Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Things That You Should Know About Gold

Since its first appearance, gold has captured mankind's fascination. Its lustre, which enables it to be seen even among other materials, is only of its own that attracts our eyes. With its lustre, even at its tiniest form it can still be distinguished. Also, it cannot be questioned that gold was the first element that has gained favour from man since the Stone Age which was proven by the anthropological excavations of burial sites in this Age. However, at first gold was not fashioned into weapons and useful tools because its rating on Moh's scale of hardness is 2.5- 3. Thus, in ancient times, gold did not have practical applications and was just considered a thing of rare, intrinsic beauty worthy to be admired and treasured alone. 
Ancient Egyptian Wearing Gold

The Gold History

Gold was first explored in Egypt around 2000 B.C. large quantities of gold deposit can be found in Nubia, between the Nile River and the Red Sea. The range of the exploration was over one hundred square miles. About one thousand tons of gold were extracted by the first miners using the most primitive of tools and toiling to a depth of about six feet. By then, man discovered numerous applications for gold. Egyptian artisans started fashioning it into jewellery, ornaments and idols of awesome beauty. Throughout history, aside from being highly prized for its beauty, it is also highly prized for its lasting quality. No natural substance can destroy gold. Gold is so precious indeed that it is never affected by air, moisture, heat or cold. What is more is it never tarnishes, corrodes or rusts. Since time immemorial all gold deposits have survived geologic and climatic changes such as volcanic eruption, earthquakes, etc. Also, gold treasures in the form of jewellery, bullion and coins which were buried for so long beneath land and sea have been found undestroyed as they were.

Where Gold Is Mined

Gold is considered a rare element, with the exception of iron, yet it is the most widely distributed metal on the earth's crust. Not only that but also it ranks fifty eighth in abundance among the ninety-two natural elements present on earth. Gold is naturally found and usually mined in some areas in the mountain ranges, soil in the tropics, in the deserts and even in the frozen tundra of the Arctic. Actually it is mined on every part of the globe continentally except in Antarctica. The Yukon District of Alaska and the famous Mother Lode District in California in the USA, the Porcupine District in Ontario in Canada and Siberia in the former USSR are some of the places famous for gold of which the Witwatersrand District of South Africa is considered the  world's richest producing area which has produced 18 thousand tons of gold with limitless possibilities. Moreover, in the USA, thirty-two states are abundant in gold. These include Colorado, Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Georgia, Arkansas, Idaho, Utah, Montana, New Mexico, Wyoming, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, Vermont and New Hampshire.

Gold's malleability makes it an extraordinary metal to craftsman. It can be formed into different shapes, can be drawn and stretched into an ultrathin wire without breaking, crumbling or disintegrating. It can also be easily carved, heated repeatedly without any discoloration and joined to itself or other metals by soldering without the use of a bonding flux.

Gold As A Symbol

Gold , without question, is a symbol of wealth, power and status. Take the example of Tutankhamen, the Egyptian boy king whose casket was elegantly cast from 242 pounds of solid gold. Ever since men and women have considered gold as a precious metal that they use to adorn their bodies with. In some marriage ceremonies, gold is still being exchanged based on the custom observed in some marriages until today. In Medieval Europe, the affluent sprinkled gold in the form of dust, flake or leaves on their food to display their great wealth. Gold is still often present in food which has the E Number 175. Metallic gold is inert to all body chemistry, so even if it is used in food it still does not add any taste nor has any nutritional effects on the body.  Primitive man believed gold to possess some mysterious and magical powers. Sun-worshippers for example regarded gold as the tangible essence of their god -referred to as solid sunshine.

Today in Japan, a bathtub especially designed in the form of a phoenix crafted from 400 pound of pure gold is believed to have medicinal magic, thus believers immerse their bodies in it in the hope of getting cured after. Gold has always been associated with health based on the belief that something so rare and of beauty can exude an aura of healing. The healing properties of gold are acknowledged by esotericists and forms of alternative medicine. Gold's anti-inflammatory properties are useful in the treatment of arthritis and the like. One thing you should remember is, since elemental or metallic gold is inert to all body chemistry, only salts and radioisotopes of gold are used in pharmacology.

Gold as Security

Gold gives security when it comes to investment. It is considered a "storehouse of value" since it is the natural way for man to preserve capital and protect against financial erratic activity and monetary collapse. It is a protection against inflation and considered a safe investment. Gold has the ability to prevent government attempts at inflating the currency of their country and prevent those in political power from controlling the economy of other nations. Considered the ultimate monetary exchange, gold is the king of metals. No one else is responsible or liable for gold. Gold has its value in and of itself and its worth is not dependent on the economic stability of a country, political power or financial cartel.

The London Gold Market has a say in the current world price of gold since it trades gold bullion and coins with other financial world centers in Zurich, Hong Kong, Frankfurt and Paris. The price of gold is based on its purity. Raw gold that is sold as specimen or jewellery has higher prices. Some gold may be sold for as much as five times its value by weight such as a nugget with an extraordinary characteristic and form.

Now, you might ask if you can also sell your broken gold bracelet, necklace, etc. The answer is absolutely yes. First, you must know the karat count of your gold before you sell it. The higher the karat the higher is its price. Lastly, if you only have a few pieces of jewellery to sell, look for a local jeweller or an antique jeweller since with this, the jeweller will consider the artist's craftsmanship and give some credit to it paying you a much higher price than for just the weight of your gold.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Investment Protection: Things to Consider in Buying Gold Bars

Protecting Your Investments
Gold bars and gold coins also considered as gold bullion have various sizes, weights and types. This article focuses solely on buying gold bars and protecting them.

1) Ch
eck Your Purpose In Buying Gold Bars
Gold coins, nuggets, jewelry, etc. are purchased for their innate quality. However, gold bars are bought mainly for investment purposes as a means of protection from inflation and diversification of an investor's portfolio to avoid a total loss. There are also some risks present in buying gold bars. That is why in order to minimize these risks, it is important to observe the dos and don'ts.

2) Check The Trend Of Gold Prices
Generally the price of gold keeps increasing. By the end of 2003, the spot price of gold was $414.80 a troy ounce. By the end of the first quarter of 2008, the spot price of gold was approximately $930 a troy ounce- more than double the price 5 years ago. The price increase may sound promising to you but you should bear in mind its volatility. Also, past performance of the promising increase in gold prices does not guarantee the same future results as the price is also based on the supply and demand. Click here to find out the price of gold currently.

3) Consider Gold's Purity and Weight
To determine a gold bar two factors should be considered such as its weight and purity. Its purity varies depending on the mint in which the average purity amounts to 99.98% but once it is a government-backed gold bar it can reach as high as 99.99% pure. As to its weight, its size vary ranging from about a gram up to 440 grams. It is wise to buy the largest gold bar if your budget can afford since larger bars come with an approximately lower margin than the smaller bars, so you will get closer to the actual value of the gold.

4) Carefully Check The Gold Bar Standards
Each gold bar has the following four marks which you should check carefully. First, is its refiner's mark otherwise known as the goldsmith's brand name. Second is its gross weight in troy ounces. Third is its purity percentage. Fourth is its serial number. When buying online, this can be hard to identify, so choose a reputable company.

If you buy gold bars online, make sure that you receive your purchase through registered insured mail for the full value of your gold or through other insured delivery processes. Also, purchases made in the hundreds of thousands of dollars should be delivered through an armored car delivery service.

5) Look For A Gold Bar Dealer
You should consider carefully the dealer before buying your gold bar. Look for a reliable and trustworthy dealer. It is the dealer's job to prove that the gold bar has been assayed and tested and to attest that it is solid and true. When finding a reputable gold dealer, consider the number of years it has been in this business.

6) Make Sure Your Investment Is Protected
Your gold bar either big or small should be kept in a safe deposit box or a vault facility which is primarily responsible for protecting your gold bars and other precious commodities. See to it that the place where you store your gold bars is insured as well.

Many experts predict that the price of gold can increase within the next decade in which it can double or triple the price more than today making it wise to invest in gold for in the long run you will surely profit.