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"Can gold be reclaimed from old ceramic dishes with gold trim on the edges"





Current postings:

China Paint, Gold


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"Painting Porcelain in the Meissen Style"
by Uwe Geissler
from Abe Books
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May 1, 2022

I have a set of Bavarian china trimmed in 22 karat gold and there was a lot of gold on these plates. I have a 10 piece setting with platters and bowls. I want to sell it but I can't seem to get a price on it, or I'd like to have the gold reclaimed from it.

bavarian china with gold edging

Trying to find out whether anybody can help

Debi R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
Retired - Mays Landing New Jersey
^


May 2022

A. Hi Debi. The question of recovering the gold has been answered previously, and you probably won't like the answer; sorry :-(

This site is primarily about metal finishing, not antiquing, and no one has ever offered an evaluation like you are looking for here; there are lots of pay sites offering 'instant appraisals' if you see nothing similar on E-bay, Etsy, etc.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^




Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

"Painting on China"
from Abe Books
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January 13, 2010

Q. Would it be profitable to reclaim gold from broken antique china dishes and if so what process should be used?

Mike Job
treasure hunter - Lockport, New York, USA
^


January 19, 2010

A. It's normally very thin and is a waste of time and effort to try and recover the gold. From my experience, the gold value usually runs about $0.05 per square inch, or less, of the area covered by gold.

Chris Owen
- Nevada, Missouri, USA
^


May 9, 2011

A. I find that a general response that it is not worth the time or effort to reclaim gold from pottery pieces or fine china assumes that the gold is only a small percentage of the piece that can be processed -- you have mirrors, picture frames, china jugs, all kinds of possibilities. And also a more meaningful response would not be put into a scale that relates to sq inches; it has to be converted to gold value and oz. -- that way a true recovery value can be calculated.

Earl Olmstead
- Hermitage, Pennsylvania
^


September 21, 2012

thumbs up signThanks Earl! But we have a quarter million questions on this site divided up into 60,000 topics and this particular topic is about the gold edging on antique china dishes, not about whether there is recyclable gold in old electronics, gold plated jewelry, mirrors, picture frames, etc. We have numerous threads on those topics. I think Chris' answer that they are worth about $0.05 per square inch of gold-covered area was extremely helpful and takes into account the "common" thickness, purity, density, and value of gold fired onto china.

Without actually doing the recovery, how can an individual like Mike practically estimate the ounces of gold and value of the edging on his china to determine if it is worthwhile? Surely, investing $50 to recover the gold so he can determine whether the gold value was $.05 as Chris estimates or $.01 or $.25 even if Chris was off by a factor of 5 in either direction isn't the answer. Thanks again.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



"Porcelain and Bone China"
by Sasha Wardell
from Abe Books
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August 12, 2014

Q. I have a broken French Limoges bowl with VERY thick gold leaf grapes on the exterior. Is there a way to remove the gold?

Sheila Cook
- portland, oregon, US
^


August 2014

A. Hi Sheila. If it's that thick, scrape it off with a razor sharp tool. Make sure you're wearing goggles; you don't want a pottery chip or the corner of a razor blade in your eye. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


August 16, 2014

A. The problem with recovering gold from glass or ceramics is that what you see is not surface gold. It is very finely divided gold suspended in a glaze. That is, the gold metal is dispersed in a low melting glass.

There is no practical method for an amateur to extract it and professional refiners do not find it economic, even at today's gold prices.

Sorry but old glazed pots are zero value scrap.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England
^



January 25, 2019

Q. Good morning! I have a very large cornucopia vase totally covered in gold with embossing. It's from the 1930s and I believe purchased in Italy. Is there a way to determine if the gold is real without destroying the vase.
Thank you

Gerry Morgan
- Benson, North Carolina, USA
^


January 2019
wikipedia
Antiques Roadshow

A. Hi Gerry. There are acid tests for gold as described in topic 42765, and there are electronic gold testing machines. And if you have a friend at a scrap yard, an X-ray fluorescence "scrap sorter" can determine that without even touching it. You can search the site for "gold testing".

But if you feel that this piece might be valuable, I think you should take it to a reputable antique dealer for assessment. As we see on Antiques Roadshow, expertise and historical knowledge easily trumps testing.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


January 26, 2019

A. Ceramic gold glazes are effectively encased in glass.
Neither chemical or electrical testing will work.
X-ray fluorescence analysis should be fine if you can find someone with the kit.
However the gold value of a glazed vase is near zero and reclaiming any gold would be extremely difficult and far outweigh the reward. Not to mention destroying the vase.

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England
^


April 2, 2019

A. If you think it might be a significant amount the answer to the question how do you go about reclaiming it is to crush into a fine powder and pan it as the gold is significantly heavier it will remain the last thing in the pan.

angela wilson
miner assayer of rock and precious metal - san diego california united states
^



April 8, 2019

Q. Hi, my name is Lyn and I recently inherited my grandmother's china set. My cousin shipped it from California & many of the plates broke. Would it be worth salvaging the gold on it? There's a lot of gold it seems.

Lyn Morales
- Whigham, Georgia
^


April 2019

A. Hi Lyn. It sounds highly unlikely to me, but take one broken plate to a "We Buy Gold" shop and see what they say. As Geoff notes, even testing it is difficult.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


April 8, 2019

thumbs up sign  Thanks Ted!!!

Lyn Morales [returning]
- Whigham, Georgia
^



April 27, 2019

Q. I have about 200 square meters of glass as described in this link: http://www.artlaminatedglass.com/sale-11163673-24k-gold-solid-double-laminated-glass-frameless-tinted-reflective-glass.html
Any comments on A - Reclamation of the gold, or B - Removing the gold to sell the glass?

Andre Coetzee
- Klerksdorp, North West Province, South Africa
^


April 2019

A. Hi Andre. That link says little unfortunately ... it's an offer to sell glass of almost any thickness, almost any type, any color, with any kind of edges, for architectural, furniture or automotive use, and there is no indication how much gold is on it.

I'm not an expert on such glass, but quick googling indicates that such gold coatings sometimes approximate 20 nanometers in thickness. If that estimate is about right, there could be 4 cc's of gold there, which isn't insignificant -- but I don't know how to practically recover it. We'll see what, if anything, other readers say :-)

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


September 16, 2019 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Hi there!
How can I confirm that my very old ceramic lamp is gold-plated?

Thanks in advance,

XS

Xavier Stephenson
Hobbyist - Montreal, Canada
^


September 2019

A. Hi Xavier. It probably isn't; it's probably a gold paint fired onto the ceramic like the gold edging on some dishes. You probably have thoughts in your mind that you haven't shared with us, but sorry I don't understand what you're asking yet.

Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


December 15, 2019

A. If you really believe your dishes, glasses and whatnot might be of high value ... As these gentlemen have suggested, you need to first think of how much it would cost to take it off, then to extract it from whatever the substrate.

I'd highly suggest first though to look on an art website for genuine gold leaf (or whatever metal it is you happen to have stuck on those plates, etc.). I believe just visualizing how much gold is in a book of gold leaf and then realizing the cost to extract it from all sources, I think you'l begin to get a sense of how much it costs for the volume you have. If the item you have is 100X the amount of gold in one of those books, then by all means, bring it to someone for evaluation. If it is similar, I wouldn't bother. If it is somewhere in between, recognize the amount of work involved in taking it off and then separating it. Chances are you'll still come up short for making money because something that has that much gold is typically considered "jewelry" or the like.

Unless you're a former Russian Czar, the gold was used for decorative purposes and not really to enhance the value. No one would have put that much money into investing in kitchenware, etc. that could be broken or go out of style. They would have put it into gold bars. There's no practicality to people putting enough gold on everyday items back then or now! I had some beautiful gold Gucci water glasses. You think Gucci, you think chances are it's a decent amount of gold. But nope. It was just for decoration. Not even Gucci wants to part with their money to put it on an everyday item! lol. I'm just trying to help some people to see the practical side of this. Trust me, I'm just like everyone else that wishes it were valuable. But it is very, very rarely the case.

Doreen Nacht
- Princeton Junction, New Jersey
^



March 13, 2022

Q. I recently inherited my mom's English bone China dinnerware, complete service for 12. (Dinner plate, salad plate, dessert plate, bread plate, dinner bowl, soup bowl, finger bowl, cups and saucers, as well as multiple serving dishes.) it would have been purchased between 1930 and 1940. Some of the items are well used, many years of Sunday dinners, and the gold is flaked or thinned. I do not have the room or the requirement for such a large dinner set. I have spoken to some local antique dealers but no one is interested. But I don't want to just throw them in the landfill either. I thought if it was possible to reclaim the gold, I might be able to make a small piece of jewelry as a remembrance. I am not looking to make a fortune from this, but I also don't want to spend a lot for naught. I really have no idea how difficult the process would be, how much gold may be available to reclaim, or if it might be enough to make a piece of jewelry, I am looking for some guidance, comments, or suggestions.

Kate Chambliss
- Alfred New York
^


March 2022

A. Hi Kate. I'd display the one or two least worn small pieces in a china cabinet. It will be a more powerful remembrance as well as far more practical.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^

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