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The History of the Gold Price
The total amount of gold in the whole world is about 156,000 tons. Every year 2,500 tons are mined, from which the 2,000 tons are absorbed by the jewelry industry and the rest 500 tons are used as investment gold by gold investors. As gold production is controlled and concentrated in a few countries -increased demand is often not satisfied by supply. Historically, gold was used as the world’s currency and during periods of financial turmoil gold is considered by many investors as a “Safe Heaven”. During these periods the price of gold is making excessive upward movements without intermediate corrections. Investor’s psychology plays a huge role in gold price movements. Market psychology beats the laws of demand and supply. In 2009 (in the middle of the financial crisis) market demand for gold fell 32% while the price of gold had a significant increase.
Chart: The Gold Price history (1257-1945)
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Coins are usually made by miximing metals to make them more durable. Absolut pure gold is not strong and not suitable for coinage. Fineness of a Gold Coin is measured per mil or per thousand. A gold ingot which is .999 fine is 99,9% pure gold, and the other 0,01 being an alloy.
Karat Weight (kt / K) is a fraction-based system used used to denote the fineness of gold. One karat is equal to 1/24 part of pure gold in an alloy.
Below it is presented the correlation between karats and gold fineness
- Gold 10 karats = .417 fine
- Gold 14 karats = .583 fine
- Gold 16 karats = .667 fine
- Gold 18 karats = .750 fine
- Gold 20 karats = .833 fine
- Gold 21 karats = .875 fine
- Gold 22 karats = .917 fine (British gold coin standard)
- Gold 23 karats = .958 fine
- Gold 24 karats = .999 fine or above
In general it is acccepted that above .999 gold fineness qualifies as 24K.
Gold Coins Fineness and Karat
|Celtic Gold Stater of Cunobelin|
The ancient history of Gold Coins
The ancient history of Gold Coins starts 2650 years ago.
Civilization: Lydians (643 BC)
In about 643 B.C., the ancient civilization of Lydians begun to produce the first gold coins in history. They were made of electrum which is a naturally occurring pale yellow mixture of gold and silver.
Civilization: The Ionias (Greek 560 BC)
By 560 B.C. the Greek civilization of Ionians learned separate gold from silver, and they were able to issue the world's first metallic coinage.