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The current Gold price is much more than a price for a commodity. The price of Gold today is the result of being the most important Precious Metal for thousands of years. Looking beyond the Gold price chart, you will discover a tale that goes beyond the value of a bar of Gold in an investment portfolio. You...
One of the most prized metallic elements in the world, Silver has been valued for its beauty and usefulness for thousands of years. It is believed that Silver began to be mined around 2500 B.C.E. Silver ranks 66th in natural abundance among elements in the Earth’s crust. To extract the Precious Metal, Silver m...
Niobium, previously known in the U.S. as columbium, is a chemical element under the symbol Nb with the atomic number 41. Niobium is a soft, whitish, ductile, transition metal often found in the minerals pyrochlore and columbite. The name niobium comes from Greek mythology. Niobe is the daughter of Tantalus, after whom ta...
Nuggets are lumps of Precious Metals found in the Earth’s crust. The most common nuggets today are Gold nuggets and Silver nuggets. For many years, scientists and miners wondered how the nuggets formed, but after years of speculation, research suggests they formed at high temperatures. Since these temperatures do not ...
Numerous industries use Precious Metals for purposes that range from construction to medicine. Depending on the state of the industry and the size of the demand, this can impact the price. GOLD Gold is in demand by many industries. Its practical application extends from space travel to exquisite jewelry. Here are a few pract...
In contemporary Gold mining, it typically takes between 10 and 20 years before a new mine is able to produce the ore extracts that make up the large Gold and Silver alloy “doré bars” that carry the raw Precious Metals to the refinery. EXPLORING THE GOLD MINE Searching for new, undiscovered Gold deposi...
Pennies are commonly thought to be primarily Copper due to their distinctive color and for most of our nation’s history, that was true. However, contemporary pennies are zinc discs with a thin Copper shell. This composition became the standard in 1983. There were periods in our nation’s history when pennies were p...
Sterling Silver enjoys a place in nearly every home in the America. Sterling Silver is a Precious Metal alloy that beautifies our dinner tables and decorates our bodies. Sterling Silver is the material of choice for precious photo frames and Christmas tree ornaments. HALLMARKS AND IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTICS Sterling silver ...
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THE SCIENCE OF PRECIOUS METALS
Your Precious Metals collection is more than an art, it’s a science. In fact, learning more about the science behind your Gold and Silver coins, bullion and bars can help increase your confidence as a collector. APMEX has an extensive library of science-related content about Precious Metals.
Unlike paper currency and other types of investments, Precious Metals hold intrinsic value defined by their molecular makeup. The same Gold element listed on the periodic table as Au, atomic number 79, is the same Gold you’ll find in a 1 oz Gold American Eagle. Whether it has been melted or molded or stored in an Egyptian pharaoh's ancient tomb, one ounce of Gold is still worth at least as much as today’s Gold spot price. Gold is, and likely always will be, regarded among the most valuable materials on the planet. The same can be said for Silver, Platinum, Palladium, Copper and other Precious Metals.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE SCIENCE BEHIND YOUR PRECIOUS METALS COLLECTION?
A major reason is for your own protection. Basic knowledge of the composition and properties of Gold and Silver can help ensure your investment against fraud and depreciation.
For example, .9999 fine Gold like that of a 1 oz Gold Buffalo coin, will feel noticeably heavier than the circulated coins you encounter on a daily basis. This dense heavy metal will sink in water and will not be attracted to a magnet. It will also have no reaction in response to nitric acid, while imitation gold or an alloy with silver, copper or zinc will result in a light greenish colored reaction.
Similarly, .999 fine Silver like that of a 1 oz Silver American Eagle, carries unique properties. This Precious Metal lends itself to a number of interesting science experiments. Like Gold, Silver is not magnetic. Because it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element, Silver coins or bars also have the highest thermal conductivity. For this reason, if you place an ice cube on a fine Silver coin, it will melt significantly faster than an ice cube right beside it at room temperature. A fine Silver coin will also ring or ping clearly when flicked. Coins with only a small percentage of Silver will make a dull sound when flicked.
You’ll never have to rely solely on your own Precious Metals knowledge when buying your coins, bars or rounds through APMEX. You’ll never be asked to guess or take your chances; all of our products are guaranteed to be authentic. APMEX’s world-renowned quality control ensures that the science behind your investment is always accurate.