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Electroplating gold Answered

I was wondering if anyone knows if the same principles involved in nf119's instructable are applicable to attempting to electroplate something with gold.

Also, would the pins of an old CPU (in this case, an old Athlon Thunderbird 1ghz) be made of pure gold that can be used to electroplate?



You need a solution of Ag+, and gold being gold, it's not that easy to get hold of. Starting with pure gold some super acid maybe like aqua regis?

Trying to strip gold plating will give you metal mixtures.


Gold is mostly non-reactive, so it takes a rather nasty chemical (usually cyanide) to get it into solution for electroplating.

The forum area here, at finishing.com is good if you are willing to look around.


10 years ago

well, yes, the same principles apply. Using electronics scrap as a source of gold is a really interesting idea. However, there are a lot of problems. First, you somehow have to electrically connect all those individual gold pins into a single electrode. Second, they are NOT solid gold; the electronics industry has made a science of using the least possible amount of gold to yield the desired electrical and physical properties...

. Most pins/leads/contacts are gold plated (Gold is much too soft for mechanical connections) and, as westfw pointed out, it's usually not pure.
. From what I've read, acetic and citric acids are rather poor electrolytes for plating. If I remember Chem class correctly, Copper ionizes much easier than Gold. We used copper sulfate (poison!) for our copper-plating experiment. Don't remember doing one with Gold.