Physical Science [Moderate] Copper into GOLD

Discussion in 'Physical Science' started by pineappleupsidedown, Oct 19, 2004.

  1. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    In this experiment, you can change copper into "silver" and then into "gold". Most the people i know enjoyed doing it, this is not the exact recipe i used, but it is supposed to work just as well and is safer to do.

    What you need:
    A Pre-1983 penny. (it contains more copper)
    Tongs(with rubber handles)
    Bunsen burner
    Ceramic dish
    Zinc Cloride(a soild, not a solution)

    First; be sure you select a genuine copper penny. Modern penies are
    copper-clad zinc. I think they were introduced in about 1982. Use a file to
    scratch the edge of the penny. If a silvery metal is exposed, the penny
    is too
    new. Get one of the older solid copper pennies. Clean it with a tuft of very
    fine steel wool.

    What you do:
    First, clean off the penny with vingar and possibly fine steel wool.

    Next, heat the penny over the bunsen burner until very hot.

    Drop the penny into the dish of Zinc Cloride and stir it until the entire penny is coated(or as much as possible. You cannot reheat it to add more zinc cloride)

    Pick up the penny(now "silver") and hold it over the bunsen burner. As soon as the penny turns "Gold" remove it from the heat and cool it with water.

    You may also buff it with iron wool to make the effect even better.

    Be safe: do the operation in good ventilation, avoid breathing the zinc
    chloride fumes, wear safety glasses, and properly dispose of the rest of the zinc chloride.

    Have fun!


    P.S. If anyone does this, could you please post your results and reaction to it? As i said before i have not done this same recipe so i would like to know if this one really works.
  2. junior_smith

    junior_smith Premium Member

    where can you get zinc chloride?
  3. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    Is this supposed to make REAL gold? So, I can just buy copper wire and turn it into GOLD Wire?
    If so, watch out for all those real copper pans out there! I will get rich on copper cooking utensils! :lol:

    ZSan where are you when I need you! Mr. Geology... is it true? If so, why have to not found a mountain of cooper yet?
    Want to go in business together? :lol: I will sit there with a burner under the moutain till we have a GOLD MOUNTAIN!


    Cough. Sore throat. Burning sensation. Laboured breathing. Shortness of breath. Symptoms may be delayed.
    PreventionLocal exhaust or breathing protection.
    Medical Needs Fresh air, rest. Half-upright position. Artificial respiration may be needed.

    Skin burns. Pain. Redness.
    PreventionProtective gloves.
    Medical NeedsRinse and then wash skin with water and soap. Refer for medical attention.

    Pain. Redness. Severe deep burns.
    PreventionSafety goggles, or eye protection in combination with breathing protection if powder.
    Medical Needs First rinse with plenty of water for several minutes (remove contact lenses if easily possible), then take to a doctor.

    Abdominal pain. Burning sensation in the throat and chest. Sore throat. Nausea. Vomiting. Shock or collapse.
    PreventionDo not eat, drink, or smoke during work.
    Medical Needs Wash hands before eating. Do NOT induce vomiting. Give plenty of water to drink. Refer for medical attention.
  4. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    Thanks for the killjoy JC. :ch:

    Seriously though everyone, these chemicals can be pretty dangerous. Just dont be stupid and treat them like they arent.

    ((adds more to "Lab safety" section :roll:))


    [Edited on 10-21-2004 by pineappleupsidedown]
  5. junior_smith

    junior_smith Premium Member

    where can you aquire them, i also need some sodium iodide. i have some in my school chemicals room and it is easily attanable, but i would never steal . . or would I?
  6. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    You could ask one of the teachers that teaches chem. Maybe they can purchase some for you, or at least tell you how to get some.


    EDIT: i also found this link that you might be able to look off of. Zinc Chloride - ZACLON a Major Manufacturer
  7. Waxy cheesecake

    Waxy cheesecake Premium Member

    Real gold!!! I MUST MAKE NOW!!!!!!!!!
    :hail::hail: pineappleupsidedown
  8. Waxy cheesecake

    Waxy cheesecake Premium Member

    Is the zinc chloride posionous too the touch? Say, if you stop at the "silver" stage? Also if you stop at the "silver" stage will the zinc rub off?
  9. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    I can't remember. I know i never directly touched the zinc cloride, but im not sure if it was so that it wouldnt interfer with the changing it into gold, or if it was posionous to touch.

    BUT i would heed JC's advice to not touch it.

    Sry Waxy

  10. Waxy cheesecake

    Waxy cheesecake Premium Member

    If you polish one of the pennies would the zinc come off?
  11. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    Sorry i dont have the answer to that question

  12. Waxy cheesecake

    Waxy cheesecake Premium Member

    I'll have too do some research and experiment with it. I'm going too see if I can fool some of my friends with it.;)

    P.S. Whats the use of having a fake gold coin if you can't touch it?:)
  13. pineappleupsidedown

    pineappleupsidedown Premium Member

    You can touch the gold coin once it has been turned to gold. This is because there is a chemical change when you hold the penny over the flame. The thing im not sure about is when it is only "silver".

  14. Waxy cheesecake

    Waxy cheesecake Premium Member

    Where would I get Zinc Chloride?
  15. drlau

    drlau Premium Member has it:
    $47.27 for 125 g.

    I remember doing this in a chemistry class (yes I can remember that far back), and I believe we used sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and zinc powder. The process was similar, but involved heating the NaOH solution, adding the zinc powder, and then dropping the pennies into the heated solution to get the silver color. Same as yours, the bunsen flame changed them to a gold color.

    Cool experiment!
  16. AD5673

    AD5673 Member

    lol, copper to REAL gold isnt possible to make, the penny will just shine and LOOK like gold, lol
  17. unknownX

    unknownX New Member

    Perhaps you all need a litle lesson on alchemy :smug: anyone interest ? Change actual LEAD into GOLD.only some electron here and a couple there. hahah ! IT is POSSIBLE !!
  18. sab

    sab Premium Member

    gold has 79 protons
    to turn lead (which has 82 protons) into gold ,you need to remove 3 protons from the atom.
    you can do this in a particle accerator. but i would be willing to bet that your electric bill would be more than the price of the Gold created from the lead atom.

    BTW, your silver penny is just covered in zinc.
    the reaction you described above is a chemical plating process.
    we did that in high school too.
  19. freenina

    freenina Premium Member

    We just did a lab in Chem class where we turned nails into "copper." We used a solution of copper chloride and distilled water and just dunked the nails in there overnight. It looked pretty cool, but when we tried leaving a penny in the solution nothing happened. :p Duh.
  20. Frostie

    Frostie New Member

    Is this process just discoloring the outer layer of the copper or the entire thing?