Turn Pennies Silver and Gold (Chemistry Trick)

Uploaded by NurdRage on 20.05.2010

Greetings fellow nerds.
In this video we're going to perform the classic chemistry trick of turning pennies into silver and gold.
First get 30 grams of zinc sulfate.
Then add one hundred milliliters of water and turn on the heat to get it to boil.
As it's going add in a few strips of solid zinc metal.
Please check the video description for where I got my chemicals.
Now get a copper penny, or any piece of clean copper for that matter, and drop it in.
It has to touch the zinc metal for the reaction to occur.
What's happening is the zinc is reacting with the copper
and dissolving while delivering electrons into the copper.
The copper now charged with electrons will reduce free zinc ions into zinc metal
on its surface giving a silvery color.
This takes about ten minutes so I’ll skip over that.
Here you can clearly see the more silvery color of the penny.
Now look at that, we've just turned a copper penny into a silver one.
Sure it's a trick, but it looks cool.
Now for the most amazing trick, turning it into gold.
Let me wash it first.
Simply put the coin directly onto the hot plate heated to about three hundred degrees Celsius.
As it heats up the zinc diffuses into the copper and produces a yellow brass.
At first it's going to look coppery but that's because it's still hot.
After you cool it directly with water it will now appear gold.
Don't try to pawn this off as actual gold though,
the brass layer will eventually wear off.
Anyway, that's the trick of turning copper into silver and then into gold.
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