Flame Test, Silver, Gold
Hi, I was just wondering what colors of flames gold and
silver would take in the flame test, or if they have a colored flame
Hi Stephanie, good question!
I was unable to answer this
question on my own, but I did speak with
a colleague who is an analytical chemist
in my department. The short answer seems to
be that Bunsen burners do not have a hot enough
flame to excite silver or gold.
In his words: "Flame tests are used to
identify the presence of a relatively small number
of metal ions in a compound because of spectral interferences
and also not all metal ions give flame colors...the
flame temperatures may not be high enough to excite them
or the ?E may be so large that the emitted radiation is
in the ultraviolet region."
He did a little checking and found that "both gold
and silver have spectra in the visible region but need
more energetic excitation sources than the ordinary
Bunsen burner flame." He also suggested looking at
He also mentioned that silver and gold are easily identified
by other methods.
Hope this helps -
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Update: June 2012