|Source: Abu'l-Fazl 'Allami, A'IN-I AKBARI (3 vols.). Vol. 1 trans. H. Blochmann, 1927. Vol. 1, pp. 26-27. Ed. *ZDJ*|
Book 1, Chapter 8: The Method of Separating the Silver from the Gold
|They melt this composition six times;
three times with copper, and three times with sulphur, called in Hindi,
For every tola of the alloy, they take a masha of copper, and two mashas,
two surkhs of sulphur. First they melt it with copper, and then with sulphur.
If the alloy be of 100 tolas weight, the 100 mashas of copper are employed
as follows:—they first melt fifty mashas with it, and then twice again
twenty-five mashas. The sulphur is used in similar proportions. After reducing
the mixture of gold and silver to small bits, they mix with it fifty mashas
of copper, and melt it in a crucible. They have near at hand a vessel full
of cold water, on the surface of which is laid a broom-like bundle of hay.
Upon it they pour the melted metal, and prevent it, by stirring it with
a stick, from forming into a mass. Then having again melted these bits,
after mixing them with the remaining copper in a crucible, they set it
to cool in the shade; and for every tola of this mixture two mashas and
two surkhs of sulphur are used, i.e., at the rate of one and one-half quarter
ser (1 3/8 ser) per 100 tolas. When it has been three times melted in this
manner, there appears on the surface a whitish kind of ash, which is silver.
This is taken off, and kept separate; and its process shall hereafter be
explained. When the mixture of gold and silver has thus been subjected
to three fires for the copper, and three for the sulphur, the solid part
left is the gold. In the language of the Panjab, this gold is called kail,
whilst about Delhi, it is termed
pinjar. If the mixture contains
much gold, it generally turns out to be of 6.5 ban, but it is often only
five, and even four.
In order to refine this gold, one of the following methods must be used: Either they mix fifty tolas of this with 400 tolas of purer gold, and refine it by the Saloni process; or else they use the Aloni process. For the latter they make a mixture of two parts of wild-cow dung, and one part of saltpetre. Having then cast the aforesaid pinjar into ingots, they make it into plates, none of which ought to be lighter than 1.5 tolas, but a little broader than those which they make in the saloni process. Then having besmeared them with sesame-oil, they strew the above mixture over them, giving them for every strewing two gentle fires. This operation they repeat three or four times; and if they want the metal very pure, they repeat the process till it comes up to nine ban. The ashes are also collected, being a kind of kharal.
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