This is an ideal method for walk-in customers with small lots of precious metals. Each piece is individually tested by our expert staff using a basalt stone and nitric acid. The process is fast, accurate and completed on the spot.
The metal is rubbed against the stone which makes a mark for testing. By applying nitric acid to this mark and measuring the reaction, we can accurately determine the purity of the precious metal. As a result, we can calculate the value of your metal and provide an immediate payout.
For more extensive testing we use our portable X-ray fluorescence machine. This process provides accurate non-destructive elemental analysis of precious metals.
X-ray analysis takes only minutes. It works by bathing the sample in X-rays. The metal then emits light (fluorescence) at an energy level specific to its atomic structure. By measuring this unique energy level, our machine accurately analyzes the purity of the sample.
A fire assay is the most accurate method available. The technique is centuries old but still one of the most reliable methods to determine the Gold, Silver and Platinum content of a sample. It is also the most time consuming method.
To perform a fire assay, a sample is melted and mixed with lead oxide and other control chemicals. The lead in the mixture binds with the precious metal in the sample. The entire mixture is poured into a mold and cooled.
Because the lead is so dense, it sinks to the bottom of the mold, where it is chipped off and melted again using a tool called a cupel. The cupel absorbs the lead, leaving only precious metal behind which is then used to determine the overall purity of the metal.