Considered one of the Earth's most precious metals, it's unique properties make it not only sought after as a means of investment, i.e., bullion and coins, but also make it highly demanded for jewelry. Gold is unique in that it is not affected by air, oxygen or water - nor will it rust, corrode or tarnish. It is also very malleabile and ductile.
Imagine, an ounce of gold can be hammered into a 100 sq. ft. sheet or drawn into a wire 5 miles long.|
Gold Bullion | Coins
Most gold bullion coins range from .9999 to .9167 gold content with the remainder consisting of silver and copper. Gold coins originally minted for circulation (1776-1933) had slightly less gold content - typically .900 - with the remainder of the metals again being silver and copper. |
Gold bullion and gold coins are quickly becoming a favorite of investors. While bullion can usually be purchased at a percentage above spot value, gold coins that were minted as legal tender money need to be examined for their numismatic value.
The amount of gold in US jewelry is measured 3 ways:
Fineness - parts of gold per 1,000
Percent - parts of gold per 100
Karat - parts of gold per 24
The United States FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has guidelines that regulate and define the minimum amount of gold in jewelry for a piece to still be considered gold at 10K. Foreigh markets like Italy, France and Switzerland have a higher standard. Jewelry produced in these countries must have the equivalent of 18K gold to carry the 'gold' label. The minimum for England is 9K.
|US Gold Marks||European Marks||Percentage of Gold|
|24K is pure gold||-||100% gold|
|18K is 18 parts gold plus 6 parts other metal||750||75% gold|
|14K is 14 parts gold plus 10 parts other metal||585||58.3% gold|
|12K is 12 parts gold plus 12 parts other metal||500||50% gold|
|10K is 10 parts gold plus 14 parts other metal||417||41.7% gold|
Gold is typically weighed in 'Troy Ounces' |
|One Troy Pound (lb) is equal to 12 Troy Ounces or 373 grams. |
|One Troy Ounce is equal to 20 Pennyweights (American jewelry trade)|
|One Troy Ounce is equal to 31.1034768 grams|
|One Pennyweight is equal to 1.55 grams|