Acid Test For Gold

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Acid Test For Gold


How You Can Find the Number of Karats in Gold

If you wish to find out if a piece of jewelry is made of gold, touch it
with a glass stopper which has been wetted with nitric acid. If it is pure
gold it will remain untouched and unchanged; if not, the solution will become
blue from the formation of nitrate of copper. (False "gold" always
contains copper.)

To find the number of karats in a gold object is not as easy as testing
for gold content. First, weigh the gold object. Then break it up and mix it
with seven times its weight in silver. Beat this mixture into thin leaves and
then add nitric acid.

The silver and copper will dissolve. Now fuse the remaining gold and
weigh it. Compare the first and last weights: the difference will be equal to
the number of karats of pure gold.

Repeat several times to check.

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