How to Look for Gold on Circuit Boards

Circuit boards are the heart of a computer system. In many cases, the circuit boards have tiny amounts of metals such as gold, silver, copper and lead. These metals are used to improve conductivity. Although the gold is in small amounts, you can extract the metal from printed circuit boards. While you won’t get rich removing gold from circuit boards, some people enjoy the challenge.

...
A printed circuit board has tiny traces of metal including gold that a person can extract.

Step

Gather all the circuit boards you have, and place them in a pile. Some people purchase old circuit boards, while others collect them from old computers.

Step

Break the printed circuit boards into smaller pieces with your hands.

Step

Break or mill the printed circuit boards into tiny fragments. A few options exist for breaking up the circuit boards into small pieces, such as a wood chipper. But smaller and more convenient options are an electronic mill or a hammer mill.

Step

Place the small circuit board pieces into the electronic or hammer mill.

Step

Turn on the machine. The mill refines the circuit board pieces into pieces as small as a grain of rice.

Step

Empty out the contents of the mill onto a piece of paper.

Step

Wave a metal detector over the contents, to detect and separate the metals from the rest of the circuit board pieces. Search through the metal, to find the gold which is yellowish in color.