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Archaeology Datasheet 02

Precious metal refining

The purity of gold could be estimated by using a touchstone but the only effective way of determining the purity of silver was by assaying (see below). Whatever their purity, much gold and silver had to be refined before use or re-use as they were often significantly debased. The process known as cupellation was used to separate precious metals from base ones, while silver was separated from gold by parting.

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