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Detect Gold Adulteration

All that glitters is not Gold. Infact, your wedding jewellery may not be as pure or as precious as you think it is. Many goldsmiths across India are adulterating gold with other metals such as Iridium, Ruthenium etc. This article tries to provide more information about this emerging issue to help the consumers fight it.


Iridium is a metallic element with the atomic number 77 and the symbol Ir. It is a very hard, brittle, silvery-white transition metal of the platinum family, and the second densest element and is the most corrosion-resistant metal, even at temperatures as high as 2000 C.  Ruthenium, also a part of the platinum family, remains hard and brittle even at temperatures as high as 1,500C.


Normally, Silver and Copper are mixed with the soft and malleable gold in order to make the metal alloy harder for fabrication of chains and jewellery. However, when Ruthenium and Iridium are mixed with gold, these metals do not form an alloy but get embedded tight in gold.  According to various reports, Iridium adulteration ranges up to as high as six to seven percent. The adulteration will not only bring down the quality of the gold but also hamper machining, forming, or fabricating processes. Furthermore, according to a study under progress, the isotopes of iridium are highly carcinogenic (leading to cancer) and there could be serious health hazards arising from the mixing of iridium and ruthenium with gold in ornaments.

 Iridum Mixing Detection Machine

What is more shocking is that it is very hard to detect that presence of Iridium in Gold. The tunch centers are unable to identify the presence of Iridium in gold ornaments. That’s why we have equipped our showrooms with the world’s latest computerized equipment, imported from Helmut-Fishcer Gmbh, Germany to detect foul mixing of iridium/ruthenium group of metals to ensure the ultimate purity, quality, and transparency, you deserve. It uses X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (XRF) technique to identify and determine the concentrations of other elements in Gold.


Iridium and ruthenium can be separated from gold by dipping the adulterated Gold in Aqua Regia (mixture of hydrochloric acid and nitric acid). Aqua Regia will dissolve Gold, but Iridium and Ruthenium will remain insoluble. The gold can then be recovered after the metal is removed from the liquid with the help of a ferrous sulphate solution or by passing sulphur dioxide or by using hydrazine hydrate.