Royal Water Aqua Regia: A Nobel Solution For Nobel Metals

aqua regia

The aqua regia is the mixture has an ability to dissolve gold and noble metals, and that’s why it’s literally called royal water.It is a concentrated mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acids.

This is one of the few substances that can dissolve gold which makes it a rare and unique substance.

In the middle ages, the aqua regia was being discovered by alchemist Geber, he mixed vitriol (sulphuric acid) with common salt.

At this period, alchemists were interested in finding the philosopher’s stone, that’s why they were searching ways to discover it.

A German named chemist George de Hevesy dissolved the Nobel Prize medals of James Franck and Max von Laue and to keep them safe from the Nazis, he was afraid that this gold medal would be stolen because these medals were made of gold into aqua regia.

During the experiment, the aqua regia quickly loses its effectiveness due to the reaction between its components resulting in its decomposition, but yet it remains a strong acid.

The aqua regia is particularly used in the purification and extraction of platinum and gold. Also, it is used to clean certain lab machines from tiny metal etching, metal particles and scientific analysis.