Acid Digestion: An Affordable Path to Precious Metal Recovery

By | November 6, 2015

When you want to recover gemstones and precious metals found in jewelry, acid digestion is a great option when you want to refine jewelry. We at invite you to take a closer look at the interesting chemical process that allows customers to safely and affordably reclaim their precious stones and metals.

Jewelers Refining Group

What Makes Acid Digestion Unique?

Acid digestion is a unique process since it allows the refiner to carefully separate metals by using acid to dissolve them as the refining process progresses. This makes it unique from other refining methods including melting or stripping. This method is very useful when jewelry contains multiple layers of metals. For instance, a ring with layers of gold and nickel can be treated by slowly dissolving away the layers to recover the gold.

You can also use the analogy of bricks and mortar, except that the bricks are gold and the nickel is the mortar. They’re layered one on the other. The acid digestion process dissolves the nickel and allows the refiner to retrieve the gold

How Does It Work?

The process gets its name because the acid does to metals what our stomach acid does to food: it breaks it down. The metal items are placed into special acid resistant containers for treatment. Then the acid solution is added to the container.

From there, the acid does its job to refine the metals. When the process completes, the refiner recovers the refined metals from the solution. These highly sought-after metals, which include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, are left in their purest state because of the refining process. The acid itself is inexpensive, so this in turn makes for an inexpensive way to reclaim jewelry metals.

Beyond the Metal

The acid digestion process is great for reclaiming metal, but refiners also use it to recover stones as well. Fortunately, the acid doesn’t damage the gem stones one bit. However, fake gemstones can in fact be damaged by acid. This makes acid digestion an effective way to identify fake gems and separate them from the real ones.

All of these benefits make acid digestion a natural choice when it comes to reclaiming precious metals and gemstones. Not only is it a proven method, but it’s also safe and affordable.