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.

What technical terms are there in precious metal testing?

Alloys are mixtures of mostly two or more metals. Well-known alloys in the field of precious metals are, for example, red gold (gold-copper), white gold (gold-palladium-silver) or yellow gold (fine gold-silver-copper).

Ingot refers to molten metal cast into a standardised shape to make it easier to transport and process.

Blister/blister card:
A blister is a transparent type of packaging, especially for bars of all kinds. The bar is usually placed in the middle of the blister card, which protects it on the one hand and also presents it attractively. The packaging allows the bar to be viewed from both sides.

The purity (fineness) of gold is expressed in carats.
Example: gold 585 denotes an alloy with a gold content of 583 1/3, this would correspond to 14 carats; fine gold 999 denotes gold with a content of 999 in 1000, this corresponds to 24 carats.

Curant coin:
This is the description given to coins whose nominal value is (almost) completely covered by the metal of which they are made. This contrasts with the sheath coin.

Divisional coin/token coin:
This is the name given to coins whose nominal value is not covered by their metal value.

Electroplating is the term used to describe a surface finishing technique.
Two uses: Functional electroplating (e.g. protection against corrosion/wear), decorative electroplating (chrome plating). Counterfeiters use this technique to make tungsten cores look real.

This expresses the percentage of a precious metal in a coin or bar. The fineness is expressed in parts per thousand.

Gold standard:
The gold standard refers to a monetary system commonly used in the past where gold was the main factor in the currency.

An embossing of precious metals is called hallmarking. Often the fineness of the material is hallmarked.

Investment gold:
EU-Directive: "Gold in bar or plate form of a weight accepted by the gold markets and of a fineness of at least 995 thousandths [...] or gold coins of a fineness of at least 900 thousandths." For gold coins, it is also crucial that they were minted after 1800, are or were legal tender in their country of origin and are sold at a price that does not exceed the market value of their gold content by 80%.

Ounce/fine ounce:
An ounce is a unit of measurement for the mass of a wide variety of objects (e.g. common ounce, fluid ounce). In the context of precious metals, the troy ounce is used, which is approximately 31.10 grams.

A refinery is a company that separates different metals from each other and recycles them. The end product is a precious metal that is as pure as possible, which can then be sold on.