Analysis

At Argentor, we analyze your precious metal with the utmost care and expertise. There are various methods for this, depending on the metal delivered.

Argentor stands for concrete applications and flexible solutions! For any questions connected with trading gold, silver or PGMs you can always contact us.

XRF

The XRF-method involves X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometry. This is a non-destructive analysis method, in which the metal is X-rayed. The results are stunningly accurate.

Cupellation

The cupellation method has for centuries been the norm for determining gold or silver content in alloys. This method is certified under ISO (11426). In comparison to the XRF method, this is a destructive analysis process. This involves boring out a sample, and the alloy will not be delivered in exactly the same format if you should request it returned.

ICP-OES

Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry or ICP-OES is an analysis technique for detecting traces of precious metals. This method of analysis is primarily used in the titration of PGM’s.

Assay reports

You can have a fully independent assay report made at Argentor. On request, we can issue a report based on the results found.
The sample is scanned with low energy x-rays. The atoms in the sample under x-rays send out fluorescence rays, which have a different energy level for each element. These rays are collected by a detector, which converts them into an electrical signal.

With the aid of known signals, in known standards for which the device is calibrated, the concentration in the sample can be calculated using a PC. The amount of pulses with a certain energy level that are absorbed by the detector is a measure of the concentration of a particular element in the sample. Thus, with XRF, both qualitative – which element is present – and quantitative – how much of the element is present – investigation can be carried out.

The advantages:

  • The biggest advantage of XRF is that it is totally non-destructive
  • Because the X-ray formation is with a collimator set at a very narrow beam (0.5 microns), it is even possible to investigate the smallest components of a sample (such as in the spot tested)
  • In addition content assay, XRF can also be used for layer thickness measurement in silver layers (up to about 60 microns), and gold layers (up to about 8 microns).
  • XRF requires virtually no sample preparation. Since XRF is a surface technique, the object to be examine must first be stripped of any surface coating at the location of the measuring point.
For several centuries, cupellation has been the standard method to determine and alloy’s gold content. In an internationally defined standard method, it has a high degree of accuracy. We use cupellation to test offered alloys. Argentor can also perform assays on drill cuttings, for example.

Cupellation working method
The sample material is weighed accurately. The amount depends on the stated content. In fact, we will weigh out an amount that should contain approximately 150 mg fine gold. The sample material is packed in a precise amount of lead. Next, we place it on a magnesium oxide block (the cupel) and put it in an oven at a temperature of 1050 °C. At this temperature, the alloy base metals such as copper and zinc will oxidize from the alloy and smelt with the lead, and be absorbed into the cupel. The precious metals, gold and silver, will not oxidize and a little ball will remain on the cupel. This ball is called the bead. After 17 minutes the drain off, as the process in the oven is known, is complete and we remove the cupel. Then we roll the bead out to a flat strip and make a roll known as a cornet. Then we separate the silver from the gold by cooking it from the cornet in nitric acid. The silver dissolves in ti and a fine gold cornet shape remains. Then we weigh the cornet accurately. This amount of fine gold is proportioned to the weight of the sample. We can then calculate the gold content, using these two weights.

Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry or ICP-OES is an analysis technique for detecting traces of precious metals. This method of analysis is primarily used in the titration of PGM’s.
You can have a fully independent assay report made at Argentor. On request, we can issue a report based on the results found.

Why Argentor?

  • Exceptional reputation since 1987
  • Discrete handling
  • A-Z solutions
  • Extremely fast turnaround
  • Flexible assistance

What do clients say?

“Positive points: Everything was well organized and correct, exactly as agreed. I am very satisfied, a golden first experience!
Points for improvement: Information for customers about new items, by Email, would be a plus point”
Anonymous from Oss, The Netherlands