The acid test for gold consists of placing a small drop of a strong acid, such as nitric acid, onto the metals nuance.
Although results are considered reliable for the most part, there are several reasons to stay away from the acid and choose an XRF analyzer instead.
Acid Test and Jewelry!
- Acid Test does not give you an exact Karat count. It rounds to the nearest acid testing solution (e.g. 14K. 18K, etc.)
- You must scratch the gold on a stone so you are actually rubbing some of the gold off the jewelry.
- It is difficult to determine if gold plating is present unless you put a deep scratch in the gold.
- The solutions are dangerous and unhealthy. You must use extreme care in handling testing solutions and store in a safe place because they are corrosive acids.
- Iron and stool items will pass the stone test for platinum so you must additionally use a powerful magnet to identify these metals.
- When testing for sliver, the solution will dull the polishing of the piece, and leave a mark where the acid was placed.
- Acid Test will not tell you what other alloying elements make up the composition of the jewelry.
- 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.
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