18 June 2012

Tuesdays are Jim´s day off.  He usually comes into town to run errands and buy groceries.  On this particular Tuesday, he also brought in some gold to have melted into a bar, and then later to be sold.  I was lucky enough to be invited along to see, and document, the process.

First the raw gold is weighed.










Then it is put into a bowl so it can be prepared for the kiln.


Flux is added to the gold. The flux will pull some of the impurities out of the gold mixture as it is heated.










Here you can see the crucible and tongs that will be used.
The crucible goes into the kiln.










The kiln is lighted and left for about 30 minutes. The tools are also heated so they don’t shatter when coming into contact with the superheated crucible and melted gold.
Vegetable oil (yes, the kind from your kitchen, is put into the mold in preparation for the melted gold.










The oil bursts into flame as soon as it hits the mold.


The crucible is lifted out of the kiln.









Liquid gold is poured into the mold.



The molten gold is left to cool for about 15 minutes.











Once cooled, the gold bar comes out of the mold and is then cleaned with a pick and brush in water. The black stuff left on the table is the flux which floated to the top when poured into the mold.









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