X-Ray Flourescence Spectrometry (XRF)
It is a non-destructive method that does not damage or destroy the article. It is a method that is able to test any element from aluminium to uranium.
The surface of the jewellery is bombarded with radiation, usually from an X-ray tube source. This radiation impacts the atoms and cause electrons to move levels (orbital shells) with the emission of X-rays, hence the term “fluorescence”. These are collected and measured in a spectrometer. The X-rays excited and emitted from the surface will have defined energy with a wavelength characteristic of the atom from which it is generated. The amount of energy emitted will depend on the relative number of atoms of the metals present.
The accuracy for the XRF spectrometry test method is about 1 to 5 parts per thousand.