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topic 38628

Gold Plating of Lead

A discussion started in 2005 & continuing through 2017


Q. I am interested in purchasing a gold plating system and have heard that it is very difficult to gold plate lead. What is the difference as long as they conduct electricity

Alan Erickson
Guideschoice - Kingsford, Michigan, USA


A. Doing electroplating is about as easy as playing a piano, Alan. It's easy to get gold to deposit on lead. But a quality job, including one that will adhere, requires an active substrate and you can't activate lead without fluoride chemicals like hydrofluoric acid--in the opinion of some platers, the nastiest and most dangerous stuff in their world.

Ted Mooney, amadeya42.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


A. Lead can be gold plated, try direct gold plating with ferrocyanide based plating solution. You can remove oxide layer with 2-5% nitric acid. If you want You can underplate with copper and/or nickel. Try it on some test specimens (salt spray test).

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia


A. Ideally the parts should be copper plated then nickel plated before gold plating. This will give you the nicest finish and the best adhesion.
Good luck,

Francis DeGuire
- St. Louis, Missouri, USA

November 14, 2011

! Please remember that it is illegal to forge gold coinage by gold plating lead!

Steve Ciarico
- Webster, New York, USA


Q. I make my own fishing lures (soft lead jigs) and desire to gold plate them as I have seen on the retail shelves. Can someone tell me how this may be inexpensively done?

Jay Jerisek
Hobbyist - Elyria, Ohio, U.S.A.


A. You can apply gold colored paint very inexpensively, Jay, but if you want true gold plating you probably have to send them to a plating shop. Gold plating of lead is beyond the reach of most hobbyists.

Ted Mooney, amadeya42.com
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey


A. Try leaf gilding-except paint (pure gold powder is very expensive) only way to gilt lead in do it yourself style. Good luck and hope it helps!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia

November 30, 2017

Q. I have a mining lab and been electrowinning gold. Reading the posts above about depositing gold on lead, it would be real helpful using gold coated lead for cementation and electrowinning. Then it could go straight to the furnace and cupel out the lead.

Does any one sell a gold coated lead product? Or a step-by-step process to coat. Would immmersion plating work for coating lead?

Chuck Chase
Assay and Refining Lab - Baker City, Oregon, USA

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