Helpful Terminology


Terminology used in our business.

Assay:  To determine the ingredients in a metal alloy.  This is how we determine the purity of the metal.

Bullion:  A metal traded in its purest form.  Bullion is used as investment vehicle for those wishing to invest or trade in precious metals.  Gold Bullion can be either 22k (91.6% pure) or 24k (99.9+% pure).  Silver and Platinum bullion are 99.9%+ pure.

Generic Bullion

Generic Bullion:  A bullion that is not manufactured by a government.  Examples would be Sunshine Mint, Enegelhard, and other private mints.  This type of bullion does not carry a denomination (has no dollar value attribute).  Generic Bullion is used only for trading raw high purity precious metals.

Premium Bullion

Premium Bullion:  A bullion that is manufactured by a government and is backed by its government and is trade-able as currency.  This just means that it has a denomination, or dollar value, in the country that it comes from.  For example, the American Gold Eagle is a government backed bullion that has a $50 denomination.  The secret service investigates illegal  fabrication of these coins just as they would with any currency/money fraud.  The dollar denomination is never used as the precious metal value far exceeds the value as a currency.

Pennyweight:  A unit of measure typically used by businesses and individuals in the precious metal business.  It is 24 grains, or 1/20 of a Troy Ounce.   One pennyweight is heavier than a gram, 1 pennyweight weighs 1.555 grams.  Reputable dealers will have pricing in both weights (which come out the same) so that you can easily compare prices.

Troy Ounce:  A unit of measure used for weighing precious metals that dates back to the middle ages.  The name Troy comes from Troyes France, and weighs the equivalent of 31.1 grams.  Not be confused with the avoirdupois or “regular” ounce, a troy ounce weighs about 10% more than a regular ounce.  One Troy ounce = 1.1 Regular/Avoirdupois ounces.  It is normally shorted to Oz T or T Oz.

Troy Pound:  A unit of measure that consists of 12 Troy Ounces.  Not to be confused with a regular or Avoirdupois pound, which contains 16 regular ounces.  A Troy pound contains 5760 grains, and in grams weighs 373.2g.

Gold Buyer:(Also Gold Dealer, Jewelry Buyer, Cash For Gold) A business that provides an exchange for precious metal items into cash.  

Melt Value:  The expected value of an item based on its melt and following assay.  This is the bare precious metal value of an item.

Karat Jewelry:  Gold Jewelry that contains a measurable amount of precious metal.  The karat of the jewelry determines that purity of gold used in the jewelry.  Karats, marked K, vary from 8k to 24k.  The higher the karat, the higher the purity of gold, and the more valuable from a melt perspective.  The math side of it relates to how many parts gold to other metal are in the jewelry.  24 karat means 24 out of 24 parts gold, or pure.  10 Karat gold is 10 parts out of 24 gold, or 10/24 which equals .417.  This in turn means that 41.7 % of the metal used in the jewelry is gold.

10 Karat Gold:  A gold allow used in Jewelry that is approximately 41.7% pure gold.