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"How do I reclaim gold plating from Mil-Spec Connector Pins?"
January 11, 2010
I have read several related threads on this site but am still unclear as to the best way to proceed with my desire to reclaim the gold on about 25 pounds of unused surplus Mil-Spec connector pins I acquired in a batch of naval shipyard electrical surplus. The base material is copper. The barrel shaped pins are on average about 1 to 2 inches long and about 1/8" in diameter. Could some type of furnace be used to melt the gold so that it drips off of the pins? I saw that the melting point of gold is about 34 degrees less than for copper. If the furnace could be controlled precisely enough, would this work? What type of companies locally would most likely have such a furnace I could use for a fee? Or, is there a simple chemical way to remove the gold. I am reluctant to just send this stuff off to a refiner since they charge quite a bit for such a small lot. Am I wasting my time or should there be a decent amount of gold here? (2 or more ounces?)
Thanks for any help,Steve Strickland
Hobbyist - Chattanooga, Tennessee
January 19, 2010
There is no way to separate the gold and copper by smelting. It just absolutely won't work. The only way is to do it chemically and all the various chemical methods can be dangerous, especially for a beginner. If you really want to persist in this, I would suggest that you go to goldrefiningforum.com. Every possible method for doing this is covered somewhere on that forum.
Maybe the best thing for you to do is sell the pins on EBay. Although there is no guarantee, gold scrap usually goes for top dollar, assuming it's listed properly.
The dollar value of pins can vary all over the map - from, say, $20/pound to over $100/pound. To have a starting point, you might consider having the pins assayed before doing anything. For a homogeneous lot of pins, which you seem to have, you could have this done for about $35, or a little more.
- Nevada, Missouri, USA
January 22, 2010
Thank you for the information Chris. I'll look into it.Steve Strickland
Hobbyist - Chattanooga, TN