Thursday, July 17, 2008

Where is gold found?

Gold is well-known mineral that touches all of our lives, but most of us at some point wonder where gold is found. After all, it doesn’t just appear in ring form wrapped around your finger or in bullion form locked in a vault somewhere. Gold has to be located and mined before it can be processed and turned into such prized possessions.

The top source of gold in the world over the last 120 years has been The Witwatersrand basin in South Africa. Also known as “The Rand”, it has been the source of 40% of the gold found during this time period. A large portion of the world’s unmined gold is thought to remain there, with some scientists suggesting the portion is up to one third.

Where does gold come from? Primarily China, South Africa, and Australia.After South Africa, the second biggest gold producing country is the United States. In particular Nevada, but also other states like Alaska, California, and Colorado have a gold mining output.

After the United States, the third biggest gold producing country is Australia. Gold was first discovered there near Ophir, New South Wales, and today is primarily mined in the Goldfields-Esperance and Pilbara regions of Western Australia, and at Bendigo, Victoria. The largest open-air mine in Australia is the Super-Pit gold mine in Kalgoorie, a town in the Goldfields-Esperance region, and extends 8 square kilometers. It is an overwhelming sight to behold.

The above three countries have been the biggest gold producing nations over the last century. But if we measure only the current year’s production, China has become the world’s largest producer of gold, overtaking South Africa’s top position in 2007. Other countries such as the United States, Canada, and Australia actually have more extensive gold reserves than China. However, the low cost of labor and production in China, as well as recent capital expansion and increase in foreign investment, have propelled China’s production rate ahead of the other more naturally abundant countries.

Monday, July 14, 2008

How To Tell Fools Gold From Real Gold

What is Fools Gold made of? Pyrites or Iron Pyrites. It is a mineral that has historically been confused with gold because of its similar color and shape. But despite the similarities in appearance to real gold, it can be easily distinguised from it if you know what to look for.Learn how to tell fools gold from real gold. What is fool's gold made of?

First of all, the streak of the two minerals is different. "Streak" refers to the color of a mineral's powder. The color of a mineral's powder can be tested by rubbing the mineral on a surface of hard white porcelain. The color of the residual streak indicates the contents of the minerals. Real gold has a yellow streak, while Fool's Gold has a black streak.Fools gold identification methods are very simple and fast.

In addition to the color of the minerals' streaks, fool's gold and real gold also differ in hardness. Gold has a low hardness of 2 1/2 to 3 on Moh's relative hardness scale (roughly the same as a finger nail), while fool's gold has a hardness of 6 to 6 1/2 (a typical knife blade measures at approximatel 5.5). A relative hardness of zero signifies a liquid, while a relative hardness of 10 is equivalent to a diamond.

Learn how to tell fools gold mineral from real gold mineral.

A mineral's relative hardness can be tested by scratching. A mineral can only be scratched by a harder mineral, not by a softer one. Therefore, to test the mystery mineral specimen you can use a different mineral with a relative hardness between that of fool's gold and that of real gold. For instance, a copper penny with a relative hardness of 3.5 will suffice. Use he mystery mineral specimen to attempt to scratch the copper penny. If you can scratch the copper penny, then the mineral can not possibly be real gold because it's softer than copper. The mystery mineral can therefore be assumed to be fool's gold (or another mineral with a relative hardness that is higher than that of copper).

Fool's gold identification: how to tell fools gold from real gold.In the days of the Gold Rush pyrites and gold were often confused, resulting in much confusion and disappointment. This sometimes leads to the worry in this day and age that fool's gold and real gold are difficult to distinguish. But fear not, because through the above testing methods, fools gold identification is relatively simple.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"Gold Panda" Chinese Gold Coins

12oz Chinese Gold Panda Coins for sale.First introduced by the Chinese mint in 1982, Chinese Gold Panda coins are extremely popular amongst collectors. Unlike most other gold coins, whose designs generally remain static for long periods of time, these Chinese gold coins' design is changed every year. Collectors who may have otherwise been content with one coin from any particular series are excited by the changing face of the Gold Panda and often buy a variety of different releases.

Beautifully crafted Chinese Gold Coins such as the Gold PandaThe obverse side of the Chinese Gold Panda coin depicts the Temple of Heaven in Beijing and remains the same from year to year. The reverse side changes yearly, with the 2008 edition showing a mother panda together with her cub.

Gold Chinese Panda coin jewelry for sale from Olympic mintLike most gold bullions coins, Chinese Gold Pandas are available in fractional sizes, specifically 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and even 1/20 oz. There is, however, a higher premium on fractional sizes, making them less popular than the 1 oz coins. Larger denominations are also sometimes issued, including 5 oz coins and even hefty 12 oz Chinese Gold Panda coins!

The Chinese Mint charges a higher premium on its gold bullion coins than most other mints do, making the Chinese Gold Panda somewhat less enticing for gold investors. However, the premium charged over the gold content's market value is still relatively small, certainly not great enough to deter coin collectors or even all investors.

The Chinese Gold Panda coin is official legal tender yet is guaranteed upon purchase to be uncirculated and in perfect condition. Any Chinese Gold Panda that you buy should therefore be in perfect mint condition with no wear or loss of luster. Although gold bullion is always saleable at the market value of its gold content, serious gold collectors will likely not be interested in buying your Chinese Gold Panda coin at its premium price unless it is in perfect mint condition.

Because of its excellent craftmanship and beautifully detailed design, the Chinese Gold Panda coin makes an exciting addition to any gold collection.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin

Canadian coin dealer gold, for selling and buying gold coins in Canada.Produced entirely from Canadian source for gold, coins such as the Canadian Maple Leaf to the left are made of 24 karat gold. Unlike American Eagles or South African Krugerrands which are 91.67% pure gold with the remainder coming from copper or silver to form a more durable alloy, Maple Leaf gold Canadian coins are 99.99% pure. Maple Leaf gold coins are pure gold bullion.

Selling Canadian collectors coins, Maple Leaf minted Canadian gold coins.Being 24 karat gold, Maple Leaf gold coins are indeed less durable than American Eagles or South African Krugerrands. Pure gold bullion has rarely been used as a regularly circulated currency because it can be easily worn out, damaged, or bent over time. However, despite being legal tender in Canada, Maple Leaf gold coins are not a regularly circulated currency and are intended mainly for collectors and investors to own and hold onto. You can not walk into a Canadian 7-11 and buy lunch with a Maple Leaf gold bullion coin, despite its legal tender status. So perhaps the lower degree of durability is a non-issue.

Precious collectors coins from gold coin Canada mint.Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins have become popular in many markets because of their status as "pure gold". Some people are disappointed or lose interest when they discover that a gold coin is less than 24 karat. Perhaps there is an aesthetic attraction to owning pure gold. And perhaps some people want the option of melting down their gold to increase liquidity in times of emergency. And there are likely people who misunderstand the "impure" status of lower karat gold coins, thinking that they contain less gold than a 24 karat coin of the same denomination. But in reality, a 1 ounce Krugerrand and a 1 ounce Maple Leaf contain the same amount of gold. The additional metals are not counted in the weight, only the gold content is counted. In any case, these beliefs are all reasons for the disproportionate popularity of the gold Canadian Maple Leaf coin.

Another reason for the Maple Leaf's popularity is its attractive design. The simple yet iconic nature of the Canadian maple leaf (which also appears on the Canadian flag) immediately strikes the viewer and arouses images of Canada's majestic natural wonders and abundant natural resources. The reverse side of the coin shows a bust of Queen Elizabeth II, depicting Canada's history as a former British settlement and part of the Commonwealth. The design is similar to the Canadian penny (1 cent coin) which also shows a maple leaf on one side and Queen Elizabth II on the reverse.

Canadian silver maple leaf coin information, coins for sale. The Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin is available in the following denominations: 1 Troy Ounce, 1/2 Troy Ounce, 1/4 Troy Ounce, 1/10 Troy Ounce, 1/20 Troy Ounce. There is also a series of Canadian Silver Maple Leaf coins, also 99.99% pure silver bullion.

Gold coins dealers Canada. Buy sell silver gold at good prices.The Canadian Maple Gold Coin is not only a wise investment, but also makes a beautiful keepsake or a meaningful gift. For those who intend to take good care of their collections and make an effort to keep their coins in good condition, the 24 karat Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin is a fine addition to, or starter of, any collection.

Monday, June 30, 2008

American Eagle Gold Coins

Rare American coins gold thickness.
American Eagle Gold Coins are popular gold bullion coins minted in the United States. The gold contained within the coins is legally required to come entirely from US sources. The American eagle was introduced in 1986, during a period when South African gold was banned from import to protest apartheid, and its popularity quickly soared as it met the high demand for gold under the boycott.

Mint gold eagle coins. Buying rare gold coins and US old gold coins.American Eagle Coins are available in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz denominations, and are 22 carat gold (91.67% pure gold). The coin's denomination indicates the coin's gold content, with the additional metals being in addition to the weight of the gold. Unlike South African Kruggerands which contain a copper alloy, American Eagles contain a copper and silver alloy, giving them a lighter, yellower tone that the deep orange of Kruggerands. On one side of the coin is a depiction of Lady Liberty holding her torch. On the other side is an image of a male eagle flying above a female eagle and their offspring. The male eagle symbolizes the United States' great power and resolve to defend itself and its people, but in the male eagle's grasp we also see an olive branch, symbolizing America's quest for peace while maintaining its strength. The design of the various denominations is the same, aside from the listed gold content.

Sell gold coins in Ohio such as MS60.
American Eagle gold coins are marked with a face value. 1 oz coins are marked as $50 coins, 1/2 oz coins are marked as $25 coins, 1/4 oz coins are marked as $10 coins, and 1/10 oz coins are marked as $5 coins. But in reality these face values are symbolic values to reflect the coins status as legal tender. Their true value resembles the market value of their gold content, plus a certain premium. Indeed, an American Eagle US gold coin labelled $50 values around $900 at the moment!

American Eagles are some of the most popular gold coins in the world. Their beautiful design and powerful symbolism, as well as their classical gold hue, make American Eagles pleasing gold coins to own and display. And with their full weight and gold content being guaranteed and backed by the US mint, they also make a fine investment. Every serious gold coin collector owns an American Eagle!

Gold coins buyers margatev fla. Selling price of gold coins discount bullion

Saturday, June 21, 2008

South African Krugerands

Gold coin Krugerands. 1/4 oz. Krugerrand gold coin.

The South Afrikan Krugerand coin is one of the most popular gold collector's coins in the world. The original Krugerrands contain exactly one ounce (33.93 grams) of pure gold, plus a small amount of copper (2.826 grams) to create a stronger, more durable gold coin. Krugerrand therefore have a total weight of 1.0909 troy ounces (33.93 grams). Some new collectors worry that they are receiving less gold when buying a coin of less than 100% purity, but in truth 1 ounce Krugerrands contain exactly the same amount of gold as a 100% gold coin like the Canadian Maple Leaf. The weight of the additional metals is not counted in the gold's weight. The South Afrikan Krugerand coin was the first gold coin to contain exactly one ounce of pure gold. Previous gold coins such as gold sovereigns contained amounts of gold meant to correspond with the coin's face value as currency.

Find Krugerrand coin dealers in England, USA, Canada, Australia, Israel, and South Africa.The Krugerrand is named after Paul Kruger, the Boer resistance leader fifth president of the South African Republic. Kruger's face is printed on one side of the coin, while a depiction of the springbok antelope is printed on the reverse. Both Kruger and the springbok antelope have become widely recognized symbols of South Africa.

Krugerands were first minted starting in 1967 to market South African gold abroad. The coin has legal tender status in South Africa, with it's value corresponding to the current gold market values of 1 troy oz. It was never intended to be used as a regular daily medium of exchange, but rather was made legal tender in order to be considered collectable. At the time, it was illegal for Americans to own gold bullion, but it was legal to own foreign coins. The Krugerrand made use of that loophole and became widely owned in the United States. In later years however, importing the Krugerrand into the United States and many other countries was banned to protest the Apartheid government. During the time of those bannings, other nations began minting their own gold coins with legal tender status to fill the gap.

1981 Krugerand gold ounce value? What is the current value of a Krugerrand silver coin? I wish to sell Krugerrands.In 1980 the Krugerand was released in different weights, specifically 1/10 oz. Krugerrands, 1/2 oz. Krugerrands, and 1/4 oz. Krugerrand gold coin. Also, in the early 1980s, silver Krugerands were minted, but their source remains a mystery as they were minted privately. There is no reference to South Africa anywhere on the coins, perhaps to bypass the Apartheid bannings. The name "Krugerrand" is printed on the coins, but the name Krugerrand is a trademark and was used without permission. There is no indication on the coins of who they were minted or issued by.

Buy Krugerrand! Coin values South African Krugerrand gold bullion.Despite the presence of Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins, Australian Kangaroo gold coins, and US American Eagle gold coins on the market, the South African Krugerand still maintains some prestige as the original legal tender coin whose value is based on its gold content. It is also popular for it's different appearance, having a slightly orange, penny-like copper tone that makes it stand out from other more lightly colored gold coins (either made with silver alloys, or of 100% pure gold). They are a fine addition to any collection, and a sound investment for any investor.

Friday, June 6, 2008

South African gold production falling

The situation for gold investors looks even brighter this week, as it has been reported that gold production in South Africa dropped 17% in the first quarter of 2008.
gold mine alloy prices ore South Africa
This is good for investors because as global demand is greater than the global supply, prices will rise. Demand in developing economies such as China and Russia remains strong and shows no signs of letting up.

The production drops were largely a result of the instability of the electricity supply servicing the mines. Mines have been asked to ration their electricity use to prevent total closures like the ones we saw for 5 days in January.
gold ore prices per gram and alloy per ounce
This is yet another element that limits the supply of gold and will likely drive its price higher.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Buy Gold Online

With gold prices skyrocketing, some serious investors are interested in owning large quantities of gold, and understandably don't feel secure hoarding that gold in their homes. Sure, having a few gold coins hidden in your house is pretty standard, but holding several thousand dollars or tens of thousands of dollars worth of gold in your home is not a wise idea. Theft or disaster could rob you of your gold, and the very security your gold is meant to bring you.

Buy gold bullion online coins, the best way to invest in gold
The traditional answer to hoarding is to keep your gold in safe and secured storage. These days there are simple methods that can even be carried out online. Depository receipts for gold are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, using the symbol GLD. Depository receipts are the documents that state your ownership of the gold. So when you buy depository receipts, you are buying the gold but the gold is kept in the same vault as before. You own the gold without possessing it.

Buy coin gold online at wholesale gold prices

Since depository receipts are traded on the NYSE, you can use an online brokerage like E-trade or Ameritrade to purchase gold just like a stock. This allows you to invest in gold and benefit from the longterm security it provides, and allows you to avoid keeping physical gold in your home and risking theft or loss during a disaster.

The downside is that you do not physically possess the gold in your hands, so you can't enjoy it for its aesthetic value, and in case of severe emergency you will not be able to use the gold as a medium of exchange because you won't physically possess it. You would have to sell the depository receipts, then wire the money from your brokerage to your bank account, withdraw the cash, and then spend it. This may not be your best option if your currency is rapidly hyperinflating and your bank doesn't have enough cash to fund all withdrawals.

Perhaps the best way to invest in gold is to possess some small quantity of physical gold in your home, in the form of coins or small bars, and for larger amounts to invest in gold online through depository receipts. The real benefit of this is that you can buy and sell actual gold right from your computer desk without ever having to transport it. And who knows how high gold prices will go, but if they ever reach a point when you are determined to sell immediately, fearing that it's a bubble about to burst, you can sell quickly from the comfort of your own home, just like a stock. That incredible 21st century convenience makes this a nice option to have.

How do I buy scrap gold or silver online with low gold scrap prices per gram?

Another benefit is that you will not have to pay all the transaction fees you have to pay when buying physical bars of gold bullion. Gold bullion coin prices as well as gold bullion bar prices often have a significant markup, but when buying through an online brokerage you simply have to pay your transation fee. For no-frills online brokerages such fees can be as low as $4.95 per transaction with TradeKing. Not only is it convenient to invest in gold online, but in practical terms it also gives you the best gold prices.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Collect and Invest in Gold Coins

With the security that precious metals provide from the recent economic and political instability, most investors understand that it is a wise idea to invest in gold or silver. But many can't decide what the best way to invest in gold or silver is. The way you choose depends on your reasons for investing in gold, and how much you are looking to spend.

One of the best way for the average person to invest in gold is with gold coins. Gold coins have several benefits over large gold bars. With the exception of the smaller gold bars (say, an ounce or less), gold bars come in large denominations that are somewhat illiquid. For example, if you have a 10 ounce gold bar and you want to sell a half-ounce of it, you can't slice off a piece of the bar. You have to sell the whole thing. On the other hand, if you have 20 half-ounce coins (or small bars, which are available), you can sell just one coin and keep the rest of your investment intact. This liquidity would also be useful in times of severe crisis. Imagine a time of total war and hyper-inflation. Let's say you wanted to exchange some gold for an escape option, or for some necessities such as food or clothing. Smaller denominations would be more useful for buying such necessities. Otherwise you could easily be exploited by people who demanded the entire gold bar. Like being stuck with taxi driver who pretends he doesn't have change for a twenty, you could get taken.

Gold coins are durable and last hundreds of years. Alloys (gold with another metal added) can last for thousands of years. They don't tarnish and don't scratch easily. They're also easily stored because of their small size. Many investors prefer to store their gold coins in their homes, stashed in some secret place, unlikely to ever be found because of their small size. Large gold bullion bars require professional storage and security services, which costs you money. And obviously the reputability of the storage provider needs to be confirmed.

Coins and small bars are also easy to buy, with reputable vendors existing in basically every major city and also online. So how do you choose which gold coins to invest in? There are two things to keep in mind:

1) Some gold coins are pure (999/1000 is considered pure gold, also known as 24 carat gold), but others are only 917/1000 parts gold (aka 22 carat gold). Both are reasonable investments, and as long as the real weight of gold contained is printed on the coin then two one-ounce gold coins will contain the same amount of gold. But pure gold does have slightly higher prestige and may be more easily sellable because they can be melted down easily. In a time of crisis that ability to be melted down may be worth something to someone. I personally prefer the purest gold I can find because I just find it aesthetically more pleasing, and more impressive to imagine its contents. And if you are going to invest in gold coins you should enjoy it!

Some popular coins of 917/1000 purity are:

The US American Eagle
US American Eagle Gold Coins: popular and safe gold coins to invest in.
The South African Krugerand
Invest in gold or silver with South African Krugerands.
British Sovereigns
Invest in British Sovereign gold coins. Own not only gold but a piece of history.

Some popular coins of 999/1000 purity are:

Canadian Maple Leaf coins
Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins: perhaps the best way to invest in gold. With the official gold prices high and ready to head higher, buy the best of the best.
Australian Kangaroos
Australian Kangaroo gold coins: with official gold spot prices skyrocketing, you'll want to get your hands on these.
The Chinese Panda
How to invest in gold and silver: Chinese Panda coins

(Nice stereotypical names, I know!)

2) Some coins, particularly older coins and rare coins, have "numismatic value", or additional value due to collector's prestige. While these can be just as good investments as any because their prestige is unlikely to decrease, their value doesn't depend only upon the official gold spot prices. If your motivation for buying gold is not as a hobbyist but rather as an investor, it may make more sense to buy a common coin whose value is based strictly on the official gold spot prices (plus a markup/commission, generally ranging from 1% to 5%).

One downside to buying coins or small gold bars rather than large denomination gold bars is that the markup on gold is often higher the smaller the amount you buy. Buying one ounce of gold may cost you 5% more per ounce than buying 5 ounces of gold. With the current gold prices per ounce hovering around $900, that means you could pay $45 extra if you only buy a single one ounce coin. Also remember that, as with large denomination gold bars, there is a bid/ask spread. That means that the price you buy the gold at will be different from the price you can sell the gold back at on any given day. The buy price is typically 3% higher than the sell price. So you can see that buying and selling coins quickly to make quick profits is not a very enticing option. It's a much wiser idea to buy gold with the intention of holding it for security, wealth preservation, longterm investment, and enjoyment. And with such reasonable goals in mind, gold coins are one of the best way to invest in gold.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Why Buy Gold?

Being not only an admirer of gold but also a gold investor, acquaintances often ask me for me advice. They often tell themselves "I want to invest in gold and silver" but have fear because they don't know much about gold as an investment. It's wise to be cautious, and to carefully research the pros and cons of buying gold before rushing out to find some gold coins to invest in. So why buy gold?

silver gold historical prices

First of all, if we look at gold prices history, we can clearly see that gold acts as a wealth preserver. Gold is money. Paper money used to be simply a representation of an amount of gold stored somewhere on your behalf, but in this day and age paper money (or fiat currency) functions separately from gold and it is susceptible to inflation and currency devaluation. Especially if you live here in the United States, the government is constantly spending money it doesn't have, and the banks are lending out money they don't have, devaluating our currency so that our buying power is steadily eroding. If you buy gold, however, you will maintain your buying power longterm because gold's value doesn't deflate. It's price fluctuates with supply and demand, but it's core value remains constant.

Official gold market prices tend to increase along with high inflation, and when the stock market drops. They also tend to increase in times of great instability such as wars, when hyper-inflation is a threat. (This is true of commodities in general, but precious metals can obviously hold their value better than a bundle of wheat or a cow that might up and die on you.)

Precious metals are real assets, unlike stocks and bonds, and they react differently to changing economic conditions. Commodities prices tend to increase with inflation. Stocks and bonds on the other hand, tend to perform better when the rate of inflation is stable or slowing. Since 1990, commodity prices have been negatively correlated with the S&P 500. Since commodities are not positively correlated with stocks and bonds, they diversify your portfolio and help reduce risk and increase returns over time.

Precious metals and other commodities are not only a hedge against inflation, but also a hedge against destabilizing events or catastrophes. Commodity prices rise during times of crisis such as wars and stock market crashes. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, stocks dropped while commodities performed well. And during the stock market crash of 1987, stocks dropped by 30% while commodities held steady. There are people out there who horde gold as a way to preserve wealth in some coming cataclysmic event. I would never want to invest in only gold, but these people are right that in the event of catastrophe commodities like gold will be far more useful than stocks or cash (which will likely become unbelievably devalued if there’s a catastrophe of huge proportions). That’s not to say that precious metals are free of volatility. They are equally or slightly more volatile than the stock market, but they rarely drop at the same time as the stock market. In these volatile times with stocks continuing to drop or stagnate, gold is an essential investment. And longterm, with all the government stupidity promoting the devaluation of the dollar, gold will continue to function as a wealth-preserver for the wise.

And despite gold prices skyrocketing, if we adjust for inflation, the prices now are still nowhere near as high as during their peak in 1980. There's still a lot of room for the price to climb higher.