Auracle AGT2 Electronic Gold Tester
GemOro Auracle AGT2 Electronic Gold Tester
The AGT2 electronic gold tester connects to your mobile device (iPhone, Android phone, tablet, notebook) or to a computer, it tests gold purity from 9ct to 24ct and also tests platinum.
See our guide to gold testing equipment.
The GemOro AuRACLE AGT2 consists of a probe, a testing plate, a small box of electronics, connecting leads, and a fitted case. You connect it to a 'mobile device' (smartphones, tablets, netbooks, etc.), so you already have most of the hardware. There are two versions, one for Apple and one for Android.
The Android version can also be used on any device that uses Windows XP or higher. That includes a small number of mobile devices (e.g. Windows phones) and nearly all computers: notebooks, laptops, desktops. The only condition is that you will need to plug the AGT2 into a USB port (not all notebooks have USB ports).
The app is free. You must also download the instructions, they are not self-explanatory from the app.
Over the last year we have sold several for Apple devices (e.g. iPhone) and have not had a single complaint. In fact, we have had glowing reviews. One customer said:
Just wanted to say how pleased I am with the latest AGT2 which I received this morning...OK it doesn't look much for the money, but hey, this does exactly what it says on the tin. Tested 20 items of hallmarked gold of varying grades and gave me a correct readout EVERY time. I recommend using the analog dial readout in the UK as it displays 9ct rather than the digital readout which only displays 10k or higher. All in all an amazing tool. Definitely worth the extra money.
The Android version has not been quite as successful, of three we have sold, two didn't work.
AGT2 compared with other gold testers
The AGT2 costs £499.00 including VAT. It is the best electronic gold tester (apart from XRF testers, which cost between £12,000.00 and £50,000.00) - and compared with XRF testers, the GemOro AuRACLE AGT2 really is a low-cost tester that works well. Unlike other electronic testers, there is no contact fluid made of acid, there is no messy gel to clean up after each test. The GemOro AuRACLE AGT1 uses a probe containing a simple salt solution.
The probe will last for thousands of tests (the manufacturers say 5000, some of our users say it's less than 1000, maybe they aren't replacing the cap tightly!) - and replacement probes are not expensive.
You do have to regularly calibrate the AuRACLE AGT2, but this takes just a few seconds, and you are prompted to do this.
Overall, it's a little slower to carry out each test than an AGT1; the markings on the scale (meter or bar graph) are equivalent to the LEDs on the AGT1 (no advantage or disadvantage); although the operation is very simple, both with the AGT1 and AGT2, having prompts to tell you what to do (AGT2) is better than having to remember (AGT1). You don't have to use a 14ct sample for calibration, if you don't have any 14ct you can use 9ct, 18ct, 22ct or even platinum.
As regards ease of use, I like it for four reasons:
- you don't have to remember to calibrate it regularly, you get a message on the screen asking you to do so
- you can set the display to show a meter with a dial or a meter with a bar graph (the dial display is best)
- you don't have to 'judge' when meter (or bar) has settled on a result, you get messages: "Testing...test complete".
- I don't have a smartphone (honestly!) but I've watched other people use an AGT2 and I must admit, it's rather neat compared with the AGT1, and if you take the parts (plate, box of electronics, probe, calibration sample and leads) they will al fit comfortably into a pocket (though this is an expensive item, you may prefer to keep it all in its fitted case).
There is also the facility to 'save' each reading and make notes by it, so you can keep a record of each item you buy...if you wanted.
Limitations, Idiosyncrasies & Accuracy
Over the last year we have sold several for Apple devices (e.g. iPhone) and have not had a single complaint. The Android version has not been quite as successful, of three we have sold two didn't work, and we have been unable to download the app. onto the one Android-based phone and Android-based tablet owned by QUICKTEST staff. The manufacturers clarifies: The AGT2 Android Version requires the following specifications: Honeycomb 3.1 or higher, and USB host (or USB On-The-Go, USB OTG) support, and a touchscreen with a width at least 320dp. It does not work with the Samsung Galaxy S2, Motorola Razr, Droid Bionic, and all HTC devices that are not compatible with USB OTG (Please check your hardware manufacturers documentation to ensure support for USB host or USB OTG).
The software prompts you to recalibrate every ten tests, and won't proceed until you have. This is good, it prevents you from carrying out dozens of tests, with inaccurate results as the calibration 'drifts'. However, we did find that some readings (on known samples) were up to 10% out, and that calibrating every 4 or 5 tests greatly helped with the level of accuracy.