Glossary

GLOSSARY


A

Ag – the chemical symbol for Silver, derived from the Latin “Argentum”.

Alloy – is a mixture of two or more metals. For example: sovereigns are usually composed of gold and copper.

Ask price – is the price at which a dealer offers to sell a certain product.

Au – the chemical symbol for gold, derived from the Latin word “Aurum”.

B

Bar – metal is formed into a square or rectangular shape (depending on the brand), facilitating storage and shipping. This is usually called a bullion bar.

Bid – is the price at which a dealer is willing to buy, also known as the buy price.

Bitcoin – is a worldwide cryptocurrency and digital payment system that exists solely online.

Bullion - is a type of Gold, Silver, Platinum or Palladium coin (which closely follows the spot price) and has little or no numismatic value (such as restrikes and modern sovereign mint bullion coins).
Bullion is also the form in which metal is shaped, such as bars, ingots or wafers. Bullion bars are usually traded in an array of sizes and weights.

C

Carat - is a measurement of weight generally used in reference to gems, especially diamonds. It is equal to about 3.086 grains or 0.2 grams. It is not to be confused with karat, which is a measurement of the fineness of Gold.

Coin - is a stamped piece of metal on which can be found the weight and fineness, usually issued for commerce.

Commemoratives - are legal tender coins or medallions, usually minted of Gold or Silver, struck to honor themes, events, places or people.

Commodity - is any useful or valuable thing, especially something that is bought and sold that can be used to make money.

Condition - is the quality of an item in its current state of preservation.

D

Denomination - is the currency amount usually found on coins and banknotes.

Depository - is a place where something is deposited for safekeeping.

Die - is an engraved metal object used to strike or stamp the design of a coin.

E

Early Release - are coins that are received by a third-party grading service within the first 30 days of the original release date.

Early Strike - are coins that are received by a third-party grading service within the first 30 days of the original release date.

Edge - is the third surface of a coin, not the obverse or the reverse. The edge of a coin may be reeded, lettered or plain.

EF or Extra Fine - Items that are in Extra Fine condition usually have design elements that are sharp and well defined.

Encapsulated - is a protective plastic holder, used to protect and ensure the quality and condition of the item.

F

Face value - the face value is usually found on the coin or banknote. This is it item's legal tender value, however, is does not bear any relationship with the item's market value. 

Fiat Money - is paper money made legal tender by law, although it is not backed by Gold or Silver.

Fine Gold - is the he purity or fineness of a Gold coin or Gold bullion item. Pure Gold is 24 karat, or 99.99% in purity.

Fine Silver - is the purity or fineness of a Silver coin or Silver bullion item. Pure Silver is 99.9% or greater in purity.

Fineness - The purity of a Precious Metal measured in 1,000 parts: A Gold bar of .995 fineness contains 995 parts Gold and 5 parts of another metal. The Gold Perth Mint Kangaroo coin is 99.99% fine, which means it is 99.99 percent Gold.

First Strike - Coins that are received by a third-party grading service within the first 30 days of the original release date.

G

Gold Bullion - can be either gold coins, which closely follow spot prices and have little or no numismatic value (such as restrikes and modern sovereign mint bullion coins) or gold bullion can be the form in which metal is shaped, such as bars. The most commonly traded Gold bullion pieces among individual investors in Australia weigh 10 ounces or less.

Gold Nugget - is raw or placer Gold which has been washed out of the rocks generally into river beds where it has been beaten by the water and rocks into a "nugget" shape.

Gold-Silver Ratio - is the amount of Gold in relationship to the amount of Silver composition. Often used in reference to the Gold spot price vs. Silver spot price. It can also refer to the number of ounces of Silver requires to buy one ounce of Gold at the current spot rate.

Gold Standard - is the term to designate the monetary standard of a country when all the paper money it issues is backed by a sufficient amount of a reserve holdings of Gold coins or bars.

Grade - is the condition of an item determined by its wear, or lack thereof – see the complete list of grades here.

Gram - is the basic unit of weight of the metric system. A gram equals approximately 1/32 troy oz and is used in troy weight as a measure of gold. (31.1035 grams = one troy ounce.)

H

Hallmark - is a stamped impression on the surface of a Precious Metal bar that indicates the producer, serial number, weight and/or purity of metal content.

I

Inflation - is an increase in the money supply and available credit.

Ingot - is a solid piece of metal that has been formed into a particular shape (such as a brick) so that it is easy to handle or store.

Intrinsic Value - is the actual value of the gold or silver contained within a bullion bar or coin.

L

Luster - The appearance of a coin’s surface, either satiny, frosty or Prooflike.

M

Market Value - is the price at which a coin or bullion item trades.

Markup - is a premium assessed to an item in order to make a profit.

Medallion - is a round piece of metal resembling a coin that bears no denomination and is not recognized as legal tender. A medallion may be issued by a government or private mint. 

Mint - is the facility where a coin or bar was manufactured. Australia's most famous mints are the Sydney Mint, the Perth Mint and the Canberra Mint.

Mintage - Total number of items issued with the exact same design elements.

Mintmark - is the letter(s) added to a coin to indicate the place associated with where the coin was made. For example, S for Sydney Mint or P for the Perth Mint.

Modern issues - are usually coins issued within the last 20-25 years.

Monster Box - is a mint-issued box used to store and protect coins during shipping. They usually contain 250 x 1oz coins.

N

Nominal Face Value - is the value given to legal tender coins sold for their metal content. 

Numismatic Coins - are coins whose prices depend more on their rarity, condition, dates and mint marks than on their Gold or Silver content, if any.

Numismatics - is the study of coins, currency and metallic art.

Numismatist - is a coin collector or expert.

O

Obverse - is the front of a coin. The obverse usually consists of the head or the principal design of the coin.

Ounce - is a unit of weight. In the Precious Metals industry, an ounce means a troy ounce, which is equal to 31.1035 grams.

Over Spot - is a handling fee charged in excess of the actual metal value.

P

Palladium - is a rare Silver-white metal of the Platinum group. Palladium resembles Platinum chemically and is extracted from some copper and nickel ores. It is primarily used as an industrial catalyst and in jewellery.

PAMP - is the acronym for "Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux", an independent refiner of Precious Metals, located in Switzerland.

PCGS - is the acronym for "Professional Coin Grading Service", one of the two major coin grading services in the United States.

Pd - is the chemical symbol for Palladium.

Platinum - is the chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Pt and atomic number 78. A heavy, malleable, ductile, precious, gray-white transition metal, Platinum is resistant to corrosion and occurs in some nickel and copper ores along with some native deposits. Platinum is used in jewelry, laboratory equipment, electrical contacts, dentistry and automobile emissions control devices. Platinum coins and bars are now very popular investments.

Premium - is the additional cost of a coin or bullion item, over and above the spot price of the Precious Metal contained in the coin. The premium includes the costs of fabrication, distribution and a minimal dealer fee. 

Proof - refers to the manner in which a coin was minted and not to its condition. Highly polished dies and special planchets are used to produce coins with a mirrorlike finish. A Proof strike is very different from a business strike and Proof coins are generally made for collectors, not for normal use.

Proof Set - is a set of all coins issued during a specific year. These coins are struck multiple times to bring out the features of the designs. They are also specially handled to keep imperfections at a minimum.

Pt - is the chemical symbol for Platinum.

 

R

Refinery - is an industrial plant that uses mechanical and chemical means to purify a substance to convert it to a form that is more useful.

Relief - is the depth of which a coin is struck or the relationship of the main devices compared to the background fields of a coin.

Restrikes - are new coins made from old dies, which is why they are referred to as "new minting." Restrikes generally have the same specifications as the original coins that they copy - this includes the same dates, composition and dimensions.

Reverse - is the back of a coin. The reverse usually consists of a country's coat of arms or an insignia.

Round - is a privately minted round piece of metal that does not carry a face value.

S

Secondary Market - are items purchased from the general public. 

Silver - is the chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Ag (from the traditional abbreviation for the Latin “argentum”) and atomic number 47. A soft-white lustrous transition metal, Silver has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal and occurs both in minerals and in free form. This metal is extensively used in coins, jewelry, tableware and photography. It is a chemically active metal and naturally changes color or tones when exposed to air and certain elements.

Silver rounds - Privately minted round pieces of metal that are struck in Silver, usually about the size of a U.S. Silver Dollar. Silver rounds carry no face value and are not considered legal tender.

Slab - A holder that a third party grading service uses to guarantee and protect the condition of a coin.

Slabbed Coins - Coins encapsulated in plastic for protection against wear. Generally, slabbed coins are graded by one of the two major independent grading services: PCGS or NGC.

Spot - Describes a one-time open market cash transaction price of a commodity, where it is purchased "on the spot" at current market rates.

Spot Market - A market in which delivery and payment have to be made within two working days of the transaction date.

Spread - The difference between the buying price and the selling price of a security or commodity at the same time on the same day by the same person. If Gold is purchased at $1,650 per ounce and sold at $1,640, the spread is $10.

Stacker - Bars or coins that are struck so that one side of the item will fit tightly into the next item that is stacked above or below it. Also, a term for a person who “hoards” Silver, mostly in bar or round form.

Sterling Silver - Silver of a fineness of 92.5 percent purity.

Strike - The strength of the imprint in the process of stamping a coin blank with a design.

Symbolic Face Value - Nominal value given to legal tender coins, which are valued or sold for their metal content. The symbolic face value of a coin will be less than its actual market price. For example: The 1 oz Gold American Eagle bullion coin carries a $50 face value but sells for the value of its Gold content plus a premium of 5 to 8 percent.

T

Troy - A system of units of mass customarily used for Precious Metals and gemstones. There are 12 troy ounces per troy pound, (373.24 g) rather than the 16 ounces per pound (453.59 g) found in the more common avoirdupois system.

Troy Ounces - A unit of weight equal to 1.09711 ordinary or avoirdupois ounces. The word ounce, when applied to Gold, always refers to troy ounces. A troy ounce is different from the ounce most Americans are accustomed to (the avoirdupois ounce). There are 12 troy ounces in a troy pound. So, if you buy 1 pound or 12 troy oz of Gold, don't expect it to weigh in at one pound on your bathroom scale. One troy ounce equals 31.1035 grams or 480 grains.

Tube - A plastic container used to store coins, rounds or bars.

U

Unallocated Metal - Metal that is not physically stored. The money for these metals is used for other investments and is not the investor's property, but promise to hand you back your metal, or the equivalent money, when you are ready to sell.

Uncirculated - A coin in new or unused condition, sometimes said to be Brilliant Uncirculated or BU. The term is often used interchangeably with Mint State.