A bullion coin is a coin struck from precious metal and kept as a store of value or an investment, rather than used in day-to-day commerce. Under United States law, coins that fail the last of these requirements are not coins at all, bullion coins are usually available in both gold and silver, with the exceptions of the Krugerrand and the Swiss Vreneli which are only available in gold. The American Eagle series is available in gold and platinum, bullion coins are typically available in various weights. These are usually multiples or fractions of 1 troy ounce, bullion coins sell for a premium over the market price of the metal on the commodities exchanges. Reasons include their small size and the costs associated with manufacture, storage. The amount of the premium varies depending on the type and weight. The premium is affected by prevailing demand, the ISO currency code for gold bullion is XAU. ISO4217 includes codes not only for currencies, but for precious metals and certain other entities used in international finance, the European Commission publishes annually a list of gold coins which must be treated as investment gold coins in all EU Member States.
The list has legal force and supplements the law, in the United Kingdom, HM Revenue and Customs have added an additional list of gold coins alongside the European Commission list. These are gold coins that HMRC recognise as falling within the VAT exemption for investment gold coins, the following list presents only the most common coins included in the European Commission list. Silver coin Palladium coin Platinum coin
A precious metal is a rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical element of high economic value. Chemically, the precious metals tend to be less reactive than most elements and they are usually ductile and have a high lustre. Historically, precious metals were important as currency but are now regarded mainly as investment, silver and palladium each have an ISO4217 currency code. The best known precious metals are the metals, gold. Although both have industrial uses, they are known for their uses in art, fine jewelry. Other precious metals include the platinum metals, rhodium, osmium, iridium. The demand for metals is driven not only by their practical use but by their role as investments. Historically, precious metals have commanded much higher prices than common industrial metals, a metal is deemed to be precious if it is rare. The discovery of new sources of ore or improvements in mining or refining processes may cause the value of a metal to diminish. The status of a metal can be determined by high demand or market value.
Precious metals in bulk form are known as bullion and are traded on commodity markets, bullion metals may be cast into ingots or minted into coins. The defining attribute of bullion is that it is valued by its mass, the level of purity varies from issue to issue. The purest mass-produced bullion coins are in the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf series, a 100% pure bullion is nearly impossible, as the percentage of impurities diminishes, it becomes progressively more difficult to purify the metal further. Historically, coins had an amount of weight of alloy. The Krugerrand is the first modern example of measuring in pure gold, other bullion coins show neither the purity nor the fine-gold weight on the coin but are recognized and consistent in their composition. Many coins historically showed a denomination in currency, although nominally issued as legal tender, these coins face value as currency is far below that of their value as bullion. For instance, Canada mints a gold coin at a face value of $50 containing one troy ounce of gold—as of May 2011.
Bullion coins minting by national governments gives them some numismatic value in addition to their bullion value, one of the largest bullion coins in the world was the 10, 000-dollar Australian Gold Nugget coin minted in Australia which consists of a full kilogram of 99. 9% pure gold
A metallurgical assay is a compositional analysis of an ore, metal, or alloy. Some assay methods are suitable for raw materials, others are more appropriate for finished goods, raw precious metals are assayed by an assay office. Silver is assayed by titration, gold by cupellation and platinum by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry, precious metal items of art or jewelry are frequently hallmarked. Where required to be hallmarked, semi-finished precious metal items of art or jewelry pass through the official testing channels where they are analyzed or assayed for precious metal content, in the past the assay was conducted by using the touchstone method but currently it is done using X-ray fluorescence. XRF is used because this method is more exacting than the touchstone test, the most exact method of assay is known as fire assay or cupellation. This method is suited for the assay of bullion and gold stocks rather than works of art or jewelry because it is a completely destructive method.
The age-old touchstone method is suited to the testing of very valuable pieces, for which sampling by destructive means. A rubbing of the item is made on a stone, treated with acids. Red radiolarian chert or black siliceous slate were used to view the resultant treated streak of the sample, differences in precious metal content as small as 10 to 20 parts per thousand can often be established with confidence by the test. It is not indicated for use with white gold, for example, the modern X-ray fluorescence is a non-destructive technique that is suitable for normal assaying requirements. It typically has an accuracy of 2 to 5 parts per thousand and is well-suited to relatively flat and it is a quick technique taking about three minutes, and the results can be automatically printed out by computer. It measures the content of the alloying metals present. It is not indicated, for articles with chemical treatment or electroplating. The process for X-ray fluorescence assay involves melting the material in a furnace, following this, a sample is taken from the centre of the molten sample.
Samples are typically using a vacuum pin tube. The sample is tested by X-Ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy. Metallurgical assay is typically completed in this way to ensure that an accurate assay is performed, X-ray Fluorescence assay is not as accurate as fire-assay but dependent on the spectrometer used, can achieve results of within 1 percent. The most elaborately accurate, but totally destructive, precious metal assay is fire-assay, if performed on bullion to international standards, the method can be accurate on gold metal to 1 part in 10,000
Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, paper money, and related objects. Early money used by people is referred to as Odd and Curious, the Kyrgyz people used horses as the principal currency unit and gave small change in lambskins, the lambskins may be suitable for numismatic study, but the horse is not. Many objects have been used for centuries, such as shells, precious metals, cocoa beans, large stones. Today, most transactions take place by a form of payment with either inherent, Numismatic value may be used to refer to the value in excess of the monetary value conferred by law, which is known as the collector value. Economic and historical studies of use and development are an integral part of the numismatists study of moneys physical embodiment. First attested in English 1829, the word comes from the adjective numismatic. It was borrowed in 1792 from French numismatiques, itself a derivation from Late Latin numismatis, genitive of numisma, throughout its history, money itself has been made to be a scarce good, although it does not have to be.
Many materials have been used to form money, from naturally scarce precious metals and cowry shells through cigarettes to entirely artificial money, called fiat money, many complementary currencies use time as a unit of measure, using mutual credit accounting that keeps the balance of money intact. Modern money is essentially a token – an abstraction, paper currency is perhaps the most common type of physical money today. However, goods such as gold or silver retain many of the properties of money, such as volatility. However, these goods are not controlled by one single authority, coin collecting may have existed in ancient times. Caesar Augustus gave coins of every device, including old pieces of the kings, who wrote in a letter that he was often approached by vinediggers with old coins asking him to buy or to identify the ruler, is credited as the first Renaissance collector. Petrarch presented a collection of Roman coins to Emperor Charles IV in 1355, the first book on coins was De Asse et Partibus by Guillaume Budé.
During the early Renaissance ancient coins were collected by European royalty and nobility, Numismatics is called the Hobby of Kings, due to its most esteemed founders. Professional societies organized in the 19th century, the Royal Numismatic Society was founded in 1836 and immediately began publishing the journal that became the Numismatic Chronicle. The American Numismatic Society was founded in 1858 and began publishing the American Journal of Numismatics in 1866, in 1931 the British Academy launched the Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum publishing collections of Ancient Greek coinage. The first volume of Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles was published in 1958, after World War II in Germany a project, Fundmünzen der Antike was launched, to register every coin found within Germany. This idea found successors in many countries, in the United States, the US mint established a coin Cabinet in 1838 when chief coiner Adam Eckfeldt donated his personal collection
Aluminium or aluminum is a chemical element in the boron group with symbol Al and atomic number 13. It is a silvery-white, nonmagnetic, ductile metal, Aluminium metal is so chemically reactive that native specimens are rare and limited to extreme reducing environments. Instead, it is combined in over 270 different minerals. The chief ore of aluminium is bauxite, Aluminium is remarkable for the metals low density and its ability to resist corrosion through the phenomenon of passivation. Aluminium and its alloys are vital to the industry and important in transportation and structures, such as building facades. The oxides and sulfates are the most useful compounds of aluminium, despite its prevalence in the environment, no known form of life uses aluminium salts metabolically, but aluminium is well tolerated by plants and animals. Because of these salts abundance, the potential for a role for them is of continuing interest. Aluminium is a soft, lightweight, ductile. It is nonmagnetic and does not easily ignite, a fresh film of aluminium serves as a good reflector of visible light and an excellent reflector of medium and far infrared radiation.
The yield strength of aluminium is 7–11 MPa, while aluminium alloys have yield strengths ranging from 200 MPa to 600 MPa. Aluminium has about one-third the density and stiffness of steel and it is easily machined, cast and extruded. Aluminium atoms are arranged in a cubic structure. Aluminium has an energy of approximately 200 mJ/m2. Aluminium is a thermal and electrical conductor, having 59% the conductivity of copper. Aluminium is capable of superconductivity, with a critical temperature of 1.2 kelvin. Aluminium is the most common material for the fabrication of superconducting qubits, the strongest aluminium alloys are less corrosion resistant due to galvanic reactions with alloyed copper. This corrosion resistance is reduced by aqueous salts, particularly in the presence of dissimilar metals. In highly acidic solutions, aluminium reacts with water to form hydrogen, primarily because it is corroded by dissolved chlorides, such as common sodium chloride, household plumbing is never made from aluminium
SPDR Gold Shares
SPDR Gold Shares is part of the SPDR family of exchange-traded funds managed and marketed by State Street Global Advisors. For a few years, the fund was the second-largest exchange-traded fund in the world, as of the close of 2014, it has dropped out of the top ten. This ETF denotes a share of gold bullion, which is unlike many ETFs which represent ownership in a basket of stocks, SPDR Gold Shares are designed to track the price of a tenth of an ounce of gold. If the share price differs from the market price, the funds manager exchanges blocks of 100,000 shares for 10,000 ounces of gold. The possibility of such exchanges keeps the ETF price roughly in line with the gold price, although the prices can diverge during each day. As of July 31,2015, the trust had 21,628,064 ounces of vaulted gold in its custody, SPDR Gold Shares is one of the top ten largest holders of gold in the world. In November 2004, the fund was listed on the New York Stock Exchange by State Street Global Advisors with World Gold Council sponsorship, since 13 December 2007 and following a name change on 20 May 2008, SPDR Gold Shares has traded on NYSE Arca.
It trades on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Singapore Stock Exchange, SPDR Gold Shares competes with iShares Gold Trust. There is iShares Silver Trust, the Trust’s gold bullion is stored as London Good Delivery gold bars and held in their vault in London or by several custodians worldwide. The ETF pays an annual charge of 0. 40% per annum. Some critics compare the ETF with mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations and these problems with SPDR Gold Trust are not necessarily unique to the fund, however, as the dominant gold ETF, the fund has received the most extensive analysis. ETF Securities Gold as an investment United States Oil Fund Official website Yahoo, finance page for GLD MSN Money page for GLD Bloomberg page for GLD, US Reuters page for SPDR Gold Shares Morningstar page for SPDR Gold Shares
Copper is a chemical element with symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a soft and ductile metal with high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of copper has a reddish-orange color. Copper is one of the few metals that occur in nature in directly usable metallic form as opposed to needing extraction from an ore and this led to very early human use, from c.8000 BC. Copper used in buildings, usually for roofing, oxidizes to form a green verdigris, Copper is sometimes used in decorative art, both in its elemental metal form and in compounds as pigments. Copper compounds are used as agents and wood preservatives. Copper is essential to all living organisms as a trace dietary mineral because it is a key constituent of the enzyme complex cytochrome c oxidase. In molluscs and crustaceans, copper is a constituent of the blood pigment hemocyanin, replaced by the hemoglobin in fish. In humans, copper is found mainly in the liver, the adult body contains between 1.4 and 2.1 mg of copper per kilogram of body weight.
The filled d-shells in these elements contribute little to interatomic interactions, unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in copper are lacking a covalent character and are relatively weak. This observation explains the low hardness and high ductility of single crystals of copper, at the macroscopic scale, introduction of extended defects to the crystal lattice, such as grain boundaries, hinders flow of the material under applied stress, thereby increasing its hardness. For this reason, copper is supplied in a fine-grained polycrystalline form. The softness of copper partly explains its high conductivity and high thermal conductivity. The maximum permissible current density of copper in open air is approximately 3. 1×106 A/m2 of cross-sectional area, Copper is one of a few metallic elements with a natural color other than gray or silver. Pure copper is orange-red and acquires a reddish tarnish when exposed to air, as with other metals, if copper is put in contact with another metal, galvanic corrosion will occur. A green layer of verdigris can often be seen on old structures, such as the roofing of many older buildings.
Copper tarnishes when exposed to sulfur compounds, with which it reacts to form various copper sulfides. There are 29 isotopes of copper, 63Cu and 65Cu are stable, with 63Cu comprising approximately 69% of naturally occurring copper, both have a spin of 3⁄2
Silver is a metallic element with symbol Ag and atomic number 47. The symbol Ag stems from Latin argentum, derived from the Greek ὰργὀς, a soft, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and reflectivity of any metal. The metal is found in the Earths crust in the pure, free form, as an alloy with gold and other metals. Most silver is produced as a byproduct of copper, lead, Silver is more abundant than gold, but it is much less abundant as a native metal. Its purity is measured on a per mille basis, a 94%-pure alloy is described as 0.940 fine. As one of the seven metals of antiquity, silver has had a role in most human cultures. Silver has long valued as a precious metal. Silver metal is used in many premodern monetary systems in bullion coins, Silver is used in numerous applications other than currency, such as solar panels, water filtration, ornaments, high-value tableware and utensils, and as an investment medium. Silver is used industrially in electrical contacts and conductors, in specialized mirrors, window coatings, Silver compounds are used in photographic film and X-rays.
Dilute silver nitrate solutions and other compounds are used as disinfectants and microbiocides, added to bandages and wound-dressings, catheters. Silver is similar in its physical and chemical properties to its two neighbours in group 11 of the periodic table and gold. This distinctive electron configuration, with an electron in the highest occupied s subshell over a filled d subshell. Silver is a soft and malleable transition metal. Silver crystallizes in a cubic lattice with bulk coordination number 12. Unlike metals with incomplete d-shells, metallic bonds in silver are lacking a covalent character and are relatively weak and this observation explains the low hardness and high ductility of single crystals of silver. Silver has a brilliant white metallic luster that can take a polish. Protected silver has greater optical reflectivity than aluminium at all wavelengths longer than ~450 nm, at wavelengths shorter than 450 nm, silvers reflectivity is inferior to that of aluminium and drops to zero near 310 nm.
The electrical conductivity of silver is the greatest of all metals, greater even than copper, during World War II in the US,13540 tons of silver were used in electromagnets for enriching uranium, mainly because of the wartime shortage of copper
An ingot is a piece of relatively pure material, usually metal, that is cast into a shape suitable for further processing. In steelmaking, it is the first step among semi-finished casting products, Ingots usually require a second procedure of shaping, such as cold/hot working, cutting, or milling to produce a useful final product. Non-metallic and semiconductor materials prepared in bulk form may be referred to as ingots, precious metal ingots can be used as currency, or as a currency reserve, as with gold bars. Metal, either pure or alloy, heated past its melting point, a special case are polycrystalline or single crystal ingots made by pulling from a molten melt. Single crystal ingots of materials are grown using methods such as the Czochralski process or Bridgeman technique, the boules may be either semiconductors or non-conducting inorganic compounds for industrial and jewelry use. Single crystal ingots of metal are produced in similar fashion to that used to high purity semiconductor ingots.
Single crystal ingots of engineering metals are of interest due to their high strength due to lack of grain boundaries. The method of production is via single crystal dendrite and not via simple casting, in the United States, the brass and bronze ingot making industry started in the early 19th century. The US brass industry grew to be the number one producer by the 1850s, during colonial times the brass and bronze industries were almost non-existent because the British demanded all copper ore be sent to Britain for processing. Copper based alloy ingots weighed approximately 20 pounds, Ingots are manufactured by the freezing of a molten liquid in a mold. The manufacture of ingots has several aims, the shape and size of the mold is designed to allow for ease of ingot handling and downstream processing. Finally the mold is designed to minimize melt wastage and aid ejection of the ingot, a variety of designs exist for the mold, which may be selected to suit the physical properties of the liquid melt and the solidification process.
Molds may exist in top, horizontal or bottom-up pouring and may be fluted or flat walled, the fluted design increases heat transfer owing to a larger contact area. Molds may be either solid massive design, sand cast or water-cooled shells, ingot molds are tapered to prevent the formation of cracks due to uneven cooling. Crack or void formation occurs as the liquid to solid transition has a volume change for a constant mass of material. Formation of these defects may render the cast ingot useless. The physical structure of a material is largely determined by the method of cooling. The rate of front advancement controls the time that dendrites or nuclei have to form in the solidification region, the width of the mushy zone in an alloy may be controlled by tuning the heat transfer properties of the mold, or adjusting the liquid melt alloy compositions
A bank vault is a secure space where money, valuables and documents are stored. It is intended to protect their contents from theft, unauthorized use, natural disasters, unlike safes, vaults are an integral part of the building within which they are built, using armored walls and a tightly fashioned door closed with a complex lock. Historically, strongrooms were built in the basement of a bank where the ceilings were vaulted, modern bank vaults typically contain many safe deposit boxes, as well as places for teller cash drawers, and other valuable assets of the bank or its customers. They are common in buildings where valuables are kept such as post offices, grand hotels, rare book libraries. Vault technology developed in a type of race with bank robbers. As burglars came up with new ways to break into vaults, modern vaults may be armed with a wide array of alarms and anti-theft devices. Some nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century vaults were built so well that today they are almost impossible to destroy and these older vaults were typically made with steel-reinforced concrete.
The walls were usually at least 1 ft thick, and the door itself was typically 3.5 ft thick, total weight ran into the hundreds of tons. Today vaults are made thinner, lighter materials that, while still secure, are easier to dismantle than their earlier counterparts. The need for secure storage stretches far back in time, the earliest known locks were made by the Egyptians. Ancient Romans used a sophisticated locking system, called warded locks. Warded locks had special notches and grooves that made picking them more difficult, Lock technology advanced independently in ancient India and China, where the combination lock is thought to have originated. In the United States, most banks relied on small iron safes fitted with a key lock up until the middle of the nineteenth century, after the Gold Rush of 1849, unsuccessful prospectors turned to robbing banks. The prospectors would often break into the bank using a pickax, the safe was usually small enough that the thief could get it out a window, and take it to a secluded spot to break it open.
Banks demanded more protection and safe makers responded by designing larger, heavier safes, Safes with a key lock were still vulnerable through the key hole, and bank robbers soon learned to blast off the door by pouring explosives in this opening. In 1861, inventor Linus Yale Jr. introduced the combination lock. Bankers quickly adopted Yales lock for their safes, but bank robbers came up with ways to get past the new invention. It was possible to use force to punch the combination lock through the door, other experienced burglars learned to drill holes into the lock case and use mirrors to view the slots in the combination wheels inside the mechanism
Nickel is a chemical element with symbol Ni and atomic number 28. It is a silvery-white lustrous metal with a golden tinge. Nickel belongs to the metals and is hard and ductile. Meteoric nickel is found in combination with iron, a reflection of the origin of elements as major end products of supernova nucleosynthesis. An iron–nickel mixture is thought to compose Earths inner core, use of nickel has been traced as far back as 3500 BCE. Nickel was first isolated and classified as an element in 1751 by Axel Fredrik Cronstedt. The elements name comes from a mischievous sprite of German miner mythology, Nickel, an economically important source of nickel is the iron ore limonite, which often contains 1–2% nickel. Nickels other important ore minerals include garnierite, and pentlandite, major production sites include the Sudbury region in Canada, New Caledonia in the Pacific, and Norilsk in Russia. Nickel is slowly oxidized by air at room temperature and is considered corrosion-resistant, historically, it has been used for plating iron and brass, coating chemistry equipment, and manufacturing certain alloys that retain a high silvery polish, such as German silver.
About 6% of world production is still used for corrosion-resistant pure-nickel plating. Nickel-plated objects sometimes provoke nickel allergy, Nickel has been widely used in coins, though its rising price has led to some replacement with cheaper metals in recent years. Nickel is one of four elements that are ferromagnetic around room temperature, alnico permanent magnets based partly on nickel are of intermediate strength between iron-based permanent magnets and rare-earth magnets. The metal is valuable in modern times chiefly in alloys, about 60% of world production is used in nickel-steels, other common alloys and some new superalloys comprise most of the remainder of world nickel use, with chemical uses for nickel compounds consuming less than 3% of production. As a compound, nickel has a number of chemical manufacturing uses. Nickel is a nutrient for some microorganisms and plants that have enzymes with nickel as an active site. Nickel is a metal with a slight golden tinge that takes a high polish.
It is one of four elements that are magnetic at or near room temperature. Its Curie temperature is 355 °C, meaning that bulk nickel is non-magnetic above this temperature, the unit cell of nickel is a face-centered cube with the lattice parameter of 0.352 nm, giving an atomic radius of 0.124 nm