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Gold And Silver Testing

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New Member

United Kingdom
7 Posts
 Posted 02/25/2021  06:28 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add flaxxman to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi, does anybody use gold and silver testing equipment/chemicals on your coins? If you do, I would be most grateful if you could share your experiences.
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
579 Posts
 Posted 02/25/2021  06:53 am  Show Profile   Check PaddyB's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add PaddyB to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Using the chemical testing kits on coins is risky. Even if the metal proves to be correct, you will have left marks of the testing, which can be quite unsightly.

The better answer is to find a jeweller with one of the Xray gun contraptions, which will give you a read-out of the metal content by element. They usually make a small charge for doing this, but at least the results are informative and the coin is not damaged.

Having said that, they are not conclusive - if the coin is heavily plated with the correct metal, the Xray will not alert you to a base metal core - but then neither will the chemicals, unless you scratch them heavily. The fake Krugerrands that abound at the moment will pass both tests, and are even right on weight because of the Tungsten core.
Bedrock of the Community
18356 Posts
 Posted 02/25/2021  07:45 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Hand held XRF instruments need to be used in association with other testing methods. XRF** only looks to the top surface layer of 0-5 microns thickness, does not examine what is in the core of the coin or ingot. For coins and struck bars, that means ping tone test, density diameter weight etc. None of these testing methods will damage a coin in any way, provided that they are done with care.
Ping tone test will detect a tungsten core.

OK to test cast bullion bars with chemical testing techniques, but for large bars ultrasound or X-Ray testing (not XRF) may be required also.

** XRF = X-Ray Floresence. X-Ray are reflected off the surface. Each atomic element has it's own X-ray floresence signature which can be analysed in proportion to those elements in the surface layer only.

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