A man went door to door posing as a goldsmith. He promised to bring back the glitter of old and dull gold ornaments. An unsuspecting lady gave a set of gold bangles to him which he dipped in a particular solution. The bangles sparkled like new but their weight was reduced drastically. The lady was upset but after a futile argument the man beat a hasty retreat. Can you play the detective to find out the nature of the solution he had used?


Goldsmith used a solution known as Aqua regia, which is known as royal water in Latin. It’s made up of a 3:1 combination of concentrated hydrochloric acid and concentrated nitric acid. Noble metals such as gold and platinum can be dissolved by aqua regia. When the upper surface of a dull gold ornament dissolves, it loses its weight.

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