How to Look for Gold on Circuit Boards

By Sabrina Ashley

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Electronic mill or hammer mill
  • Metal detector

Step 1

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 2

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

Step 3

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 4

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

Step 5

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

Step 6

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

Step 7

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.