If you don’t have a welder at home and you want to melt gold it’s cheaper to just buy a little gold melting furnace on Amazon. At $300 they’re not that expensive and they’ll plug into 110V power.
But if you do have a TIG it offers you more control with how you form your shapes and allows you to watch gold melt before your very eyes. And it’s just plain cool!
What you need to melt gold with a TIG
You just need a few things to do this experiment:
- A TIG welder. Dan uses a Lincoln Square Wave TIG 200
- A mini graphite crucible because it’s best to start small. This one makes small bars and rounds, so you can pick your shape.
- Flux, if the gold has impurities. In the video below Dan added some baking soda with the carbon dioxide cooked out as flux. Borax is more commonly used in the industry. Flux is added to remove the impurities, which you will chip off as slag after the melting process. This is only necessary if you’re melting placer gold like we did. If your gold has already been melted it won’t be necessary.
- Gold! You can pick up some real Bering Sea placer gold in our store. For the best per-gram deal sign up for our email list and get a 10% off, and buy 4 grams. We offer discounts for more purchased, and always ship free, insured, and discreetly anywhere in the US.
How to melt gold with a TIG
The first thing you’ll want to do is place your gold into the graphite crucible. We used placer gold, so the gold dust held the shape nicely.
If you’re melting placer gold: Expect some melt loss. There are natural impurities in placer gold that will turn to slag that you’ll have to chip off the finished bar. You’ll also want to add a sprinkling of some kind of flux (borax or baking soda with the carbon dioxide cooked out) to help remove those impurities.
If you’re reshaping gold that’s already been melted: No need for flux and the weight should be the same before and after you melt it.
In our experiment we set the Lincoln Square Wave 200 TIG to DC power and the highest power possible of 200 amps.
Then we turned the argon down low to just 10 psi. To be honest I don’t know if any argon is necessary, and it shouldn’t be if you’re remelting a gold bar or round. The risk with too much argon and gold dust is high argon air pressure will blow gold dust all over the place and you may lose it!
Then hold the TIG gun just above the gold you’re melting and let it rip, slowly increasing the power until the gold reaches 1,948 degrees farenheit and you can see it melt!
Does this create pure 24k gold out of gold dust?
No. The process of creating pure 24k gold out of placer gold is called smelting and refining.
If you melt placer gold from the Bering Sea you’ll end up with a gold bar that’s 89-92% gold and 7-9% silver, based on its naturally-occuring metallic composition.
Watch our video about how to do it!
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