Testing Gold and Silver

Melt and Assay

Should you be thinking to sell scrap gold then the he most accurate method of testing gold and silver is to melt it (or, at least, melt a tiny scraping) and assay it. Scrap gold buyers will sell directly to the smelters, who will offer this service. And if you have a large amount, it might be worth paying to have it melted and assayed rather than tested by the scrap dealer. The charge for a 'gold assay' (to find out how much gold is in the alloy) is about £50.00 at the time of writing, with the he charge for a 'Full Assay' which will also separate out platinum and Palladium is closer to £100.00. Once this is done you are free to choose whether to take the gold back (it will be melted into one solid lump) or sell it to the trader. Normally a certificate will be issued by the assay office with a number that is indented onto the melted gold. This is proof of purity and you can now work out the value of your gold.

As regards jewellery, melting it to find that it was valuable is hardly practicable and, anyway, most people merely need to know the approximate purity: 9ct or 14ct or 18ct or 22ct. Assay Offices specialise in this service.

The Acid Test

The traditional test is so reliable that the term the acid test has entered the English language to mean the ultimate proof!

The principle is simple. Acid will start to dissolve 'base' metal into a vivid mostly green froth but will not dissolve gold or silver. Acid testers come in sets of bottles. Each bottle contains a different mixture of acid, and each mixture contains a chemical indicator that tells you the standard (purity) of the gold or silver. Although they are designed to measure the purity of gold to within 10% (accurate enough to measure the standard purities) with practice, results to within 5% accuracy are attainable.

Top Dog gold offer a FREE acid test as part of or service and for many customers a FREE melt and assay so contact us now for more info on freephone 0800 130 3171.

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