1 U.S. Dollar = 0.89 Swiss Francs






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Glossary of Gold Terms

Actual gold content: The amount of gold that exists in an object after all of the other metals have been purged.

Alchemy: Alchemy is the search for a chemical process capable of turning base metals (such as copper or lead) into gold. The first alchemists began trying to convert base metals into gold as far back as Ancient Egypt.

Allocated account: A bank account in which the policy owner's gold is unique to them and physically segregated from the rest of the bank's gold. Because of their storage and insurance fees, allocated accounts are more expensive than their alternatives (unallocated accounts). However, they also offer greater asset protection.

Alloy: An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals. In jewelry-making, metals such as silver, copper and zinc are frequently added to gold to furnish certain characteristics, such as hardness or luster.

Assay: The act of testing gold or silver under fire to determine its purity (or actual gold content).

Asset: An economic resource that is held or controlled by an investor or other entity.

Base metal: Base metals are non-precious metals, such as copper, aluminum, zinc and lead. For thousands of years, alchemists tried to convert these metals into gold.

Bear market: Phrase used to describe a market that is primarily trending down. The most common explanation for the term's origin is that a bear swipes its claws down when attacking.

Bullion: Bullion bars, ingots and wafers are all fashioned from refined gold that is at least 99.5 percent pure.

Bullion coin: Gold bullion coins are legal tender that have their market prices determined by their gold content, rather than their rarity or face value.

Bull market: Phrase used to describe a market that is primarily trending up. The most common explanation for the term's origin is that a bull slashes its horns up when attacking.

Cash market: In a cash market, delivery and payment of a trade must be made within two working days of the transaction date.

Coin: A coin is a stamped piece of metal that is issued as legal tender.

Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF): An investment vehicle where a group of investors pools their assets and has a financial manager invest on their behalf. ETFs are structured like mutual funds but are traded like stocks.

Face value: The nominal value given to legal tender such as coins and currency. For gold coins, the face value does not align with the value of the actual gold content. For instance, a one-ounce gold American Eagle coin has a face value of $50 U.S. dollars and a market value of almost $2,000 USD (based on its fine gold content).

Fiat currencies: A fiat currency is legal tender that derives its value from the government that issues it. These paper currencies are not backed by gold, silver or any other commodity.

Fine gold content: The quantity of pure gold contained in 1000 parts of an alloy. A London Good Delivery Bar (with a fine gold content of 99.5 percent) is an alloy that contains 995 parts of gold and five parts of another metal.

Fine weight: The weight in gold of a coin, ingot or bar, as opposed to its gross weight (which also includes the weight of the alloying metal).

Future: A binding legal agreement to purchase or sell gold (or another commodity) at a future date for a specific price.

Futures market: A marketplace where "contracts" are traded and, in the case of gold options, physical delivery of the gold may or may not occur.

Gold: Gold is a precious metal that has historically been prized for its beauty and scarcity. Known as the "asset of last resort", gold is also regarded as the premier store of value during turbulent economic periods.

Gold Accumulation Plan (GAP): In a Gold Accumulation Plan, a fixed amount of money is set aside at regular time intervals and automatically used to purchase gold bullion. The amount of gold purchased can be as high or as low as the investor desires.

Gold certificates: Certificates issued to investors that denote them as the owner of a specific quantity of gold. Gold certificates allow investors to own gold without having to take physical delivery- the bank or dealer holds the gold on the investor's behalf.

Gold standard: A defunct monetary system where all paper currencies were backed by gold and could easily be converted into gold. The United States abandoned the gold standard in 1971.

Gold stocks: Shares in a gold mining company. The value of the company (and therefore the shares) is determined, among other things, by the price of gold. The company's gold reserves and earning potential also factor into the value of its stock.

Inflation: A rapid increase in price over time as the purchasing power of a currency diminishes.

Ingot: Another term used to describe a gold bar.

Intrinsic value: Gold bullion and coins derive their value from the fine gold content.

Investment risk: The potential that an investment's return will be lower than expected.

Krugerrand: A South African gold coin that was first minted in 1967.

Legal tender: Any coin or currency that a country of issuance declares to be universally acceptable as a medium of exchange.

Liquid market: A market where the purchase and sale of assets is executed with ease.

London good delivery bar: A bar of gold that meets strict fine gold content specifications. London Good Delivery bars are composed of 99.5 percent gold.

Liquidity: Any asset or financial instrument that can be readily converted into cash without significant penalties is considered to be highly liquid.

London Fix: Twice a day, leading gold banks in London convene and set the current spot price of gold.

Market value: The market price of gold bullion and gold coins is the price at which gold is currently trading. This value is determined by the spot price of gold.

Mint: A factory where gold coins and bars are manufactured.

Negative correlation: An investment relationship in which one variable increases as the other decreases. A perfect negative correlation means that the relationship between the two variables is opposite 100 percent of the time.

Numismatic coins: Gold coins that are valued for their rarity, condition and beauty rather than for their fine gold content. Because the cost of a numismatic coin is higher than the cost of a bullion coin of the same gold content, they are primarily owned by collectors. Coin dealers often charge higher premiums for numismatic coins than for bullion coins.

Option: An option is a non-binding agreement to purchase or sell gold or another commodity at a future date for a specific price.

Paper gold: A colloquial term used to describe contracts to purchase or sell gold without an actual exchange of physical gold offers. Futures, options and gold certificates are all examples of paper gold.

Physical gold: Actual gold deposits as opposed to paper claims on gold.

Physicals market: A market where physical gold changes hand.

Portfolio diversification: An investment principle that encourages investors to spread their assets around to reduce the possibility of losing everything in a single, bad investment. A diverse portfolio allows you to invest in both low- and high-risk investments, effectively mitigating risk.

Positive correlation: An investment relationship in which two variables move in unison. As one variable increases, the other increases in a concurrent manner. A perfect positive correlation means that the relationship between the two variables is positive 100 percent of the time.

Precious metals: High-value metals like gold, silver and platinum.

Premium: The amount by which the market value of a gold coin exceeds the value of its fine gold content. This premium is generally higher for numismatic coins, which have value beyond their fine gold content. Part of this percentage markup can be recouped later by reselling the coin.

Self Invested Pension Plans (SIPPs): A pension plan where the assets comprising the policy are determined by the policy owner.

Spot price: The spot price of gold is sometime referred to as the cash price. The spot price is the current rate for immediate purchase and delivery of physical gold.

Spread: The difference (or percentage markup) between the purchase price and sale price of gold bullion.

Store of value: An investment that retains its purchasing power and is more or less immune to market fluctuations. Gold has long been considered the preeminent store of value because of its long history of stability.

Supply and demand: An economic theory that explains how the supply of a resource and the demand for that resource influence its pricing. In general, scarce resources are more in demand (and therefore more expensive) than abundant resources. The opposite is also true: the greater the supply for a resource, the lower the demand (and therefore the price).

Troy ounce: A unit of weight equal to about 1.1 ounces. The weight of gold is always denominated in troy ounces.

Unallocated account: An account in which the policy owner's gold is not separated from the other gold in the bank. Unallocated accounts are cheaper than allocated accounts because the policy owner does not pay storage or insurance fees. However, unallocated accounts do not carry the same asset protection as allocated accounts.

Value retention: Another way to describe a resource's ability to maintain its value.

Wafer: A generic term used to describe thin gold bars that resemble wafers.

World Gold Council: an organization dedicated to promoting the use of gold.