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Gold has always been a part of human history and culture.
Being discovered on its own in the early years of history, it played a significant role in human life.
People used it as money, an investment, even as a means for trade.
Historians can't explain how it became so important in human life, except to say that perhaps, some people just had an incredible knack for it, and other people were blessed with it.
Either way, no one can take away the history of gold.
Some of the most critical events in human history that happened were because of gold.
Read on if you are looking to invest in gold and want to know what physical gold is.
Brief History of Gold
The discovery of gold by ancient civilizations is considered one of the most meaningful events in history.
With the sudden appearance of gold artifacts, especially in the Egyptian history section, many people believed their civilizations were crucial in discovering gold.
Various Akashic tablets support the belief that was written during the third and fourth centuries.
Several terms that appeared bizarrely like "gold" and "desert land" have been used.
However, in the recent past, scientists have revealed different traces of gold that were buried in archeological excavations from the second to fifth centuries B.C.
In the western world, the discovery of gold dates back to at least 300 years ago, when Europeans began trading tin and iron ore.
Soon after, gold mining in America beckoned, and the country expanded, so did the number of entrepreneurs looking into the prospect of mining for gold.
The first notable event in gold discovery in America happened at Fort Point, California.
Where an American doctor and his wife discovered some yellowish sludge in July of 1896.
The yellow sludge gave out a steady stream of golden flakes that quickly turned into small, white rocks within a few months.
On this discovery was born the California gold rush.
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Different Types of Gold
In today's precious metals industry, there is gold in different forms, more specifically, paper gold and physical gold. When it comes to the physical, there are three types of gold to consider:
A gold coin is essentially a coin that is composed of or mainly of gold.
Most gold coins minted throughout the world since the 1800s are almost always 90 percent pure gold, while all but a few collector coins are diluted with other metals to reduce the weight and keep the value of the coin low.
It is rare for a pure gold coin to be minted today due to the increased difficulty of obtaining pure gold and because most governments no longer require it as legal tender.
Although rare, some gold bullion coins have been produced in the past by countries that did not have gold reserves at the time of their downfall; these coins are also rare and are worth more now than they were during their existence.
Gold coin certificates are legal tender issued by governments and financial institutions to invest financial assets, unlike precious metals like silver or platinum, which can be easily fabricated and molded to specific shapes and sizes.
Gold coins must be manufactured in exact proportions.
Otherwise, the metal will lose its rareness and worth, so coins are generally standardized in weight and size, or else they can be custom-made according to the needs of the issuing government.
In the past, gold bullion coins were the only legal tender in the world.
Today, gold coins and collectibles are hugely popular among serious coin collectors who value the historical significance of these objects and want to invest in rare coins.
Prices of gold coins are always on the rise, and, therefore, collectors do well to purchase coins at the right time and hold onto them until the market peaks.
In other words, gold coins are like hot commodities.
Gold coin programs, also known as smart investing, have become quite popular among serious collectors over the last decade.
With a gold coins program, a collector can accumulate the same amount of precious metals as with standard bullion coin programs without constantly buying precious metals from refineries.
Gold coin programs are specifically designed to match the needs of serious coin collectors who wish to invest in rare coins and don't necessarily care so much about the fineness.
Program users receive one, two, or three transactions at designated financial institutions and then hold onto their coins at the prearranged amount for a set period.
Gold bars, also known as pure gold bars, measure a particular amount of pure gold manufactured by a bar maker meeting certain standard parameters of production, identification, recording, and labeling.
Large gold bars which are manufactured by pouring hot metal into special molds are usually called ingots.
When heated in a furnace, a gold bar can be broken into smaller bars to produce more pure gold.
Gold is one of the most popular precious metals which are commonly used for jewelry making.
Gold bars are trendy worldwide because they are easy to buy and sell and hold their value.
To test the purity of gold bars, a process known as an assayed assay is used.
An assay card is a device that helps determine the purity of gold through an electronic tester.
The tester can read the purity with a high degree of accuracy from 1% up to 95%.
Many gold bars can be bought and sold at prices much lower than what the bar is worth at local brokers and dealers.
The majority of local retailers and dealers have the equipment and expertise to undertake this process.
In addition to local retailers and dealers, there are many gold bars mints worldwide that many investors visit each year.
These mints conduct regular assessments of their stocks and determine their purity with a high degree of accuracy.
Investors who want to invest in gold bars should consider visiting a number of these mints during their time investing in gold.
There are three common types of gold in the modern jewelry market:
yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold.
The metals employed in the alloy composition are what give gold its many colors and the gold purities it contains.
Yellow gold is the purest form of metal and is found naturally.
It is created into a gold alloy for jewelry by mixing pure gold with metals like zinc and copper.
To achieve a tint similar to silver or platinum, white gold is combined with palladium or nickel.
Rose gold is a pinkish-colored alloy made up of around 25% copper.
The best way to tell real gold from fake gold jewelry is to place the piece under a magnifying lamp.
If you see a yellow glow just beneath the surface of the gold object, then you know it is an imitation.
Should the lamp not illuminate the item at all, or if it shimmers and sparkles rather than being reflected in colored light, then it is a gold jewel.
This gold trading industry is currently experiencing its highest growth rate ever, and is projected to continue doing so in the future.
If you want to know more about physical gold and how you can take advantage of this property of metal, then you can consult gold brokers.
Many online sites will offer you guidance on how to purchase gold products to sell them later at a profit.
After all, you do not need to keep accumulating debts on your gold bullion to enjoy the financial benefits of possessing it.