Gold Testing is Big Business And Niton is The Gold Standard

Gold Testing Is Big Business And Niton Is The Gold Standard

With the high price and volatility of gold today, more efficient gold-testing methods are being used to establish the value of items like jewellery or coins being purchased, sold, or recycled.

Testing gold and precious metals demands accurate and reliable results to eliminate variability and subjectivity, and ensure fair transactions. 

That’s why businesses turn to our portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) analysers for fast, accurate, and non-destructive analysis of precious metals entering their shops. 

In as little as 3-10 seconds, our XRF analysers provide exact karat weight and percentages of all elements within an item they test, enabling them to detect non-standard and counterfeit gold with the accuracy of a fire assay.

The electronic testing approach also appeals to people who don’t want to deal with acids in the testing process. 

The most advanced portable electronic gold tester is an XRF. 

These battery-operated testers contain an X-ray tube and shoot a small X-ray beam at the piece being tested. 

The beam interacts with the elements in the piece and the machine reads the results. 

The PAS range of analysers for gold buyers

PAS’ XRF analysers supply concentrations for 21 elements and karat values in seconds.

Our Thermo Fisher Scientific Niton DXL and Niton XL2 precious metal and gold purity analysers are equipped with proprietary, patented AuDIT gold-plating detection technology. 

Several independent, complementary methods in the AuDIT (Au/gold Detection & Identification Technology) software work in tandem to alert you to the probability that an item is plated, regardless of the gold concentration of the plated surface layer. 

AuDIT technology works for vermeil (gold-plated silver), as well as gold-plated copper, steel, tungsten and any other non-gold substrate.

  • Precious metals and gold testing machines simultaneously measure the content of all gold and precious metals without manually changing your calibration based on the metal you’re analysing
  • Precisely determine the presence and concentration of more than 22 precious metal and trace alloying elements, including but not limited to gold (Au), Silver (Ag), Platinum (Pt), Palladium (Pd), Nickel (Ni), Tungsten (W), and Lead (Pb).
  • Eliminate the toxicity associated with nitric acid test methods
  • Capture images and focus in on small areas using our integrated camera and small spot feature (depends on model).

Niton™ XL2 Precious Metal AnalyserThermo Fisher Scientific – XRF Niton™ DXL AnalyserThermo Fisher Scientific – Bench Top XRF
* Standard analytical range: >25 elements from S to U (varies by application).
* Point and shoot simplicity—very easy to use even by nontechnical personnel
* Ideally suited for retail environments
* Non-destructive analysis with near-instantaneous results
* Ergonomic design
* Innovative colour touch-screen display and touch-screen keyboard
* Improved intuitive interface
* CCD Camera
* Large sample chamber with a back window for customer view
* Optional small spot for the isolation of small components
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The benefits of Niton Portable XRF Analysers

These tools offer instantaneous, accurate and non-destructive precious metals analysis.

When quick and informed decisions need to be made to ensure the profitability of a transaction in precious metals trading, or to make sure jewellery is free of toxic substances, the use of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy can be invaluable.

Thermo Scientific Niton portable XRF desktop and handheld analysers provide pawn shops, cash-for-gold businesses, jewellers, recyclers and refineries with fast, reliable and accurate results for:

  • Determination of karat grade and fineness
  • Analysis of all precious metals including gold
  • Analysis of alloying elements like copper, zinc, nickel, etc.
  • Analysis of toxic elements like cadmium or lead etc.
  • Detection of gold plating presence with the patented AuDIT Technology

Unlike traditional test methods, all precious metals and alloys, in various sizes and shapes are tested completely non-destructively.

8 reasons not to use acid to test jewellery

Gold is traditionally tested by applying a small drop of strong acid to its surface, such as nitric acid. Metals tend to bubble and fizz while precious metals don’t. Despite the fact that results are generally considered reliable, there are several reasons to avoid acid and instead use a handheld analyser.

  1. Counting karats with acid isn’t very accurate. It rounds to the nearest acid testing solution.
  2. You must scratch the gold on a stone, so you are actually rubbing some of the gold off the jewellery.
  3. Gold plating cannot be determined unless the gold is deeply scratched.
  4. Using these solutions is dangerous and unhealthy. Since testing solutions contain corrosives, they must be handled and stored with extreme care.
  5. Iron and steel items will pass the stone test for platinum, so you must additionally use a powerful magnet to identify these metals.
  6. When testing for silver, the solution will dull the polishing of the piece, and leave a mark where the acid was placed.
  7. Acid will not tell you what other alloying elements make up the composition of the jewellery.
  8. Counterfeiters have managed to develop a stainless steel alloy that will acid test as 18kt white gold, but contains no precious metal at all. Many people have been duped by chains made from this material.

We do not recommend using portable XRF analysis on gold bars, and bullions. If it is used, we strongly suggest that a secondary analysis is done just to ensure the absence of thick plating or any adulteration.

How XRF in gold testing works

X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy begins by exposing the sample in question to X-rays rays. 

The high-energy photons tend to knock electrons from their orbits around the nuclei of atoms in the sample as they strike it. When this occurs, the electron in the outer orbit of the atom will fall into the shell of the missing electron. 

Outer shell electrons possess more energy than inner shell electrons, so the relocated electron has an excess of energy that is released as an X-ray fluorescence photon. The sample’s composition produces this particular fluorescence. 

This spectrum is collected by the detector and converted into electrical impulses proportional to the energies of the X-rays in the spectrum of the sample. 

By counting the pulses in the emitted spectrum, we can identify the presence and concentration of the component(s) of interest within the sample. 

Each element has its own distinct X-ray signature, so we can determine which part of the spectrum is associated with that component.

Contact PAS for expert guidance about the Thermo Fisher Scientific Niton DXL or the Niton XL2, and which will best suit your gold-buying needs.