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Refining Gold – Frequently Asked Questions

Refining Gold

What is the Process of Refining Gold?

The process of refining gold involves several steps. It starts with melting down the unprocessed gold to a molten state. Next, a gas containing chlorine is circulated through the molten gold. This gas helps transform impurities and other metals into a solid state, making it easier to separate them from the gold. Through this meticulous process, the gold obtained remains remarkably pure, typically at 98% purity.

Can you Refine Gold at Home?

2kg Gold Melting Furnace

If you’re interested in refining gold at home for additional cash, there are certain steps to follow. You’ll need a purpose-built electric furnace and a graphite crucible to melt your gold nuggets, gold powder, or gold jewelry. It’s important to exercise caution due to the high melting temperature of gold, which reaches 1064 degrees Celsius or 1947.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Safety gear such as gloves, goggles, and an apron should be worn to protect yourself during the process.

However, if you have no prior experience refining gold and are concerned about your personal safety, it is best to defer to the expertise of trained specialists or, at the absolute least, seek the guidance of an individual who has relevant prior experience before proceeding. Do remember to wear the appropriate safety gear such as shoes glove, goggles and apron to protect yourself.

Can I Melt my own Gold?

Using a propane torch is the method that will provide the best results when melting gold at home. The gold will be molten in a few short minutes using this procedure. Place the gold inside of a crucible made of graphite. After that, slowly point the propane flame in the direction of the gold.

Does Melting Gold Purify it?

Yes. In point of fact, the purification of gold using fire’s earliest form is melting. 

What is the melting point of Gold?

The temperature at which gold melts (boils) is 1064 degrees centigrade or 1947.2 Fahrenheit and melting it at this point poses a significant danger of serious burns due to the high temperature.

How long does it take for Gold to be Refined?

The time required for gold refining can vary depending on factors such as the initial purity level. In most cases, the refining process can be completed in as short as one day. However, some refineries may take slightly longer to ensure the highest level of purity. If you encounter a refinery that seems to be prolonging the process unnecessarily, it’s advisable to request faster turnaround or consider seeking alternative options for refining your gold.

What Chemicals are used in Refining Gold?

The process of refining gold alloys by utilizing a mixture of acids and other chemical products is referred to as the aqua regia refining process. The aqua regia solution is made up of a combination of hydrochloric acid HCL and nitric acid HNO3, among other components.

Do Gold Refineries Buy Gold?

Dental Gold Teeth

Using gold refineries, precious metals may be recovered at a lower cost when compared to selling to a local precious metals dealer as you are cutting out the middleman.

Gold scrap is something refineries can acquire and then purify to ensure it is 100% pure gold by doing a Fire Assay. Gold such as dental gold scrap gold and gold metal jewellery are weighed and then smelted to produce pure gold. Some Swiss companies were melting gold teeth back during World War 2.

Can I sell my Gold directly to a Refinery?

You can earn more money for your gold if you sell directly to a refinery and avoid the intermediary. Most people cannot sell gold directly to a refinery because of the anti-money laundering (AML/KYC) requirements, which oblige refineries to utilize intermediaries for these transactions, adding another layer of complexity.

Regulation of the industry much like it has with Banks has forced additional layers between sellers and the end refinery, this is called layering in banking and the same is true of the precious metals industry. The like of the LBMA Audit refineries to ensure their clients pass the appropriate standards, but there is a thin veil over who sells the gold in the first place to the refineries clients.

How do Gold Refineries make Money?

In the event that you are in a rush to sell precious metal scrap to a refinery, the refinery will pay you a low price especially when there is over supply of scrap when prices rise and their cash flow liquidity might be tight. The refinery will recover the valuable metals that were included inside the junk, and then earn more money by selling those metals at market prices after they have refined them and command a higher premium.

How do I start a gold refining business?

If you have access to the necessary chemicals and can afford the refining equipment, and supplies, you may start your own gold refinery. Gold refining is a lucrative enterprise because of the huge demand in the jewellery industry and precious metals investors worldwide….

The following refinery processes can include:



Miller Chlorination Process

Wohlwill Electrolytic Process

Aqua Regia Process

Smelting Gold Scrap

Is Refining Scrap Gold Profitable?

Gold always holds value, regardless of how old it is or what condition it is in. Scrap gold is a lucrative business for many individuals. As a result, many people find themselves drawn to it. It’s possible to run a profitable scrap gold company if you know how to do it.

How much does it cost to build a Gold Refinery?

The average cost to set up a gold refinery is approx. USD9m to USD12m for setting up a 1MT gold refinery.

If you are interested to build a refinery and have that sort of money Contact Us directly and we can discuss it further.

How much does it Cost to Refine Gold?

The charges applied to refining gold come in three stages typically, but every refinery has a slightly different way to skin the cat! Here is a breakdown of the 3 main areas where costs will be applied.

Gold Refining Charges

Refining gold charges will change from refinery to refinery, some will price in grams whilst others in ounces and the charges will differ based on the purity. A range of purities where prices will differ cane be say 50 to 70% purity at one price, 70 to 90 once price and 90% and above another price still. Its always best to bring a higher purity to a refinery as the payables are higher. I have seen some refineries offer say a 1% for lots over 50 ounces but always check if they are refining themselves to 995+ or refining part way then sending to another refinery for a higher purity level.

Some refineries charge for melting and others don’t, but rest assure if they don’t the price is baked into your gold refining charges somewhere along the line.

Gold Lab Testing Charges – Gold Fire Assay Method

Gold Fire Assay
Gold Fire Assay Crucibles

Gold Fire Assay Method is the standard accepted by industry and is performed in a laboratory by a qualified professional, in some instances XRF or water/gravity methods are accepted but where possible always go with a refinery that’s giving you Fire Assay Method.

I have seen Fire Assay charges go from $30 to $100+, so always ask for a discount where possible or look at your total payable and decide if you should bring your gold to another refinery.

Why is fire Assay Method better than XRF?

An XRF analyzes the density of the material it’s measuring by bouncing waves through the metal and based on bounce rate it gives a purity level (that’s a very basic level understanding). The issue is that metals like Tungsten have the same density as gold and many precious metals dealers and pawnbrokers buying gold have been caught out by these fake gold scammers.

Thermo Niton Portable XRF Analyzer
Thermo Niton Portable XRF Analyzer
Fake Gold Pamp Bar
Fake Gold Pamp Bar

Gold Returns & Settlement

You want to get to as close to 100% payables on Gold Purity and Weight after Fire Assay results. This is where the cat skinning really occurs in many refineries the tricks of the trade are sleight of hand.

Some refineries pay a higher percentage and exclude the silver and other charge less and make silver payable. Think about that for a moment, do you want to be paid more in Gold or Silver? Trust me some clients just didn’t get it until we built a spreadsheet showing them the differences per ounce.

Some refineries even have been known to shave off purities from the output by the chemist to give the clients less payables. Remember is a scrupulous business to be in and it’s all about having a high turnover daily so you need more and more metal to make it work!

Then there is fixing the gold price for settlement, some choose to be unhedged (many mining companies opt for this) and many use the LBMA Gold Price which was formerly known as the LBMA AM or PM Fix (the name was allegedly changed to protect the innocent bankers accused of price fixing) whilst other traders like to hit the gold spot price

When you are talking to a gold dealer he is looking to predict which way your order will be going (Buyer or Seller) and will shade the price accordingly, why does he do that? Well he needs to maximise his book and he has a slight moment of profit that he can run in the moment before closing out your position but rest assure if he gives you a price, then that is a firm price and you should always hold him to it! 

My suggestion would be to never tell him if you are a Buyer of Seller! In some cases he will always know based on your profile, which is why you should wherever possible using a trading platform and fix the price yourself but do not the spread already has their profit baked into the price..

Many small traders will look at the Kitco app, this has a $1 spread and does not reflect the actual spot price you will deal on so get your refinery to give you market access to the Gold spot market so you can fix your own gold price.

What Impurities are found in Gold?

Impurities are often found in gold that has been refined by amalgamation or cyanidation. These impurities might include zinc, copper, silver, and iron.

How do you take Impurities out of gold?

Acid Method – Aqua Regia Process

Getting contaminants to separate from the gold is the most important step in the purification process. The combination of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid is known as aqua regia, and it is a very toxic substance. This combination is far more potent than each of the acids taken on its own.

What Colour is Pure Gold?

Degussa 100g Gold Bars
Degussa 100g Gold Bars

Orange Yellow Colour

Pure gold which is 24K or 999.9 has a bright, almost orange-yellow colour; nonetheless, pure gold is uncommon in nature. It usually forms as a crystal structure with other elements such as silver or copper.

Can you Melt different Karats of Gold together?

Separate molds need to be used for each colour. Karats can be combined, however doing so will produce an alloy that has an odd number of karats.

How do I convert 24k gold to 14k?

Pure 24k gold must be mixed with the appropriate proportion of other metals in order to make 14k gold from 24k. To make 14k, we require 58 percent pure 24k gold in 14 of the 24 components, whereas 42 percent (or 10 components) are other metals.

How much Gold is Lost when Melted?

Melt or mass losses account for 1 percent to 2.5 percent of total losses in gold refining, whereas assay or under karat losses account for 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent.

Is Raw Gold worth more than processed Gold?

While the market price of refined raw gold determines the value of gold, the type of gold you own may be worth more than that. If you’re looking to invest in gold, look for gold nuggets in the outback/bush off local miners or very rare bars from renown dealers.

Following the CPU, memory, and circuit board fingers/connectors / pins are the next most valuable metals by weight, with circuit boards and hard drives coming in at the end of the list.

Is Scrap Gold worth Less?


It is common for gold purchasers to pay only around 70% of the current gold market price for your scrap gold in order to cover their smelting and refining expenses as well as their own profit margin. If you want, so make sure you look around for the best terms because you can get much higher than that in most parts of the world.

Is Scrap Gold worth less?

What does Borax do when Melting Gold?

In the melting of Gold and Silver, Borax aids in the removal of Oxides and other impurities, and produces a fluid borate slag that accumulates on the metal’s surface. A carbon-graphite or clay rod is regularly used to remove the slag.

Who do Gold Miners sell their Gold to?

Bullion banks act as the gold market’s go-between giving miners long term off take agreements which a miner can bring to a local bank and secure additional loans for equipment. Miners produce gold, but they may not do so at the same time as buyers want to purchase the metal.

Banks serve as a type of clearing house: when the gold mining company produces enough gold and wishes to sell, they may do so to the bank who will pay them either on wheels up with a high value logistics and security company who confirms the pick up and is 100% insured. Payments are made up to 95% of what is shipped based on the arrangements between the mining company and the bank, however this will be much less if a jurisdiction is more high risk.

Consumers may ultimately purchase that gold once it has been refined by the banks designated refinery but consumers can purchase the gold directly via the bank which is typically overpriced to retail buyers, so again shop around because banks are not the best place to buy gold!

Which Gold Refinery is best?

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