A Pokemon Silver Cartridge Made Of Pure Silver

The big problem with Pokemon Silver is that it came in a cartridge made of only-slightly-sparkly grey plastic. [Modified] decided to fix all that, making an all-silver cartridge instead.

The cartridge was first modeled to match the original as closely as possible, and 3D printed for a fit check. From there, a test cartridge was machined out of a block of aluminium to verify everything was correct. It’s a wise step, given the build relies on a 1-kilogram bar of silver worth roughly $750.

With everything checked and double-checked, machining the silver could go ahead. Every scrap of silver that could be saved from the CNC machining was captured in a box so that it could be recycled. Approximately 28 grams of silver was lost during the process. WD40 was used as a coolant during the machining process, as without it, the silver didn’t machine cleanly. The final cart weighed 164 grams.

It’s not a particularly hard project for an experienced CNC operator, but it is an expensive one. Primary expenses are the cost of the silver bar and the Pokemon cart itself, which can be had for around $50 on the usual auction sites.

However, the “heft and shine” of the finished product is unarguably glorious. Imagine handing that over to a friend to plug into their Game Boy! Just don’t forget to ask for it back. If you’re rich enough to do the same thing with Pokemon Gold or Platinum, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. 

We love a good casemod, and this one reminds us of a brilliant crystal PlayStation 2 from years past.

51 thoughts on “A Pokemon Silver Cartridge Made Of Pure Silver

    1. That’s… Uh… Exactly what they did.

      For all the complaints about lack of editorial proofreading, safety transgressions, and irrelevant content in the HaD comments, you’d think the commenters would actually be reading the article or linked material.

      1. To be fair, from reading just the article, I didn’t get the impression that it was a functional cartridge but rather a chunk of silver made to look like one.

        That said, if someone really feels the need to criticize someone else’s work, it’s worth at least going over the primary materials first.

    2. Why the backlash? I did read the article, but I don’t see anything in the article that said this was a functional cart. If it is, then why not show it in a console? Otherwise, the impression is that it is just a replica (well-done, as I originally said) in silver. And no, I do not watch every video that gets thrown up here in place of a proper article.
      Just chill out.

      1. Interesting, I haven’t read the article *or* watched the video, but did notice that the initial thumbnail for the video literally has the words “It Works, Too!” on it. As for just chilling out, that would be a pretty good idea, rather than being all hyper-defensive.

        1. It probably lies in how a person thinks. I honestly haven’t watched or even see the thumbnail and automatically assumed that this is a working piece as it’s a “cartridge”. I honestly believe that OP saw the article and went straight to the comments section to “hopefully” have had a great idea of his own, when in fact that’s what the whole article was already about.

    1. Gold and platinum are also expensive but doable. However, to my knowledge there is no rubidium in the series. Did you mean ruby? If so then that is also doable but it may take a few ($500) tries if you rush.

      1. Ruby is going to be very difficult from a manufacturing point of view – it’s basically impossible to machine, all operations have to be done with diamond abrasives due to its hardness. And abrasives don’t lend themselves well to CNC due to the tool geometry changing over time, so it would probably need to be done by hand.

        1. It might be possible to directly mould the features into a ruby (AlON) cartridge body, because producing it is a powder sintering process and the synthethic ruby could be coloured with the correct dopants. Although, the development stage of working up the correct dopants and mould wuold still make this fiendishly expensive.

    1. Ya I was telling this to an ex coworker the other day she’s retired and was going though old stuff finding her snes … Wasnt working and brought it down to me to poke at. Offered some money and I told her a good working system is cheap but the games will kill you

    2. Real ones yes. Note that there is a market of chineese bootleg carts as well. The one in the video is real. But you can buy a fake-but-working cart for a few $ from china. And sometimes those are sold as the real deal as well.

  1. Now some wealthy nerd is gonna go out and make a pokemon gold cartridge out of 24karat gold

    Dunno how well it’ll hold up or how long tho

    Let someone like Mr beast waste money to find that out

        1. Since Ruby, Emerald, and Sapphire are all corundum with different additions to make the colors and corundum is an aluminum oxide… it should be possible to make colored aluminum oxynitride cartridge shells. Machine a mold to press and sinter the powder, but polishing all the surfaces to make them transparent would be a tedious job.

  2. The loss of material could have been kept very low, if the starting material would have been cast in shape, then milled to spec. To start from raw block of material seems really wasteful.

      1. Machine time also costs. Its not like starting with solid block is going to take the same time than brushing up on a casted one would take. Not to mention the recovery of waste will not be pure silver, its going to be contaminated. So why not just machine as little as possible and just dump the waste?

    1. Casting would likely introduce impurities into the silver which would drastically decrease the value of the remaining material as it needs to be purified again.

      Also, if you already have a CNC machine, why not CNC it?

      1. He used WD-40 as a lubricant. I consider that a contaminant. It certainly decreases the value of any space it’s released in. (Can’t stand WD-40. Better stuff exists for any purpose it’s typically used for, and it renders any place it’s used unfit for human occupancy. It’s banned in my shop.)

        1. It’s probably not going to soak into solid silver though is it?

          As you could rinse the collected swarf in IPA to render it non-sticky for the recycling process – although given many folks working with silver would just melt it at home in a little crucible with a torch it is unlikely to matter for making a recycled ingot.

  3. Considering the environmental disaster we are driving our planet in, what we should do is put an estimate of the carbon footprint over each project.
    That could then be used as an indicator of what projects are good, worthwhile and useful, and what projects are “because I can, don’t forget to click, subscribe and give me money through my Patreon to come up with even more ludicrously wasteful ideas”.
    I mean, if we could encourage every hacker to spend their energy into making the planet better rather than pointlessly wasting precious resources to make it even worse, surely hackers’ would appear as people who care and want to make a difference.

    1. The cost of the material is an excellent surrogate for the size of its carbon footprint. The cost represents the resources expended to extract, process, refine, and ship it. If it’s a service, profit, or similar non-physical thing, the money spent for it ultimately goes into purchasing things that have their own carbon footprint, so it’s the same effect.

    2. I care very much about the environment, but I don’t agree with this at all. It just goes back to the same tired old rhetoric of putting the onus on the end user instead of large corporations.

      Yes, you should do your best to make good personal environmental choices, but where do you draw the line? You wasted grams upon grams of carbon making your unnecessary comment.

      This issue isn’t going to be fixed from the bottom up. You have to make it more profitable for companies to be green (and actually green, not just green presenting) than it is for them to be wasteful. Yes, that will drive up the cost for the consumer in the end, and maybe we won’t be able to afford as much cheap disposable crap as we’ve been able to over the last couple decades.

      TL;DR getting an insignificant portion of the population to estimate their carbon footprint for tinkering projects is a fart in a hurricane.

          1. Or equally but on the other foot a removal of the long established subsidies to the less green options.

            Not that I really believe pure financial manipulations will be enough, or that cost is a good marker for carbon footprint – you employ me to do something you are spending at least £14 an hour (something like £9.20 is minimum wage here so not like I’m valuing my time all that high). But for that money in other nations you can employ multiple, maybe even much more skilled people! Until that starts to change cost really doesn’t even come close to making a good measure for carbon footprint or environmental costs…

          2. The monies that get collected in the form of levies and taxes just go into circulation and ultimately ends up used to consume more product, with more carbon footprint. And the overhead of the bureaucracy to administer all that just adds more carbon footprint.

            Yes, we need to decarbonize the economy. Yes, we need to incentivize that. But arbitrarily increasing costs of certain things just promotes more spending and more resource use.

            The objective is to find ways to produce things *more cheaply*, with fewer resource inputs, less handling, less transportation, more appropriate recycling.

            Increasing the price of things to disincentivize their use is absolutely the wrong thing to do. All it does is put more money into circulation to build or burn more stuff.

          3. Not really @Paul
            IFF everyone had exactly the same carbon intensive lifestyle, or everything had a roughly equal proportion of high and low cost to impact ratio that might be a useful metric and true enough, but the massively different lifestyle’s and varied purchasing power of the same 5p piece around the world makes pure face value pointless as a carbon footprint metric when the economies are so global…

    3. A rather stupid metric for a project** anyway, made even dafter by ‘estimating’ – as what something costs is going to be nearly impossible to calculate even a ballpark unless you are the creator of every stage going all the way back to the raw materials – who knows how much shipping from cheap labour nations the supply chain may have in it!

      It also becomes very irrelevant if its going to be in use for ages – I for example and working on a computer case that is entirely because I think it will be fun (I’ll get round to documenting this one as I think other will enjoy it too). I could use a much lower cost, highly optimized for mass production off the shelf case and that could ‘save’ the environment* some. But as I intend to use the damn thing (if it works as well as I hope) for a long time to come, as it is a far more joyful fun idea I’d actually care to reuse where the off the shelf case might well get tossed out years down the line…

      *actually likely wouldn’t as the company I’m getting the parts cut by when I’ve finished the design, and their source of raw material are all ‘local’ – meaning no shipping across the oceans…

      **Stupid because the question is what would be done by the creator and ALL the folks that didn’t watch/like/sub if it wasn’t created – any project shared that can bring enjoyment to many 10^ 3,4,5??? many people has a carbon cost in the internet infrastructure it was shared through, but also took up however long of their free time they may otherwise have devoted to some more carbon intensive activity!

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