Frequently Asked Questions | Goldanalytix
Here you find answers to the most frequently asked questions on all topics related to precious metal testing. The questions and answers are neatly arranged according to key topics - so you can find what you are looking for very quickly.
Guide to buying precious metals
Memberships and certifications:
Official gold dealers usually have memberships such as with the "Berufsverband des Deutschen Münzenfachhandels e.V." or a "Good Delivery" certification from the "London Bullion Market Association". Members and certifications of this kind can be viewed publicly on the respective sites.
Dealers are tied to the current price of gold, the spot price and do not sell below value. If you find a particularly cheap offer on the Internet, you'd better watch out.
Credible gold dealers can also be found in service tests. Test series by "Focus Money" or "Euro am Sonntag" regularly review various providers, which you can use as a guide.
Homepage and communication:
You can already unmask scammers on their homepage. Compare the prices of the offers with the current gold chart.
Personal contact with the dealer:
Reputable dealers always offer you personal contact as well and can be reached by phone at any time.
Here you can also immediately recognize bad counterfeits. Reputable gold dealers usually offer you high-resolution pictures of the products, while counterfeiters usually offer inferior ones to disguise obvious external differences. "Gold plated" does not mean solid gold, "fine gold plating" is nothing more than foreign metals covered with a thin layer of precious fine gold. You should also interpret expressions such as "replica", "medal", "replica" or even "counterfeit" as warnings.
Precious metals always offer investors a kind of security during crises. More common metals such as gold and silver can thus also be used as a medium of exchange, but more unknown precious metals are associated with a risk for precisely this reason. The respective prices are usually very dependent on the market and can fluctuate greatly depending on events. Safe investments are gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
Gold has the chemical symbol Au (Aurum). Although gold is also used in medicine, for example, it is traded less as a raw material and more as a pure investment metal.
Data on Gold 999:
Colour: yellow, gold
Density: 19.3 g/cm3
Conductivity: 45 MS/m
Silver has the chemical symbol Ag (Argentum). The precious metal is extracted from silver, copper and lead ores. Unlike gold, silver is traded on the stock exchange as a raw material, which is also needed in industry. Small investors can buy silver in the form of up to five kilo bars and coins.
Data on Silver 999:
Colour: shiny greyish, silver
Density: 10.5 g/cm3
Conductivity: 61 MS/m
Platinum has the chemical symbol Pt. It is one of the most valuable precious metals of all, as it occurs in much smaller quantities than gold, for example. Due to its corrosion resistance, it is used in medicine as well as in industry. Platinum is traded in the form of bars and coins.
Data on Platinum 999.5:
Colour: greyish, silver
Density: 21.45 g/cm3
Conductivity: 9.1 MS/m
Palladium has the chemical symbol Pd. It belongs to the platinum metals, which makes it valuable. Palladium occurs in combination with copper, nickel, gold and silver ores. It is mainly used in dental technology. It is also traded in the physical form of bars or coins and can be acquired by small investors as an investment.
Data on Palladium 999.5:
Colour: greyish, silver
Density: 11.99 g/cm3
Conductivity: 9.2 MS/m
Copper has the chemical symbol Cu. It belongs to the group of coinage metals. It is also very conductive and easy to process. It is mainly found in the automotive and mechanical engineering industries, but now also in renewable energies. For investors, it can be bought in the form of bars as well as coins.
Data on Copper 999:
Colour: reddish brown, metallic, copper-coloured
Density: 8.92 g/cm3
Conductivity: 58.1 MS/m
Rhodium has the chemical symbol Rh and belongs to the platinum metals. It occurs very rarely in nature, which is why it is extremely expensive. Consequently, its use is not common, but rhodium is found mainly in automotive catalytic converters. Investment rhodium is also available in the form of ingots.
Data on Rhodium 999:
Colour: silvery white, metallic
Density: 12.38 g/cm3
Conductivity: 18.5 MS/m
Iridium has the chemical symbol Ir and is the second most dense element after osmium. It is one of the rarest, non-radioactive metals of all. Iridium is mainly used in mechanical engineering and medicine. The Urkilo, which is kept in Paris, and the Urmeter, which is also located there, are also made of an iridium alloy. The precious metal is very valuable and is traded on the stock exchange. Iridium bars and coins are also available for small investors.
Data on Iridium 999.5:
Colour: greyish, matt silver
Density: 22.56 g/cm3
Conductivity: approx. 19.7 MS/m
Ruthenium has the chemical symbol Ru and belongs to the platinum metals. It is very rare and is only used in small quantities. Main applications of the metal are in the electronics industry. Some complexes of the metal are being researched for their effect as an anti-cancer agent. For investors, ruthenium can be purchased in ingot form.
Data on Ruthenium 999:
Colour: silvery white metallic
Density: 12.37 g/cm3
Conductivity: 14.1 MS/m
Anonymous purchase only possible below 2000 Euros:
If the purchase of gold, silver or other precious metals in Germany is to remain anonymous, the price of the purchased precious metal must not exceed a price of 1.999.99 Euros. For any sum exceeding this amount, the dealer is required by the Money Laundering Act to record personal details. Most countries have their own limitations, which should be researched before buying.
For large gold bars, the dealer surcharge is lower:
If a fixed amount is to be invested in physical precious metals, it is advisable to buy bars that are as large as possible, as the dealer's markup is comparatively large for small bars. A 1-ounce bar costs about € 1770 (as of August 2023). 1 ounce of gold in the form of 1 - gram bars, on the other hand, costs 1840 Euros. The price per gram exceeds the price of an ounce significantly. For coins, the premiums are also higher than for bars because of the minting.
Buy gold coins or 995 gold bars instead of paying VAT:
In Germany, if gold is to be purchased in bar form, it makes sense to buy pure gold bars (99.5% gold content), as no VAT is due for this purity or more. Gold coins are exempt from VAT from a purity of 90% on, but only if they were minted after 1800 and are or were considered official currency in their country of origin. In addition, the price may not exceed the material value of the gold content by more than 80% (some collector coins have an even higher market value). When buying silver or other precious metals from commercial dealers, the usual 19% German VAT is always charged in Germany.
Jewellery and collector coins are mainly suitable for connoisseurs:
With jewellery and collector coins made of precious metals (e.g. antique or rare coins), it should be noted that the value of the piece is not only composed of the pure metal price, but other factors can also influence the value. For jewellery, for example, the quality of workmanship, the manufacturer, or an additional gemstone can drive up the price. With coins, such an increase in price can be caused by the age, the country of origin or the depicted motif. A certain amount of expertise is required to determine value, and possible increases in the value of new coins are usually associated with speculative risks.
Small objects are usually easier to sell:
Even though the premium for smaller objects is higher, they are often easier to sell. You can both turn part of the investment amount back into cash (cutting up large bars reduces the sale value) and, in social crises, better use the small pieces as barter items.
Buy from the dealer or check for authenticity yourself with private sellers:
It is advisable to buy gold and other precious metals from reputable dealers. Otherwise, if one would like to save e.g. the value added tax (amounts to with precious metals except gold after all 19%) by private purchase, it should be examined whether the precious metal is genuine. The necessary tests can either be done by yourself (e.g. with the GoldScreenSensor) or by a precious metal dealer.
Purchase gold locally instead of buying a fake on the Internet:
It is not advisable to buy precious metals via private online trading platforms such as Ebay or Amazon, as fraudsters have an easy game there. It often happens that customers assume they have made a good deal and then only receive a fake made of copper with a thin layer of gold. However, if there is ever a genuine offer on these platforms, it is usually overpriced, as platforms such as Ebay or Amazon always demand fees from sellers. A personal sales meeting is preferable to sending a package when buying privately to be able to verify authenticity. Scammers would not allow you to do your own verification nor give you a return policy.
Hallmarking is not essential, yet it is not unimportant:
Hallmarking is standard on newer coins, jewellery or bars. In addition to the fineness, it sometimes provides further information about the precious metal, e.g. which manufacturer it comes from, what material it is made of or when the piece was manufactured.