Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Gold Rush-more ways to cash in?

Late night TV is littered with commercials encouraging you to trade your unwanted gold for cash, which I find a little amusing. First, I don't completely trust my $400 worth of gold to the US Postal Service- plus the price paid must certainly be a wholesale price...

In the electronics recycling business we are constantly searching for this precious metal in many forms as shown in the pic. Usually we sell the gold left on the part as  you see here; with gold prices high, you still make pretty good money doing it this way. However, most profitable way to sell the gold would be to remove it from the part, melt it down and sell it in it's purest form.

I toyed with doing this a few years ago and found that there are some serious tradeoffs in terms of safety and complexity. Gold is held in place one of two ways on the parts- it is either plated on another metal surface, or it is glued on a plastic or fiberglass (pc board) surface.  Before we go any further take note that removing gold in either case requires the use of some caustic chemicals. These chemicals cannot always be simply shipped to you without a permit and the local EPA might come snooping around to make sure you properly dispose of the chemicals when you're done with them.

With that said, you still stand to make more money from gold if you remove it from the part. Its a matter of setting up a properly ventilated facility, getting the proper equipment and alas, permits.

There is no question in my mind that that a gold refining operation will greatly boost your bottom line. We purchased needed chemicals and supplies from Shore International in New York and also found their web site to be chock full of needed information. Please read their Precious Metal Recovery pages completely before getting started. You 'll be glad you did!

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