How is gold tested for purity?

 In Gold, Silver & Jewellery Tips

The traditional method for testing the purity of gold and other precious metals is known as the Touchstone Method.

scratching gold to test purityThe basic principle of this test is to scratch some of the gold off of the jewellery and add a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acid. The resulting colour and/or presence of the gold is then used to indicate the purity or Karat of the gold.

Here is a link to show the Touchstone testing process: Touchstone gold testing method (.edu site)

The obvious downsides of this method are:

– your gold jewellery has been scratched
– you now have slightly less gold
– it’s not very accurate and can be influenced at the discrection of the person doing the testing

Many jewellers and gold buyers still use this method if you take your jewellery to them for testing and valuation.

How does SA Gold Traders test for purity?

Instead of scratching your gold and jewellery, we use a completely non-invasive method to test for purity.

XL2 gold precious metal analyser in actionThe Niton XL2 Analyser from Thermo Scientific is a handheld analyser which takes only seconds to determine all metals and their purity within your jewellery.

We use the XL2 to analyse your gold jewellery in front of you and show you the readings so you can see the exact makeup of your jewellery.

This ensures you get the price you deserve for your gold and of course, you haven’t had to sacrifice a scraping of your jewellery to find out what it’s worth.

Here is a video showing the XL2 in action:

Obvious upsides of this method are:
– extreme accuracy
– takes only a few seconds
– doesn’t require scraping your gold jewellery
– full disclosure of the analysis
– complete reading of all metals in the jewellery

So the next time you want to get some cash for gold, bring in your jewellery to us for a speedy analysis and be confident that you’ll get offered the full value of your jewellery.

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