p30504 wrote:Let me start off by saying I know I'm a sloppy idiot, but I didn't have knowledge of this website before I did what I did.
Understood. That's a common ailment, but there is a cure. Read Hoke.
and here I sit, not knowing if I've screwed things up beyond redemption, or if there is something I can do to still retrieve the gold from one or both of the two solutions I now have.
As you'll come to understand, it's likely your solutions have no values included. You would ascertain that they do, or do not, by testing with stannous chloride. That's in Hoke, too.
Incidentally, after the acids did their work, it appeared that all the gold had been dissolved, but most of the previously gold fill findings remained (minus any gold layer) and appeared to be lead/tin/zinc or some other base metal.
It is for that reason you likely have no values in solution. A great deal will depend on how soon you separated the solutions from the solids---but if my thoughts are correct, the remaining solids cemented the values, so the gold is now mixed in the resulting sludge.
These I simply took and melted down into several large slabs that are heavy and look like lead, tin, zinc or some combination thereof. Other than saying that I should forever stay away from chemistry and dangerous chemicals, does anyone have any idea what I should do now to get the gold out, if possible? PLEASE TAKE PITY AND ANY SERIOUS ADVICE WOULD BE MOST DEARLY APPRECIATED.
It's a shame you melted the sludge. In order to recover the values, you must repeat the acid treatment. I would suggest you melt the material, then pour it to deep water in a metallic vessel (to prevent the hot material from burning through the bottom, assuming your choice might be plastic). Recover the resulting "corn flakes", which would then be digested in dilute nitric acid.
You have to come to terms with the idea that this material may be a bitch to process. If there is lead and/or tin included, you will have problems. Filtration may be difficult, or impossible. If there is silver present (there most likely is) it will be in solution, which can be recovered with copper, or converted to silver chloride with salt of HCl.
I strongly advise you to read Hoke before you attempt any future processing. Get a firm understanding of what must be done, and why. If you fail to do that, you will have questions at every turn. Most of us can overlook your initial stupidity, for none of us are born with the knowledge to refine, but if you resist the advice tendered and venture forth, not understanding what you're doing, or how it should be done, you will wear out your welcome on this forum very quickly.