Can you gold plate a penny using gold nitrate?

  • Thread starter Chemics
  • Start date
  • #1
5
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

Just like the experiment in high school using zinc powder and sodium hydroxide, is there a way to use real gold plating with out having to melt real gold. Such as gold nitrate? Is gold nitrate rare, expensive or dangerous? Thanks!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
45
If you want to gold-plate a penny, you can do so by electroplating it. You will need a pretty strong acid to get the gold into solution, though, so you'll have to be cautious.

Edit: Gold chloride may be an acceptable salt for electroplating.
 
Last edited:
  • #3
chemisttree
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,413
439
Electroless gold works great for this. Google "electroless gold".
 
  • #4
DrDu
Science Advisor
6,032
759
The problem is to obtain a lustrous cover of gold. To that end the effective concentration of gold has to be very low. One usually achieves this working with a solution of cyanidic gold complexes which release only very little gold ions. But these are very toxic.
 
  • #5
5
0
Thanks a lot everyone for your insight. This helps a lot! What about silver plating? or Silver Nitrate? With the silver nitrate growing crystals on copper wire experiment could this be achieved with a small plating of silver on a penny in the same way or would it require diff chemicals?
 
  • #6
chemisttree
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Gold Member
3,413
439
Mirrors used to be made by plating silver onto glass using silver nitrate and formaldehyde. In the lab this is used in the "[URL [Broken] Test for aldehydes.[/url]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #7
DrDu
Science Advisor
6,032
759
silver is much more easy. However, you have to reduce the concentration of free silver ions considerably to obtain a lustrous cover. This can be achieved simply by rubbing a penny with a mixture of salt and silverchloride. Silverchloride is ill soluble and the free chloride ions reduce the concentration of silver even further. You can even prepare the chloride in situ by mixing some silvernitrate with rocksalt while wetting.
 
  • #8
Borek
Mentor
28,443
2,840
This is slightly off topic, but you may find it amusing. Go to the page:

http://www.chembuddy.com/?left=all&right=download

scroll down and download diffusion simulation program. It nicely shows how structure of the electrodeposited substance depends on the deposition parameters. Basically it tells that the lower probability of the single ion reduction, the thicker and less spongy the deposit. This is in a way related to the low concentration givng nice, lustrous cover.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #9
alxm
Science Advisor
1,842
9
You'd probably have to silver-plate it before gold-plating it to get the best result.
 

Related Threads on Can you gold plate a penny using gold nitrate?

  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
18K
  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
9
Views
25K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
28K
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Top