The Density ofGold-- Alloys and its Calculation from the Chemical Composition

] CKraut and W B Stern Geochemical Laboratory, Institute ofMineralogy and Petrography, Bemoullistrasse 30, CH-4056 Basel Switzenand

On the assumption that the contribution ofa component to the density of an is linearly related to the density and concentration of this metal in the alloy it is possible to calculate the values for the density of the system as a whole. Deviation from this behaviour occurs in the alloys formed by the ofthe copper group, and this is significant in the study of coins. Although the pure elements gold, silver and copper and their binary and ternary alloys crystallize mainly in the cubic face-centred form, the densities of these alloys do not display a linear correlation with the chemical composition (at%). This is due mainly to the effects ofordering and disordering in the alloys as is described in this .

In order to calculate the density of gold-silver-copper induce a considerable miscibility gap (2, 3) I. alloys from chemical analysis, fitting curves are Accordingly, Cu-Ag alloys do not form an ordered proposed for the binary and the ternary systems. The at a molar composition of 1:1 in contrast to Au­ calculated densities correlate with experimental data Ag alloys which display an AuAg phase at from the literature, within an error range caused below 800°C (4). mainly by the uncertainty of the experimental density The binary system Au-Cu displays three distinct determined by means ofArchimedes' principle. phases, AuCu, AU3Cu and AuCu3 existing at low temperatures (5 - 9), and a superstructure of AU2Cu3 has been discribed (10, 11). In addition to the face­ BINARY SYSTEMS centred cubic lattice of the three binary systems, face­ centred tetragonal and orthorhombic distorted phases When investigating gold coins it is of interest to prove also occur in gold-copper alloys (5, 12, 13). whether the coins have been exposed to processes or Above 410°C the Au-Cu phase displays an fcc­ conditions resulting in changes in their surface lattice with copper and gold atoms being statistically composition (eg blanching or depletion gilding). distributed. At temperatures less than 410°C AuCu Eliminating less noble components from the surface changes to an ordered orthorhombic, and below 385°C gives an impression of higher gold content in the bulk to a face centred tetragonal lattice (8, 9, 13). When the of the coins. Using non-destructive methods, the molar ratio deviates slightly from 1:1, an orthorhombic densities of the coins determined experimentally may distortion occurs, ie a reduced c- and an enlarged b­ be compared with those calculated from the axis. X-ray diffraction patterns reveal a superstructure compositions obtained by surface analysis using X-ray having a ten times larger b-axis (12, 14). fluorescence. Since there is not in any case a linear The different modifications are the reason for the dependency of the densities of the pure metals gold, discrepancy between experimentally determined silver and copper and their binary and ternary alloys densities and those linearly calculated from chemical from composition, it is important to estimate the analysis. At a molar ratio of 1:1 the deviation may deviations from linearity due to the effects of ordering amount to 6 %-rel. in Au-Cu alloys. Cu-Ag alloys and disordering ofthe lattices. The nearly identical radii of silver and gold (1.44 1 Recently new values for the radii of M(I) species of gold, silver and copper A, l a) enable complete -, whereas the have been suggested and calculated considering the effect of relativistic different atomic radii of silver and copper (1.28 A, l a) contraction (Ib).

52 (6i9' GoldBulletin2000, 33(2) AuAg System CuAg System 20 11.0 19 18 10.5 17 ":' ('() § 16 ~ 10.0 U OIl 15 OIl ~ ~ .;: 14 '§., 9.5 ~ 13 -e 12 9.0 11 10 8.5 10 20 40 60 80 100 10 20 40 60 80 100 wt%Au wt%Ag

Figures 1 and 2 Ag-Au and Cu-Ag Systems: Measured densities (0) ofthe cubic unorderedphase vscomposition (wt%) ofAgAu­ and CuAg-alloys and densities calculated by addition oftheproportionalamountsofthe densities ofthepure elements (+). The measureddensities oftheAg-Au system showa linear dependency on the composition. The densities ofthe Ag-Cu system are, however, higherthan expectedflr a linear dependency on the composition. display maximum deviations of 1.5 %-rel. at Cu:Ag = along the c-axis, while anti-bonding orbitals are 1:1 (2, 9). Figures 1 to 3 show the deviations between orientated along the a-axes within the planes. Hence calculated (+) and measured (0) values. distances between similar atoms are enlarged and the Measured densities correlate with the state of cell increases. The density of the tetragonal ordering of the alloys, which is dependent on thermal state is therefore slightly lower than that of the ordered treatment. In the unordered cubic state the lattice cubic state (Figure 3). At higher temperatures or parameter is higher than is expected by linear compositions outside the range of 1:1 or 1:3, copper correlation with composition. It is assumed that some and gold are statistically distributed on the lattice of the smaller copper atoms are placed in between the positions. The cubic state is formed, in which no regular lattice positions, and this to the expansion direction is favoured. Consequently the electrons are of the lattice (15). The deviation rises up to 0.0305A highly directionally degenerated. Hence the entropy of (0.80/0-rel.) in alloys containing 50 at% gold (16). By the electronic- is higher, and the free energy of the heating the samples the systems are able to change to a system (expressed by the equation oF e = oUe-ToSe) cubic ordered state of higher density in which only has a negative value (5). The cubic state therefore is regular lattice positions are occupied. At a composition formed spontaneously. of Cu:Au = 1:1 the lattice planes alternate between Even in 1930 the non-linearity between the lattice those occupied by copper and those occupied by gold parameter of Au-Ag alloys and the atomic ratio had (5, 17). If the c-axis is shortened, the planes come been noticed, and a parabolic correlation curve was closer to each other, leading to a larger overlap of the proposed by Sachs and Weerts (18) in order to electron orbitals. This stabilizes the resulting tetragonal determine the chemical composition from X-ray state. Bonding orbitals here seem to be orientated patterns.

Table 1 Equations[ar the Calculation ofthe DensityofBinary Systems ofGold, Silverand Copper

System Referen ces Equ a tion Figure lAg-Au /1, 18, 19,20 D =0. 193a + 0.1OSb - [4* I0(-4)*exp(0.00Sa)]ab ( I) 2 Cu-Ag 4.19 .20 D = 0.0896e + 0.1OSb - [ 1.2*10(-S)*exp (0.02e)]eb (2) 2

3 Cu-Au 11 ,17,2 1 D = 0.193a + 0.0896e - [S* I0(-4)*exp (0.01 a)]ae (3) 3

wh ere D = density, g em'); a = wt%Au; b = wt% Ag; e = wt% C u

~ GoldBulletin 2000,33(2) 53 and of superstructures is suppressed when the silver CuAg System 20 content exceeds 5at% (21). At a silver content of less than 5at% and temperatures below 360°C, the 18 tetragonal phase of AuCu is the most stable. Between 360 and 385°C the orthorhombic structure ":" 16 occurs and above 385°C the cubic structure is § formed (23). en 14 t- The density of ternary alloys may be presented in a '5 3-dimensional plot, as shown in Figure 4. The density -0 12 may be calculated using Equation 4:

D = 1.004a'DAu + 1.03b'DAg + O.096c'Dc u+ x - y (4) 8+--- """T'"-- .....,.- - ---.- - - r------, 10 20 40 60 80 100 x = 0.35 [cos(45+0.45a') + cos(45+0.45b ') + sin(a')] wt% Au y= 0.005*(a'-b ") * cos(0.9c') + 0.2*cos(3.2c') Figure 3: Au-Cu System: Theexperimentally determined values with a'= at% Au; b ' = at% Ag; c ' = at% Cu ofthecubic unorderedphase are distinctly higher thanwouldbe DAu= density of gold, in g cm,3 3 expectedfOr a lineardependency on thecomposition. Thedensities DAg= density ofsilver, in g cm· 3 oftheordered tetragonalphase (0'J, which isfOrmed at D c u= density of copper, in g cm· compositions between 70 and 80 wt% by heating up to 38YC, are lower than thatoftheunordered state. Thesolidlines show thedensities calculated using Equations 1, 2, and3, and aredependent on thecomposition (in wt%)fir the cubic unorderedphases ofthesystems.

Since the density of noble metals and their alloys density can be determined accurately and relatively simply and gem(-3) non-destructively by ' principle, this method can be used to estimate the chemical 20.0000 composition. Hence, fitting curves were calculated for 18.8000 Cu-Ag, Cu-Au and Ag-Au alloys correlating 17.6000 percentages with data from literature (11, 17 - 20) 16.4000 using Equations 1 - 3 (Table 1). Assuming an error of at least 0.5 to l0/0-rel. for the 15.2000 experimental density determination (slightly more than 14.0000 the symbol of Figure 1 to 3 suggests) it follows that 12.8000 the calculated densities fit well within the error band of 11.6000 literature data. ~,~~~:z~ZS~~~~=,;~~~ 10.4000 V 9.2000 TERNARY SYSTEM 8.0000 wt-% Ag wt-% Cu The phases and lattice types present in binary alloys also exist in the ternary Au-Ag-Cu system. Small Figure 4: Measured and Calculated Densities for the amounts of gold may be incorporated into the Cu­ Ternary System Au-Ag-Cu Deviation between measured and Ag-rich phases which develop above silver densities (0) and those calculatedfir a lineardependency on density 0.) derivedfrom chemical composition fir theternary concentrations of 15at% in analogy with the system. Theprism isfOrmed by theaxes expressing theweight­ miscibility gap ofAg-Cu systems (21, 22). According percentages oftheelements asthe base and thehorizontal axis to elemental ratios, AuCu and AUCU3 may be present expressing the density. The calculated values are mostly lower than along with silver-rich phases (23). AuCu and AUCU3 those obtained by otherauthors. Thelines within thetriangle are stable at low temperatures only; and at higher represent thesystems containing 50, 58.5, 66.6, 75, 83.3, and temperatures the formation of distinct AuCu phases 91.7 wt% gold

54 @ GoldBulletin2000, 33(2) This calculation, with its error of up 3.1%-rel., is ABOUT THE AUTHORS reliable and comparable with that for binary systems. The equation represents the density, assuming cubic Prof Dr W B Stern is head of the Geochemical phases, but does not account for the possible presence Laboratory at the Institute of and of (24). Petrology, Basel. He has worked on several projects in Equation 4 may be of importance in numismatic the field of archaeornetry, mostly using non-destructive studies when the experimental is X-ray analytical methods. J Kraut is working at the compared with the calculated density obtained from Geochemical Laboratory investigating gold coins of the surface analysis (eg by X-ray fluorescence analysis, Roman and Byzantine Empire. XRF). Hence, surface treatments (depletion processes like blanching and plating) may be detected easily by entirely non-destructive methods. REFERENCES

a) AF.Wells, 'Structural Inorganic ' Clarendon Press, Oxford 4th ed., 1975; ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS b)W:S. Rapson, Gold Bull., 1996,~, 143 2 M. LeBlanc andw: Erler, Ann. Ply" 1933,[5] 408,321 This work is part of a PhD project at the University of 3 E Raub, 'DieEdelmetalle und ihre Legierungen' Springer.Verlag, Berlin, 1940 Basle, the objective of which is the analysis of Roman 4 J. Wolters, 'DerGold.undSilberschmied', Riihle-Diebener-verlag, Stuttgart, 1991 gold coins using appropriate methods. 5 U. Dehlinger andL.Graf, Zt. Phys., 1930, 6i, 359 The authors would like to thank M. Kirschen for 6 G. Grube, G. Scaonmann, F. Vaupel andw: Weber, Z Anorg.Al.(g. Chem., 1931,201, making available the drawing program for Figures 4 41 and 5, and C. Hetherington for corrections. 7 M. Leblanc, K.Richter andE. Schiebold, Ann. Phys., 1928, [4] 86,929 8 B.Predel, 'Heterogene Gleichgewichte', Steinkopf.Verlag, Darmstadt, 1982 9 H. Okamoto and I.B. Massalski, 'Phase Diagrams of Binary Gold Alloys', ASM Intemauonal, 1987,76 wt%Au 10 E Gebhardt, lI.llg. Metallk.', ed.M. Hansen, 193946,31, 68 11 M. Bergman,L. Holmlund andN Ingri,Ac/dChem. Scan, 1972, 26,2817 12 CH.]ohansson and].O.Linde,Ann. Ply" 1936, [5] 25,1 13 E Ihgt,Ann. Ph]", 1932, [5] 14,1 14 r Uzuka, Y. Kanzawaand K YEuda,]. Dent. Re<, 1981,60(5),883 15 E Zint! andS.Neumayer, Z Elektrochem, 1933, 39,86 16 L.Vegard andA Kloster, Z.Krist.,1934, 89,560 17 NW:Ageew andD.N Skoyker,Ann. Phys., 1935, [5] 23,90 18 G.Sachs and]. Weerti, Z Ph]", 1930,60,481 19 Gmelins Handbuch der anorganischen Chemic', 'Silber' partC and 'Gold' system­ number 62,8"'ed., Verlag Chemie, Weinheim, 1972 20 Landoldr-Bornsrein, 'Eigenschaften der Materie in ihren Aggregatzustanden' Part 1, 10 Springer.Verlag, Berlin 1971, p.764 21 H. Bumm, Z Meld1lk, 1939, 31, 318 100 9 0 22 M. Kogachi andK NakahigEhi,}ap. JApp! Phys.,1980, 19,1443 o 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 23 E Raub, Z Metdllk, 1949,40,46 wt%Ag wt%Cu 24 D. Ott, Gold Bull., 1997, 30,13

Figure 5: Chemical Composition (wtOfo) andArchimedes Densitiesforthe Ternary System Au-Ag-Cu Thesolidlines represent the values ofequaldensity, thevalues themselves are given by thesmallciphers along theaxis ofthegold-copper-system. In the case ofhigher contents ofgoldthelines arenearly parallel Whereas thecurves are shifted towards higher values in thecase ofhigh contents ofsilver whenthecontent ofgoldorcopper decreases, as is 3 seenfOr thevalues of10 to 12.5 g em· . Highcontents ofsilverlead toa decomposition ofthealloy, dueto themiscibility gap ofcopper andsilver (21).

~ GoldBulletin2000,33(2) 55