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Old Hard Drives Worth Anything? Platinum Or Gold Coating?


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#1 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:19 PM

Do old hard drives have enough gold or platinum in them to be worth anything? I have a few around the house.

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#2 Juha

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:33 PM

I have absolutely no idea about this field but for the sake of curiosity made a search and guess what? Somebody is trying to sell an e-book on ebay dealing with this subject: The 2006 Platinum Recycling Guide for Computers/Electronics (and Autos also)

#3 garmanma

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:54 PM

I used to work at a circuit board mfg. years ago. We recycled, but we had a large volume so it was worth it. The process is quite hazardous. You or the recyclers would have to store a whole lot to make it worthwhile
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#4 Juha

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 10:11 PM

The process is quite hazardous

In what way?

#5 garmanma

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 11:07 PM

The cyanide-gold plating process puts a thin gold overlay on a 67/33 tin-lead base. They use a chemical etching liquid to remove it. I'm going back 30 years but I know it hasn't changed that much
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#6 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 08 February 2008 - 11:44 PM

I saw that on ebay...

So is it platinum? Beat it off or scrape it?

#7 garmanma

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 08:57 AM

I saw that on ebay...

So is it platinum? Beat it off or scrape it?

It's gold. The base metal is so soft and the gold plating is so thin, you can't just scrape of the gold
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#8 Animal

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 11:44 AM

Any, true recycling effort that would be of a profitable nature needs to be EPA approved. Due to the multiple hazardous materials mixed in with the minute amounts of precious metals. As well as the highly toxic removal and heavy metals separations processes. Also as an example it would take an average of one ton of random circuit-board waste to generate one pound of gold. Add to that electronic grade precious metals are not the expensive jewelry grade high dollar metals. Therefore looking at the gold market is not the price you would get. So the profit you would make on the precious metals would be eaten up by the fees and expense of waste disposal of the one ton of hazardous useless waste product left behind after you reclaimed the precious and hazardous heavy metals. This is definitely not a a project to undertake on a small scale in your garage.

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#9 usasma

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 02:03 PM

As a kid, I plated the gold fingers onto the circuit boards for the PDP-11 mainframe computers. There wasn't enough gold there to make the company take any security precautions at all.

I'd expect that it'd be less profitable than picking up cans for the deposit money.
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#10 boopme

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Posted 10 February 2008 - 12:46 AM

When referring to precious metals any mention of "ounce" is referring to the troy ounce weight scale which is a bit different than the avoirdpoidus(sp?) system. One troy ounce is equal to 31.1 grams.

Not counting the cost of removal chemicals and thge Toxicity see second chart.
http://www.rocksandminerals.com/recycle.htm
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#11 Conundrum123

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Posted 30 January 2017 - 01:11 AM

One good source I found is scrap reed switches. A lot of these are still used as they draw no power in use and despite being an electromechanical device are good for 200,000 cycles.

The precious metals are typically found in the leadout wires and switch surfaces, but to get a sensible amount you'd need to find ancient monster units which were far more liberal with the gold than modern ones in some cases a mere 160 would have 1g gold total ($36 worth)

For that matter any large switch such as the PCB mounted ones found in dead VCRs and DVD players should have a fair few gold plated surfaces.






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