Gold Education

Many stock traders would like to get into gold investments but are unsure of where to start. There are a variety of things to learn when first buying gold. Begin with the basics, make small purchases as a beginner and most of all, keep gold secure.
 

History and Types of Gold

This section of the blog breaks down the basics of gold, considered a valuable resource ever since prehistoric days. While light yellow gold is the most common, other gold hues include white and rose gold. Different golds play different roles. For instance, colored golds tend to stress diamonds and other precious stones. Use the gold education blog to familiarize yourself with the essentials of the metal.
 

Keeping Gold Safe

Once you've acquired a little gold it's important to keep it safe. For instance, most banks do not insure the contents of deposit boxes. That means if a bank vault is robbed, your gold is history, too. Ideally, your gold is protected at home in a safe or under lock and key. Furthermore, don't engage in strenuous activity when wearing gold jewelry or risk losing it.
 
Knowing the history of gold and types of gold will aid any beginner. Most importantly, take good care of the gold you acquire.

4 Ways Gold is Used for Medicinal Purposes

Unbeknownst to many of us, gold has many uses in medicine, and some might surprise even the most knowledgeable people. Gold has been part of medicine for millenia, going back 5,000 years when it was first used to revitalize the body by the Egyptians. In those times, people thought gold had special powers. In medieval times, it found use as a cure for arthritis. Today, we use gold in different ways from detecting to curing the most deadly diseases.

Gold Radiates a Cure for Cancer

Medicinal Gold

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Gold treats some types of cancer like ovarian and prostate cancer. Doctors inject radioactive gold particles into areas with cancerous growths and the radiation helps fight the cancer over time. Gold has many qualities which make it suitable for this treatment. Since gold is very inert, it is safe to inject it into the body and it will not degrade.

Other properties make gold an exceptional choice. Studies found gold cancer treatments extend life and reduce pain and physical wasting often associated with cancer. Gold is usually a last resort, and used only to treat inoperable cancers using current surgical techniques. Gold lasers will kill cancers without causing damage to neighboring cell tissue.

The Gold Diagnosis: Positive

Gold Diagnostics

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Gold is also used to diagnose a range of diseases and viruses. It is prepared in a solution called Colloidal Gold and radiated. Doctors then inject it into the body. The radioactive gold emits beta particles as it moves through the subject. By tracking the emissions, doctors can diagnose conditions such as syphilis and influenza.

A Magic Pill Made of Gold

Golden Pill

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Starting in the early 1900’s, Colloidal Gold treated alcoholism. In modern times it can stop addiction to cigarettes, alcohol and even caffeine. But there are many more uses that make it a true golden solution. As far back as the late 1800’s and right up until today, gold is used to relieve arthritis pain in joints and muscles. It also helps by increasing blood circulation and can solve heart problems.

Gold has a balancing effect in the body that Europeans have long relied on. They often take gold in pill form and have been doing so for over a century. Gold helps to re-balance certain parts of the body like the digestive track and even the brain. It can also help reduce hot flashes or chills by regulating the body’s core temperature.

Gold Takes a Surgical Approach in Medicine

Surgical Gold

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Gold is also used during surgery to seal blood vessels, nerve endings and arteries. Since it is so malleable and stable, it makes the perfect metal for a quick suture. Doctors also use it to mend bones. Many surgeon’s tools are made of gold like forceps, surgical knives and other tools used during surgery everyday.

As you can see, gold has several uses in the medical field. From curing cancers to rejuvenating bodily functions, it is an extraordinary metal.

Nine Fascinating Facts About Gold

As useful as it is beautiful, gold is the king of the elements. Here are some fascinating facts about the world’s most popular metal.

1. Three Quarters of the World’s Gold May Have Already Been Mined

Gold Mine

Image via Flickr by Marion Doss

Human beings have extracted about 166,000 metric tons of gold from the ground during our entire history. As of 2011, the US Geological Survey has estimated there are about 51,000 unmined metric tons of gold worldwide.

2. The First Coins Were Made of Gold

Gold Coins

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The Lydians made the first coins in the fifth century BC. They lived in an area that is now part of Turkey. The metal in the coins was a natural mixture of gold and silver called electrum.

The practice of using coinage instead of bartering must have had its advantages. Not long after this invention, the Persians conquered the Lydians, and they started using coins, too.

3. Trillions of Dollars Worth of Gold Are Dissolved in the Ocean

Ocean Gold

Image via Flickr by Walt Stoneburner

Seawater contains an average of 13 parts per trillion of gold. Altogether, it amounts to about 25 billion ounces of gold. However, the cost of removing the gold from the water would still be more than it’s worth.

4. Gold May Have Formed in a Huge Freak Explosion in Deep Space

Gold in Space

Image via Flickr by NASAblueshift

Most of the Earth’s elements were created by stars that were going through the supernova phases of their lives, acting as furnaces for atomic fusion. Many scientists say that gold could not have formed in this way. However, some astrophysicists believe that gold formed when two neutron stars collided, during one of the most violent occurrences that ever takes place in our universe.

5. Gold Has Been Found on Every Continent

Gold on Every Continent

Image via Flickr by whgrad

Although gold is a relatively rare substance—it’s 75th in commonness out of 90 naturally occurring elements on earth—it is distributed everywhere. Some places are richer in deposits than others, such as Australia, South Africa, and Nevada in the United States.

6. Twenty Percent of Gold Used for Decorative Purposes Is Contained in Indian Saris

Indian Gold

Image via Flickr by mckaysavage

Gold is so malleable that it forms not only the finest gauges of wire, but fine, flexible thread that people can sew. In India, this thread is used to embroider fabric for making flowing wrap garments called saris.

7. Glass Treated With Gold Repels Infrared Rays

Repel Infrared Rays

Image via Flickr by Lee Cannon

The infrared, or heat-inducing, waves from the sun reflect off the crystalline structure of gold atoms. Glass treated with gold shielded the eyes of the Apollo astronauts outside the earth’s protective atmosphere. Today, gold-treated glass helps to control the temperature inside glass-walled buildings.

8. Injections of Gold Once Fought Arthritis

Gold Injection

Image via Flickr by joeflintham

Gold is not only nontoxic, but also has anti-inflammatory properties. In the early twentieth century, doctors administered gold injections to people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Less expensive and even more effective therapies have now replaced the gold shots. It’s still a medical mystery how they worked.

9. Discovering Gold Is No Longer an Accident

Discover Gold

Image via Flickr by GOC53

People used to find gold by chance. When General John Sutter was building a sawmill in Coloma, California in 1848, an employee of his discovered lumps of gold at the construction site. This was the beginning of the Gold Rush of 1849.

Today, geologists know that they are more likely to find gold near fault lines where water has circulated. It is most likely to be discovered along with certain other minerals including quartz, silver, calcite, and ironically, pyrite, which is sometimes mistaken for gold.

Gold is not only an attractive metal, but an intriguing one, too.

Don’t Get Ripped Off! Know the Value of Your Gold Before Selling

A tight global economy means that people are looking for ways to bring in some extra cash whenever they can. One of the methods for getting some extra money is selling off gold jewelry that has been sitting around for years. Just because you need the money does not mean that you should become a victim. The more that you know about the value of gold, the less your chances of getting ripped off when you go to sell it.

What is a Karat?

Gold Karat

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A karat is a value of measurement assigned to the amount of actual gold in a piece. For example, a 10-karat piece has less real gold in it than a 14-karat piece. It is based on percentages and the actual percentages are:

  • 10-karat is 42 percent pure gold
  • 14-karat is 58 percent pure gold
  • 18-karat is 75 pecent pure gold

The rest of the metals are fillers that have no value. You can purchase testing kits online which will accurately let you know exactly how many karats your jewelry is so that you can get a fair price for it. It will also help you understand how much of it you will actually get if you send it to a refinery.

Know Your Options

Gold Options

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When you are looking to get a fair price on your jewelry, it is always a good idea to gather prices from various sources. This does not mean that you should go to different jewelry stores, it means that you should try different kinds of jewelry buyers to get your pricing. Pawn shops, jewelry stores, online gold buyers, gold buying home parties and refineries are just some of the places where you can get fair prices for all of your gold jewelry.

Separate Your Gold

Gold Treasure

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A gold coin could potentially have more value than a gold necklace, because the coin could have been minted to be worth a value above the value of just the metal. A gold coin that was part of sunken pirate treasure is also going to have more value than a standard gold coin. With more people scouring the oceans for sunken gold, it is not unusual to see gold coins from the 15th and 16th centuries show up in people’s collections. Separate your jewelry and see if the intrinsic value of the piece may exceed the value of the metal.

Get a General Understanding

Understanding Gold

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Before you go shopping for a car, you will spend hours on the Internet trying to determine a fair price for the vehicle you want. You need to use the same process before you head out to sell your jewelry. If you purchase a scale that can help you to weigh your gold in grams and combine that with your karat test, then you can use an online gold calculator to get an idea of what the gold is worth.

That pile of old gold jewelry you have been holding onto could pay your mortgage for a month or even be used as tuition for your child’s education. Before you actually sell your gold, you need to educate yourself on how to get a fair price so that you can avoid being ripped off.

The Meaning of Gold Across Cultures

Since the dawn of humanity, gold and people have shared a relationship. Its beauty makes it desirable for jewelry and building materials. Its rarity makes it a valuable trade commodity. A large portion of human history depended on gold for the wealth of nations and citizens. How complicated is our relationship with the king of precious metals?

Gold in The Middle East

Middle Eastern Gold

Image via Flickr by openDemocracy

Most likely, someone found the first shiny example of gold in a body of water, but we can’t be sure. We do know gold refinement predates our use of iron and copper. Ancient Egyptians related the beauty and power of gold with the gods. Gold was called the Skin of the Gods.

The earliest examples of refined gold appear in the Middle East, where civilization began. The oldest examples we have were found in the tombs of Egypt’s Queen Zer and Ur’s Queen Pu-abi, indicating humans began crafting gold pieces as early as three millenniums B.C. The largest collection of gold was found in the tomb of Egypt’s King Tutankhamen.

As early as 700 B.C., artists in the Persian Empire (now Iran) used advanced gold refining processes. Much of this work centered around Zoroastrianism religious pieces. After the Arabs came to this region, stunningly beautiful animal art began to appear.

Gold in China

Gold in China

Image via Flickr by drs2biz

While the Middle East enjoyed a wealth of gold, China was robbed early. Until the Han Dynasty, China was wealthy in gold, but since the fall of this great empire China has suffered from a lack of this resource. Theories on how China’s gold was lost vary. Some believe China never really had much gold, most of what was believed to be gold was actually copper. Others think the Hans buried China’s gold or took it somewhere else.

International trade required gold for centuries. China had to export large quantities of grain, even as citizens were starving, in exchange for goods they had to import. Another setback occurred when the Nationalist Government fell. Most of China’s gold ended up in Taiwan as the Nationalists fled the country. Even now, the ownership and exchange of gold by the Chinese people is highly regulated.

Gold In Europe

European Gold

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Europe’s fascination with gold began during the Roman Empire. As in the Middle East, gold was first used in jewelry. It then began showing up in household goods and even furniture in homes of the higher classes. Gradually, gold coins became currency. About 300 years B.C., Roman citizens were recognized by their necklaces, which bore coins emblazoned with the image of the emperor.

As Christianity swept Europe, people began burying gold with their dead. Because of this, very little of Europe’s golden items survived the Middle Ages. Gradually, Europe began using the gold standard of currency. Great Britain adopted it in 1821, followed by the rest of Europe in the 1870’s.

Gold In The Americas

American Gold

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Even before European settlers sailed to the Americas, Indians had developed advanced gold refining processes like filigree, granulation, inlay and other gold working methods. In fact, when Spanish settlers arrived, the Indians had already developed all of the gold working knowledge possessed by the Spanish.

By this time, the whole world recognized the value of gold in adornments and in currency. By the end of World War I, Europe and everyone except the U.S. had abandoned the gold standard. By the mid-20th Century, the U.S. dollar became the basis for international trade, replacing the longstanding use of gold. Today, gold is used mostly for jewelry, high-tech electronics and as an investment against economic collapse.

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

Image via Flickr by Salmando

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.