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What is the best liquid, acid to clean my gold with? have nitric and muriatic .  thx in advance

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In my opinion neither.

I used muriatic before and it bleaches out iron mineral staining.  I like the gold to look 'natural'.  I don't use it anymore.

Nitric is very strong acid.  It won't dissolve gold, but silver, copper, etc.... it will.  I imagine there could be a lot of situations were the 'look' of the gold will have changed after treating with nitric.

I like to 'clean' my gold with a solution of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda.  Then rinse with clean water.  Most of the dirt will be bubbled away and what remains, adds to the character of the gold.  In my opinion.

Give the gentle method a try first.  If you don't like it, then you can always get more aggressive.

Good luck !


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2 hours ago, JOHNM said:

What is the best liquid, acid to clean my gold with? have nitric and muriatic .  thx in advance

That depends on what you are cleaning off. Lots of stuff can be stuck to a nugget.

Muratic works great on caliche. But manganese and desert varnish is entirely different. And muriatic will cause some matrixes to stain.

Nitric will dissolve gold if it has a little chlorine to work with. So nitric will definitely change your gold especially if you use chlorinated water or there is some salt present. And it will turn gold that is high in copper really green. 

I like to burnish manganese stained nuggets using baking soda and my thumb. It just antiques them and really brings out the shape and character. In one area I hunt almost every coarse piece is covered in caliche. So for that gold I use muratic. In an area where the gold is laced in quartz I have found specimens that are best cleaned using hydrofluoric. 

Identify what it is you are cleaning off and get the proper solvent to cut it or use a mechanical process like baking soda or walnut shells.

A vibra-sonic jewelry cleaner works great for the big ones. It will only take off certain stuff but in most cases they work fine.

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  • 1 month later...


  When cleaning my nuggets, 99% of the time I soak then scrub with a toothbrush in CLR, it takes off caliche, some impurities, and it brings out the nice shiny color of the nugget. That 1% I want to show the gold matrix in quartz,  I soak in 40% Hydrofluoric acid (HF).


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Yup, cleaning nuggets and speci's  is done from mild to wild by people.
I've seen some  probably 1 of a kind specimens ruined by people using the wrong or harsh chemicals. 
I always liked the "softer" mild cleaning solutions at 1st, see what you get then if necessary go to a stronger or more problem specific chemical.
A little "time" is all you waste if you go about it gently and work your way up to powerful acids. 
Hapy Huntn.

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