Buying Scrap Gold For Melting: 3 Tips For Cleaning The Gold Before Purification

Posted on: 8 December 2015

Gold is one of the best precious metals to invest in because its value remains relatively stable. The average price of gold in 2014 is $1,266.40 per troy ounce. You can easily save a lot of money if you purchase scrap gold and melt it yourself. However, one of the downsides of purchasing scrap pieces of gold is that the gold pieces are not always clean. They may have stones or other metals attached, or be covered in dirt and dust. Before you can melt the gold pieces that you have bought, you must clean them first. Get started with these 3 tips.

Pick Off Any Metal or Plastic Attachments that Are Not Gold

If you have purchased gold jewelry or other gold pieces, you first want to identify which parts are made of gold, and which parts are made from other metals and materials. At times, this can be a piece of cake; however, it can also be difficult if there are other metal parts attached that are not made from solid gold, but have been plated with gold. There are many different types of tests you can perform to determine which attachments should be removed. For example, you can use a density test to determine whether the density of the metal matches up to gold, which is approximately 19.32 grams per cubic centimeter, or a scratch test paired with an nitric acid test.

Pick off the metal or plastic attachments that are just clinging on the side. If there are any plastic or rubber pieces that have been stuck onto the gold, use a razor blade to remove them.

Remove Adornments with Needle-Nose Pliers

On top of removing outer metal and plastic attachments, you will also need to remove any precious stones that may be embedded into the gold. This is a much more time-consuming process. You'll need needle-nose pliers to get the job done. You'll need to use the needle-nose pliers to grasp onto one of the prongs that are holding the precious stones into place, and bend them away from the stone. Make sure you do this carefully as to avoid scratching the precious stones, as they might still be valuable. Next, use the needle-nose pliers to slowly wiggle the stones out of their settings. The precious stones should pop right out with ease.

Scrub and Rinse the Gold Pieces

Once all of the other metals, precious stones and materials have been removed, it's time to clean the outer surface of the gold to get rid of any dirt or dust particles that may have accumulated on the surfaces. There are a variety of ways that have been recommended for cleaning gold: using a soap and water or a salt and vinegar mix, using an ultrasound cleaner or relying on other acidic methods.

Generally speaking, the easiest and simplest way of cleaning gold is to soak the gold pieces in a mixture of containing household dish washing soap and water for approximately 20 minutes. Afterwards, use a toothbrush to scrub the surface of the gold pieces to remove any gunk that may have accumulated. An ultrasonic cleaner is also a great idea for those who may be cleaning large amounts of gold pieces, as it will basically get the job done for you without you having to do any work at all.


Once all of the non-gold attachments have been removed from the gold pieces, cleaning the gold is generally quite easy. Clean gold is a lot easier to melt and will give you better results and a higher purity. Once the gold pieces have been cleaned, there are many different ways that you can melt them together into bars. If you don't have the equipment at home, there are professionals that will do the melting job for you.    

For more information on buying gold, contact a company like Rocky Mountain Coin Inc.