Ceramic plates often have a border of gold around the edge for decoration. If you no longer want the border of gold of it you want to use the gold for something else, you can remove it through a chemical process. Removing gold from ceramic plates is not difficult, but there are a lot of steps involved and many of the supplies necessary to recover the gold are toxic. Always wear gloves and a respirator mask when removing gold from any item, including ceramic plates.
Scrape as much of the gold off of the ceramic as possible using a metal scraper. Place the gold pieces in a small container. If you are satisfied with the level of removal, then you can stop here. However, if you want to get all of the gold off of the ceramic move to a chemical formula to remove all the particles from the ceramic.
Add 1 lb. of the nitric acid substitute to a bucket. Pour in ½ gallon of muriatic acid. Place the ceramic into this solution. Allow the ceramic to sit in the container for about two hours.
Remove the ceramic from the mixture with the nonmetal tongs. Set the ceramic aside and rinse with water before touching it with your hands.
Add ¼ tsp. of urea to the acid bath. Continue adding small pinches of urea until the mixture no longer fizzes.
Place 1 ½ tablespoons of precipitant the other bucket for every ounce of metal.
Pour the mixture from the first bucket into the second bucket. Allow the two solutions to mix. Wait for one to two hours until the ingredients separate.
Pour the acid back into the first bucket. Leave the muddy brown material in the second bucket. This is the dissolved gold recovered from the ceramic.
Rinse the gold with one gallon of ammonia. Pour out the ammonia and add three gallons of water to the bucket. Pour the water into the acid bucket. Rinse the gold two more times.
Place the gold in a glass container. Melt the gold using a blowtorch to return the gold back to a solid and pure state.
Things You'll Need:
- Metal scraper
- Small container
- Nitric acid substitute (sold for gold removal)
- 2, 5-gallon, nonmetal buckets
- Muriatic acid
- Nonmetal tongs
- Glass container
Brenda D. Priddy lives in Dallas, Texas and has written professionally since 2006. Her work appears in many online publications including Green Parents Magazine, Five Minutes for Going Green and Daily Mayo. Priddy writes for Archstone Business Solutions and holds an Associate of Arts in English from McLennan Community College.