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topic 59811

Is this gold colored dust real gold?



March 2, 2015

Q. Whilst cleaning out my dads work shop I have come across a small box of gold coloured dust; it has to be at least 40 years old, and my dad used to be in the joinery and finishing work in old cinemas and theatres. I have tried dissolving it in water and it acts very strangely almost gold plating what ever it touches then wipes off to become solid again, also thinners have no effect. I have read that pure gold dust was mixed with a gum to form paint. Anyone have any ideas would be a great help.
Thanks .

clive hawkins
- walton on thames, England


March 3, 2015

A. Hi Clive
Your dad probably used this powder to repair the gilding common in old theaters. It is almost certainly a bronze powder used as artificial gold see
http://www.cornelissen.com/water-colour/pearl-lustre-and-tro-col/roberson-standard-bronze-powders-13404.html
- but you might be lucky. The simplest test is to try a drop of concentrated nitric acid; gold will not dissolve. Any jeweler should be able to do the test for you.
If it does turn out to be gold, beware of the many companies offering instant cash. Going direct to a refinery will almost certainly get a better price.
Good luck

geoff smith
Geoff Smith
Hampshire, England


March 12, 2015

A. You can check the density

Cair Shishani
Khair Shishani
aircraft maintenance - Al Ain, UAE

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