The MGS Precious Metals Blog

Manhattan Gold & Silver is an industry leader in precious metal pricing and refining with more than 30 years of experience. During our time in the business, we’ve found the topic of precious metals to be a vast and interesting one. Here on our precious metals blog, we write in-depth posts about the science of precious metal refining, historical and modern uses for precious metals, market news, and much more. Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay current, and discuss the latest posts on our Facebook and Google+ pages.

How Much Gold Is in Your Computer?

April 11, 2011 09:20

If you do a quick online search for “gold” you’re likely to see accounts of a fair number of entrepreneurial types talking about gathering up computer parts, mainframes, CPU, wiring, etc., hoping for a windfall from the gold they contain.

Many such people turn to online communities to find answers about getting the gold out of their recyclable computer prizes and hoping they've hit the mother-load with a couple of tons of motherboards. Unfortunately, their eventual disappointment is chronicled throughout the web.
Gold is used in computer parts because it conducts well, but also because it is extremely durable and can be hammered or plated thinner than just about any other metal. That capacity makes it valuable as manufacturers compete to have the thinnest, lightest, tiniest components in the extremely competitive computer and technology marketplace.
And gold is used throughout computers on pins, circuitry, wires and other parts but in such small, thinly spread amounts as to make it more difficult and expensive to extract than is generally considered being worth the time. And some of the other chemicals involved with such electronics make it necessary to get rid of the components using very specialized processes. Recycling computers is a very specific industry. It's best handled by experts who can protect the environment from the chemicals and substances involved.

Although it’s possible to refine gold out of computer parts, you'd have to go through a large number of keyboards, CPUs, wiring and other things to get a relatively small amount of gold, which would then be further refined down for your return. Not surprisingly, this is tedious work, and doubtful to produce a strong ROI given the amount of work and time involved. 

Here at Manhattan Gold & Silver, we don’t recycle gold from computer parts. Our lots are typically fewer minutes in nature and include metal scraps used in dentistry, jewelry, pawn and other industries. Still, it’s fascinating to think about all the unique and interesting uses manufactures have developed for gold.

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