Comparisons  1

Review 2◄  ►Quantif. Comp. 2

Comparisons of Methods



1. Position of Fire Assay (Cupellation) Method

in Relation to Alternative Analysis Techniques


From Few Samples Analysis

Cupellation Furnace

Cupellation: single cupels

To Mass Samples Analysis

Cupellation: Cupel Blocks

Parting & Annealing




  1.  High Accuracy
Five times better than next best method (ICP)

  2.  Great Flexibility
Suitable for all carat range of alloys

  3.  Low Detection Limit
Important for ore / residues analysis

  4.  Many Samples Assayed at once
Batch assay method allows many samples to be simultaneously processes in parallel, all other methods of Gold Analysis are sequential (1 by 1)

  5.  Full Scalability
Universal method from few to mass analysis using same equipment (only consumable / tools change)

  6.  Without Reference Standards
Other methods need alloys close to that of test piece

  7.  Legal Standard Method
All Assay Offices / Hallmarking Labs employ it

  8.  Standard Reference Technique
Against which all other methods are compared

  9.  Micro Cupellation Techniques
Allow smaller samples / shorter process time

10.  Low Capital Costs
Low Investment necessary for implementation



  1.  Destructive of the Sample
(slightly better with microcupellation)

  2.  Not versatile
Only gold is determined

  3.  Health Hazards
associated with lead

Fire Assay is the Standard Reference Technique against which the other methods are compared

Jewellery Assaying Techniques:Review of Methods (1)  Review of Methods (2)  Comparisons:pros / cons (1)   Quantified (2)

Terms:Cupellation  Fire Assay  Reagents  Other Methods  Metals   Sheets:Cupels  Crucibles    Index: Programme