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Mike Bullivant's Diary

Day 34: Smelting Gold

Smelted goldWe're bursting to know whether we've actually got some purified gold from the smelting process. However, we have to be patient, as no one is allowed to reach into the cooled furnace to retrieve the crucible until both camera crews are ready to capture the moment on film. I'm given the job of fishing the crucible out, and I can see as soon as it hits daylight that a green, glassy layer has formed in the crucible. That's a good sign. I just hope that embedded in that glass is a nugget of pure gold.

The gold jewellerySure enough, when the crucible is cracked open, out fall three pellets of a beautiful, yellow metal, much more yellow than the gold we started with, which had a reddish tinge (copper impurity?). Our furnace has done its job. Over to Jonathan, Ellen and Kathy now. Mikey L and I spend the rest of this final day of filming kicking our heels. Our job's over. That's it for Rough Science III I think. Within a day or two we'll be back in the UK, and all this will be just a memory...

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Photo: Mike Bullivant
Metal Detector Interactive