better than I can.
Hope this helps.

Ed Meyer
- Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.

January 27, 2012

The only thing you can assume is that I'm here "to further my own goals, namely reclaiming myself", eh?


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

January 28, 2012

"Assume" Yes, although some may consider any semblance of logic as "beyond their reach" I Sir am quite proficient at it.
Before you mock someone, logic would suggest you think before typing.

Ed Meyer
- Kansas City Missouri U.S.A

January 30, 2012

No Ed, it is you who should think before typing -- publicly implying that as forum host I'm only trying to mislead readers to protect my own vested interests in a precious metal recycling business. It's so ridiculous besides being insulting.

This website is my only business; I do NO recycling. I discourage amateur recycling because I feel it is dangerous and an environmental nightmare, and because I believe there is very little if any money to be made in a business where starving street urchins in 3rd world countries are competing against you yet they remain starving. When statements to the contrary are posted on my website, I simply want to make it clear that they are the opinions of the posters and not my opinion.


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

January 31, 2012

Ted, Whether intentional or unintentional, your facts are incorrect, Depending on when this thread was originally posted, your facts may or may not have been correct at the time, but considering that gold is over $1700 an ounce (Troy) and Platinum is over $1600 an ounce the recovery on this amount of boards could and in actuality WOULD BE substantial. Your first reply to my comment was INTENDED as a sharp barb and even you cannot deny that honestly. I of course responded in kind.

Ed Meyer
- Kansas City Missouri U.S.A

January 30, 2012

Q. Do Dell Dimension e520 have gold in them?

jacob smirh
- new york city, New York

February 2, 2012

The most common gold compounds are auric chloride (AuCl3) and chlorauric .... radii; covalent radius; metallic radius; element bond length; and Van der Waals ...

Place the stripped down circuit board (all IC'S, and plastic, even heat up in oven to 3 degrees above the melting point of Solder, which can be 750 deg. F to 990 deg F, depending on Sn:Pb or Sn:An or even Silver solder. Make sure you don't reach the Gold Melt Temp of 1050.
Then take the remaining Solid material and place it in a glass tub full of Auric chloride in a well ventilated area, the solution must be diluted to 10% AuCl3 and the rest Distilled H2O. Place a 1/4" by 20" long solid Copper rod @ one end of the Glass tub so that 18" is immersed in the Solution, @ the other end of the tub place a 20" Nickel rod immersed 18", put a square wave pulsed 12 vdc/8 amp charge (-) on the copper rod and (+) on the Nickel rod.
Remove the pulsed DC charge about when the boiling stops, with rubber gloves remove the copper rod and clean it with water. The rod will be plated with the gold that was in the circuit boards. Good luck purchasing Auric Chloride, the Dept of Homeland Security might Visit you, since it has other malicious uses.

John Anderson
- Norwalk, Connecticut, USA

March 16, 2012

Q. Hello,

I'm really confused with all the discussions and how much can really be recovered from gold pins, gold fingers (cut off boards) and the actual boards with circuits still attached. I have about 15 pounds of 'trimmed' gold fingers off computers and CRTs built in the 70's/80's and the gold looks much thicker fingers than on the new ones today ... I also have about 20 pounds of solid and plated gold pins cut off circuit boards and wires. I have about 100 pounds of circuit boards (6"x6"). I have a lot of 'silver' looking pins as well - but not sure if it's silver. I'm trying to find out who to sell these to in Austin and about how much to sell for prior to recovery (as-is) as I've been getting very wide ranges of offers ... I'd like to find someone to actually recover while I'm watching so I can learn from the process as well.


Rick Hogan
- Austin, Texas, USA

March 18, 2012

A. Hi, Rick. I doubt that these electronic components are silver plated; to my knowledge tin is far more common. I'm not really following why you aren't simply taking the best offer, but to determine exactly how much precious metal you have without sophisticated instrumentation is laborious and requires very good chemical assaying technique.


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

March 25, 2012

One thing is for certain. If you do not have a chemical background or have worked around acids before, then get educated first BEFORE using them. The danger is real, you can be blinded, horribly burned or even kill yourself. Now, anyone with average intelligence can quickly learn about acids and the dangers of them and the way they plan on using them. Getting reagent grade chemicals of any kind is for the most part difficult for the average person, if not illegal; you can be charged with being in possession of an industrial controlled chemical. Too bad, anything that works really well is generally off limits to the general public. The excuse used is they are concerned about your safety ... more likely they are concerned about their own profit. Better to take your memory cards, industrial silver, etc. and just cash in and be lucky you have some of it and the big boys don't yet have all of it.

Shawn Sanborn
scrapper - Lodi, California, USA

April 2, 2012

Q. Hi. I have about 1 lb. (454 gm) of Silvabraze. It is in its original packaging; it's made by Engelhart of Plainville Ma. It says it's brazing alloy .050 x 1/8". My question is, is it worth anything? Thanks.

Dawn Heim
- Bainbridge New york

April 3, 2012

A. Sorry, Dawn, not much. The exact same is available on Craigslist for $30, and a larger size of a different brand is on Ebay for under $80 including shipping.


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

May 21, 2012

A. The connectors at the end of the copper pieces are made of silver but it is very hard to find a buyer for them after they are removed. I've been buying them for about a year and trying new ways of purifying the silver. I have finally found a place to sell them; I sold 4 pounds at 20 dollars an ounce. Not bad but you have to watch the cost of doing all this; if not careful you may lose money.

ronald ballew
- bessemercity, North Carolina usa

May 21, 2012

Q. Hello from across the pond.
We carry out estate clearances and look to eco friendly disposal of property wherever possible. We are aware of there being a possible value in electrical items including computers, etc. and always look to get the best return for clients. We have the capacity to store or even break down items to sell on the component parts separately in order to realise more cash for our clients (we obviously get a higher return in fees as well so it is a win win situation). We are covered with the usual scrap metals, copper, brass, aluminium and ferrous metals but need more guidance on electrical items. Do you have any suggestions? We would not be looking to recover the actual gold, silver or other precious metals ourselves but need to be aware of what is contained in say a circuit board and where and how to sell it on.
We look forward to your answer.

Nick Lakin
probate - Midlands UK

July 27, 2012

A. I have recycled 4 complete pc's /2 routers / 3 dvd drives and a telephone, These cost me £30, I have refined half a troy ounce of pure 24 carrot which is worth around £500, Not bad for 15 hours work, £470 profit for 15 hours work. Use a heat gun / paint stripper pointed on the back of the circuit board, use a paint scraper / pliers to scrape all components of the other side of the board. Remove all plastic gubbins prior to heating it with the heat gun otherwise it can get messy. Grade all parts of circuit components into separate containers, i.e., Pot 1 gold plated items, Pot 2 Gold fingers (cut from pcb's), Pot 3 Monolithic Ceramic Capacitors for palladium (tiny rectangle components), Pot 4 Chips for gold and palladium, Pot 5 all other components to re use at home. Pot 1 (gold plated pins) need to reverse electroplate to extract gold before refining with aqua-regia. Pot 2 (gold fingers cut from pcb's) refine with aqua-regia. Pot 3 Monolithic Ceramic Capacitors, collect until you have at least 1 kg, then sell to refinery, you will be nicely surprised on how much you'll get for these little beauties. Pot 4 (chips) crush them up into small pieces, the smaller the better, then refine with aqua-regia to extract the gold, the chips do contain palladium as well, you can either refine it yourself or sell the sludge to a refinery. Pot 4 (Components) these are to keep for re-use or you can sell some of the components online as a lot of these components are rare and can fetch a good price.

Aqua-Regia Can be used safely at home under safe controlled conditions. I pledge before anyone uses aqua-regia to take the appropriate safety measures, i.e., lots of research, gloves, apron, googles, fume mask, bicarbonate soda to neutralise acids, fume hood / extraction hood, (my hood is home made, common sense. Always make sure that someone is around when refining with aqua-regia as the fume if inhaled can knock you unconscious within seconds. Always make sure you have acid trauma kits on premises.


Happy Urban Gold Mining

Luke Sky
- hampshire, romsey, England

October 19, 2013

A. I will keep this short sweet and to the point for all of the people that are asking how to recover gold from any kind of computer and how much gold is in these computers and what is the gold worth! There are very many different ways to extract the gold! I won't go into detail on how to extract the gold since there are many different ways of doing it; I will let people know that I have scrapped out over 8,000 laptops! After extracting the gold from the laptop an older laptop from 1990 and prior you will extract 1 to 3 grams ... that is the simplest way to explain to people that have never done it! A high end laptop 1990 and prior and a low end laptop 1990 and prior will bring you like I said 1 to 3 grams of gold ... one last thing ... if you can pick up old laptops and tear them apart yourself you will make a lot more money! So to do the math on that if you were to get one gram of gold per laptop you and I need 28 laptops to make an ounce and if you were to get 3 grams of gold per laptop you would need around 9 laptops to get your ounce of gold! -- so a lot of the other answers on here as far as it not being profitable is incorrect.

Brentyn Zernechel
- Mankato, Minnesota, USA

October 13, 2014

Q. I was wondering if there was a way to extract the gold at home without going on the innerweb and buying supplies or going to another state to just find or buy ONE little thing and come back, you try it, and it does not work.

I am getting extremely mad that I have to go place to place trying and buy things that DO NOT WORK, and I'm done buying things. I have hundreds of circuit boards i just want to know what to do AT HOME to extract the gold.

Please, I'm trying to come up with a plan, I NEED HELP!

Charles Martin
- Chesapeake, Virginia, United States

February 13, 2015

A. I have been reclaiming gold with some silver, palladium and platinum from circuit boards for about 5 years now. I make a fairly comfortable income from doing it. I am prepared to give simple to read and follow instructions on how I do it provided you don't raid my suppliers of boards. The quantity of boards, etc., available to you will be your limiting factor.

I have never used mercury or cyanide and those that claim it as a means to recover gold know not of what they claim to know about.

If you are not prepared to put in the money to buy what you need to recover the precious metals or put in the time to process it then don't waste my time. You won't reclaim any gold without some cost and effort, this is the real world.

Anything you will need is available in most places or on the internet. My initial investment was about $1000 Australian but my production has increased from one furnace to three so it is all relative. The degree that you reclaim to, and so it's cash value, will depend on you, but you can readily sell low purity gold as easily as 24 carat gold.

I don't know the ins & outs of this site but it seems you can email me with a link in it so if you really want to try it out then I am prepared to explain how to go about it. Rocket science it is not but care must be taken doing it so don't blame me if you don't take precautions that I explain.

Peter C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Coolum Beach Qld Australia

March 2015

thumbs up signHi Peter. Thanks; good info! If there are additional things that you or other people are willing to freely and publicly share here, you are invited to please do so.

The "ins & outs of the site" are that we don't put people into personal contact for a bunch of reasons, including the fact that everyone who has stopped in here for cocktails is welcome to stay for dinner :-)
We don't disenfranchise the readers who have made it this far by letting the discussion go private and cutting them off from it. Thanks again.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

April 4, 2015

Q. I haven't seen anyone mention the mustard colored components. Don't they contain something more precious than Gold?

Katherine Cosgrove
- Oroville California USA

April 2015

A. Hi Katherine. I think the "mustard color" probably is tarnished gold plating. I'm not aware of anything more precious than gold being used, except perhaps a tiny amount of platinum, and that is silvery colored.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

September 23, 2015

! Hi, everyone. To extract your gold from motherboards is easy. Just go on youtube, type in how to extract gold from computer motherboards -- they have step by step videos of the whole process and what you need to do this. Good luck guys.

craig pointon
- brisbane austrailia

January 3, 2016

I'm hooked if only for your responses Ted. Just classic!

P.S. As a retired Computer Engineer, I literally have about 20 Computers from I386 to present... Strictly Intel products. If I were to take the Gold from them and...

Sorry couldn't resist.
People....Study something and GET A JOB. Stop screwing up the environment. It's bad enough most of you have no regard for it with all the trash , tires and washing machines in your front yards.

Tim Glueckert
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer - Simi Valley, California, USA

January 2016

thumbs up signThanks very much for the kind words, Tim.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

Old circuit boards are silvery where I'd expect gold

February 16, 2016

Q. I have a number of older RAM cards that seem to possess no gold whatsoever, some of these are antique 1mb Intel cards. What is the silver-colored metal used in place of gold on these? Should I just assume it's all silver? The only thing I really know is there is absolutely no tarnish or corrosion on them, even with years of improper storage in a high-humidity environment that has blackened sterling silver jewelry with the same exposure.

Andrew Williams
- Columbus, Indiana, USA

February 2016

A. Hi Tim. They're probably tin plated. Tin used to sometimes be used on card edge connectors; but as electronics became smaller, lower voltage & current, and more complex, it didn't offer the required reliability. I suppose they could be platinum or palladium or rhodium plated although I personally am not familiar with such a thing.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

February 17, 2016

A. Like Ted said, it is tin. For a year or two in the early 70's, Xerox used rhodium on their fingers but, since then, all the white fingers I've seen are tin. Silver isn't used because it has a tendency to migrate between the fingers and causes partial shorts

Chris Owen
- Nevada, Missouri, USA

April 26, 2016

hello all experts
i want to extract gold from computer scrape i just wanna know that which brand and from which era of computers i can use scrap to extract gold as here i can manage to get lots of scrap. your good answers will be good for me

Waqas Ahmed
- Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan

June 14, 2016

Q. I own a analytical laboratory in Milwaukee with a full chemistry lab. I was going to pay a company which I won't name to recover the gold and silver but they charged a lot so I figured I'd do it myself. I was wondering if I need to strip the circuit boards before I put them in a acid/peroxide solution or if i can leave all the little pieces on the boards?

David Meskur
- Milwaukee Wisconsin

June 17, 2016

Q. I have about 30 old keyboards, and they have what looks like an acetate circuit board. Is gold, or silver recoverable from these

James O. Morris
- Crossville, Tennessee, USA

June 21, 2016

A. From the forum where I am proud to be a moderator,, I find 2 different silver values for keyboard mylars. The first is $.20 per keyboard mylar and the second is 1.7%, or about $4 per pound of mylars at a $17.25 silver spot.

Concerning gold plating on electronics. On a part which can wear, through usage, such as gold-plated pins or circuit board fingers, the value would be about $0.38 per square inch of gold plated area, at a $1269 spot price for gold. This is about the thickest gold plating you'll normally find. For non-wear parts, such as the large gold plated plane area on a cell phone circuit board, the value is about %0.05 per square inch of gold plated area.

The bottom line is that the precious metals values on electronic scrap are quite low and you must process it in large quantities to show a profit. To do this chemically is normally not profitable unless you cherry-pick certain components from the boards and sell the boards that remain.

All of this has a long learning curve and it's very easy to get burned when you don't know exactly what you're doing.

I would estimate that about 95% of all the valid information found on the internet concerning precious metals scrap is on the forum listed above. It's been around for 9 years and has about 35,000 members. Several of us have done this professionally all of our lives - in my case, 50 years. Beware of other information sources, such as youtube videos. Many are quite dangerous and many are incomplete or just plain wrong.

Chris Owen
- Nevada, Missouri, USA

August 21, 2016

Q. I have recently come across a lot of computer boards they are completely bare and don't look like they have never been used there are no pens no solenoids nothing just the board do they still contain gold or any other valuable metals

scott murray
- Elkin North Carolina

August 2016

A. Hi Scott. Gold is always gold colored and very few other things are. If you see no gold color on those boards, there is no gold. If you see gold color on the board (most likely on the edge connectors) it almost surely is gold. But the thickness of the gold plating is a very important factor in whether it is practical to try to recover the gold. Depending on the vintage of the boards, the thickness could probably be anything from 10 microns to 200 microns. That is, there might be twenty times as much gold on some edge connectors as on others.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

August 21, 2016

A. As a casual refiner, you will never make a nickel from refining circuit boards.

Chris Owen
- Nevada, Missouri, USA

September 17, 2016

SITUATION: I have 100 lbs of old main frame computer connections and communication plugs.

QUESTION: What is the best way of selling these -- or is it feasible to recover the gold out of them?

mickel scamp
- bemidji New Jersey U.S.A.

October 27, 2017

Q. My step dad burned several hundred pounds of boards from an old circuit board factory and has a product from it. He worked on this 2 years -- how can he sell what he has so far?

Bubba bernard
- No. Springfield, Missouri

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