If it is desired to matt gilt articles partly or entirely, the portions which are to remain burnished are covered with a mixture of chalk, sugar, and mucilage, heating until this "stopping-off" covering shows a black color. On the places not covered apply a matting powder consisting of:

Saltpeter.......... 40 parts

Alum............. 25 parts

Cooking salt....... 35 parts

Heat the objects to about 608° F., whereby the powder is melted and acquires the consistency of a thin paste. In case of too high a temperature decomposition will set in.

To Find the Number of Carats

To find the number of carats of gold in an object, first weigh the gold and mix with seven times its weight in silver. This alloy is beaten into thin leaves, and nitric acid is added; this dissolves the silver and copper. The remainder (gold) is then fused and weighed; by comparing the first and last weights the number of carats of pure gold is found. To check repeat several times.

Acid Test for Gold

The ordinary ready method of ascertaining whether a piece of jewelry is made of gold consists in touching it with a glass stopper wetted with nitric acid, which leaves gold untouched, but colors base alloys blue from the formation of nitrate of copper.

Imitation Diamonds

I. — Minium, 75 parts (by weight); washed white sand, 50 parts; calcined potash, 18 parts; calcined borax, 6 parts; bioxide of arsenic, 1 part. The sand must be washed in hydrochloric acid and then several times in clean water. The specific gravity of this crystal glass is almost the same as that of the diamond.


Washed white sand, 100 parts (by weight): minium, 35 parts: calcined potash, 25 parts; calcined borax, 20 parts; nitrate of potash (crystals), 10 parts: peroxide of manganese, 5 parts. The sand must be washed as above stated.


This substance consists of crystallized boron, the basis of borax. By melting 100 parts of boracic acid and 80 parts of aluminum crystals is obtained the so-called bort, which even attacks diamond. The diamantine of commerce is not so hard.