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Where did that phrase come from - Passing the acid test
Stan St. Clair
Even before the beginning of the California gold rush, prospectors and dealers alike needed a sure way to distinguish pyrite and base metal from the genuine article. A test was developed, originally in the late 18th century, with only nitric acid, which was able to dissolve other metals more readily than gold. Later acid tests used a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids.

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