Tag Archive: Carat
Leave a Comment
Finding gold has long been the subject of many magical tales and fables. From ransacking pirates to plucky archeologists, gold is often at the centre of some of the most well-known stories.
And it’s no wonder. Gold is a great long-term investment that gives you protection without depending on a single currency. It’s no surprise the pirates liked it so much!
The precious metal has been used for centuries – and over the years people have got their hands on it in some peculiar ways.
Most of the time, gold is brought or inherited. Yet sometimes, finding gold just takes a little bit of luck, as these examples show…
A finely tuned find.
Gold can turn up in unexpected places.
Britain’s largest hoard of gold coins was found inside of a piano.
Over 900 18th century, gold sovereigns were found carefully stitched into cloth packets and hidden behind the keys.
The haul, worth £500,000 was found by a piano tuner after the piano was donated to a local school.
We’re not saying it’s time to go crazy exploring all your old furniture just yet – but maybe this is a good lesson of making sure you know exactly what you’re donating before you let it go.
A lot of gold (and unique finds) are found by metal detectors.
In fact, the largest piece of gold ever found in the U.S “The Mojave Nugget”, was found by chance in 1977 by a guy walking around with a metal detector.
Last year in a Staffordshire field, two metal detectorists also discovered the earliest example of Iron Age gold in Britain – after ditching a fishing trip to go treasure hunting.
This haul included gold sword hilts, jewelry, helmet decorations, and early Christian crosses – valued at an amazing £3.2 million. Not a bad day’s work in the end.
But if you want to start building your own hoard, you don’t need a gold detector to get started.
At ATS Bullion, we make buying gold easy. With us, you can purchase online, over the phone or by visiting our store in London – whichever way works for you.
Why not make a solid investment for the future?
Get started here.
Leave a Comment
What is a gold carat? What does fineness mean? And what is the difference?
Often enough in our line of work, the ATS team find themselves explaining 24 carat, 0.999 fineness, 999.9 fineness and that’s before getting into the 22 carat or 24 carat debate. So here is our quick guide on what a carat is and things to look out for as an investor in gold bullion.
1) What is a Carat?
A carat is a method of measuring the purity of gold. It is the ratio between the principal alloy (Gold) and any added alloys or impurities. Carat is worked out using the following calculation: Carat = 24 times the pure mass divided by the total mass.
For example a Krugerrand:
Pure Mass Weight (g) Total Mass Weight(g) Multiplied by Carat 31.1035 divided by 33.93g x 24 = 22.00
2) So what does fineness mean?
Fineness in essence means the same thing! It is another way of measuring the ratio of gold as the principal metal against alloys or impurities. Fineness is worked out to the thousandth part of the pure metal mass to alloy. The simple calculation for this is pure mass divided by total mass times by 1000.
So let’s take the sample example for the Krugerrand:
Pure Mass Weight (g) Total Mass Weight(g) Multiplied by Fineness 31.1035 divided by 33.93g x 1000 = 916.6
3) Which one is better to use?
In truth they are interchangeable! The traditional way of measuring gold is by carat but in recent years with the expansion of the bullion industry, the adoption of decimalisation in global currencies combined with the adoption of metric systems in Europe, the prevalence of fineness as measurement has increased. It all depends on what you prefer and what bullion you buy.
Commonly bars tend to follow the fineness system – 20g gold bars, 100g bars and 1 kilogram bars. The big refiners we deal with are located in Europe and therefore the adoption of 999 / 999.9 / 0.999 alongside grams has gone hand in hand.
For coins it has been a different story. The most prominent bullion coin is still the one ounce gold coin – which is still measured in the historic troy ounce for its weight and so is usually referred to by carat.
Here is a list of carats and fineness showing the relationship between Carat and Fineness:
Carat Fineness Jewellery Marks 24 999 / 999.9 / 0.999 22 916 / 916.6 / 0.916 18 750 / 750.0 / 0.750 9 375 / 375.0 / 0.375
4) Is 24 carat better than buying 22 carat?
For bullion investment, the 24 and 22 carat distinction makes no difference when buying gold. As a bullion dealer, we are paying for the pure gold weight so it makes no difference to us.
If I have a one troy ounce of gold classified as 24 carat and a one troy ounce of gold classified as 22 carat, which has more gold? They have the same amount of gold! The Krugerrand and the Maple have the same pure amount of gold in them – 31.1035g. The total mass of a Krugerrand is bigger weighing a total of 33.93g, so it is a heavier gold coin than a maple.
Let me put it another way: if I take half a pint of squash and do nothing with it – it is in it’s purest form and is 24ct or 999. If I take the same half pint of squash and add a dash of water – it is now slightly diluted but has more in the glass – this is 22ct or 916. The amount of squash is same in both glasses.
5) Why do they add alloys to gold?
The common reason for adding alloys to gold is that is makes the metal harder. Gold is a relatively soft metal and over time being knocked about, especially worn as jewellery, it would get marked, scratched and possibly lose it’s shape. By mixing in another alloy such as copper or nickel, the final product is a lot harder and less likely to dent and mark over time. Traditionally, British gold such as the British gold sovereign was and still is 22 carat. It made the coins far more robust and easier to transport. In Europe many gold coins were 21.6 carat or 0.900 fineness which again helped to create stronger and more durable coins.
We hope this helps to explain carat, fineness and the difference between 24 and 22 carat. We also added the jewellery hallmarks for those of you interested in the jewellery side/scrap gold side. If we have missed anything on here or have any further questions, please contact us or call us on 020 72 40 40 40 to speak to one of our trained bullion dealers.
Article by Michael Cooper