How to Remove Gold From Computer Chips

By Mike Marcoe

Recovering gold and other precious metals from computer chips can be both fun and profitable. It is another way to recycle, as well. Gold recovery that involves the use of aqua regia and other potentially dangerous chemicals is not recommended. With a little bit of money to invest, non-toxic gold recovery equipment and supplies can be purchased from reputable sources.

Things You'll Need

  • Scrap computer chips
  • Separate work area
  • Portable digital scale

Preparation

Step 1

Consider purchasing a special set of equipment and supplies specifically designed for do-it-yourself gold recovery from computer scrap. Ask questions from professionals about the equipment and supplies.

Step 2

Purchase a basic gold recovery unit with non-toxic chemical processes for ceramic computer chip gold recovery. This costs between $500 and $600, as of 2010. Consider purchasing additional supplies or materials when ordering the gold recovery kit. Purchase a digital scale, sold online for about $20.

Step 3

Search for scrap computer chips. Often, people throw out or donate old and used computers and components for free. Scrap computer chips and parts can also be purchased online. Locate central processing units for scrap. Don't bother with the monitors, which contain different, potentially toxic chemicals that are not recommended for scrap metal recycling.

Step 4

Create a special work area for disassembling and removing computer chips and other possible scrap metals from computer components. Make a special space in the work area for your gold recovery unit.

Process

Step 1

Watch the instructional video that comes with your gold recovery unit. Call the manufacturer with any questions that you may have prior to setting up the equipment for use.

Step 2

Combine non-toxic salts with the water-based solution in the gold recovery unit, as instructed. Add the computer chips to the solution.

Step 3

Soak the chips in the solution for the amount of time as directed by the instructional video. Remove the gold from the solution. Use tin foil, if desired, to capture and recover other residual precious metals.

Step 4

After you have recovered a sufficient amount of gold from the scrap computer chips and components, contact a scrap metals jewelry store or refinery to sell your gold to. Ask questions about how payment works, and about any minimum amount of gold that you may need to include to get the best refining price possible.

Step 5

Use a digital scale to weigh the amount of gold and other precious metals that you recover from scrap. Keep accurate track of the weights in ounces, troy ounces, grams and penny weights. Make sure you get paid an accurate amount for your precious metals by weight.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use only gold recovery techniques or processes that are safe and involve non-toxic materials.
  • Some do-it-yourself computer chip gold recovery processes can involve the use of aqua regia and other potentially harmful acids. Any time gold is being recovered with cyanide, the potential for loss of life is huge. Ask professionals for help if you have questions.