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How Will the Growth of Self-Driving Electric Cars Affect Demand for Palladium and Platinum? Fuel cell self-driving cars generate electricity by creating a chemical reaction between hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air, using Platinum or Palladium as a catalyst. Currently, this type of automobile makes up onl...
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...
Innovative Technologies in Minting Coin production has been an important part of societies throughout the world for centuries. What was once archaic is now vibrant with innovative technologies that add a special element to coin minting. Manufacturing and production have seen dozens of changes from the beginn...
What is a Nugget? Published on 1/27/2022 by APMEX Nuggets are lumps of Precious Metals found in the Earth's crust. The most common nuggets today are made of Gold and Silver. Named for their nugget-like shape, they are a more concentrated form of these Precious Metals, making them even more valuable. Nuggets ...
Platinum Group Metals Platinum Group Metals, an assortment of six rare, naturally occurring elements, have been sought after since at least 700 B.C.E. Known for their beauty, high melting point and chemical inertness, investors look to this group as an essential part of a diverse portfolio. Because no other r...
How Household Items Can Ruin Your Precious Metals Household items will not work when it comes to storing your Precious Metals for many reasons, especially quality deterioration. Plastic bags or shoeboxes are common household items sometimes used to store Precious Metal bullion. These options are not viable fo...
How to Recycle Gold? The demand for Gold recycling continues to increase, and understanding the Gold extraction process can help you decide what to do with your unwanted Gold. Where You Will Find Gold While Gold coins and jewelry might seem like the only Gold sources, you can find this yellow Prec...
What is Gold? In 2013, scientists discovered evidence that suggests Gold comes from the collisions of ultra-dense objects called neutron stars after witnessing a short gamma-ray burst (GRB) 3.9 billion light-years away. After the brief flash of light, astronomers observed radioactive afterglow that produced...
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What is the Minting Process?
Scientific Properties of Precious Metals
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Is Silver a Metal?
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.