The Refining Process of Gold


U.S. history books are filled with stories of the gold miners of the 1800s, and Fort Knox is world-famous as a repository of massive amounts of this most precious metal. Gold has been in high demand for thousands of years and the purer its state, the better.

The Facts

  • Gold is a naturally occurring metallic element that is considered a precious metal because of its rarity and is used in coins, jewelry, and dentures. As a precious metal it is less reactive, has a high luster, and is more malleable than many other elements. the symbol for gold Au is from the Latin word Aurum and means shining dawn.


  • The process of refining gold can be traced as far back as 6000BC though most early gold artifacts are rarely pure and contain significant amounts of silver in them. The gold of the ancients therefore varied from pure to electrum (an alloy of silver and gold) to white gold. Since gold in nature can be found uncombined with other elements, many early goldsmiths would pick gold nuggets from rivers and streams and weld them together by hammering.


  • The process of refining gold from the original ore can be a little more detailed than we might expect. It encompasses different methods to extract the courser gold from other gold-bearing material. This process begins with crushing the stones containing the gold and in many cases includes calcining or roasting certain ores to dissipate the sulphur, or sulphides of arsenic, and lead.


  • The final result of the refining process are the different types of gold. Depending on the state of the original ore and the extent of the refining process, gold is ultimately use in its purest 24 karat state to other level of purity. The pure gold has no oxides and is not effected by oxygen.


  • Though the common goldsmith with the proper training can refine small amounts of gold with relative ease, the refining of large amounts of gold requires the proper facilities.


Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • How to Purify Gold

    The value of gold depends in part on its purity. There are several useful methods to purify gold, including the Wohlwill process,...

  • How to Process Gold Ore

    Gold can be found in quartz veins and ore throughout gold-bearing regions of the world. Ore is any mineral that contains enough...

  • How to Refine Gold Ore

    Refining gold ore is a time intensive and expensive activity, but there simply is no other way to extract gold from ore....

  • The Electrolytic Silver Refining Process

    The process of electrolysis is one in which an ion, in the form of a solution or a molten salt, completes an...

  • Ancient Way of Refining Silver

    Refining refers to the act of purifying an impure metal, such as silver. There are a few ways to refine silver, but...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!