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What is an Assay Certificate in Gold and Silver?

Gold or silver assaying ensures that the coins or bars produced by a sovereign or private mint are of the correct and stated purity and weight. Without an assay certificate, you do not know for certain the purity of the bar or coin you are examining. Sovereign mints like the United States Mint or the Royal Canadian Mint rely on internal assays to ensure that their products meet these standards. These mints guarantee the fineness and purity of the products they strike. While assaying provides a written guarantee of metal purity, most reputable mints can be trusted even if you purchase a bullion coin, round or bar that does not come with an assay certificate.   

Fire Assay 

Before gold or silver are assayed, the coin or bar thickness is measured, and the diameter is checked to guarantee that it is measured to the exact millimeter. To assay a coin or bar, a sample of the gold or silver being assayed is taken by either drilling into a bar or shaving a tiny piece off the edge of a coin or bar. A fire assay is one of the most accurate ways to check gold or silver purity. However, when you drill into a bar you destroy the collector’s value.  

XRF Assay 

There is a more modern way of testing the gold and silver purity of a bar or coin: X-ray fluorescence (XRF Assay). This method is non-invasive and does not ruin the integrity and appearance of the bar or coin. When using this process, the coin or bar is irradiated by an X-ray beam to measure the density of the coin or bar. Since the beam can only measure so deep on an object, the XRF method is also important in determining the authenticity of a coin or bar by measuring the thickness and diameter. 

Assays are important to determine the authenticity and composition of a gold or silver coin or bar.  Assaying is an independent verification process that can give buyers more peace of mind. By conducting assays on coins and bars, buyers can be assured of the accuracy and authenticity of their purchases. 

Quick Guides to Investing

Step 1:

Why Buy Physical Gold and Silver?

If you are concerned about the volatility of the stock market, you’re not alone. The extreme highs and lows of the stock market often lead investors towards safe-haven assets, like bullion. Historically, the Precious Metals market has an inverse relationship with the stock market, meaning that when stocks are up, bullion is down and vice versa.

Step 2:

How Much Gold and Silver Should You Have?

This question is one of the most important for investors to answer. After all, experts suggest limits on how much of any types of investments should go into a portfolio. After deciding to purchase and own Precious Metals and considering how much money to allocate, one can then think about how much and what to buy at any point in time.

Step 3:

Which Precious Metals Should I Buy?

With the frequent changes in the market and countless Precious Metal products available, choosing investments can be difficult. Some want Gold or Silver coins, rounds or bars while others want products that are valuable because of their design, mintage or other collectible qualities. Also, collectors may shop for unique sets and individual pieces for their collections.

Step 4:

When to Buy Gold & Silver

After considering why, how much, and what Precious Metals products to buy, an investor’s next step is when to buy them. This decision requires an understanding of market trends and the impact of economic factors on precious metal prices.

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