Alright everyone, welcome back to Cody’sLab
So I have been wanting to do more of the precious metals refining
I’ve been kind of neglecting that series lately
and so I think we’ll start back off with
these gold-plated playing cards which
were sent to me by a fan let’s see how
much gold we can get off of them
Let’s open this up and see how they look
So they are rather pretty
Oh! There are actually… Face cards are in color that’s interesting
I almost don’t want to destroy them
If it wasn’t for the fact that it has this ugly print of a hundred dollar bill on the back
I probably wouldn’t destroy these
But I will anyway, as that’s what they were sent to me for.
Here’s a little a certificate of authenticity
apparently they’re covered
in 99.9% pure 24 karat gold.
Anyway, in order to dissolve the gold off these cards I’ve decided that I’m going to use iodine
I haven’t used this in a while
and, so let’s make up an iodine leach.
This will be rather similar to the bromine
leach that I used in the last video I did in this series
but of course iodine is one lower on the periodic table.
let’s add some water, just up to… rather
probably around half the beaker worth.
You notice I didn’t really measure out
the iodine I just kind of threw a few grams in there
If I need more I can always add more iodine
Okay, so let’s make the solution acidic so it’ll actually dissolve gold.
This may not actually be necessary but I find it makes things go a lot smoother.
Now you’ll find that the iodine does not dissolve, at least not very much.
But I have a little trick to get the iodine to dissolve
That is to add a little bit of sodium hydroxide in there.
This will react with the iodine forming sodium iodide
And, for reasons which are
too complicated to explain right now…
Adding a little bit of sodium iodide
into the solution actually helps the iodine dissolve.
There we go, might need to get a stir rod to stir that up.
looks like it’ll take a little while for the iodine to dissolve because it’s in solid prills
It shouldn’t really matter too much.
Okay, so let’s take one of these cards and stick it in here, and see if it’ll actually work to dissolve the gold off of it.
All right, I’m gonna leave it like that for a little while
I’m actually gonna go run down to the
store, I’ve got a time-lapse camera going
So, see you guys in a bit.
Okay, back from the store
Er, the plating on the[se] card
appears not to be touched, even a little
Maybe a little… Ah, that’s just iodine.
That is mildly concerning…
Yeah, it’s not even less shiny.
So there’s a couple of things that could cause that.
You know, maybe my solution wasn’t concentrated enough because the iodine hadn’t all dissolved
But if the gold is thin as I think it is that should have been enough to do it.
given how long I had it in
Okay, so I’ve mixed up some aqua regia, which is nitric acid mixed with hydrochloric acid.
Let’s put that there…
That should have instantly reacted.
Well, just about instantly.
Yeah, it’s not reacting at all. Like it’s
beating up a little bit.
Okay, so the second possibility is maybe the gold is underneath of something
You know, maybe that’s just to protect it, so let’s get rid of this acid.
Okay, let’s try some lacquer thinner, if there’s like a plastic coating or something this should just take it right off
now let’s try the acid again…
Hmm, same thing…
Yeah it’s not reacting at all, interesting…
Y’know let’s go grab the x-ray, let’s see if this is even gold.
Alright, let’s just x-ray this stack here.
See what they line up with.
All right, so it’s just givin’ me light elements there, let’s have a look at the graph.
Well I can tell you right now there’s no gold in that.
There should be a spike right over here at 9.7 (KeV)
Yeah, but that’s just noise there’s no gold there.
So, I went and got a piece of gold leaf
That I know to be genuine.
Let’s set this right there I’ll probably just leave it in the paper that’s fine.
Let’s try this again.
Yeah, see now it’s showing the heavy element there.
Let’s go into the… Yep, see those two spikes? Those are our gold.
So, the x-ray doesn’t lie.
These cards are not genuine.
That is interesting…
They even come with a certificate of authenticity.
They’re completely fake though.
So I did a quick google search for gold playing cards
and you can probably see, these are the first thing that shows up.
And just look at this, so there’s $20, $12, even though they look identical.
18 (dollars) at Walmart
Now I suspect that maybe the cheaper
ones are knockoff
and the more expensive ones are real, maybe these are, like a fake, like a copy, of the more expensive ones?
‘Cause $80 seems more reasonable for something that’s plated in gold
But uh, $4 is…
$5 is definitely…
They’re actually quite common by the looks of it, how many times do these sell?
They’ve got 369 reviews so at least that many people have bought them.
Let’s actually look at some of these reviews…
This is just sad…
Well anyway, now what I really want to know is actually what is this gold coloring this on these cards?
Though I’ve determined it’s a fake, it’s a really good fake; it does look like gold.
I think I had a little bit of a gold leaf on there and it looked the same.
My guess is that it’s probably anodized aluminum with some gold colored ink soaked into it.
I can test that with the x-ray, aluminum is on the lighter end of the things that I can detect with that
In fact it doesn’t do it very well, but I should be able to confirm whether it has aluminum or not.
I’m gonna have to change modes on this, it’ll take a little longer for the test to happen.
Okay, so this is telling me that it’s got some phosphorus, sulfur, aluminum, and silicon.
Now keep in mind the lighter elements will not show up on this.
If I zoom in here, let’s see… What is that high peak?
Okay that’s, that’s chlorine. Aluminum would be down closer to zero.
So, this peak right there is the aluminum.
So, it does have aluminum in it, this tells me that it…
Well, it doesn’t rule out the anodized aluminum theory.
Actually you know what, while we’re at it let’s try one more test to see if we can confirm the anodized aluminum.
So, a little bit of sodium hydroxide…
A little bit of water, to mix up a concentrated solution.
I’m just gonna tear off a corner of this, let’s see what this does to it.
Well, the sodium hydroxide didn’t appear to dissolve the coating, but it did make it come off.
It’s clear plastic.
I don’t know what it is…
I’m actually quite impressed with how well it’s faked it is.
But it is a fake.
Now I got some more of the gold leaf out
let’s actually pour a little bit of this iodine solution off and let’s show it actually dissolving some gold.
That’s probably way more than I need.
You see the iodine solution is a lot darker, now that it’s had a little more time to dissolve in.
Just throw some of these pieces of gold leaf down in there.
This stuff it very sticky.
so the time-lapse camera actually messed up, it didn’t record.
And so let’s try this again.
I just stick that right down in there
And watch it dissolve…
Okay, so now that the gold is dissolved
You just transfer the liquid over to this test tube so we can see it a little bit better.
Just like so.
Now I’m going to convert the iodine from its elemental state to the iodide state.
Which is both clear, and unable to dissolve gold.
So we should see gold precipitate as gold hydroxide. So I’m just gonna make up a little solution here.
So I’m gonna add the sodium hydroxide solution now
And with any luck, see a little bit of a reaction happening.
Mix it up…
Just a little bit more…
Alright, that’s probably just about it…
There it is, there’s the gold precipitate.
Now I leave it to the reader to figure out how to filter that off.
Collect the gold, and also recovering the iodine is pretty easy, you just reoxidize it.
Because essentially we have Sodium iodide in solution here.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed, and I’ll see you next time.