In this experiment you take well cleaned pennies and turn them into pennies that are gold and silver! Extraordinary! However this experiment requires chemicals that are approximately $8-$10 and you need two of these chemicals. However, some of the materials you may not have such as a hot plate are a bit costly, and when I mean costly I mean like $300! When you have your result it should look completely different and unique so please continue with this experiment!
Step 1: The Materials!
These materials are chemicals that you can find at chemistry stores and some of these materials are everyday items. They are:
-Two small beakers(50ml, and 250ml)
-Zinc Sulfate, 100g
-Zinc Metal, Mossy, 100g
-Glass Stir Rod
-Copper Pennies, Well Cleaned
Step 2: How to Start Making Silver Pennies!
What you do for making silver pennies is fairly easy like making the golden pennies which is next!
Fill the small 50 mL beaker with 3/4 full tap water. This is your rinsing beaker. Set aside.
Dissolve 30 grams of Zinc Sulfate in 100 mL of water in the 250 mL beaker. A little heat from setting on the hot plate will hasten this dissolve.
Silver penny turning
Place mossy zinc pieces in the beaker with the zinc sulfate solution, enough pieces to almost cover beaker bottom.
Using tweezers, place two or three cleaned up pennies in step three beaker making sure pennies touch the mossy zinc pieces and are not touching each other.
Bring solution to low boil for about 10 minutes. Your pennies will slowly turn a silver color.
Using tweezers, carefully remove the pennies from the solution, rinse and cool them in small wash beaker then dry them on a paper towel.
Voila! You now have a dandy silver colored penny.
Step 3: How to Start Making Golden Pennies!
For this section it only requires three very simple steps. They are:
Place the silver penny on a hot plate heated to about 570°F (300°C). Watch as the heat diffuses the zinc with the copper to form a brass alloy. This will appear as golden in color.
Once the penny is a brassy/golden color, use tweezers to pick up the penny and transfer it into the wash beaker to rinse and cool.
Once cooled, you have a nice gold colored penny!
Step 4: What Can You Do With These Pennies?
Well, if you think about it you can show these bad boys off to your friends. Or if you are a chemistry teacher you can use this as a chemistry demonstration. There is an infinite amount of possibility you can do with these pennies so tell me what you did by commenting below!