Glossary of Terms
The chemical symbol for Silver.
A small representative sample taken from a precious metals bar for assay to determine its fine precious metals content.
A mixture of two or more chemical elements, including at least one metal. In the case of Gold, it is mixed with a baser metal or metals to lower the purity, influence the colour or add durability.
Gold nuggets found in rivers.
The price that a seller asks for a commodity.
The determination of the precious metal content of an alloy, either using a direct method (where the actual precious metal content is measured) or an indirect, instrumental method (usually based on spectrographic analysis) in which the levels of impurities are measured and the precious metal content is calculated by difference. For Gold, the main direct method is fire assay, also known as cupellation or gravimetric analysis.
A tester of precious metals.
The stamp by an assayer on a bar or piece of precious metal to guarantee its fineness.
An official or statutory organisation controlling the testing of precious metals within a country.
The chemical symbol for Gold.« Back to top
Bank of England
Founded in 1694, "The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street" has been the focal point of Gold and Silver trading in London for over three centuries. It is one of the most active central banks in Gold and is the Gold depository for many of the world's central banks. Link: www.bankofengland.co.uk
A market in which the trend is for prices to decline.
The price at which a purchaser is willing to buy.
British Gold coin first issued in 1987 with a fineness of 916.6 (22 carat) until 2012. Gold Britannia coins struck from 2013 have a fineness of 999.9 (24 carat). The Silver Britannia was introduced in 1997 with a fineness of 958.0 for all years except 2014, which is struck with a fineness of 999.0.
Someone who expects the price of an asset to rise.
A market in which the trend is for prices to increase.
The generic word for Gold and Silver in bar or ingot form. Originally meant "mint" or "melting place" from the old French word Bouillon, which means boiling.
Bullion and Precious Metal Coins
Contemporary precious metal coins minted by official agencies for the purposes of investment.« Back to top
Derived from the word for "carob" in various languages, it was originally equivalent to the weight of the seed of the Carob tree. It has two meanings in modern usage:
» A measure of the weight of precious stones. 1 carat = 0.2053 grams.
» A measure of the proportion of Gold in a Gold Alloy, on the basis that 24 carat is pure Gold, often expressed as K (Karat) or ct. 18ct is 75% Gold.
A Russian bullion coin, 900 fine with fine Gold content of 0.2489 troy ounces and a face value of 10 roubles. Issued in the 1970s.
Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society
Hong Kong's exchange first opened in 1910 and became the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society in 1918. Link: www.cgse.com.hk
Assay mark of Chinese origin. The term is now widely applied to a manufacturer's mark on bullion bars« Back to top
An unrefined alloy of Gold with variable quantities of Silver and smaller quantities of base metals, which is produced at a mine before passing on to a refinery for upgrading to London Good Delivery standard.
Gold coin with a face value of $20 USD issued as legal tender in the United States during the period 1850-1932. It had a fineness of 900.0 with a fine Gold content of 0.9675 troy ounces.
Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchage
The Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchage (DGCX) commenced trading in 2005. Link: www.dgcx.ae« Back to top
Historic circulated unit of currency used in the United States of America from 1795 until 1933, made of 22 ct Gold. 1 Eagle = $10 USD. Also see Double Eagle.
Emirates Gold DMCC
Emirates Gold DMCC was founded in 1992 by Mohamad Shakarchi and has its headquarters in Dubai. Refiner of Gold and Silver Bullion Bars and an Associate of the LBMA.« Back to top
The proportion of precious metal in an alloy expressed as parts in 1,000.
The weight of Gold contained in a Bullion bar or coin as determined by multiplying the gross weight by the fineness.
A method of determining the content of a metal (most commonly Gold) in an alloy involving the removal of other metals by what is in effect a combination of fire-refining (for the removal of base metals) and chemical refining (for the removal of Silver) and then determining the Gold content by comparing the initial and final weights of the sample. Fire assay can determine the Gold content of Good Delivery-type alloys to an accuracy of better than 1 part in 10,000. Fire assay is also known as Cupellation or Gravimetric analysis.
Pyrites of Iron sulphide, which is Gold-like in appearance and can mislead amateur prospectors.« Back to top
Latin name Aurum. Chemical symbol Au. Its specific gravity is 19.32 and melting point is 1063°C.
A Gold Alloy, usually with a minimum fine Gold content of 900 parts per thousand, prepared for making coins. Gold Coins are usually mixed with Silver or Copper to improve durability.
Held twice each working day at 1030 and 1500 UK Time in the City of London to determine the market value of Gold per troy ounce.
Legally fixed quantity of Gold to which a monetary unit is pegged.
The number of troy ounces of Silver that can be bought with one troy ounce of Gold.
A monetary system with a fixed price for Gold, and with Gold coin either forming the whole circulation of currency within a country or with notes representing and redeemable in Gold.
The specification which a Gold or Silver bar, or a Platinum or Palladium ingot or plate must meet in order to be acceptable for delivery in a particular market or futures exchange.
One of the earliest units of weight for Gold, one grain being the equivalent of one grain of wheat taken from the middle of the ear. 1 grain = 0.0648 grams or 0.002083 troy ounces. 15.43 grains = 1 gram; 480.6 grains = 1 troy ounce; 24 grains = 1 pennyweight.
Bullion, including its various alloys presented for sale in granulated form, often referred to as grain.
British Gold coin with a nominal value of £1 first issued in 1663 and named after Gold from Guinea in West Africa. It was unofficially revalued at 21 shillings at The Great Recoinage of 1696, a value confirmed in 1717. It has a fineness of 916.6 and a fine Gold content of approximately ¼ troy ounce.« Back to top
A mark or number of marks made on Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium jewellery and other fabricated products to confirm that the quality is of the fineness marked on the item. Link: www.theGoldsmiths.co.uk« Back to top
The International Bullion Master Agreement, issued by the LBMA in 1994, sets rules, procedures and standards for International Bullion transactions. Link: www.lbma.org.uk/assets/IBMA.pdf
The International Monetary Fund was conceived at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944 to promote international monetary co-operation and stability. It opened in Washington DC in 1947. Link: www.imf.org
A quantity of refined Gold which is to the LBMA Good Delivery Standard.
Istanbul Gold Exchange
The Istanbul Gold Exchange was founded in 1995, it is part of the sole Exchange in Turkey known as the Borsa Instanbul. Link: www.iab.gov.tr« Back to top
J« Back to top
Chinese for Gold.
International spelling of Carat.
Popular weight for Gold or Silver bars. A 1kg bar is approximately 32.148 troy ounces.
Popular Australian Bullion Coin manufactured by the Perth Mint available in Platinum and Silver. Also Gold.
South African Gold coin first issued in 1967 with a fineness of 916.6 alloyed with Copper.« Back to top
Indian term for 100,000. Used to describe Gold or Silver orders.
The London Bullion Market Association was formally incorporated on 14 December 1987 to represent the interests of the participants in the wholesale Bullion market and to encourage the development of the London market. Link: www.lbma.org.uk
LBMA Good Delivery List
List of acceptable refiners of Gold and Silver whose bars meet the required standard of fineness, weight, marks and appearance of the London Bullion Market Association.
The London Platinum and Palladium Market was formalised by a Deed of Establishment in 1987 and represents the interests of the participants in the wholesale Platinum and Palladium markets and encourages the development of the London and Zurich markets. Link: www.lppm.com
LPPM Good Delivery List
Lists of acceptable refiners of Platinum and Palladium whose plates and ingots meet the required standard of fineness, weight, marks and appearance of the London Platinum and Palladium Market.« Back to top
Popular Canadian investment coin struck available in various weights with Gold being the most common. Silver, Platinum and Palladium Maple Leaf Coins are also available.
Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. Headquartered in Mumbai, MCX is a demutualised multi-commodity futures exchange. The exchange began operations in November 2003. Link: www.mcxindia.com« Back to top
Isle of Man Platinum coin with a fineness of 999.5 manufactured by Pobjoy Mint.
The specialised sector of the coin business for the study and collection of rare coins and other media of exchange, particularly those with archaeological or historic interest.« Back to top
Originally from the Old English for crude or unwrought metal. It refers to any economic mineral deposit of precious or other metals.
Traditional weight of Gold or Silver for trade, refers specifically to troy ounce. 1 troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams.« Back to top
Held twice each working day at 0945 and 1400 in the City of London to fix the market price for Palladium.
Chinese Gold coin of 999.9 purity, first minted in 1982. Also available in Silver.
The classic and simple method of mining alluvial Gold.
The chemical symbol for Palladium.
Originally the weight of a Silver penny in Britain in the Middle Ages which is still widely used in North America as the unit of weight in the jewellery trade. 20 pennyweights = 1 troy ounce.
Austrian Bullion coin first issued in 1989, widely available in Gold with Silver editions first struck in 2008.
Chemical symbol Pt. Its specific gravity is 21.45 and melting point is 1773°C.
Held twice each working day at 0945 and 1400 in the City of London to set the market price for Platinum.
Platinum Group Metals
A group of metals including Platinum, Palladium, Iridium, Osmium, Rhodium and Ruthenium.
Metals of significant value being Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium and other Platinum Group Metals.
The chemical symbol for Platinum.« Back to top
The process in which Silver is separated from Gold by dissolving it out with nitric acid, more commonly referred to as nitric acid parting.« Back to top
The separating and purifying of precious metals from other metals.
The process in which a layer of carat Gold alloy is mechanically bonded to another metal.« Back to top
Broad term for any Gold that is sent back to a refiner or processor for recycling.
Latin name Argentum. The chemical symbol is Ag, specific gravity is 10.49 and the melting point is 960°C.
Held each working day at 1200 in the City of London to set the market price for Silver.
The process of melting ores or concentrates to separate out the metal content from impurities.
British Gold coin with face value of £1 GBP, a fineness of 916.6 and a fine Gold content of 0.2354 troy ounces.« Back to top
Traditional Chinese unit of weight for Gold. 1 tael = 1.20337 troy ounces or 37.4290 grams. The nominal fineness of a Hong Kong tael bar is 990, but in Taiwan 5 and 10 tael bars can be 999.9.
Traditional Indian unit of weight for Gold. 1 tola = 0.375 troy ounces or 11.6638 grams. The most popular sized bar is 10 tola or 3.75 troy ounces. Weights are for 999.9 Gold purity.
The traditional unit of weight used for precious metals, which was attributed to a weight used in Troyes, France, in medieval times. 1 troy ounce = 31.1034768 grams or 1.0971428 avoirdupois ounces.
Common abbreviation for troy ounces.« Back to top
U« Back to top
Swiss Gold coin with a face value of 20 Swiss Francs issued as legal tender in the period 1897-1935. It had a fineness of 900 and a fine Gold content of 0.1867 troy ounces.« Back to top
A Gold alloy containing whitening agents such as Silver, Palladium or nickel as well as other base metals. Often used as a setting for Diamond Jewellery.« Back to top
The internationally recognised currency symbol for 1 troy ounce of Silver.
The internationally recognised currency symbol for 1 troy ounce of Gold.
The internationally recognised currency symbol for 1 troy ounce of Palladium.
The internationally recognised currency symbol for 1 troy ounce of Platinum.« Back to top
Unit of currency of Chinese Panda Coins.« Back to top
This letter represents the date 1999 on hallmarked items.« Back to top