Suitability of Transportable EDXRF for the On-site Assessment of Ancient Silver Coins and Other Silver Artifacts

Damian B. Gore*, Gillan Davis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Transportable energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers allow the elemental composition of coins to be measured at collections, enhancing security while maximizing access to historically important material. We assessed 10 silver coins, using five XRF spectrometers. We found no systematic differences between analyses using Mo- and Rh-anode tubes, and no substantial advantage using He flush over air for elements heavier than Ti. Higher voltage X-ray tubes enhanced analytical precision. Understanding patina composition made a numerical correction possible, allowing an approximation of the underlying coin metal with good results for metals including Cu, Ag, Au, Pb, and Bi.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)840-851
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Spectroscopy
Volume70
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

Keywords

  • X-ray fluorescence spectrometry
  • elemental analysis
  • numismatics
  • patina
  • ancient history

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