2014/02/09

Eureka! (or: "The most devious way to test gold.")

Eureka!

(or: "The most devious way to test gold.")

Platinum, gold and silver acid testing set with touchstone from Adin at www.adin.be
Click the picture to get to our well-tested collection.
 


The most well known anecdote about Archimedes (287 BC – 212 BC) is the following: King Hiero II gave a goldsmith pure gold to make him a crown. But because the king had doubts on the honesty of the goldsmith he ordained Archimedes to find out whether the goldsmith had been swindling with the alloy by adding silver to it. Archimedes had to find out without damaging the crown.

When Archimedes took a bath he noticed the raising of the water and he came to, what is know now as, Archimedes' principle (a body immersed in a fluid experiences a buoyant force equal to the weight of the fluid it displaces). Archimedes was so thrilled with his finding that he stepped out his bath, forgot to get dressed, and ran to the king while crying "Eureka!" (I have found it!). The test on the crown was done and indeed silver had been mixed in.

What the story tellers forget to tell us, besides what happened to the goldsmith, is that Archimedes probably wasn't aware of the fact that he could have used a touchstone and acid to test the alloy of the crown. The oldest texts on testing gold on touchstones go back till the 5th and 4th century BC. And still today we use this test in the jewelry trade. Imagine, nothing has changed in 2,500 years!

On the picture you see a touchstone, some bottles of acid to test the various alloys and some sample-needles with standardized alloys of gold, platinum and silver as we use this in our daily work at Adin.
 
 
Our well-tested collection in:
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Antiqualy yours,

The Adin team
www.adin.be
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