Testing Methods

Pros and Cons of Methods Used for

Testing Precious Metal Content

Methods used for testing the precious metal content in materials  have changed drastically. Today, modern science has definitely taken its place in testing for gold, silver, and platinum in various forms. Below is the list of the methods that are available today.



MethodProsCons
Test Solutions
Quick, Low cost, Portable kit
Poor accuracy,Harmful acids used, Need some experience, Large lots are time consuming,
Test Stones
Quick, Low cost, Portable kit
Limited range, Poor-Medium accuracy, Need some experience
Electronic Gold Tester
Quick, Low cost, Full range of carats, Portable kit
High cost for features, Accuracy very dependant on composition
Fire Assay
Standard Method, Extremely accurate
Full lab required, High experience level needed, Hazardous waste and fumes, High amount of labor and time needed
XRF (X-ray Florescence)

Highly accurate, Results in 5 minutes or less, Fits in an office

No hazardous materials,  Checks for all metals

High experience level needed, Expensive: $30,000+, Portable units do not have the accuracy of lab units
ICP (Inductively Coupled PlasmaHighly accurate for all metals, Smallest percentage can be measured
Very expensive: $100,000+, Not portable, Extremely high level of experience needed, Very clean environment required



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