TWW: Thanks for the reply. I'm kind of the opposite of you. Although I've been out of it for about 15 years, my background is in chemical engineering. So I understand some/many of the interactions if I brush off my brain, but I have no practical experience in refining silver. I don't want to reinvent the wheel, nor create something that can be dangerous.
I understand how adding Cl- ions can shift the equilibrium of AgCl solution back to solid Ag. However, the problem is that AgCl has low solubility in water, and from what I can tell, limited solubility in ammonia. The other issue I'm running into is that everybody says something different and contradictory to each other. I've seen the links you provided (thanks). I've seen other links that say not to heat AgCl, not to put copper pipe into your silver solution, and so on. I decided to take a step back and see how much silver I'm likely to recover, and if any of this is worth the effort. (Part of my effort is for the fun of it, part is the financial gain). So I weighed all the silver and silver chloride I have with an electronic scale and I have around 770 grams. AgCl is 75% Ag by weight, so 770 works out to 578 grams. I can't expect 100% yield, but some of that 770 grams is already pure and/or dirty silver. So if I go with the 578 gram yield, this equates to about 20 ounces of silver. Not bad and more than I thought. The spot price for silver is about $34/oz.. How close to spot can I expect to get for homemade silver ingots?
So with the above in mind, I'm thinking which way to go. I have to spend $50 for a MAPP torch from Home Depot (you know any cheaper way to get hot enough?), need borax and then possibly some chemicals other than ammonia if melting the AgCl is found to be the best bet. If I can get anywhere near the spot price for silver, it makes sense to spend a some money on getting the right chemicals to get the silver. The AgCl I have appears to have some copper contamination because it turns light blue when I add ammonia. I'm thinking that even if I just melted the AgCl with a torch, I would need to dissolve away the copper first. So maybe I should first wash my dirty AgCl with ammonia to dissolve the copper, and flush it until there is no more blue color (I suppose I'm not really dissolving the Cu, but more dissolving some of the AgCl, which then sets up the solid Cu to be oxidized by the silver in solution). Then I can recover the silver from the spent solvent by dropping in a copper pipe and precipitating the silver. That would give me silver from the dirty copper solution, plus clean AgCl precipitate that maybe could be melted directly.
Does anybody know of any solvent that will dissolve AgCl better than ammonia does?