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I Forge Iron

Silver Cell (Electrolytic Refining)

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Since I was out in the shop trying to take some photos of my burner I figured why not show you what else I'm doing.

Currently working on another run of my silver cell.

Impure silver goes in the top and pure silver forms in the bottom. Electrolytic refining is the only way to make .9999 fine silver.



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Cool.  I assume the blotchy areas in the bottom are pure silver crystallizing out.  Correct?  Is it easy to scrape it out?  I assume that you them melt it into a bar.  

What do you use for feed stock, sterling scrap, coins, or what?

I also assume that you sell the salvaged and purified metal.  Is there any issue about proving the purity of your metal to the buyer?  Or is it discounted from spot price?



PS  BTW, I assume that you are not the same Florida Man who has all the adventures we read about, e.g. "Florida man says he was abducted by Bigfoot and experimented on by aliens."

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Yes George those are the pure crystals forming in the bottom on the stainless steel bowl (cathode). 

I generally start out with silver and copper nitrate as a byproduct of inquarting gold.

I then use the series of metal reactivity to precipitate only the silver out of solution. To accomplish this I use copper bars that I pour and suspend them in the solution for the silver to plate out onto as the copper goes into solution.

I take that cemented silver and melt it into impure shot to add to the top of the cell basket (anode). 

Once I run all of the cement silver thru the cell I will start adding scrap silver (.800-.925) to the cell basket until the electrolyte becomes to saturated with copper to continue.

I then do a clean out of the pure silver crystals. They are easily scraped off and I rinse them thoroughly with distilled water. I then melt and pour them into shot or bars.

The crystals aren't really plated onto the ss and are more of growing on the surface of it. If a jeweler is trying to silver plate something they use a silver cyanide as the electrolyte.

If I need to sell the silver I pour it into bars and stamp them with a purity and weight on them and receive spot price at the pawn shop. They have an xrf analyzer and verify everything. 

On Etsy they charge a nice premium for the exact same hand poured bars that I produce.

Those stories about florida man was the inspiration for my name. 

I suppose I should mention that I use pure silver nitrate as the electrolyte.  

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