What are some techniques used for melting gold?


Quick Answer

Two techniques for melting gold are simple melting and smelting. The simplest techniques for melting gold involve placing it in a crucible capable of withstanding a temperature of 1943 degrees Fahrenheit, the melting point of gold, and melting it in an oven or furnace capable of achieving this temperature.

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Full Answer

Crucibles made of graphite of clay are the most common containers for melting gold. The gold is then placed in an electric furnace or oven until it melts, at which time it may be poured into molds or simply allowed to cool.

Alternative melting techniques include using an acetylene torch to melt the gold, or melting it in a 1200-watt microwave oven with the magnetron to the side or rear.

Gold samples sometimes contain alloyed metals such as silver, iron or mercury, Smelting is a melting technique that involves an additional process of removing these alloys to produce a pure sample. Smelting requires using a flux to oxidize, or burn off the impurities. The flux may be a mixture of borax with sodium carbonate, or a substance such as limestone or baking soda. When heated, the flux reacts with the alloyed metal to remove the impurity and produce a pure sample.

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