4 Easy Ways to Melt Gold at Home

Melting gold is not particularly difficult. Whether you want to convert your scrap gold into a storable form or transform your jewelry into gold bars for sale or later use, you only need the right equipment and technique to get the job done.

Gold melts at 1940 F, so the process of melting the metal entails applying intense heat to change the chemical and physical composition. You will also need to eliminate impurities and coalesce fine gold particles before melting your metal to ensure the best outcome.

In this article, I will show you how to melt gold at home using four methods. You don’t need advanced knowledge in metallurgy to complete this project, but you need to prioritize safety. So, let us get started!

You will need for gold’s melting

  • A graphite crucible
  • A pair of tongs
  • Propane torch
  • Borax
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Electric furnace
  • 1200Watt microwave

How to Melt Gold

Follow these ways to melt gold from home. As always, adhere to all safety protocols when handling fire and chemicals.

Remove Impurities Using Flux

Before melting your gold, you must get rid of the impurities in the metal using flux.  

  • No matter how clean your gold items seem, they contain some traces of impurities that should be eliminated before starting the melting process. A chemical known as flux is used to remove impurities from gold; the fewer the impurities, the easier it will be to melt the metal.
  • Flux also coalesces fine gold particles, preventing them from being blown away during the melting process. Never melt fine gold particles using a propane torch without applying flux—this will result in massive losses as the force from the torch will blow the gold particles into the air, leaving you with little or nothing to smelt.
  • There are different types of flux formulas depending on the extent of the gold melting project. For DIY gold melting projects, you can use accessible compounds such as borax and sodium bicarbonate to refine the gold and hold fine gold particles together.
  • Purchase borax from the home cleaning aisle in your local grocery store. Heating bicarbonate or baking soda (not to be confused with baking powder) will produce sodium carbonate.
  • Mix borax and sodium carbonate in equal portions to form an effective DIY flux. For each ounce of gold you want to melt, add 3 to 4 pinches of flux. You can increase the amount of flux by a pinch or two if the gold is particularly dirty. However, be careful not to apply excessive flux; flux containing borax ‘eats’ through ceramic crucibles, creating a hole and rendering the crucible useless.

Pro tip: Opt for a graphite crucible instead of porcelain or plastic. Graphite is more resistant to borax and heat and will serve you for longer.

1. Melt Gold Using the Propane

The most efficient way to melt gold at home is by using a propane torch.  This method will melt gold in a matter of minutes.

  1. Place the gold inside a graphite crucible. Then, gradually direct the propane torch toward the gold. As the torch transfers heat, the gold will begin to spread out, protecting the underlying layers of gold from flowing out of the crucible.
  2. Adding borax to the gold can slow down the melting speed. This is ideal if you have a sizeable amount of gold to melt. However, attempting to melt too much metal fast can break the crucible or cause the gold to explode under the intense heat.
  3. When melting fine gold particles or powder, be sure to direct the torch throughout the crucible so that the entire quantity of gold melts evenly.
  4. Once it has melted, use a pair of industrial tongs to transfer the liquefied gold into a mold of your desired shape.

Pro Tip: Consider using an oxy-acetylene torch if you need more heat. This is ideal if you are looking to melt a large amount of gold within the shortest time possible.

2. Melt Gold with Microwave

A microwave can come in handy if you are looking to melt a small amount of gold. The only downside is that you cannot use it to warm food after you have used it to melt gold to avoid possible food contamination.

  1. I recommend using a 1200 Watt microwave whose magnetron is on the side or back for safety and the best outcome. Don’t put the gold directly in the microwave; instead, put the pieces or powder in the crucible, then place the crucible in a kiln. Be sure to cover the kiln before melting the gold.
  2. Once you have the set up right, set the microwave thermostat to 1,200 Watt. Allow the gold to melt gradually before removing it from the kiln. Be sure to use a tong during this process.
  3. Now that you have your melted gold, you can transfer it from the crucible to an ingot or mold of choice.

3. Melt Gold with The Furnace

If you want to melt a large amount of gold for your DIY projects, investing in an electric furnace might be a good idea.

  1. The two types of furnaces you can use for gold melting are the induction furnace and resistance furnace. The best part is that the furnaces come in different sizes so that you can opt for a small, cost-efficient one for your home projects.
  2. Furnaces not only come in handy when melting medium to large quantities of gold; they also don’t have a big impact on the environment. These equipment use magnetic currents to melt gold, and the currents are sent to the internal graphite crucible.
  3. Furnaces melt gold evenly, which is a plus, especially for DIY jewelers who depend on their metals with consistent structure and texture. It is also easier to control the temperatures when working with either an induction or resistance furnace, which come with a temperature range of up to 2732 F. This is particularly important when melting pieces containing gold and other metals. The ability to control temperatures allows you to extract gold without destroying the other metals.
  4. Furnaces also protect the melting gold from oxidation, ensuring that the final product is free of impurities and an unsightly oxidation film, which affects the aesthetics of the items you make using the melted gold.

4. Melt gold with The Potato

If you do not have access to a crucible, microwave, or furnace, you can use a potato to melt your gold! This method is best for melting small amounts of gold fast.

  1. To get started, find a medium or large-sized potato—any variety of potato will do. Cut it into half lengthwise, then use a spoon to carve out a hole in one half of the potato.
  2. Sprinkle a small amount of borax in the potato and add an ounce of gold to the carved-out hole. Add a sprinkle of borax on top of the gold to eliminate impurities and hold the gold together.
  3. Direct a propane torch towards the gold in the potato. Do this gradually, first positioning the torch 5 to 6 inches away as you slowly come closer as the flux begins to bubble up. Keep applying heat until the gold in the potato hole liquefies.
  4. Use a spoon to scoop out the melted gold and drop it in a water bowl to cool. This will allow you to pull back the layer of burnt borax covering the dollop of gold.

Pro Tip: Sprinkling borax on gold can leave the melted metal with a blackish film. You can clean out this film using heated oxalic acid, which will greatly improve the appearance of your metal.

That is all there is to melt gold from home. Not much preparation is required here, and with the right equipment, you’d be able to liqufy gold in a few short minutes. Check out the extra tips below to help make this project a success.

Extended Tips

  • Invest in a high-quality crucible for your melting projects. Remember, gold has a high melting point, and you need a specially built container to safely and effectively liquify this metal.
  • When melting gold using the crucible method, be careful not to heat it too fast. The crucible may crack and leak the melted gold, causing a serious safety hazard.
  • Always wear protective clothing and equipment, including goggles, heat-resistant gloves, and an industrial apron.
  • Melt gold in a well-ventilated area away from inflammable items

Melt Gold From Home  Safely and Efficiently

Melted gold is versatile and adaptable, giving you numerous ways to use this precious metal.

Whether you want to resell or use it for crafts, being able to melt gold on your own can save you money and time and help you improve your metallurgy know-how.  A simple propane torch and crucible will get the job done but consider investing in a furnace for larger projects.

We hope you have fun converting your gold pieces or fine powder into liquid gold. Please leave your comments below and let us know if you tried melting gold at home!

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