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  1. #1

    Dec 2007

    Gold from computers???

    Hello, I am new to this and was wondering about gold in computer components. I have heard that connecters and wires may have them gold plated on it? Is it worth the effort and where is the best place to sell it. I have access to many computers so just wondering if the effort would pay off.

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  2. #2

    Nov 2007
    somewhere between here and there, south of over there but north of that place
    titan 3000xd/seahunter mk ll/Ace 250/whites 6000XL Pro
    368 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Gold from computers???

    there is gold in the computers, and cell phones, and games too. Not much, but if you have about 20 of them, you can start a scrap pile, then you have to buy chemicals to seperate the gold from the circuit boards and the chips, then you have to buy more chemicals to seperate the silver from the gold, the platinum from both, and the other metals along with the slag from all of it.

    Check out a site called "goldrefining forum.com", look for a poster name of "lazersteve" follow the links to his site. Trust me, it's not as easy as it seems, and you have to have an understanding of chemistry.

    It is a pretty neat hobby, but don't expect to bust a computer open and pull ounces or grams of gold out of it without work.
    when you tug on a single thing in nature, you'll find it's connected to the rest of the world. John muir

  3. #3
    BCR is offline

    Jul 2007
    Ontario Canada

    Re: Gold from computers???

    Personally I wouldn't recommend trying to do this at home, I'm speaking from a Canadian perspective so I don't know how it would be viewed down in the USA. Up here if you are caught by the Ministry of The Environment doing that you will find yourself in a heap of trouble, because you are using extremely toxic chemicals to try and leach out a very small amount of gold that is hardly worth the effort.

    Just do a google search, there are plenty of scrap yards down in the US who take circuit boards and if I'm not mistaken there are more than a few companies who process circuit boards by the millions who have the proper technology etc to safely recover the precious metals.

  4. #4
    Nov 2008

    Re: Gold from computers???

    I have used all of the "safe" methods. I have not found any that work as well as the acid system.

  5. #5
    Nov 2008
    White Bluff, TN
    MineLab X-Terra 70
    6 times

    Re: Gold from computers???

    I remember see'n a show or short little news story on this. Anyways They said it takes about 200 computers to get an ounce of gold I believe..Just thought i'd share that with you guys...


  6. #6

    Jun 2007

    Re: Gold from computers???

    I'm not sure if that 200 computer figure is accurate.
    A good source of info on refining e gold is Gold refining forum.com
    A contributor there named lazersteve has some great tutorials on how to do it, and says one pound of fingers yields about 2.5 oz of gold.
    I can't say how many computers you need to strip to get one lb, but I'll weigh up what a half dozen gave up shortly, as some kind of bench mark if nobody else here knows.
    Refining the stuff with acid, is a pretty complex proposition.
    Lots of people do it, however, and many buy their fingers and CPUs off scrappers on ebay.
    I just watched an auction of 16 lbs of CPUs sell for 120 bucks. These weren't just the processors, but had a fair bit of waste board attached.
    One current auction has a guy trying to sell one lb of CPUs for 50 bucks, with "buy it now," but he's probably dreaming.

    ebay is a good option for anyone disinclined to get into home refining.
    That's probably what I'll do with my hoard eventually.

    I will agree that stripping a computer is hard work.
    You wouldn't want to do it for a living, but its not bad to do one or two once in a while, if you're sort of doing something else at the same time, like maybe just watching TV.

    Along with the gold, you get a fair weight of cast aluminum, and the hard drive discs can be refined or sold as well for their precious metals.

  7. #7

    Dec 2007
    Tierra del Fuego
    19 times

    Re: Gold from computers???

    IMO 200 pc's to get an oz might apply to the newest generation of machines.
    Technology has allowed them to flash coat the connectors extremely thin.

    The old stuff is where you may have a good chance of making bucks.
    Like anything else, you gotta know what you're doing to make money at it.

    I've just found a suitcase full of 5 1/4 floppy disks and 3 1/2 mini disks I had stored away with programs on them I thought were important... Ha! Silly me!

    And I clearly remember paying $600 for a 160mb hardrive to replace a 20mb I had overloaded.

    Got all kinds of connectors and cabling for old systems that just won't be useful any longer.

    Ha! Ha! A friend once bid $50 on the computer system in a water company for a large metropolitan city.
    No one else bid on it.

    We went to help him get it in three pickup trucks.
    The computer itself was big as a gas powered Lincoln arc welder. Took a forklift to pick it up!
    It was online when we got there. The system tech used a scredriver to lock the drives. 2 x 60meg. HUGE!
    All the cabling through a large building, printers, and about 60 green screen terminals came with it.

    It wasn't worth it!
    Sometimes you get more than you bargain for!

    Scrapping is best left for professionals!

    I am a pathological liar and a functional illiterate.

  8. #8
    Feb 2006
    Hanover Park Illinois
    11 times

    Re: Gold from computers???

    Yep theres gold in them, but you need to know how to extrude it. Here in Illinois there are very few places that will take computers and go through the extruding process because it is expensive. There are also laws about computer disposal. There are some pretty hazardous chemical compounds in computers so you really need to know what you are doing. Those few companies that do this have it down to a science and they recycle just about the entire computer right down to the plastic housing the computer is mounted in. If it was that easy, everybody would be doing it.

  9. #9
    Dec 2008
    6 times

    Re: Gold from computers???

    I have been scrapping computers for eight years now. The money in scrapping computers is not really in the gold componets, those are the cream. If you take the time to do it right, you can make some pretty good cash off these things. Break them down to components.

    Power supplies
    Printed circuit boards
    insulated copper wire (Clip off the connectors)
    connectors (Most have gold in them)
    and aluminum and steel

    Don't bother trying to refine the gold stuff, sell it on e-bay! It will bring more than it's worth most of the time!

  10. #10
    Jun 2006
    Out in the hills near wherendaheckarwe
    WHITES, MINELAB, Garrett
    927 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Gold from computers???

    Fiddled around with recovering the gold off of the fingers of some cards and some old CPUs back when prices were through the roof. I think with the cost of the chemistry etc. You'll make more money selling the parts some place like Craigs list or at the local swap meet. Or building up some towers and sell them as a complete system. Where I'm at I can make 5 times the money selling parts as a whole with NO worries about chemicals.
    I know it's here, just need a bigger coil!

  11. #11

    Dec 2008

    Re: Gold from computers???

    Not worth it for the average gold digger. Don't forget about the lead and arsenic that is also present in electronic components.

  12. #12
    Mar 2008
    nw pa
    bounty hunter sharp shooter 11
    3 times

    Re: Gold from computers???

    how about sending the boards into cash for gold lol they pay for the shipping with the way they rip people off make them pay for the shipping for nothing

  13. #13
    Jun 2006
    Out in the hills near wherendaheckarwe
    WHITES, MINELAB, Garrett
    927 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Gold from computers???

    Now that's an idea!!!!! Just glue the bag on a big box of boards Then tell em if they don't buy them you want your stuff back But that is a cool idea!
    I know it's here, just need a bigger coil!

  14. #14
    Jun 2008
    minelab explorer II

    Re: Gold from computers???

    just to clear one mistake made by whiteknight.
    one pound of close cut gold plated fingers will yield about 4 grams of gold. not 2.5 oz

  15. #15
    Jun 2006
    Out in the hills near wherendaheckarwe
    WHITES, MINELAB, Garrett
    927 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Gold from computers???

    Large size paper cutter, like us old farts had in school! Only finger pain is if you boo boo

    A friend bought a paper cutter for $3 at the swap meet, then got a throatless sheet metal cutter from Harbor Freight for around $39. He chucked the paper cutter before I could abscound with it darn!
    I know it's here, just need a bigger coil!



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