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How Does Bitcoin Mining Work? Generally speaking, there are three common methods to obtain Bitcoin. You can buy it on an exchange, you can accept it as payment for goods and services and you can mine new Bitcoin. “Mining” is the term used for the discovery of new Bitcoin, as it is akin to panning for Gold. Bitcoi...
Gold has been a fixture in human life and commerce since the element was discovered in ancient times. The unique characteristics of Gold have become synonymous with human power, status and wealth. While many of these aesthetic and commercial characteristics are obvious to most, the origins, capacity and usage of Gold aren&rsq...
If you are looking to acquire Silver in the form of U.S. quarters, you need to look for quarters minted in 1964 or earlier. These coins were struck in 90% Silver and have a melt value today just above $3. Silver quarters, like all 90% Silver U.S. coins, are sometimes referred to as “junk Silver,” but do not be put...
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 (Washington Post). After the brief flash of light, astronomers observed radioactive afterglow that produced huge quantit...
If you want to buy Silver in the form of 90% Silver dimes, look for Mercury or Roosevelt dimes minted in 1964 or earlier. These dimes were struck in a 90% Silver alloy and boast a melt value of nearly $1.25. You will sometimes hear of Silver dimes, and other 90% Silver coins, referred to as “junk Silver.” This is ...
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...
Gold exists in the earth’s crust at five parts per billion; Silver is present at 15 times that. Silver appears to be in abundance, but demand is rising (as discussed in our History of Silver in 21st Century article) while production is slowing. Humans have been extracting Silver for jewelry and coins as early as 3000 B...
When building your collection of Precious Metals, consider which sizes best suit your needs and preferences as an investor. Is it more practical for you to store dozens of 1 oz Silver coins or a single 100 oz Silver bar? The choice is yours. With more than 10,000 products in stock, APMEX has the options to bring your aspira...
What Metal are Quarters, Dimes, Nickels and Pennies Made of?
Does Silver and Gold Decay?
What is the Difference Between Precious Metals and Base Metals?
Scientific Properties of Precious Metals
Is Silver a Metal?
How to Recycle Gold
What is Fine Gold?
Where is Gold Mined?
What is the Minting Process?
New and Innovative Technologies in Minting
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 and proficiency as a collector. APMEX has an extensive library of science-related content about Precious Metals, including facts about Silver, facts about Gold and Gold uses.
Unlike paper currency and other types of investments, Precious Metals hold intrinsic value defined by their actual 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, molded or resting in an Egyptian pharaoh's tomb for thousands of years, 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. A 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.
APMEX provides educational resources for Precious Metals collectors of all backgrounds. But keep in mind that you’ll never have to rely solely on your own Precious Metals knowledge when buying your coins, or bars and rounds through APMEX. Every product sold is guaranteed to be authentic and accurately advertised. You’ll never be asked to “guess” or “take your chances” with any product. APMEX’s world-renowned quality control ensures that the science behind your investment is always on point.