Is the Gold Bull Market Over?

Most experts speculate that the gold bull market will continue through 2013. Some, however, disagree with this perspective. Comparing their arguments should help you decide whether you think now is a great time to invest in gold.

Bear Market: Growth in the US Economy Means Falling Gold Prices

Gold Market

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Some market speculators believe that gold prices will fall as the US economy stabilizes. US economic growth will mean that more investors around the world want to buy USD instead of gold. This will drive up the value of US currency while causing the value of gold to fall slightly.

Bull Market Response: The World Economy Suggests Higher Gold Prices

Gold Bull Market

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Yes, the US economy will likely grow somewhat in 2013, but that growth will come at a slow pace that will not excite investors around the world. Unemployment remains high; the government cannot take control of its debt; and wages have not risen to match inflation. All of this spells bad news for USD.

It’s also important to note that the price of gold doesn’t rely on the US economy alone. Half of the world is stuck struggling through a recession. The rest is stuck in economic depression. When seen from a global perspective, investors simply cannot put as much faith in currency as they can in gold.

Bear Market: As Interest Rates Rise, Gold’s Value Will Fall

Gold Bear Market

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During the 1980s, the price of gold fell as interest rates began to climb. Assuming that the Fed will begin to raise interest rates as the US economy improves and needs less assistance, the price of gold will fall during 2013. As the value of gold begins to slip, investors will likely panic and sell it at lower rates. This will lead to a steady decline in value.

Bull Market Response: Gold Maintains Value in all Economic Conditions

Gold Maintains Value

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Yes, there is some chance that higher interest rates could mean that the value of gold falls somewhat. This, however, is based on pure speculation. There simply isn’t enough historical evidence to support such a conclusion. It’s also important to look at the data from the 1980s. While one can find a general correlation between rising interest rates and falling gold prices, the chart is inconsistent. In some years, interest rates and gold prices were equally high.

The fact of the matter is that gold maintains value in all economic conditions. Buying gold is always the safe bet. Even if the value were to fall slightly in 2013, it would eventually rise again. What’s important is for investors to recognize the difference between short-term profits and long-term stability. It seems most likely that gold’s value will increase next year. Even if it doesn’t, though, it still offers more long-term stability and growth than other investment options.

Now that you have seen both sides of the argument, do you think that the gold bull market is actually over, or are you ready to start putting your money in a precious metal that will give you short-term profits as well as long-term stability no matter where the economy heads?

Panning for Gold Today: Where to Go & How to Succeed

You can find gold in almost any US state. Most places, however, just have trace elements. If you want to make money panning for gold today, you have to know where to go and what method to use.

Gold Creek, Alaska

Gold Creek

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The appropriately named Gold Creek runs through several towns near Juneau, Alaska. If you can stand the long hike, Last Chance Basin also has a reputation as a great place to pan for gold. Few people strike it rich at these locations, but rumor has it that someone found a 3/4 ounce nugget there recently.

You’ll need the standard panning equipment:

  • Shovel
  • Bucket
  • Sieve
  • Small spade
  • Waterproof boots (it gets cold in Alaska!)

You’ll also need dedication. Panning is hard work that requires physical and mental strength. If you get discouraged easily, then you’ve already failed.

Finger Lakes, New York

Gold Finger Lakes

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Gold prospectors have said for years that there isn’t anything worth finding in New York State. It turns out that the old-timers just didn’t have the right technology to get the gold.

If you want to find gold in New York, head to a basin in the Finger Lakes region and start looking in small cracks between rocks. How? You just need some suction.

Before heading out in search of gold, make sure you have a power sluice. It’s essentially a strong water pump attached to a mechanical sieve. Put your hose deep in those cracks to suck out hidden gold.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Gold in Charlotte

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Everyone remembers the California Gold Rush, but history seems to have forgotten about an earlier rush that took place east of Charlotte, North Carolina. Reed’s Gold Mine, as it’s known today, has recently started to attract new treasure hunters willing to wade through the Little Meadow Creek and other nearby waterways.

Don’t expect to find anything like the 17-pound gold rock that started the Gold Rush in 1799 or the 28-pound found by a slave in 1803. Many members of the local Gold Prospectors Association of America chapter haven’t found so much as an ounce.

Still, there’s a lot of potential in the area. John Reed eventually turned to underground mining, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still find gold in the water.

American River, California

California Gold

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California banned suction dredging in 2010, so you can’t use the same methods that have made a handful of New York prospectors rich.

Several locations, including American River, however, still let you use panning and metal detector methods to find gold. To make the most of your time, it’s best to use a combination of the methods.

What you’ll need:

  • A metal detector to find large deposits
  • Standard panning equipment
  • Luck

Using a metal detector can increase your chances of finding higher concentrations of gold in the silt, but metal detectors will also tell you start working whenever they find metal trash. That’s why you need luck as well as science to find gold in California rivers.

Do you have any secret spots where you hunt for gold, or have you found that it’s best to where others have already struck it rich?

Death by Gold: Strange Stories from History

You’ve probably heard of death by execution and death by hanging, but what about death by gold? There are several stories in history where people are killed by gold. Take a look at these strange stories throughout time.

Valerian Had Molten Gold Poured Down His Throat

Molten Gold

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It’s rumored that Valerian, a Roman Emperor, was taken prisoner by the Persians because of war and tyranny. The Persian ruler, Shapur, decided to kill Valerian by pouring molten gold down his throat. Basically, the molten gold destroyed Valerian’s esophagus and throat and filled his stomach with gold until it burst. Shapur then stuffed Valerian’s body with straw and used him as a trophy and symbol to others of Persia’s greatness.

Genghis Khan Killed the Governor of Utrar with Molten Gold

Genghis Khan

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Valerian isn’t the only story of a person dying by gold. It’s also rumored that Genghis Khan killed the governor of Utrar after a battle where Genghis lost several of his merchants. The governor of Utrar had molten gold poured in his ears and mouth to torture him before his death. He wasn’t used as a trophy, but this kind of death is pretty cruel.

Crassus Suffered Same Molten Gold Fate

Gold Fate

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Apparently, death by molten gold pops up in several stories because Crassus received the same, cruel punishment. Crassus had been climbing up the Roman political power during the rule of Spartacus. He eventually was awarded the title of consul after showing great leadership during many battles and wars. Crassus was later killed during a battle with the Parthians. He had molten gold poured down in his mouth as a symbol of his greed for wealth.

Death by a Gold Elixir Meant to Preserve Age and Beauty

Gold Elixir

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Well, obviously molten gold is dangerous, but it’s not the only way to be killed by gold. The mistress of King Henry II of France (Diane de Poitieres) poisoned herself with an elixir that contained gold. The elixir was supposed to help her fight the appearance of age, and it must have worked because she was 20 years older than King Henry II but looked the same age. The gold poisoning didn’t occur all at once — it made her hair finer than normal and her skin look like porcelain. However, the youthful benefits of gold probably weren’t worth dying for. Large traces of gold were found in the mistress’s blood after her death, proving she was killed by self-inflicted gold poisoning.

It looks like death by gold is a pretty cruel way to die, whether it is through blood poisoning or molten gold. Do you think it is one of the cruelest punishments?

What Kind of Gold Do You Really Have? Understanding the Differences Between Gold Items

It’s malleable but strong, aesthetically inspiring, and never tarnishes. Since prehistoric times, people have used gold to fashion a variety of objects. But it’s also rare and expensive, and so different items are made of differing amounts of gold and other metals.

“Solid Gold” Is Not Pure Gold

Pure Gold

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When an item is made from “solid gold,” this means the item consists of one piece of gold or gold alloy. It is not layered or plated on top of anything else. A pure gold item will be marked 24 karat (24K).

Gold is often alloyed with other metals including copper, silver, palladium, or others, partly to create a harder metal that won’t wear as easily and partly to lower cost. Twenty-four karat gold, which is nearly 100 percent pure, is 24 parts of gold per 24 parts of metal. The karat number divided by 24 equals the percentage of gold in the alloy. For example: 18K = 18/24 = 79.2% gold. A refinery can melt down the alloy and separate the gold from the other metals.

Gold bars are 24K. Bullion-grade gold coins are between 22K and 24K. Jewelry is made of many different alloys, and the color of gold in jewelry depends on the percentages of the other metals used. The law requires jewelry manufacturers to mark the karat weight on their pieces, but sometimes marks are counterfeited. Dental scrap in the form of gold teeth, fillings, bridges, etc. may contain between 60 percent and 100 percent gold, determined through chemical testing.

Gold Filled Items May Be Valuable

Gold Filled

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Some items consist of a layer of gold or gold alloy that has been fused to a core of base metal. The law states that these items must be labeled as gold filled. The ratio of gold alloy to base metal by weight ranges from 1/5 to 1/40. If an item is marked as “1/10 GF 14K,” this means that one-tenth of the weight of the object is 14K gold, and the other nine-tenths is base metal.

Corporate jewelry, including award pins for employees’ years of service from the 20th century, is sometimes made of 1/5 filled gold. Wire-framed eyeglasses often contain 1/10 filled gold. Refineries can reclaim a meaningful amount of gold from these items.

The terms “gold filled” and “rolled gold” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are not exactly the same thing. If an item is marked “RGP” (rolled gold plate) or “HRG” (heavy rolled gold), the gold layer is thinner than it is on filled gold pieces. Refineries may refuse to process such items.

Gold Plate Contains Little Gold

Gold Plated

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Some items are mostly base metal, but have a thin layer of gold or gold alloy applied to them by an electrical process. Items will be marked as “GP” or “EP.” If the layer of gold is somewhat thicker, it is known as “heavy gold electroplating” and marked as “HGP” or “HGE.” In either case, any process to recover the gold from these items will not be cost effective, so a refinery won’t accept them.

Apart from jewelry, dinnerware and silverware are sometimes gold plated. Some collectible “gold” coins are also made this way. Cellphones and other electronics contain some parts that are gold plated to guard against corrosion.

Jewelry is sometimes made by electroplating gold over sterling silver, and this is called “vermeil.” Refineries can reclaim the silver, but not the gold, from vermeil jewelry.

All gold objects are not the same, so watch out for clues to the differences.

What to Know Before Buying Colored Gold

Most people know there are at least a few different colors of gold. However, did you know that gold actually comes in at least 12 different shades? If you are going to purchase gold, especially if you want to then resell it for a profit, there are a few things you need to know about purchasing colored gold.

Yellow Gold

Yellow Gold

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Yellow gold comes in a variety of karats. The higher the karat rating on a piece, the more pure the alloy is. 24 karat gold is the purest that is available for jewelry and commercial use. It is also the most expensive. Yellow gold comes in other karats, such as 22 karat, 18 karat, 14 karat, and 10 karat. The karat rating is equivalent to how many parts of gold are in the alloy, up to 24.

Yellow gold has been the most common through history. When considering gold, most think of this traditional color. Because of that, it has a much stronger connotation as something of value for most. This color of gold is frequently mixed with silver, copper, and zinc to make the color right and the alloy stick. Finding jewelry, coins, and other pieces in yellow gold is much easier than some of the other colors.

Rose Gold

Rose Gold

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Over the last few decades, rose gold has gained significant popularity. Today, it is used for many jewelry pieces, including wedding and engagement rings, as well as pendants. Rose gold is usually created as an 18 karat gold. The gold is mixed with copper and silver to achieve the pink color that is now highly prized.

Rose gold is used in many things other than jewelry as well. For example, many high-end flutes are either made of, or plated with, rose gold. This can be a great investment for those looking to purchase gold to then refine. A rose gold flute attained at a good price can yield a large profit.

White Gold

White Gold

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There are different levels of quality when it comes to white gold. Some white gold is created by mixing the gold with 25 percent palladium or platinum. This is generally the more expensive white gold. However, it can also be created with a mixture of palladium, zinc, and nickel. Many people who like the look of silver, but the prestige of gold will purchase white gold jewelry. However, they probably don’t know what elements it is mixed with.

When sending white gold to be refined, you may get more than you are bargaining for. It will depend on which alloy the metal was created with, however.

Purple Gold

Purple Gold

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How often have you seen a piece of purple gold jewelry? Most likely, the answer is never. This alloy has proven to be difficult for many jewelry makers to perfect. The color is frequently splotchy, and many have found it to be extremely porous. Because of this, purple gold is difficult to come by, and may be very expensive to pick up. Purple gold is composed of 80 percent gold and 20 percent aluminum.

Gold jewelry is an important part of our culture. Because of this, there is a lot of it going around. All gold is worth refining, all you have to do is find it.