So, you have pieces of jewelry that you suspect to be gold, and you’d like to melt it. You start wondering how much heat you’ll need to turn them into liquid. So, how do you melt solid gold at home? What’s the melting point of gold?
Pure 24 karat gold melts at 1,064 °C (1,948°F or 1,337 K) at normal pressure conditions. Other lower purities melt at different temperatures depending on their impurity content.
In this post, we’ll show you the melting point of every karat of gold. Also, see how to melt your gold using homemade DIY methods.
Physical Properties of Gold
Gold remains a prized mineral for its color, density, and chemical resistance throughout ages and civilizations. Alchemists in the prehistoric era made ornaments and tools from the gold metal and they still do today!
Before you understand the melting point of gold, take a look at some of its physical and chemical properties:
- Symbol: Au
- Atomic number: 79
- Atomic weight: 196.9665
- Electron configuration: [Xe]6s14f145d10
- Density: 19.3 g/cc
- Melting point: 1337.58K (1064°C, 1,948°F)
- Boiling point: 3080K (2,966 °C, 5,371 °F)
Factors that Influence the Melting Point of Gold
The amount of heat required to melt gold isn’t constant and depends on where and how you’re melting it. By melting gold, the heat frees the small units by beating the attraction forces that make the solid gold and form a fluid.
Changes in pressure and purity affect these attraction forces and therefore cause a difference in the overall melting point.
Purity of Gold
Impure gold has a different melting point than pure gold. The purity of gold determines how quickly it can be melted. The number of karats in gold tells how much gold is in an alloy, and every alloy has its distinct melting point.
Of course, gold is too tough to react with other chemical elements and remains in its original form.
While pure gold is yellow, the alloys have distinct color properties. Each karat level has a unique color and name. But, the color depends on the amount of gold and the minor metal in the alloy.
Melting Points of Different Karats of Gold
|Gold Purity in Karats||Name of Gold||Melting Point of Gold in Degrees Celcius||Melting Point of Gold in Fahrenheit|
|10K||Yellow Gold||Between 881°and 891°||Between 1617°and 1650°|
|14K||White gold (due to palladium)||1076°||1968°|
|14K||Yellow Gold||Between 829° and 874°||Between 1524°and 1606°|
|18K||White gold (due to palladium)||1097°||2006°|
|18K||Yellow gold||Between 915° and 963°||Between 1679° and 1765°|
The ambient pressure within the container in which you melt your gold shifts the metal’s original melting point. In most cases, both the melting temperature and pressure are correlated.
Isotopy and bonding
While Au79 is the popular and most stable form of gold, there are several others. For instance, gold can be Au197, Au198, Au199, and Au195, among other isotopes.
In total, gold has 18 isotopes. Some of these versions are not necessarily yellow and shiny. Most unstable radioisotopes have a short Half-Life. Au195 is the most stable gold isotope and has a half-life of about 186 days.
Each of these gold isotopes has its distinct characteristics from the gold winner. Au198, for instance, has a half-life of 2.7 days and treats cancer and other diseases.
Melting Gold From Ore
Obtaining gold from its natural deposit requires a lot of grinding, heating, and pressurization. Yet, gold obtained from smelting is about 90% pure and needs to go through a purification process.
It’s the weight and purity of the gold that cover the costs of the extensive mining work. So, if it becomes impure, the mining company might incur a loss.
Although companies cut down on costs by smelting gold on the site, few can refine it themselves. Instead, smelting gold requires specialized machinery and equipment. It combines heat and high pressure to collect the gold from the surrounding impurities.
The heat goes to the excess of 1200 degrees Celsius or 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. Most companies use toxic substances, including liquid Mercury, to separate pure gold from other metals.
Like sugar in water, gold dissolves in Mercury at ordinary room temperatures to form an amalgam solution. You can create different gold alloys from the amalgam.
Tips of Reaching Melting Point of Gold at Home
Now, you may want to try out melting your metal; after you know gold’s melting point. Maybe it’s some jewelry or cutlery that you’d like to confirm whether it’s golden. Of course, it’s going to be a rigorous process, but it’s worth it.
Acquire proper gold melting equipment
Gold melts at a high temperature, and you need equipment that can withstand the heat. First, get a crucible and tongs to hold the gold. A crucible is a container made of clay or graphite.
Carbon has a melting or sublimation point of about 3500 to 4000 degrees Celsius. Therefore, the carbon crucible can withstand melted gold.
However, if you do not have the graphite Crucible, you can make a hole in a potato and use it as your crucible.
The pair of tongs should have heat resistant material.
Remember to get the smelting furnace or kiln as well to contain the heat. You can use a propane torch or electricity to provide the heat.
Borax and sodium carbonate will prevent the gold from sticking to the crucible.
Get safety gear to melt gold.
If liquid gold touches your skin, it could dig a hole into your flesh. You don’t want burns, which is why you must use the right safety gear. Find safety gloves, goggles, shields, and a good bench.
A heavy apron and heat-resistant attire will ensure you don’t get any injuries or burns from the flames or sparks.
Melting Gold with Propane
It’s difficult to melt gold with ordinary flames and domestic fires. But, can you melt gold with propane? Of course, you can because propane burns at around 1980 °C (3596 °F), and you just need to hit 1064 degrees to melt gold.
What is the difference between gold melting, smelting, mining, and recovery?
- Melting vs. Smelting gold
Melting means turning gold into a liquid, while smelting is the process of converting an or into pure gold. The melting gold involves heating it in a Crucible.
But smelting requires crashing rocks, cleaning them melting, and pressured centrifugal elimination method.
- Gold Mining vs. Recovery
Mining gold involves removing it from its ore, but recovery is the process of obtaining gold that’s embedded into secondary sources or impurities. If you are mining gold, you find a rock that contains gold deposits, crush and smelt it.
But the process of recovering gold comes in handy when the metal is lost in soil, ashes, or other impurities.
Is smelting gold legal?
In the United States, it’s legal to melt, modify or even destroy gold. You can even melt or destroy US coins that contain silver or gold. However, it’s illegal to sell the melted metal for profit. You can only use it for jewelry or other past times.
In Canada, it is illegal to melt down any of their coins. But you can beat that law by changing jurisdiction.
How can you melt gold at home?
With the right equipment, you can melt gold at home. Get a Crucible and source of extreme heat such as a propane torch and direct it to the gold. If you hit 1064 degrees Celsius or 1943 degrees Fahrenheit, your gold will melt.
Can open fire melt gold?
You need more than just a simple open fire to melt gold or any metal. The average cooking fire is about 350 degrees Celsius, dwarfed by the 1,064 °C that gold needs to melt.
Can gold survive a house fire?
Gold melts at 1064°C, while the average house burns at around 600 to 982 degrees Celsius. Theoretically, your gold jewelry should survive a house fire. But the answer is not clear-cut because it depends on how you store the gold.
Gold will certainly survive a house fire, but the state of the bullion won’t. You may have to refine the gold and recast it to fetch a sensible price. Consider storing your ingots in a safe with a fire rating.
Can I melt my gold in the microwave?
You have to turn your microwave oven into a gold smelting chamber. The standard microwave is capable of going beyond 70w to 1200w. Advanced microwave ovens will attain heat of over 500 degrees.
However, the microwave is made for safe cooking, so it does not reach high temperatures. With the installation of heating elements and proper insulation materials, you can melt Aurum there!
Winding Up: So, Why Melt Gold?
Knowing the melting point of gold helps you keep your precious metal pure. The knowledge also lets you know that what you have is pure gold, and you can test it. Most people smelt gold to remove the impurities. As long as you have the right equipment and skill, you can melt gold at home.
Do you have any questions about the melting point of gold? Shoot us a message right away, and we’ll guide you to melt your gold right in your home.