Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gold Bullion

Gold bars are called gold bullion bars or ingots. Gold bars range in weight from one gram to 24 kilograms. According to the dictionary the word bullion derives from the Old French words billon (from bille, stick) and bouillon - bubble on the surface of boiling liquid (from boilir, to boil). The word ingot comes the Old English word goten (in+goten to pour in). Thus, ingot can refer to a bar or a mould for casting bars.

Bullion refers to any form of gold whose value is based only on the quantity and quality present. This value is specified in terms of weight, Troy ounces, grams, or kilograms, and purity.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has established a standard, ISO 4217, that defines three-letter codes and three digit numbers for currencies including gold bullion. Gold bullion's code is XAU and number is 959. By definition gold bullion, XAU, is expressed in US dollars per one Troy ounce of gold.

Coins, such as the gold bullion Krugerrand, are called bullion coins because it is only the gold content that is being valued. However, bullion coins do carry a premium because they are minted and are widely recognized.

Gold bullion bars are either cast or minted. Cast bars are normally produced directly from gold that has been melted. The traditional method is to pour molten gold into a mould. A modern method is to put gold granules or cut pieces of gold in a mould and melt them in a furnace.

Minted gold bullion bars are cut from a cast gold bar that has been rolled to a uniform thickness. The cutting is done with a die to create blanks that have the required dimensions and weight. The surfaces of minted gold bullion bars are smooth and even. Markings are applied by to the gold bullion bars buy a minting press. Minted gold bullion bars are manufactured in a variety of shapes and often incorporated in jewellery.

The gold industry and exchanges specify the types of gold bars they will accept. These gold bars are referred to as "good delivery" bars meaning they meet the required specifications for the particular industry use or exchange. For example, the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) specifies good delivery gold bullion bars must be 400 ounces of 99.95% gold or better. The COMEX requires 100 ounce gold bullion bars of 99.95% gold or better.

Citation Gold Bars Worldwide

Australian Gold Nugget "Kangaroo" Gold Coin

The Australian Gold Nugget "Kangaroo" Gold Coin is a 24 Karat gold bullion coin made by the Perth Mint located in the state of Western Australia. The Perth Mint began production of the gold bullion coins in 1986. The bullion coin comes in five troy ounce sizes: 1/20 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz and 1 oz. The 24 Karat gold bullion coin are legal tender in Australia and are denominated $5 (.05), $15 (.1 oz), $25 (.25 oz), $50(.5 oz) and $100 (1 oz).

The obverse ("heads") side of the coin presents a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The obverse gives the date the coin was struck and the demonization in Australian dollars. Words appear in an arc around the edge of the coin, for example, "Elizabeth II – Australia 2008 – 100 Dollars."

The reverse ("tails") side from 1986 to 1989 featured various gold nuggets found in Australia. Beginning in 1989 the reverse was changed to show a Kangaroo. The design of the Kangaroo changes each year. The weight in Tory ounces and purity are given on this side. The worlds "Australian Kangaroo" appear in an arch on the upper part of the coin. The weight and purity is shown in an arch at the bottom, for example, "1 oz. 9999 GOLD."

Here are a few interesting facts about the Australian Gold Nugget "Kangaroo" Gold coin. The coins come in a round plastic protective case. The Perth Mint opened in 1899 as a branch of the British Royal Mint to manufacture Sovereigns. The Perth Mint makes a wide range of gold coins and souvenirs. The Australian Nugget "Kangaroo" Gold coin should not be confused with the Australian Lunar Gold Bullion coin also made by the Perth Mint. The Lunar gold bullion coins have images of animals from the Chinese Lunar calendar.

Face Value$5$15$25$50$100
Gross Weight (Troy)0.
Gross Weight (Grams)1.55523.11037.775815.551531.1030
Gold Weight (Troy)
Gold Weight (Grams)1.55523.11037.775815.551531.1030
Diameter (mm)14.1016.1020.1025.1032.10
Thickness (mm)1.1401.301.802.202.65

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vienna Philharmonic Gold Coin

The Vienna Philharmonic Gold Coin is the 24 Karat gold bullion coin of Austria. The 800 year-old Austrian Mint began production in 1989. The metallic composition is 99.99% gold. The coin comes in four troy ounce sizes: 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1 oz. The four types of coins have the same design but are denominated in Euros: €10 (.10 oz), €25(.25 oz), €50 (.5 oz) and €100 (1 oz). Prior to the adoption of the Euro in 2002, the Philharmonic Gold Coin was denominated as follows: 200 Schilling (.1 oz), 500 Schilling (.25 oz), 1000 Schilling (.5 oz) and 2000 Schilling (1 oz).

The obverse ("heads") side is a montage of musical instruments, including a string bass, cellos, violins, a bassoon, harp and Viennese horn. The words "Wiener Philharmoniker" (German for Vienna Philharmonic) are show in an arc across the top.

The reverse ("tails") side shows the the great organ in the concert hall of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The words "REPUBLIK OSTERREICH" are shown in an arc across the top. The weight, purity and year of issue are inscribed below the organ. The denomination in Euros is shown in an arc around the bottom.

Here are a few interesting facts about the Vienna Philharmonic Gold Coin. The Philharmonic Gold Coin was the best selling gold coin world-wide in 1992, 1995 and 1996 according to the World Gold Council. In 2004 the Austrian Mint was awarded the Guinness World Record for the World’s largest gold coin when it struck 15 1000 oz (31.1 kg, 69 pounds) Philharmonics. The coin was featured on the side of the Austrian Airlines Airbus A340. The Austrian Mint was established in 1194 at the court of the Badenberg dukes in Vienna to coin silver from the ransom of the English King Richard I, "Richard the Lionheart."

Face Value€100€50€25€10
Gross Weight (Troy)
Gross Weight (Grams)31.10315.5527.776
Gold Weight (Troy)
Gold Weight (Grams)31.10315.5527.776
Diameter (mm)37282216
Thickness (mm)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gold Sovereign

The Gold Sovereign is perhaps the World’s most famous gold bullion coin. The modern British Sovereign gold coin was first issued in 1817. The British Sovereign is a 22 Karat gold bullion coin. The metallic composition is 11 parts gold and 1 part copper. This works out to 92% gold and 8% copper. This gold-copper alloy is known as “Crown Gold.“ The gold content of the Sovereign is 0.2354 Troy ounces or 7.322 grams. Thus the Gold Sovereign is “about“ one-quarter of an ounce of pure gold. A “Half Sovereign“ has also been issued since 1817 and contains one-half the gold content of the “full Sovereign.“ Like the Krugerrand gold bullion coin, the British Sovereign gold coin bears no currency value.

The obverse (“heads“) side of the British Sovereign gold coin shows the portrait of the reigning British monarch at the time the coin was issued. The modern coin shows the portrait of monarchs from George III to Elizabeth II. The names of the monarchs are given in an arch around the edge of coin accompanied with a title or appellation in Latin. For example, “ELIZABETH II DEI GRA REGINA FID DEF“ which translates to “Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of Faith.“

The reverse (“tails“) side of the British Sovereign gold coin varies between renditions of “Saint George Slaying the Dragon“ and the heraldic shield of the monarch on the obverse. The modern version of the coin minted under George III shows “Saint George Slaying the Dragon“ designed by the Italian artist and engraver Benedetto Pistrucci. The reverse side shows the date at the bottom. Note: the date is not necessarily the date of mintage – it is the date the die was made.

Here are a few interesting facts about the British Sovereign gold coin. The British Sovereign was first issued in 1489 for Henry VII of England. One billion Gold Sovereign coins have been minted to date. Gold Sovereigns were issued until 1914 when Britain abandoned the gold standard. After that, sovereigns were produced by branch mints at Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Bombay, Ottawa, and Pretoria. The last issue of the gold coin was in 1932 at Pretoria until production resumed in 1957 and continues to date. In the movie “From Russia with Love“ James Bond is given a special briefcase by Q that contains 50 gold sovereigns hidden in the lining. At the time Bond sees little need for the coins. Toward the end of the movie Bond is cornered by an assassin. Bond tells the villain about the gold coins in the briefcase – but when the greedy bad guy opens the case it explodes - and Bond lives to make another movie.

Diameter: 22.05 mm.
Thickness: 1.0 to 1.4 mms.
Gross Weight: 7.9881 grams.
Gold Weight: 7.3224 grams (0.235421 troy ounces).