If you are considering recycling scrap gold, your first thought is probably to begin collecting all of the jewelry you can find. Buying up rings at yard sales, however, may not be your most lucrative option; there is a less well known source of gold inside the very device needed for you to read this article. Computers use gold as a conductor because of its high malleability and durability, meaning it is a valuable part of nearly every chip in use today. By breaking down old computers and salvaging the gold within, you can not only help recycle metals, but you can also turn a tidy profit in the process.
Finding a Steady Supply of Computers
You might have a dozen old computers sitting in your garage, but if you want to turn gold recycling into a steady hobby, you will eventually need more. So long as you are willing to dispose of the rest of the electronics in a safe and legal manner, you may be able to start a small recycling business in your neighborhood by taking in unwanted computers. Check local regulations before you begin accepting electronic waste, but a few advertisements online and word of mouth could be all you need to secure a steady supply.
Identifying the Right Parts
Gold in a computer is located in its circuitry, where it serves as a conductor in thin filaments called fingers. Typically, the parts you are interested in are the motherboard, PCI boards, RAM and processor, which all possess circuitry and therefore gold. Remove these parts from the computer and dispose the rest of the case and parts as required by law. If the motherboard has a battery attached, it will also need to be removed and disposed of before it can be refined.
Recycling the Scrap Gold
Although it is possible to chemically strip and refine the gold on your own, the process is somewhat involved and can be very dangerous for those who are not familiar with handling chemicals. Melting down the gold and other metals of a circuit can lead to the inhalation of toxic substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc and beryllium. For this reason, it is recommended that stripped scrap gold in circuitry instead be sent to a dedicated gold refining center that can recycle the metal safely and efficiently. This saves you the hassle and danger of chemically purifying the gold yourself, while still providing a fair value for the metals you have salvaged. With dedication and an entrepreneurial spirit, recycling scrap gold can quickly become a rewarding and profitable hobby. If you have any questions on gold refining, consider contacting a local specialist, such as Mid-States Recycling & Refining, to discuss your concerns.