One of the most popular uses of non-destructive XRF analyzers is to determine the purity of gold - or the gold karat. Below is an overview of this application and the most popular Skyray XRF Gold-Testers for fast, accurate and repeatable analysis.
What is a karat of gold?
A Karat (abbreviated as Kt) is a measurement of gold’s fineness or purity level. Pure gold is listed as 24 karat because it is 100% (or 24 parts) gold. Additional karats are a reference system for gold alloys (gold mixed with other metals); the most common being 18 Kt (75% gold), 14 Kt (58.3% gold) and 10 Kt (41.7% gold).
Mixing pure gold with other metals is common for the benefit of lower costs plus the increased hardness and durability provided. Pure gold is a very soft, malleable metal and when it is alloyed with other metals the durability and versatility of use increases.
Methods of testing for karat:
Properly identifying the karat and make-up of a gold piece is important for determinging the proper use and cost. Two destructive options of determining the purity (or karat) of gold include fire assay and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) spectrometry. Along with the negative of requiring the destruction of product these methods generally cost 2-4 times the amount of the non-destructive option; x-ray fluorescence (XRF). For organizations that buy scrap jewelry, high accuracy is becoming more important with the rising gold prices and Skyray XRF can offer an economical solution.
Looking for Increased Accuracy in Gold Testing - try one of these instruments
Benefits of X-Ray Fluorescence:
XRF is the most commonly utilized testing method in the jewelry industry because they offer
- Low initial costs
- Minimal upkeep and operational costs
- Non-destructive analysis
- Fast results (60 - 300 seconds)
- Accuracy and Repeatability
- Versatility of Applications...Skyray XRF instruments provide additional testing options that are helpful throughout the jewelry industry; creating all-in-one testing options that are durable, provide repeatable results – and are low-cost.
Gold (Au) Karat Standards: for maximum accuracy from any x-ray fluorescence instrument
Accuracy in gold purity analysis is critical; along with a high performing Skyray XRF analyzer an organization should have highly accurate Gold Karat Standards. Many organizations use fire assay's as standards for accuracy assurance but Skyray XRF also offers standards for yellow gold and white gold from 10-karat through 22-karat that includes percentages for all constituents. We recommend these gold karat standards or known fire assay samples to obtain the maximum performance of an instrument.
LINK to XRF-Blog Entry on improved instrument accuracy with calibration standards