Alloy: A combination of two or metals together to form a higher strength alloy. Gold is sometimes alloyed with palladium. The palladium strengthens the dominant metal gold, and also gives it the “white gold” appearance.
Arbitrage: Simultaneous buying and selling of price differentials in the commodities markets.
Ask: A price at which a commodities firm will sell a commodity.
Assay: A test to determine the weight and purity of a precious metal.
AU: Gold’s chemical symbol.
Avoirdupois: A system of weights based on a 16 oz. pound. One avoirdupois ounce is the equivalent of 28.35 grams or 1/16 of an ounce.
Bid: The price that a commodities firm will pay for a commodity.
Bubble: Bubbles happen when the price of virtually any investment rises above what the fundamentals justify.
Bullion: A precious metal in its purest form, usually in the shape of a bar or coin.
Business Strike Coins: A coin that was meant to be circulated.
Coin: A metal piece used for money, usually backed by a government. Coins with intrinsic value are considered real money.
COMEX: The Commodity Exchange is where commodities like gold and silver trade on the open market.
Counterfeit: An imitation or phony reproduction of a coin or currency.
Denomination: An increment of value or face value associated with money.
Dollar: The name of the currency of the United States Government and considered the Global Reserve Currency.
Engelhard Corporation: World famous refiners of gold and silver products.
Face Value: The legal value stamped on a coin by a government but not necessarily the coins true value.
Fineness: A measure for the purity of a precious metal coin or bar. For example: .999 fine is equivalent to 99.90% pure.
Grading Service: A neutral company that grades and certifies numismatic coins. Once the grade and condition are determined, the coins are typically protected and preserved in a hard-plastic casing.
Hallmark: A mark that is stamped into a bullion product to identify the producer.
Hedge: A hedge is an established position in one market designed to offset risk or exposure in another market.