AskDefine | Define cupel

Dictionary Definition

cupel n : small porous bowl made of bone ash used in assaying to separate precious metals from e.g. lead [syn: bone-ash cup, refractory pot] [also: cupelling, cupelled]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


From French coupelle, mediaeval Latin cupella, diminutive of cupa ‘cask’.




  1. A small circular receptacle used in assaying gold or silver with lead.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

A cupel is a special pourous pot made of bone ash or clay, used in cupellation. It must be silica poor. Its porous nature absorbs the lead along with the metals that it bonded to itself into the matrix or the clay. The prill of silver is left on top.


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