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what are some easy ways to melt galena? Answered

I have found some Galena, an alkali metal ore containing silver and other metals, and am trying to melt it down to extract the silver to use in jewelry making. I have tried to melt some with a mapp gas torch with no success, it does not seem to heat enough that I can seperate the metals. Does anyone know of any cheap and easy solutions to extracting the silver without haveing to build a furnace.

3 Replies

lemonieBest Answer (author)2011-09-16

Nothing cheap and easy, how much have you got because there'll be "not a lot" - "virtually nothing" of silver there.
See this as an example of silver extraction:


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jamesrboster (author)2011-09-18

Thank you both for the information and link on smelting silver, these are both really helpfull replies. I love learning the modern way of doing things as well as seeing how these same processes were carried out nearly 3000 years ago.

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Kiteman (author)2011-09-16

I hope you're processing the galena in a VERY well-ventilated area - it contains a lot more lead than silver, so any smoke or fumes are likely to have a cumulative toxicity.

You aren't going to extract the silver just by melting, you need to smelt it.

Pack it with charcoal in a ceramic crucible with a lid on, and blast it with your gas torch for several minutes. Don't uncover the mixture while it is hot.

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