MAKING IMITATION GOLD AND SILVER
By Kurt Saxon
About 1965 I noticed the money freaks began coming out of the woodwork.They
said paper money was no good and only silver and gold had any value and should
There is no arguing with these people because they are just right enough
to make sense to themselves. Most of us know that paper money is backed by
a Liberal psychotic's dream. It is a fraud and the more people realize it,
the less you can buy with it.
But as long as there is some agreement as to the value which will be placed
on paper money it is still more convenient than exchanging metal. Gold and
silver prices fluctuate wildly and their value will be stated in paper dollars
until there is no longer any agreement on a paper money value. When that
time comes, the Survivor will trade by barter only.
When there is no more trust in paper money who will reestablish the value
of gold and silver? The same people who said paper money is good for you?
The government economists, bankers, the strictly commercial manipulators
who run conglomerates and would be hard-put to tell you what their factories
produce? When they are gone, their standards will go with them, as far as
I am concerned.
I believe that Survivors will quickly come to agreements on the value of
the products of their farms, hands and minds. For convenience, intricately
made, varicolored glass coins could be used, like wampum. They would be harder
to counterfeit than paper or metal money, they would be pretty and could
be used as jewelry or carried in the pocket. Such pretties have been used
as currency far longer than metals or paper and were just as good as long
as the agreement was there.
So if you have stores of gold or silver I advise you to trade it in for barter
goods. An example is bullets, bullet components and bullet making outfits.
With a bullet, you can defend what you have, take what you must have, or
barter with other Survivors who already agree on the value of bullets. I
believe bullets will be the main currency after the crash.
Anyway, if you know a lot of metal freaks and they will not listen to reason,
you can give them temporary pleasure by enlarging their hordes of gold and/or
silver. They may as well contribute to your chances of survival than the
chances of someone with real gold or silver. Besides, how do you, or most
of them, know the bulk of their raw metal is genuine?
Some gold alloys are so good only a professional assayist can detect fraud.
The average alloy looks like gold but is lighter in weight. The weight can
be made up in ingots by drilling and filling the holes with lead, then pouring
molten alloy in the remainder of the hole and smoothing. That way, imitation
government sanctioned gold ounces can be turned out by the hundreds in your
If you can afford the best imitation gold you must get a kiln which heats
to 3080 degrees F. to melt platinum or 2016 degrees F. to melt gold. If you
are willing to use lead cores for weight, you can make do with a kiln which
heats to 2000 degrees F. to melt copper (1996 degrees F.) the most common
metal used in imitation gold and the hardest of the common ingredients to
You can get kilns and crucibles through any ceramics shop.
Most of the formulas for imitation gold and silver are written in 19th century
terms. I will translate the first one as an example. But if you are really
into reproducing the old formulas and processes, you will have to order
GRANDDAD'S WONDERFUL BOOK OF CHEMISTRY. It defines most of the old terms
you will meet up with and also tells you how to do the operations which are
needed to accomplish your aims.
The first one in an oldie but a goody.
"The French process for making artificial gold is given as follows: Pure
copper, 100 parts; pure tin, 17 parts; magnesia (magnesium oxide), 6 parts;
sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride), 1/2 part; quick lime (calcium oxide), 1/3
part; tarter of commerce (cream of tarter/potassium bitartrate), 9 parts.
The copper is first melted and the magnesia, sal ammoniac, lime and tartar
are then added separately and by degrees, in the form of powder and the whole
is briskly stirred for half an hour so as to mix thoroughly; then the tin
is added by throwing it on the surface, in small grains and stirring until
it is entirely fused. The crucible is then covered and the fusion maintained
for about 35 minutes. The surface is then skimmed and the metal is ready
for casting. It strongly resembles gold in appearance, resists many of the
tests used for gold, and for many purposes it is an excellent substitute.
It has a fine grain, is malleable, and takes a splendid polish. When tarnished,
its brilliancy can be restored by a little acidulated water (any acid diluted
Dick's (1872) has two formulas for counterfeit gold. 3431 is so similar to
the French method, published in 1922, I believe it was the original.
More formulas for phony gold and silver are on pages 20 and 21 of SURVIVOR
Also see "FOUNDRY WORK AT HOME", Popular Mechanics, 1913, THE SURVIVOR, VOLUME
1, page 58, "MAKING SMALL CASTINGS IN METAL", The Amateur Mechanic, 1920,
THE SURVIVOR VOLUME 4, page 1406 and "MAKING LEAD SOLDIERS AND SMALL CASTINGS",
Popular Mechanics, 1919, THE SURVIVOR, VOLUME 4, page 1532.