Bullion and Purity
- Precious metals in bulk form are known as bullion and are traded on commodity markets.
- Bullion can be cast into ingots or minted into coins.
- The value of bullion is determined by its mass and purity.
- The level of purity of precious metals varies, with three nines (99.9%) purity being common.
- The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf series offers the purest mass-produced bullion coins, reaching up to 99.999% purity.
- Achieving 100% pure bullion is nearly impossible due to the difficulty of further purifying the metal as impurities diminish.
- Historically, coins had a certain weight of alloy, with the purity being a local standard.
- Some bullion coins, like the British Sovereign, do not show the purity or fine-gold weight on the coin but have consistent composition.
- Many countries mint bullion coins that have a face value as currency but are valued much higher as bullion.
- The face value of these coins is usually far below their actual bullion value.
- Bullion coins minted by national governments have numismatic value in addition to their bullion value.
- Some examples of large bullion coins include the Australian Gold Nugget coin and the 1-tonne gold coin produced by the Perth Mint.
- China has also minted coins exceeding 8 kilograms of gold in very limited quantities.
- Gold, silver, and other precious metals are often seen as hedges against inflation and economic downturns.
- Silver coins are popular with collectors due to their relative affordability and higher value as collectibles.
- The value of most gold and platinum issues is based on the markets, while silver issues are often valued as collectibles.
- Precious metals, particularly gold and silver, have been used as currency throughout history.
- The demand for precious metals is driven by their practical use, as well as their role as investments and stores of value.
- Aluminium was considered a precious metal until the late 1800s.
- Despite being abundant in the Earth's crust, extracting pure aluminium from its ores was initially challenging and expensive.
- The high cost of refining aluminium made it more valuable than gold.
- The price of aluminium dropped significantly with the advent of commercial electric generation and the Hall-Héroult process.
- Aluminium is now a commonplace metal with various industrial applications.
Aluminum History, Rarity, and Market Prices
- Aluminum has a rich history dating back to 1864.
- The aluminum cap of the Washington Monument is a notable historical monument.
- The abundance of aluminum in the Earth's crust is measured in mass fraction.
- Aluminum is abundant in the Earth's crust and is one of the most common metals found.
- Market prices for aluminum are influenced by various factors and can be obtained from sources like the London Metal Exchange and websites such as Tax Free Gold and Infomine.
- Gallium, germanium, and indium are examples of modern precious metals with distinct market values.
- Geological survey data, such as that provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, is crucial for understanding the global aluminum industry and monitoring aluminum resources.
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