(chemistry, archaic) The act, process, or result (in the process of parting) of alloying a button of nearly pure gold with enough silver to reduce the fineness so as to allow acids to attack and remove all metals except the gold.
Origin of quartation
Latinquartus, "fourth", because usually enough silver is added to make the amount of gold in the alloyed button about one fourth.
Quartation Sentence Examples
The sulphur and litharge, or Pfannenschmied, process was used to concentrate the gold in an alloy in order to make it amenable to " quartation," or parting with nitric acid.
It used to be called " quartation " or " inquartation," from the fact that the alloy best suited for the operation of refining contained 3 parts of.silver to I of gold.
The operation by which the alloy is brought to this standard is termed quartation or inquartation, and consists in fusing the alloy in a cupel with lead and the quantity of fine silver or fine gold necessary to bring it to the desired composition.