You can use a blowtorch for melting gold flakes. A propane torch is an ideal choice. You will need a proper crucible to do so. This can be done at home if you have the necessary equipment. However, make sure that you have ample precautionary measures in place.
To melt gold flakes at home, you must first place them in a crucible. It is better to use a graphite crucible. If the gold flakes are finely powdered, make sure that you bring down the propane torch slowly. Bringing down the torch too fast can blow away some of the gold flakes.
Once you have the propane torch ready, hold the torch high enough to ensure that the flame is well above the flakes. Now, start moving the torch in a circular motion.
However, do understand that trying to melt gold flakes at home is not recommended. Not only will you deal with a propane torch that can cause some physical damage when not handled properly, but also, the likelihood of losing some gold is very high.
A professional refiner will always ensure that none of the gold remains stuck on the sides of the crucible and that the loss is minimal.
Yes, the refiner will charge some money, but that is a worthy expense considering that a novice can waste a lot of gold while melting the gold flakes.
How to Melt Gold Flakes at Home Using a Crucible?
If you intend to do it yourself, here are the steps you must follow:
- Start by placing the flakes in the crucible.
- Hold the propane torch around 5 inches above the crucible. This will prevent the gold flakes from being blown out of the crucible.
- If you are trying to melt enough gold flakes, adding some flux (borax will do) will slow down the melting process, thereby eliminating the risk of explosion caused by intense heat. This will also ensure that the crucible doesn’t break apart.
- Ensure that you direct the propane torch evenly throughout the crucible in a circular motion. This will make sure that the flakes melt evenly.
- Using industrial-grade tongs, transfer the molten gold to any mold of your choice.
Why Use an Electric Furnace to Melt Gold Flakes?
If you have a lot of gold flakes to melt, or if you are a DIY person, consider an electric furnace is a much safer option. Here are the reasons why you should be using an electric furnace:
- You can use a resistance furnace or an induction furnace, both of which come in various sizes. You can go for a smaller one for your DIY projects.
- These furnaces are designed to send magnetic currents to the internal graphite crucible for melting gold, thereby reducing the environmental impact.
- The furnaces are environmentally friendly since the internal crucible made of graphite is heated using magnetic currents from the furnace.
- A furnace will melt the gold flakes evenly, giving the molten gold a consistent texture and structure.
- A furnace allows temperature control. The maximum temperature a furnace can reach is 2732 degrees Fahrenheit. This is particularly useful when you are trying to melt gold that contains other metals. Temperature control will ensure that other metals are not destroyed during the melting process.
- The molten gold doesn’t get oxidized when you use a furnace. This ensures that the end product is free of all impurities.
Is Melting Gold Bars Difficult?
No, melting gold bars is not difficult if you have the proper setup.
It is always suggested that you use a furnace for melting gold bars or gold flakes because furnaces are environment friendly and offer temperature control for a more efficient melting process. It also helps eliminate impurities in the final product.
How Much Gold is Lost When Melted?
The refining process of gold leads to a loss of 1% to 2.5% from mass losses or melt . An additional 1.5% to 2.5% is lost on undercarat losses and assay.
What Does Borax Do When Melting Gold?
Whether you are melting gold bars or gold flakes, borax works as flux. Once you start heating the gold mixed with borax, the borax will melt and bring down the melting temperature of gold and any other metal present in it.
As the minerals melt, they separate from each other. The borax then causes the minerals to oxidize and break down further, but the gold remains unaffected.
The flux (borax) and the oxidized impurities form a slug, which is thinner than the molten gold and sits atop the pure gold that sits at the crucible’s bottom. Scraping off the slug leaves pure gold in the crucible.
Can I Melt Different Karats of Gold Together?
If you intend to extract pure gold from different karats, yes, you can always melt them together.
Once melted, the pure gold from different karats will accumulate at the bottom of the crucible that you can use for any purpose.
Can You Melt Gold with a Blowtorch?
Yes, you can melt gold with a propane blowtorch. If you are trying to melt gold flakes or gold dust, using a blowtorch can blow away some of the gold. So, use a flux such as borax that prevents the gold from blowing away.
Remember that gold melts at 1,940 degrees Fahrenheit. So, the blowtorch you use must generate that kind of heat. A propane torch does that easily. You will also need a graphite crucible that can withstand the heat. You can buy all those from your local hardware store.
Can You Melt Gold on a Stove?
No, you can’t melt gold on a regular stove because it doesn’t generate the temperature at which gold melts. A propane torch that you can buy from your local hardware shop can do the job.
Melting gold flakes or gold bars at home is not easy, but it is not impossible. You will need the right tools to get the job done. It is better to use a flux like borax to make the melting and refining process easier. You must choose the right set of tools.
While a propane blowtorch and a crucible are just fine, using a furnace is a much better choice as it allows room for temperature control.
- Welcome! | John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. Egyptian Gold Processing. https://www.e-education.psu.edu/matse81/node/2123
- Open Learning – OpenLearn – Open University. Properties of gold. https://www.open.edu/openlearn/science-maths-technology/science/chemistry/properties-gold