Friday, July 29, 2011


It is estimated that all the gold in the world, so far refined, could be placed in a single cube 60 ft. on a side. Of all the elements, gold in its pure state is undoubtedly the most beautiful. It is metallic, having a yellow color when in a mass, but when finely divided it may be black, ruby, or purple.
The Purple of Cassius is a delicate test for auric gold. It is the most malleable and ductile metal; 1 oz. of gold can be beaten out to 300 ft2. It is a soft metal and is usually alloyed to give it more strength. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and is unaffected by air and most reagents.
ASSAY - An assay is a test of the purity of an alloy. A tiny piece of metal is scraped from the piece and the percentage of gold or silver is determined. Official assay offices determine whether a piece qualifies for an appropriate hallmark.
ELECTROPLATE - Electroplating (also called Galvanotechnics after its inventor, Luigi Galvani) is a process in which one metal is coated with another metal using electricity. In jewelry, inexpensive metals are frequently electroplated with more expensive metals, like gold (gold plating), copper (electrocoppering), rhodium (rhodanizing), chromium (chromium plating), or silver (silver plating). The thickness of the metal coat varies. Electrogilded coating is the thinnest (less than 0.000007 inches thick); gold-cased metals have a coating thicker that 0.000007 inches.
FOOL'S GOLD - Fool's gold is pyrite, a shiny, metallic mineral that looks like gold, but is actually a a form of iron. Marcasite stones come from pyrite.
GOLD PLATED - Gold-plated metal has a very thin layer of gold on the surface, usually applied by the process of electroplating. Pieces that are gold plated are often marked G.E.P., gold electroplate, gold plated, or electro-plaqué d'or.
KARAT - Karat (abbreviated Kt) is a measure of the fineness of gold. 24 karat gold is pure gold. 18 karat gold is 18/24 gold (about 75% gold - three quarters gold). 14 karat gold is 14/24 gold (about 58% gold - a little over half gold). 12 karat gold is exactly half gold. 10 karat gold is 10/24 gold (only about 43.5% gold - less than half gold).
LEAF - Metallic leaf is paper-thin sheets of metals. For example, Gold, silver, platinum, and copper are rolled or pounded into metallic leaf which can be applied to surfaces.
PLATING - Plating or electroplating (also called Galvanotechnics after its inventor, Luigi Galvani) is a process in which one metal is coated with another metal using electricity. In jewelry, inexpensive metals are frequently electroplated with more expensive metals, like gold (gold plating), copper (electrocoppering), rhodium (rhodanizing), chromium (chromium plating), or silver (silver plating). The thickness of the metal coat varies. Electrogilded coating is the thinnest (less than 0.000007 inches thick); gold-cased metals have a coating thicker that 0.000007 inches.
ROLLED GOLD - Rolled gold is a very thin sheet of gold that is laminated to a lesser metal (usually brass). The two layers of metal are heated under pressure to fuse them together. The sheet is them rolled into a very thin sheet and then used to make jewelry or other objects. Jewelry made from rolled gold wear well over time. Rolled gold pieces are marked rolled gold plate, R.G.P., or plaqué d'or laminé.
GOLD FILLED - Gold filled (abbreviated G.F. or written as "doublé d'or") jewelry is made of a thin outer layer of gold atop a base metal. For example, jewelry marked 1/20 G.F. 12 Kt. is at least 1/20th gold and is layered with 12 karat gold. To be classified as gold-filled, a piece must be at least 1/20 gold by weight.


Naturally occurring gold can be found in almost all fifty states. This gold may be still embedded in rock, known as "lode gold", or it may have been deposited in a placer (a natural concentration of gold particles in sand or gravel bars) after weathering from the host rock.
Which streams contain gold? Generally speaking, streams that are most likely to contain gold must have four characteristics. They should be unregulated, not dammed. They should be in a mineral rich area. They should fall through enough elevation to cause sufficient churning in the spring flood. The stream path and rock formations should facilitate the deposition of the dense materials such as gold, lead, iron, and mercury.
The trick is to find locations with enough gold to make it worthwhile to try to recover some of it. Prospecting in the better known gold bearing regions will immediately improve how your chances of finding gold are. Gold is where others have found it and you have come up with a better method of recovering gold.
Gold occurs in veins and alluvial deposits, and is often separated from rocks and other minerals by mining and panning operations. About two thirds of the world's gold output comes from South Africa, and about two thirds of the total U.S. production comes from South Dakota and Nevada.
The metal is recovered from its ores by cyaniding, amalgamating, and smelting processes. Refining is also frequently done by electrolysis. Gold occurs in sea water to the extent of 0.1 to 2 mg/ton, depending on the location where the sample is taken. As yet, no method has been found for recovering gold from sea water profitably.
All the shiny gold-colored material in you gold pan may not be gold. Pyrite, known as "fools gold," has fooled many before you. On close examination, however, pyrite does not really look like gold. Pyrite has a brassy color, is sometimes tarnished, and, because it occurs as crystals, changes shades as you rotate it in the sun. Gold is always gold colored, soft, and malleable or bendable. If you see gold-colored flecks that either float on the water or are so light in weight that they easily wash out of the pan, you probably have small pieces or "books" of mica, a mineral that because it is transparent and heat resistant was once used in doors of stoves so the fire could be seen. Mica has a tendency to break apart into flat sheets. It comes in several colors, and the the gold-colored variety is sometimes mistaken for gold by inexperiences gold panners.
The world's largest gold nugget is on display at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The magnificent Hand of Faith Nugget gold nugget, found October, 1980 near Wedderburn, Australia, is the largest on public display in the world. Using a metal detector, it discovered lying in a vertical position just six inches below the surface. It weighs a massive 875 troy ounces (61 pounds, 11 ounces).
The largest single mass of gold was found by Mr. Holtermann in Australia. His "nugget" as shown below was discovered at Hill End in 1872. The Holtermann Nugget remains the largest single mass of gold ever discovered in the world, measuring 1.5 metres long and weighing almost 290 kg.
Many a time, gold fever has caused an otherwise totally honorable and sensible man to give up his perfectly good woman, desert his devoted children, buy a devoted donkey, leave home, abandon good cropland, drink bad whiskey, waste good money, make disreputable friends, follow bad advice, ignore good advice, reveal secret gold strikes, pursue adventure, suffer hardship, and generally and perfectly unapologetically just go around having a shamelessly good time.


Scrap gold is really any gold that is not wanted or which can be turned into cash or profit. Scrap gold can include gold jewelry, gold chains, gold fillings (dental), nuggets and bars. In fact anything that is made of gold or has gold in it.
Consumers should not expect to receive the current per ounce price of gold. Most gold purchasers will pay 50-80% of the current gold “spot price,” depending on the amount being traded in. The rule of thumb is, the more you trade (by weight), the more you will be paid per ounce.
If you sell gold jewelry for its scrap value, you'll lose much of its retail value, perhaps 75% or more. The scrap price is based on the value of the metal alone and doesn't reflect the craftsmanship or any aesthetic or antique value, let alone emotional attachment you or family members may have to the piece.
There is a formula which scrap gold dealers use and when calculating the value of scrap gold. Separate the gold you have into their various karat fineness. Some will be 10 karat, some 14 karat, 18 karat, 22 karat or 24 karat, the purest. You might need to examine detailed numbers stamped on the gold or if there are none then have the gold examined or tested by a reputable dealer.
You should keep in mind that some testing may involve the loss of some gold so this is only recommended where you have a decent amount. If it is just a ring or small chain it may not be worthwhile having it tested. It is possible that some gold is simply gold plated and therefore would hardly be worth while selling as gold.
Any gold coins should be looked at separately. They can have what is called a numismatic value. That is to say, the rarity, age, condition and other factors can have a bearing on the value of the gold coin. In some cases the gold coin value as a rare gold coin can be much more than the value of the gold it contains.
Most people use grams for these calculation but many scrap gold buyers use pennyweight (DWT) instead of grams. There are 20 pennyweights in a troy ounce. So in this case you can substitute 20 for 31.1 to calculate pennyweight in our formula. You can also multiply a pennyweight by 1.555 to get an equivalent gram weight or divide a gram weight by the same 1.555 to get pennyweight.
Scrap gold dealers generally will not give you top value for gold. However in these uncertain times many are looking for gold themselves so are likely to pay for gold and usual If you are selling scrap gold you might be better off selling privately or by auction, depending on the amount you have to sell.


The ease with which you can sell gold will depend largely on how easily the content of pure gold can be determined in the bar or coin in your possession. This is one reason why gold bullion has become so popular for gold investors.
They know they'll be able to sell gold easier as a coin because the quality and quantity of pure gold in the coin is guaranteed. This guarantee makes it easy to sell gold to dealers around the world. All dealers will be familiar with the current value of gold.
If your wondering about how to sell your old gold jewelry, don't assume you'll make a mint selling them as scrap. The high price of gold may tempt you to unload some unloved trinkets, you might be better off selling unwanted pieces as jewelry, rather than for the melting pot.
If you have a gold necklace, you probably don't know how much gold you have to sell. Retail jewelers almost never tell you how many grams of gold you're getting when you buy an item. They might tell you the purity of the gold used in the necklace—that it's 14 karat and not 18 karat—but not the quantity. When reality kicks in, it's not such a great idea to sell old jewelry for the gold scrap value.
Sell your gold to almost any coin dealer. Big or small, they all want to buy it. Know your gold prices before you go in, and expect to get a little less than than the currant selling prices.
Most gold investors only part with their physical gold out of necessity. If you are trying to simply win profits from short term gold investment plays, an easier way to do it would be to invest in gold mining stocks. Selling your gold is probably easier than buying it. If you do not really need to sell it, why not just keep it as a safety net.


The desire to buy gold is not hard to understand; compared to other valuable substances, there is precious little gold in the world. And with its undeniably brilliant sheen and deep, rich tones, it's also easy to understand the appeal of owning gold as a tangible, physical investment.
At its best as an investment, gold is both physical and very liquid (it can be bought and sold fluidly). But you can buy gold in different forms, and these forms tend to differ in their liquidity.
Bullion Coins and Bars - Dealers sell gold bullion bars in various weights from 1 ounce to 100 ounces or larger. You can also buy gold coins such as the American Eagle through dealers, brokerages and some banks. The U.S. Mint has a list of authorized dealers. You'll pay a commission or premium, and most dealers have purchase minimums. Be sure to study the differences between bullion gold coins, which are valued according to the market price for an ounce of gold, versus coins that have a collector's value.
Mining Shares - Stocks are an investment in a publicly traded company. When it comes to gold stocks you're investing in a mining company. Gold mining stocks can be more volatile than the exchange-traded funds. Gold shares are potentially risky but simultaneously an exciting investment. They tend to be reasonably correlated to gold prices but typically much more volatile, and subject to many variations which are independent of bullion market forces.
Exchange-Traded Funds - Gold can carry concerns about authenticity and purity, as well as storage and insurance costs. But you can shed those worries and still own a chunk of gold by investing in exchange-traded funds that make buying and selling gold bullion as easy as buying and selling stocks.
Futures Trading - Futures trading is the basic action of entering into a legal contractual agreement with another (known or usually not known) individual to exchange money or assets of some value at some time in the future and with the pre-determined price (called a futures price) based on the underlying asset. Such an asset could be stock, an interest rate even or, in this case gold. It is an agreement to exchange the underlying asset, or equivalent cash flows, at a future date.
Jewellery - With the exception of gold chains, buying gold jewellery can be a risky investment. You are usually are buying the beauty of item, not the gold value of the item. Jewellery has two advantages and many big disadvantages. It is the form of gold which gives some benefit from ownership, namely the enjoyment of being worn and it is very easy to buy. The disadvantages are the acquisition costs are very, very high. Retail jewellery is often marked up by 300% or more in the shops. All pieces are different and their values are subjective. It is the most easily stolen form of gold.
E-Gold - The basis of e-gold is that international debts, and even some domestic debts, can be paid more efficiently in gold than in foreign currencies, which have to be converted back into host currency through the bank. So wherever a supplier and a customer both have an e-gold account they can transfer ownership of gold between themselves across the internet, and this constitutes payment. To get started you use your own currency to buy grams of gold. Real gold is delivered into a depository, and is credited to your own e-gold account. You then get a secure internet identity, and thereafter you can instruct your e-gold provider to debit your e-gold account in favour of your supplier - another account holder in the system. Whatever you have bought from them is delivered to you independently. It is primarily a payments system, but it doubles as a route for owning and storing gold.
The Gold 'FIX' - The Gold Fixing of London is where the standard price of gold is set twice daily. The Gold Fixing (also known as the London Gold Fixing or Gold Fix) is the procedure by which the price of gold is set on the London market by the five members of the London Gold Pool. It is designed to fix a price for settling contracts between members of the London bullion market, but informally the Gold Fixing provides a recognized rate that is used as a benchmark for pricing the majority of gold products and derivatives throughout the world's markets. The Gold Fixing is conducted twice a day by telephone, at 10:30 GMT and 15:00 GMT.

gold investment

For thousands of years, gold has been valued as a global currency, a commodity, an investment and simply an object of beauty. Investment in gold can be done directly through gold coin and small bars, bullion ownership, or indirectly through certificates, accounts, spread betting, derivatives or shares of gold orientated funds.
Investors may buy gold for a variety of reasons: among them include a desire to diversify their assets; to hide wealth from tax authorities; for reasons of political belief or out of fear of an economic depression or other serious crisis.
Gold is a monetary metal whose price is determined by inflation, by fluctuations in the dollar and U.S. stocks, by currency-related crises, interest rate volatility and international tensions, and by increases or decreases in the prices of other commodities.
The price of gold reacts to supply and demand changes and can be influenced by consumer spending and overall levels of affluence. The price of gold is ultimately driven by supply and demand, including hoarding and disposal. Unlike most other commodities, the hoarding and disposal plays a much bigger role in affecting the price, because most of the gold ever mined still exists and is potentially able to come on to the market for the right price.
The usual benchmark for the price of gold is known as the London Gold Fixing, a twice-daily (telephone) meeting of representatives from five bullion-trading firms. Furthermore, there is active gold trading based on the intra-day spot price, derived from gold-trading markets around the world as they open and close throughout the day.
Generally the cheapest ways to buy gold are bars, Krugerrands or sovereigns. Of these three options, gold bars can usually be bought for the lowest percentage premium over gold, followed by Krugerrands then gold sovereigns. Most other gold coins are more expensive, and therefore better avoided, at least by serious gold investors.
Buy gold. Hold it securely, and then sell it at a time of your choosing. Start your personal gold investment strategy now!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Practice Gold Panning

If you are not in a known gold producing location, but want to do some practice panning to get accustomed to it, and acquire some skills before going out into the field, you can practice in your own backyard. Use a washtub to pan into and some diggings from your garden (or wherever) to simulate streambed materials. I recommend that you throw in some rocks and gravel along with the dirt so that it takes on an actual streambed consistency. Take some pieces of lead, buckshot or small lead fishing weights, cut them up into various sizes ranging from pellet size down to pinhead size, and pound some of them flat with a hammer. This puts the pieces of lead in the same form as the majority of gold found in a streambed--flake form. They will act in much the same way as will flakes and grains of gold. Leave a few of the pieces of lead shot as they are so that gold nuggets can also be simulated.

When panning into the tub, place a few of these pieces of lead into your pan, starting off with the larger-sized pieces first. Keep track of how many pieces of lead you use each time so that you can see how well you are doing when you get down to the bottom of the pan. Practice panning in this manner can be very revealing to a beginner, especially when he or she continues to put small and smaller pieces of lead into the pan as progress is made.

If a person is able to pan small pieces of lead successfully, then he or she will have no difficulty whatsoever in panning gold (higher specific gravity) out of a riverbed. And, who knows? You may end up with gold in your pan--right out of your own backyard! It wouldn't be the first time.