La coupellation des alliages cuivre-argent : approche expérimentale de l'essai d'argent par voie sèche.

Abstract : The quality of the alloy used was an essential factor in the acceptance or rejection of coins. One test method used was fire assaying. This consists of separating the silver from both the lead and the copper which are oxidised during the process. If it is fairly easy to separate lead from silver, copper cupellation requires considerable skill. Documentary sources provide valuable guidance on how to carry out an experiment, the principal difficulty being the amount of lead required for successful copper separation. The quantity proposed varies between three and seventeen times the estimated amount of copper used. A trial furnace, equipped with temperature control, was set up in Melle and a set of Cu-Ag alloys was tested. In order to judge the quality of the experiment, the silver droplets were weighed and then analysed. The cupels were also examined so as to maximise the information available for the future analysis and interpretation of artefacts.
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Florian Tereygeol, Nicolas Thomas. La coupellation des alliages cuivre-argent : approche expérimentale de l'essai d'argent par voie sèche.. Archeosciences, revue d'Archéométrie, Published by G.M.P.C.A./Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2003, 27, pp.171 - 181. ⟨10.3406/arsci.2003.1053⟩. ⟨hal-01766865⟩

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