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Application Note

Analysis of Impurities in Gold with the Avio 500 ICP-OES Following ASTM B562-95

Introduction

Gold (Au) is one of the most precious and useful metals, due to a unique combination of characteristics: resistance to tarnish/corrosion, ability to conduct electricity, and ability to be easily formed into a variety of shapes. And because of this versatility, gold is widely used in jewelry, artwork, currency, electronics, medicine/dentistry, aerospace, and ornamental decorations.

The price of Au is highly dependent on the impurity levels present within – not all uses require the same purities. Towards this end, ASTM has developed specifications for various purities of refined gold in method B562-95: Standard Specification for Refined Gold.

This work demonstrates the ability of PerkinElmer’s Avio® 500 ICP-OES to measure impurities in gold at the levels defined in ASTM Method B562-95, and detection limits of 1-2 orders of magnitude lower than the specification limits suggest its ability to measure even lower impurity levels.