All that glisters is not gold

Paul Boughton
Two instruments from SPECTRO Analytical can add the certainty of chemical analysis to trading in precious metals. Escalating prices have created an active market in scrap gold, platinum and other jewellery metals, and the SPECTRO xSORT and SPECTRO MIDEX are X-ray fluorescence analysers that can perform instant alloy identification or a complete elemental analysis. The analysis is totally non-destructive, so no valuable metal has to be sacrificed, and no acids or toxic chemicals are involved.

The SPECTRO xSORT is a fully portable testing laboratory capable of identifying and analysing precious metals in a matter of seconds. Battery powered, and with a weight of only 1.7 kg, the xSORT is a small, hand-held instrument that is simply pointed at the sample and takes the measurement in a few seconds at the press of a trigger. Alternatively it can be mounted in a “docking station” to convert it into a convenient bench-top unit.

The SPECTRO MIDEX has become a standard tool in the laboratories of many precious metal refiners and major traders. The MIDEX was designed specifically for the task of accurately analysing small objects such as jewellery. Samples are placed on an optional motorized, computer controlled sample table and irradiated with an X-ray beam that can be collimated down to a spot size as small as 0.25mm. This gives the instrument the ability to “scan” the sample so that, for example, individual components of a composite jewellery item can be analysed. Alternatively, measurements can be taken automatically of a large number of “pin” samples.

For more information, visit