Home Brew Gold Plating

Home Brew Gold Plating

Alright, everyone. Welcome to Cody’s Lab. As you can see, i’m standing next to my ’87 Ford Ranger here. And today I’m gonna be doing something to it that I’ve been wanting to do for some time. I’m going to plate the bumper in 24 karat gold. If it works, I might plate the rest of the little chrome bits in gold as well. I think that it would look very nice with this blue car. Y’know, have blue and yellow, kind of. Also, I really want to see if I can do it. I’ve never tried plating something quite so large. Anyway, here’s the gold that i’m gonna use. See, it’s a little coin I made, a few years ago. Refined gold, 6.2 grams, Saber Mint. *Laughs* Yeah, I made it myself with some gold that I collected and purified from many sources. It’s a shame that I’m gonna have to destroy it to do this little project. But you know what? What good’s gold if you can’t use it for things? So, let’s go ahead and get started. As you can see I have just cut a wire off the coin. This I’ll use as my electrode, so this won’t get dissolved. And this here would be the gold, that I actually dissolve and use, for the electro-plating solution. Now to dissolve the gold I have some nitric acid, and some hydrochloric acid here. I’ve already got the nitric acid measured out, and I’m going to pour this over my cut-up bits of gold. *Splashes* As you can see, the nitric acid alone does nothing except maybe clean the gold a little bit. It’s not until I add the hydrochloric, that I make aqua regia, and the gold will begin to dissolve. Now the gold should start dissolving now. See that? As you can see, the gold is now completely dissolved. Just kind of a reddish liquid now. Now I gotta get rid of the nitric acid, and to do that, I got to evaporate it off. You can see I have a pan on here with some sand in it. That’s to make so that the heat source is not in direct contact with the glass. That evens out the spread of heat, and makes it so it doesn’t get quite as hot. It gets too hot, it might break the glass, which is not good for anything. So while that’s evaporating, I went ahead and took this bumper off the truck. And i’m gonna go ahead and, uh, clean all the bugs off, and scrub off any rust spots that I can get to. Y’know, clean it up real nice, get all the oil off of it. ‘Kay, it’s now evaporated down. It actually, that’s a little bit too much. It’s supposed to be a thick syrup now, but I kinda forgot about it, and it dried out completely. See, I’ve added a bit more, uh, hydrochloric acid. That, uh, should react with any more nitrate salts that are present, turning them back into nitric acid. Which will then evaporate out more. This is just to get rid of all the nitrates. And as you can see, because I let it evaporate down completely, and actually, it got a little too hot towards the end, you can see that some of the gold has actually come out of solution, and now are tiny little particles. If you were trying to purify the gold and remove other metals from it, this’d be an issue. Because now when you filter it off you would be losing some of your gold. But for me, it’s not that big of a deal, because I want gold powder. Okay, now that it’s evaporated down a second time, there should be no nitric acid, at all. So let’s go ahead and, uh, add some water to this. Now to drop the rest of the gold out, I’m going to bubble through some sulphur dioxide. To make sulphur dioxide, I’ve got here a bottle with a little bit of sodium metabisulfite inside of it. And you can see I’ve got a hose coming off the top, and a little hole I can inject the hydrochloric acid into. Which will react to the sodium metabisulfite, making sulphur dioxide. Now that I’ve got my pipette of hydrochloric acid into the bottle, all I got to do is give it a squeeze, and it’ll start making sulphur dioxide. Sulphur dioxide, of course, will drop the gold out of solution. *Bubbling* I don’t know if you can see it, but there’s some gold forming on the surface of the liquid. That’s a very good way to do it, cause if it doesn’t drop out, like say if you’ve got nitric in there still, it makes it so the gold doesn’t drop out. Bubbling the sulphur dioxide through it won’t contaminate in any way So all you gotta do is let it air off for a little while, boil it down again, try it again. It doesn’t actually add anything to it. A lot of people will actually just pour the sodium metabisulfite along with a little bit of hydrochloric acid in here. Which, does work. But, if anything goes wrong, now you’ve got a solution with a bunch of metabisulfite in there. Anyway, I’m gonna go ahead and continue bubbling this through for a few more minutes, make sure I get all the gold to drop out. After pouring off the remaining liquid and washing it a few times, you can see I have some brownish powder. Which is almost 100% pure gold. Now I’m going to go and add a little bit of lye, to destroy any acids that may be present. Okay. That’ll make the solution very basic. And now, I’m going to go ahead and add some potassium cyanide here. And that’ll begin dissolving the gold. Of course, it’s probably used all of its oxygen supply already. So either I could continually put oxygen in there, or I could go ahead and add in a little splash of hydrogen peroxide, to get things going a little faster. Oh yes, that works very quickly. Hydrogen peroxide will actually, uh, decompose on contact with gold, and it’ll form oxygen gas. That’ll just give me a good supply of oxygen, and that oughta dissolve that gold. Make some gold cyanide. It appears that all the gold has been dissolved. Alright. Now we have ourselves, our electrolyte, that can be used for electroplating. *Whirring* Okay, got me an electrical source, I’ve hooked up my piece of gold in there, and I’ve got a little butter knife that i’m gonna try and plate in some gold. I think it’s working. All right, there it is. After about… y’know, thirty seconds or so. I say that’s pretty good The other side didn’t get as much cause it was up against the glass. See if it’ll handle being wiped on. You know what? I think it will. Look at that. *Cow mooing* I can wipe that with my glove; it doesn’t come off. Excellent. I think that’s ready. Here’s the gold, which I have attached to this wire. With electrical tape, so it’s just gold contact. And as you can see, I’ve got this, uh, little sock here I’ve been using as a rag. Get a little of this gold-cyanide solution here, put this gold inside that, you can see I’ve got the negative hooked up to there, and you can see I’m making a nice gold coating on here. This is a lot of work, it’s taking a long time, but it is working. You can see that. See gold versus chrome here. Okay, I’ve worked on this several hours, and this is all I’ve got. See that? I don’t think this is going to work. In fact, at this point I’m going to go ahead and give up. Take this gold off and, uh, I might try again some other day. I might try gold leafing it, or something. But it doesn’t look like the electroplating is gonna work. I mean, my electroplating solution works great for little things that I can stick inside the solution, like this knife here, Y’know, that doesn’t rub off or anything. So, that’s pretty good. The problem is I can’t put the bumper inside of a bath of solution. So, I don’t know, maybe I’ll have to adjust my chemicals or something. In the meantime, I’ve got this rag with a little bit of cyanide solution, and I’m gonna go ahead and wipe it down, and dissolve the gold back off. See there, just about good as new. Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed, even though it was a failure. I mean, this sort of thing happens sometime and I will try again. But I also did get a gold plated knife out of the whole deal. And I’ve, recovered all my gold so I’m basically back at square one. I didn’t ruin my bumper or anything. I can confirm that I will be doing another gunpowder from urine video. One which I will actually be trying to extract some sulphur from the ground, as well. So, you can look forward to that, probably in the next week. Also, I plan to dip my hand in some mercury, and uh, that should be my next video. Stay tuned for that, I’ll see you next time.


  1. You need a electrolitic cleaning of the bumper, rinse, acid edge for activation, rinse and inmerse the bumber in a bath for electro depositation.

  2. It's because you didn't strip the chrome before adding the gold. Gold will not attach to the chrome it'll just wipe off.

  3. As far as I recall, you don’t do gold plating (or most any plating) on top of chromium. I once had a gold plating pen and its instructions were to at first do copper plating, then nickel and finally gold. Nickel was to form a barrier between gold and copper, as those two would tend to form an alloy.

  4. I love this channel but I strongly dislike the over use of the phrase 'go ahead and' I'm gonna go ahead and XYZ' a little inefficient use of language for a scientist. Do American schoolteachers use this pointless phrase? I hear it a lot on videos from the US it grates on me as it serves no purpose, I mean what other direction would you be going?

  5. cody, the problem is the chrome, you need to strip the chrome away and get down to the base layer. the way metals are electroplated is that they use an intermediate layer of a metal that bonds well to both the metal of the object and the final top layer metal. one of the most commonly used "bonding metals" is copper. next time, strip off the chrome, do a copper electroplate, and then a top layer of gold.

  6. Tell me what did you add to the evaporated salts for the first time? And what was in the bottle, what substance and why it?

  7. I think the problem was that the steel electrode clamp was acting as an electrode. It is much bigger than the gold electrode, and in contact with the wet sock, it may have caused the failure.

  8. I hope this aids people in dealing with clickbait. I had a feeling about this video, so I didn't watch the entire procedure. I immediately skipped to the end first to see the finished bumper. In order to decide if it was worth watching. As I suspected it was not. That took about 25 sec., instead of 9 min. After Which, I would have felt "robbed, raped, pissed off and wanted to hang myself"!

  9. I was hoping to learn how to clean my gold dust by electroplating it onto gold leaf.
    I am not that enthusiastic about messing around with nitric acid…..

  10. I found a 18kt HGF ring, but it says nothing about the base metal, it's light feeling anyone have any idea of what it might be.

  11. @cody , you should use a carbon electrode inside the sock to increase the electical surface area.
    Cover the electrode with surgical cotton and then a single layer of cotton sleve/sock.

  12. Have you ever thought about making a magnetohydrodynamic pump/generator using 24k gold or gold plated electrodes and strong N value magents to pump salt water non-mechanically? It's something I want to do but don't have time to make.

  13. "It'll make the solution very basic"
    Solution: oh my god pumpkin spice products are finally out!
    Cody: maybe a little too basic

  14. is there no easier way to do this,can you not simply use two pieces of gold in an acid solution and use electrolysis? same as when preping a solution of copper for plating

  15. Guys i have a doubt in this vedio at 5:25 minutes he is adding some powder to the solution …i cannot understand which powder he is adding .kindly help me to find out which powder he is adding to the solution .if some one knows what he is adding please let me know

  16. Any ideas on extraction of microscopic gold from black sand concentrate? besides smelting.
    Said black sand Is magnatite with metals of the "PMG" group…. so ore concentrate is not pure.

  17. I’m trying to find that one video you did where the solution has no gold in it and you plated something with gold out of it

  18. So no one else thinking the biggest deal about this video is how he went from living in his moms basement to lawyer/model in 9 minutes?

  19. Could probably try moving between more similar metals. IE, strip it down to steel, then plate with coper, then with gold. Also your cloth setup seems questionably big and thick. A smaller piece of towel may work better.

  20. i wouldnt say it was a failure. it did plate your bumper. i would more call it a marginal success. id say you'll need a rather large plating cell to plate a whole bumper.

  21. actually for bigger size electropating amount of gold needed is more so u can just use 1 or 2 gms of gold for plating such big areas

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