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Q & A: gold flake price, magnetic impurities

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Most recent answer: 03/28/2013
Q:
I work in the circuit board industry. I have collected about 6 oz of gold flakes. One person tells me they are worth a lot of money and they are magnetic. All I have researched is that Gold is not magnetic. I keep looking around and still don't know whether it's worth anything, I'm told that the Gold used is 24 k 99.97 pure. Help!
- Max Ferri (age 46)
Montreal, Canada
A:
Wow, if those flakes are that pure they'd be worth about $10k (US) at the current price. You say that they're magnetic, which I suppose means you can pick them up with a strong magnet, I guess that you have small amounts of nickel or cobalt in there, since both are used to harden gold for contacts. If at some point in the processing some of those ferromagnetic metal atoms formed clusters, then the material would be a bit magnetic. I just don't see how you could get enough magnetism to pick them up with ordinary magnets unless the ferromagnetic concentration were a lot higher, say 1%.

What sort of magnet are you using to test their magnetism? How do you do the test?

Mike W.

(published on 03/28/2013)

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