How Much Gold Can Be Recycled from Scrap Electronic Pins?

Old computer central processing units (CPUs) look like porcupines – they’re covered with little spikes that serve as electrical contacts when the CPU is plugged into a computer’s motherboard. The difference between a porcupine and a CPU is that all those little “quills” are gold-plated and can be worth sending to a qualified gold refinery for processing.

Photo of gold plated pins e-scrap sent to Specialty Metals by our customers for recycling and refining.

Photo of gold plated pins e-scrap sent to Specialty Metals by our customers for recycling and refining.

The more CPUs you have, the more pins you have . . . and the more gold you have too.

Removing the Gold-Plated Pins from Your CPUs

Here’s a video that shows a hobbyist using a heat gun to remove gold pins from CPUs. He’s using the same kind of heat gun that is used to strip paint – the kind you can buy at a hardware store.

Note that we are not recommending that you use a heat gun to remove gold pins from CPUs – it is something that should only be done by qualified technicians in a controlled, well-ventilated, laboratory setting. We are sharing this video to demonstrate that quantities of recyclable gold really do reside in older CPUs – and that if you have a number of older desktop computers or computer scrap, you could have more gold than you might realize.

How Much Gold Is in CPUs?

It varies, because many different kinds of CPUs have been used over the last few decades. There are ceramic CPU chips and silicon CPUs. But we’re pleased to offer you a ball park estimate of how much gold could be recovered from older CPU chips.

Roughly one troy ounce of gold can generally be recovered from 10 pounds of old CPUs

When you call us to 800-426-2344 to discuss your old CPUs, please do not expect us to promise to reclaim one ounce of gold from every 10 pounds of them that you send to us. We only provide that rough estimate above to convince you that it can be wasteful – and unprofitable – to discard older electronics, especially computers and the CPU boards that they contain. Why not call us to learn more?

Related Posts:

Where Is the Gold Hiding in Your Old Computers?

A Brief History of Circuit Boards and the Gold They Contain

Watch the Gold You Can Recycle from Circuit Boards Pile Up in these Videos

What Precious Metals Are Contained in Piles of Old Desktop Computers?

Extracting Gold from Ceramic IC Chips