Use some household materials to plate your coins with copper! You can also try copper plating designs onto your coins!In this project, you’re going to do two things: put copper into a solution, and make that copper come out of the solution and stick to another piece of metal (the quarter). That first process is called “electrolysis” and the second is called “electroplating.” So how do you do those things? Well, their scientific-sounding names give you a clue: with electricity!
Electrolysis is a way to dissolve bits of metal into acidic liquids like vinegar. When you run electricity through vinegar, the vinegar helps to carry electricity from one side of the circuit to the other. Those bits of the vinegar react with the copper, making little bits of copper leave the positive side of the circuit and go into the liquid. You’ll see this happening when your solution turns blue.
Electroplating is a way to put those little bits of copper onto something else. The bits of copper are ionic, which means they have an electrical charge, like a balloon that you rubbed on your hair. And just like a charged-up balloon, ions love to stick to things! By giving them another electrified metal, they rush out of the solution and onto the metal’s surface. You’ll see this when your quarter starts to change colors. With just a little electricity, you can use electrolysis and electroplating to plate a quarter with copper. Does that make it look like a penny to you?