How Much Does a Gold Assay Cost?

Assaying is the process of determining the purity of gold or other precious metals. This allows investors to see the true value of the product. In order to be able to sell a piece, it must meet a specific set of criteria. Many companies, including big mints, use assayers.

There are two main types of assaying. The first involves mixing the sample with a mixture of chemical cleaning agents. These chemicals are called fluxes. They are often made from sodium bicarbonate, potassium carbonate or lead oxide. Once the solution is cooled, the slag is removed to reveal the metal.

The second type of assaying method involves heating the sample in an X-ray beam. Unlike the previous method, this one is less destructive. It is also faster. However, this assaying method is not as accurate as the fire assay.

Depending on the assaying method, the cost will vary. For instance, a fire assay costs $60 per sample. Other methods of assaying can cost more, depending on the complexity of the sample. Another common type is a spectrographic assay, which is performed by passing an electrical discharge through the sample.

Whether you opt to do the assay yourself or have it done by a third party, you will need to provide the company with the proper sample and specifications. Then, the results will be analyzed. A certificate of authenticity will be issued to you indicating the purity of the product.

Choosing the right assaying method is an important decision that is based on the investor’s budget and experience. Typically, an assay is included with the purchase of a limited edition coin. The assay will not be required with regular bullion coins, but it is essential for pieces that are only going to be used as investment.

Assaying is also necessary for bars. These are larger than coins, so it is crucial that they be assayed to ensure that they will meet the mint’s purity standards. Most bullion bars come with assay certificates. But, even if they do not, it is still a good idea to get them checked out, as they may contain a small amount of a non-precious metal.

Fortunately, there are many assaying services available. One way to find one is to visit the website of the CME Group, a world exchange that offers a list of acceptable assayers. Using this information, you can compare the assays of several companies and choose the best option for your needs.

Although assaying has been around for centuries, the modern laboratory processes that have emerged are far more precise. For example, most commercial laboratories recommend a 30 gram fire assay charge weight to increase the possibility of optimum gold recoveries. Also, a 5 – 6:1 flux to sample ratio is ideal for minimizing the risk of poor fusion.

Although the XRF method of assaying is relatively new, it has already proven to be highly accurate. X-ray fluorescence is a more rapid assaying process that is also non-destructive.