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The Science of Precious Metals

Understanding the Science of Precious Metals

Your Precious Metals collection is more than an art, it’s a science. In fact, learning more about the science behind your Gold and Silver coins, bullion and bars can help increase your confidence as a collector. APMEX has an extensive library of science-related content about Precious Metals.

Unlike paper currency and other types of investments, Precious Metals hold intrinsic value defined by their molecular makeup. The same Gold element listed on the periodic table as Au, atomic number 79, is the same Gold you’ll find in a 1 oz Gold American Eagle. Whether it has been melted or molded or stored in an Egyptian pharaoh’s ancient tomb, one ounce of Gold is still worth at least as much as today’s Gold spot price. Gold is, and likely always will be, regarded among the most valuable materials on the planet. The same can be said for Silver, Platinum, Palladium, Copper and other Precious Metals.

Why is it Important to Understand the Science behind Your Precious Metals Collection?

A major reason is for your own protection. Basic knowledge of the composition and properties of Gold and Silver can help ensure your investment against fraud and depreciation.

For example, .9999 fine Gold like that of a 1 oz Gold Buffalo coin, will feel noticeably heavier than the circulated coins you encounter on a daily basis. This dense heavy metal will sink in water and will not be attracted to a magnet. It will also have no reaction in response to nitric acid, while imitation gold or an alloy with silver, copper or zinc will result in a light greenish-colored reaction.

Similarly, .999 fine Silver like that of a 1 oz Silver American Eagle, carries unique properties. This Precious Metal lends itself to a number of interesting science experiments. Like Gold, Silver is not magnetic. Because it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element, Silver coins or bars also have the highest thermal conductivity. For this reason, if you place an ice cube on a fine Silver coin, it will melt significantly faster than an ice cube right beside it at room temperature. A fine Silver coin will also ring or ping clearly when flicked. Coins with only a small percentage of Silver will make a dull sound when flicked.

You’ll never have to rely solely on your own Precious Metals knowledge when buying your coins, bars or rounds through APMEX. You’ll never be asked to guess or take your chances; all of our products are guaranteed to be authentic. APMEX’s world-renowned quality control ensures that the science behind your investment is always accurate.

Expand your collection today and shop our assortment of U.S. Mint products.

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