Can you gold plate a penny using gold nitrate?

In summary, electroplating a penny using silver nitrate is possible, but it requires careful preparation and concentration of the silver.
  • #1
Just like the experiment in high school using zinc powder and sodium hydroxide, is there a way to use real gold plating without having to melt real gold. Such as gold nitrate? Is gold nitrate rare, expensive or dangerous? Thanks!
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  • #2
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.
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  • #3
Electroless gold works great for this. Google "electroless gold".
  • #4
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
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
Mirrors used to be made by plating silver onto glass using silver nitrate and formaldehyde. In the lab this is used in the "[URL Test for aldehydes.[/url]
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  • #7
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
This is slightly off topic, but you may find it amusing. Go to the page:

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.
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  • #9
You'd probably have to silver-plate it before gold-plating it to get the best result.

Related to Can you gold plate a penny using gold nitrate?

1. Can you really gold plate a penny using gold nitrate?

Yes, it is possible to gold plate a penny using gold nitrate. Gold nitrate is a chemical compound that contains gold ions, and these ions can be used to coat a penny with a thin layer of gold.

2. How does the process of gold plating a penny with gold nitrate work?

The process of gold plating a penny with gold nitrate involves several steps. First, the penny is cleaned and prepared to remove any dirt or oils. Then, it is placed in a solution of gold nitrate and a reducing agent, which helps the gold ions to attach to the surface of the penny. Finally, the penny is rinsed and polished to achieve a shiny gold finish.

3. Will the gold plating on the penny be permanent?

No, the gold plating on the penny will not be permanent. Over time, the thin layer of gold may wear off or become tarnished. However, with proper care and handling, the gold plating can last for a significant amount of time.

4. Can I use any type of penny for gold plating with gold nitrate?

It is recommended to use a copper penny for gold plating with gold nitrate. Copper is a good conductor of electricity and reacts well with the gold ions in the solution. Other types of pennies, such as zinc or steel, may not produce the desired results.

5. Is gold plating a penny using gold nitrate safe?

The process of gold plating a penny using gold nitrate can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. Gold nitrate is a toxic chemical and should be handled with care. It is important to follow all safety guidelines and wear protective gear, such as gloves and goggles, when working with gold nitrate.

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