• 2nd December 2022

Learning about Millesimal Fineness

If you are familiar with gold you probably have come across the word karat or fineness. These two terms are used as a measure of the purity of gold. Karats are used for jewellery and fineness is for bullion.

Definition of karats vs fineness

Karats are numbers that refer to the gold content in a particular piece of gold jewellery. If you have gold you want to sell, this is the first thing you need to check before approaching a gold dealer to sell your gold. Karats usually feature on jewellery but for gold bullion coins and bars your gold bullion dealer Melbourne will be looking at the Millesimal Fineness value stamped on the surface of the bullion. This is a system that shows the purity of bullion products by parts-per-thousand.

The refining process used affects the purity of gold. There are different technologies that can be employed. each refinery has its own preferred method of refining gold. the standard fineness of gold is widely accepted as 99.99% but the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) will accept 99.5% as a minimum. It is hard to purify gold within an inch of 100% and it is also more expensive. Bullion with a fineness of .99999 and the common .9999 also known as five 9s and four 9s have a higher premium because The five 9s or .99999 fineness. It might sound frivolous but a gold bullion dealer Melbourne will pay more for a product with a .9999 fineness than a product with a purity level of 995 even though it is still classified as bullion. 

The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) might be the first to produce bullion products with a .99999 fineness. It employs two refining methods: the Miller chlorination process that gets to a .995 fineness and the Wohlwill electrolytic process that refines the gold to a 99.99 level and beyond.

The minimum fineness allowed by the LBMA’s Good delivery standards. However most common bullion coins have a fineness of .9999 with a few exceptions like the Krugerrand which has a fineness of 91.67%. If we accept the definition of gold bullion as products with a purity of 99.99 then the Krugerrand would not be classified as gold bullion but it has been since the 1960s. 

People have been amassing gold as a way of building or protecting their wealth. Moreover, investors and economists have always considered the price of gold to be a good indicator of how well a country’s economy was doing. Gold provides an excellent way to bolster an investor’s portfolio especially because gold is a tangible and very liquid asset. However, the type of gold product you invest in determines its value in the long term.

Daily Gold Price

The spot price of gold is expressed in troy ounces with is equal to 31.1 grams. This price is given for the purest quality of gold which is 99.99%. This price fluctuates all the time every day. This price can be monitored daily on a number of websites that post financial market statistics. You can also find the price printed in most newspaper financial sections.

As an investor, it pays to keep track of the daily gold price fluctuations. You will be able to negotiate a better price when you sell bullion to a private or online bullion dealer and auction sites.

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