The Gold Refining Process

If you have ever wondered what happens to gold when you sell it to a cash for gold buyer then you will be interested in knowing how all that gold is purified. The process of refining gold is obscure, but it is the process that helps improve the quality of gold. Quality is important to collectors and investors who want fine or purity that 24k or 99.99% pure.

When gold is mined, it is mixed in with minerals. A gold nugget for example will have just 70 to 90% gold. Panning is the simple rudimentary process of sifting gold from mined sediment. The first steps always involve physical separation and sifting. The second process involves the application of heat and/or chemicals. When the mined ore is melted, gold settles at the bottom and the impurities rise to the top. The impurities are then skimmed off the top, leaving the pure gold on at the bottom. This technique is quick and efficient enough to result in a purity of 99.5% at best. To get a higher purity than that refineries use a chemical method.

What happens in the chemical process is that gold is lowered into a chemical bath and then subjected through an electrical current. There’s a complex chemical process that occurs which produces gold with a purity of about 99.99%. The heat method of refining has been around since ancient times and its the easiest refining process that is used by cash for gold Brisbane dealers and refineries.

These days, both methods are used together. The heat method is mainly used to refine raw or low-purity gold whilst the other is used to refine the gold to investment grade. Low purity gold like 14k is suitable for jewellery while investment grade 99.99% purity is used to make gold coins and gold bars. Gold is usually alloyed with other metals to make it more durable. For instance, the American Gold Eagle and South African Krugerrand are alloyed with copper to make them more durable. These coins contain a Troy ounce of 99.99% gold but the coins weigh more than one ounce because of the copper added.

High levels of purity may sound better than anything else but 99.99% fineness is quite soft and prone to damage. This is why bullion coins and bars should be stored in protective packaging. This is why jewellery is alloyed with other metals to make it sturdier. Gold with a purity of 14K – 22K is less expensive will also be sturdier.

Cash for gold Brisbane dealers are more interested in the gold content. They will buy gold jewellery in any state for the gold content and put it through the recycling process. There is always a question about the value of gold coins or jewellery. Gold coins are often treated differently to jewellery because they have their own unique market that considers more than purity. Coins can come in different purities, mostly 99.5% however, the American Gold Eagle which contains 91.7% pure gold is the best selling bullion coin in the world. Sometimes, the price of gold bullion coins will depend on the manufacturer