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Has Anyone Done Home Silver Refining?

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 Posted 10/26/2020  12:18 pm Show Profile   Check silverstash119's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add silverstash119 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I know it may not be entirely cost effective, but I am an environmental scientist by trade and I do have some chemistry training.. Chemistry lab was my favorite subject in college, and this kind of seems like a fun hobby. Just wondering if anyone here has done it and can share any successes/failures. Thinking of hunting for sterling at cheap prices and slowly building up some equipment.
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 Posted 10/26/2020  12:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add oriole to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I think one big issue would be dealing with the emissions/ pollution from the refining process.
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 Posted 10/26/2020  12:44 pm  Show Profile   Check silverstash119's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add silverstash119 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It'd be on a pretty small scale, and I'd be outside with an acid gas respirator for additional safety. Not concerned that there would be a significant air quality impact to the environment.
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 Posted 10/27/2020  10:37 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Cross-eyed to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Will You be making Your own nitric acid or just buy it?
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 Posted 10/27/2020  12:26 pm  Show Profile   Check silverstash119's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add silverstash119 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
At this point I'd just be buying the acid, I don't think it'd be worth the added risk of making it. I'll likely start small next month with just buying a smelting furnace and PPE and just practice melting pure silver shot into bars/rounds to get that technique down. If that goes well I'll try refining.
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 Posted 10/27/2020  1:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Earle42 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds like it could be fun! If you do start the process, please share pics here.
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 Posted 10/27/2020  1:14 pm  Show Profile   Check silverstash119's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add silverstash119 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Earl42

I definitely will!
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 Posted 10/27/2020  7:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Cross-eyed to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:

At this point I'd just be buying the acid, I don't think it'd be worth the added risk of making it. I'll likely start small next month with just buying a smelting furnace and PPE and just practice melting pure silver shot into bars/rounds to get that technique down. If that goes well I'll try refining.

Sounds like a plan.
What kind of furnace are You thinking of going with, gas or electric?
Over this past summer I've been messing a round with gold refining and getting all of the steps down. Just as I was becoming successful it has turned cold outside. So I've been getting the garage set up so I can work inside. It will be so nice not to have leaves falling on/in everything.
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 Posted 10/27/2020  8:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It may be worth doing some research on how the ancients refined their silver, before using it for coins.
Roman Republican silver coinage is around 98% pure.
Search: 'cupellation'.

Beyond 98%, electrolytic refining would have to be considered.
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 Posted 10/27/2020  9:38 pm  Show Profile   Check silverstash119's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add silverstash119 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
What kind of furnace are You thinking of going with, gas or electric?


I was thinking gas, but if you have any suggestions on what has worked for you, I'd love to hear it. This furnace in particular has caught my eye: https://castmastereliteshop.com/pro...6.1603824032


Quote:
Beyond 98%, electrolytic refining would have to be considered


Electrolytic actually looks like a pretty interesting process. I'm sure when I eventually get into it I'll try a few methods.
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 Posted 10/28/2020  12:17 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Cross-eyed to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I was thinking gas, but if you have any suggestions on what has worked for you, I'd love to hear it. This furnace in particular has caught my eye

So far I've been trying to get the chemistry down in order to have something to melt, first, then worry about a furnace. But thanks for the link, I'll probably go with the same.
What little I have done so far I have used MAP gas for melting back to metal. Although I didn't get it hot enough (I was more worried about burning it up) the first time. It did RXF at .999 fine. Not bad just for some free computer scrap. Once I 'graduate' too doing 10K,14k,and 18k refining, silver refining will be a secondary process too do.
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 Posted 10/28/2020  02:12 am  Show Profile   Check spruett001's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add spruett001 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds like fun. I'm interested in following your progress.

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 Posted 10/28/2020  12:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add jskirwin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sign me up as an audience member. I've entertained this idea myself over the years.
Fire. Molten metal. Thick gloves. My idea of a fun Saturday night.
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 Posted 10/28/2020  1:44 pm  Show Profile   Check silverstash119's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add silverstash119 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

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Sign me up as an audience member.


Anyone that wants to follow, just subscribe to this post and I'll post my experimentations here. Again, may be another month or so before I start playing around, but I'll share my adventures here. I've got some other ideas too as far as creating custom ingot molds, so hoping for some cool stuff coming out in the future!
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 Posted 10/28/2020  6:35 pm  Show Profile   Check silverstash119's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add silverstash119 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
So.... I just bought 35 lbs of scrap copper AT SPOT..... just need a smelting furnace and then there's my first bullion project. I'll be able to turn out a whole bunch of 1-10 ounce copper bars from this.
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