Gold dictionary

If you want to trade with gold or other precious metals, you should be familiar with the following terms.

A: Alloy - Aurum

Alloy: Mixture of several chemical elements, at least one which being a metal. In the jewelry industry it is normally gold-silver-copper alloys.

Argentum: Latin name for silver, chemical symbol: Ag

Aurum: Latin name for gold, chemical symbol: Au

B: Bullion coin

Bullion coin: Technical term for coins that are used for investment (gold coins, silver coins, platinum coins, palladium coins).

C: Carat - Certificates

Carat: Unit of measurement that designates on the one hand the weight of gems (mass), on the other hand the purity (fineness) of precious metals (e.g. gold.) With gold we have a separation of 24 parts: 1 carat gold contains 1/24 pure gold and 23/24 other metals. Pure gold has 24 carat. With gem stones and diamonds 1 carat is 0.2 gram.

Certificates: Gold certificates mirror the gold price per troy ounce. The advantage is, that one doesn't have to buy physical gold and look after insurance, transport and storage.



F: Fineness

Fineness: The fineness designates the mass of the precious metal with the highest value within a jewelry, coin or bar. Thus 925 silver means for example, that there is a metal that consists of 925 parts silver and 75 parts of another metal.


Gold bar: Gold and other metals are casted into bars in order to store and pile them better. On the bar there's engraved the make of the producer, the fineness and the bar number. With gold bars the purity (fineness) must be at least 995, with silver bars 999 and with palladium and platinum at least 999,5. A 995 standard gold bar weighs 12.44 kg (400 tr.oz.)

Gold coins: Gold coins has been used since the 6th century BC for payment and currency. Origin of the gold coin is Persia. Most important gold coin for investment is the krugerrand.

Gold price: The gold price is fixed daily at 10.30 a.m and at 3.00 p.m. in London (London gold fixing).

Gold standard: Backing of a currency with gold.

H: Hyperinflation

Hyperinflation: A hyper inflation is caused by a massive production of money. Money is getting less and less worth. In such times people prefer investing in tangible assets, like precious metals or properties.







O: Ounce

Ounce: Unit of measurement for precious metals. One ounce is exactly 31.1035 grams. The international trade gives the price in $ per ounce.

P: Precious metals

Precious metals: Metals that are very non-corrosive. The classical precious metals are platinum metals as well as silver, gold, rhenium and silver. Some precious metals are used for investment.




T: Transmutation

Transmutation: Attempt to produce gold artificially. But the expenditure of energy is higher than the benefit, so it is not economic to produce gold synthetically.







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The Perth Mint Australia