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Current Precious Metals Pricing
Gold pricing is based on a number of factors, including karat amount , gram weight, design and craftsmanship. The karatage and gram weight designate how much gold is in a piece, but are not the sole determining price factors. The craftsmanship and level of detail in a piece also count.
The most critical thing to look for in buying gold jewelry is the purity of the gold. The higher the gold content, the more valuable it is. The amount of gold in a piece is represented in the karat mark, usually inscribed on the back of the piece (e.g. 24K, 18K, 14K, etc.). The European system uses numbers representing a fraction of 1000, so "750" would be 75% gold, or the equivalent of 18 Karat. In addition to the karat mark, every piece of gold jewelry should be stamped with a hallmark or trademark of its manufacturer and sometimes its country of origin. In the United States, 14-karat gold, or 583 parts pure gold, is the most common degree of fineness and pieces are marked 14K. Nothing less than 10K can legally be marked or sold as gold jewelry in the U.S.
Silver is one of the first metals to be used by humans. It is the most reflective of all the metals and can be polished to a higher sheen than platinum. In fact, the chemical symbol for silver, Ag, is derived from the Latin word argentum, meaning 'white and shining.' It is extremely malleable and resists oxidation from exposure to the atmosphere. Silver also has the highest thermal and electric conductivity of any substance. Silver is widely distributed in nature, but the total amount is quite small when compared with other metals. Unlike gold, silver is present in many naturally occurring minerals.
Silver ornaments and decorations have been found in royal tombs dating back as far as 4000 BC, and silver has been used, along with gold, as money for centuries. Today, over 90% of the silver mined is not used for jewelry, but in industrial applications. Compounds of silver are used to make mirrors, electrical contacts, dental fillings, coins and electroplating. Over 40% of all silver mined in the United States is used as silver nitrate and silver halide in photographic developing.
Silver can be polished, matte, brushed, satin, sandblasted, oxidized (blackened using chemicals) or antiqued. Silver is often said to have a patina, or worn appearance that is achieved through frequent use and handling. In its pure form silver is almost as soft as gold, and is therefore usually alloyed with copper. Alloys of silver with copper are harder, tougher, and more fusible than pure silver and therefore, are used for jewelry. The proportion of silver in these alloys is stated in terms of fineness, which means parts of silver per thousand of the alloy.
Sterling silver contains 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent other metals, usually copper, so its fineness is designated "925". It also may say "Sterling" on the back of the piece. There are lesser grades of silver,
History of Platinum
Platinum was first discovered in the alluvial (riverside) deposits of the Rio Pinto, Colombia. The Spaniards called the new metal Platina del Pinto for its resemblance to silver. The world's most important deposits occur in the Transvaal of South Africa. Other deposits are found in Russia, Finland, Ireland, Borneo, New South Wales, New Zealand, Brazil, Peru and Madagascar.
The Ancient Egyptians and South American Incas prized platinum. France's Louis XVI proclaimed it the only metal fit for royalty. Legendary jewelers such as Cartier and Faberge created their timeless designs in platinum. The world's famous diamonds, including the Hope and Koh-l-Noor, are secured permanently in platinum.
Platinum reached its peak of popularity in the early 1900s, when it was the preferred metal for all fine jewelry in America. It dominated the world of jewelry design during the Edwardian era, the Art Deco period and well into the 1930s. At the onset of World War II, however, the U.S. government declared platinum a 'strategic' metal and its use in non-military applications, including jewelry, was banned.
Today, platinum is more valuable than gold. Although it is used in many industrial applications, including the automotive industry, platinum jewelry consistently commands higher prices because of its rarity. Also, no reserves of platinum are maintained, as in the case of the federal gold reserve in Fort Knox, KY. The annual worldwide production of platinum amounts to some 160 tons, compared to about 1,500 tons of gold. In fact, in order to produce just one ounce of platinum, about ten tons of ore must be mined.
When judging the value of platinum jewelry, always ensure that the material is indeed platinum (and not another metal, such as white gold) by checking for the amount of platinum content on the back of the piece. Platinum content is usually marked as "950Pt", "950 Plat", or "Plat". In the United States, in order to be marked "Platinum" or "Plat", a piece of jewelry must contain at least 95% platinum.
The best deal on cell phonesgarrisonadmin After comparing prices at Sam's Club, Best buy and company stores its obvious that Costco has the best deal on any cell phone. Their prices are up to 50% less than the nearest competitor and you get a free accessory kit that has a case, car charger and ear buds. A good example is an AT&T Samsung Galaxy S. When it was $49 at Sam's Club, it was $20 at Costco. Currently its free at Costco and $24 at Sam's Club. When you add in the free kit that's another $40 or so that you would spend elsewhere.
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