Touch Needles (replica)


A touch needle is a small needle of gold, either pure or alloyed with silver in a known proportion, designed for trying the fineness of a gold or silver item by comparing the streaks made by the needle and by the article on a touchstone. The technique was described by a Greek poet in the 6th century B.C.E., and has been used by European goldsmiths since the 12th century C.E. This example is a modern replica of the set described in Georgius Agricola, De Re Metallica (1556). It consists of 24 needles, each 2-inches long, made of either solid gold, or gold/silver alloys.

Date Made: 1962

Maker: Eichner, Laurits Christian

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Chemistry


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: CH.322008Catalog Number: 322008Accession Number: 245903

Object Name: Touch Needles (replica)touch needles (replica)

Measurements: each needle: 2 in; 5.08 cm


Record Id: nmah_2445

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