A new approach is presented for the analysis of lead isotopes in gold using solution and laser ablation multi-collector inductively-coupled plasma mass-spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS). Repeat analyses of two gold reference materials (RAuGP3: 34.1 +/- 0.5 ppm Pb and RAuGP5: 129 +/- 4 ppm Pb, from SPEX CertiPrep Ltd) yield an external reproducibility of 20. Instrumental mass bias is corrected by standard sample bracketing, using NIST SRM981 for solution analyses and NIST SRM610 for laser ablation analyses. Both techniques agree within error, and they have been further demonstrated through the analyses of both geological and archaeological samples: multiple grains from two Irish alluvial gold deposits and samples of two Early Bronze Age Irish gold lunulae. The applicability of these techniques to studies concerning the sources and age of gold mineralisation, and the identification of gold sources exploited in antiquity, is highlighted.
- EXTRACTION CHROMATOGRAPHIC RESIN
- MICROCHEMICAL CHARACTERIZATION