Engineers in the country of Columbia have come up with a new trick for refining gold that is sure to intrigue jewelers worldwide. Using a special thermo-chemical process, the engineers can give gold a glimmering new tint of color.
The thermo-chemical process involves mixing pure gold with reactive metals, then subjecting the mix to a treatment process in special ovens. After about 10 hours, the color of the gold changes. However, the resulting hue is much more substantial than the shellac or coating you’ll see on other pieces. With this process, the gold retains all of its glitter and can be compared to sapphires, rubies, and other gems.
The science behind this process is not entirely new. Traditional black gold and blue gold undergo similarly complex refining to achieve their colors. The engineers behind the technique claim it increases the value of the gold by five-fold, but that would only apply to the jewelry industry. Refiners, like Manhattan Gold & Silver, would only be concerned with the amount of pure gold – so the value would be the same as set by the London Fix.
To our jeweler friends, if you have a sample of this Columbian colored gold, bring it in. We’d love to examine it for ourselves.
Longtime readers of the MGS blog will note our love of treasure stories. These tales of fantastic finds and fabulous riches may have certainly made some people rich. However, treasure discoveries are not always a case of “finders, keepers.”
In March, earlier this year, the country of Spain proved just that.
In 1804, four Spanish frigates that were loaded with treasure were intercepted by the British off the coast of Portugal. It was a pre-emptive strike without a formal declaration of war. The confrontation was known as the Battle of Cape Santa Maria. During the skirmish, a powder magazine aboard one of the Spanish frigates – the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes – exploded, sinking the ship and its cargo.
In 2007, Odyssey Marine Exploration – a company famous for finding sunken treasure – found the cargo of the Mercedes and laid claim to the bounty. It consisted of more than 500,000 silver coins, as well as several hundred gold coins and other artifacts – certainly, no small find. Odyssey claimed ownership of the treasure, but the country of Spain contested. Legal battles ensued, and over the years, Spain won in nearly every case and appeal. In March 2012, the entire treasure finally returned to its home country.
It just goes to show that, depending on the laws, history, and country, the profession of treasure hunting doesn’t always boil down to “finders, keepers.”
The Summer Olympic Games are nearly here, and we’re excited across the pond here at Manhattan Gold & Silver. Soon, everyone will be buzzing about all those precious medals being awarded that are made of precious metals. We’ve already had a jump on things with a few previous blog posts.
We first tackled Olympic medals back in 2010 when the Winter Olympics were underway in Vancouver. For that year, event organizers were really shooting for a green Olympics by doing everything they could to reduce the carbon footprint of the games. This included using recycled precious metals to make the gold, silver, and bronze medals. Since we refine and recycle precious metals everyday, it really warmed our hearts to see our trade featured on the world stage.
Later on, precious metal prices kept climbing and climbing, so we discussed the ever rising cost of making Olympic medals. From there, we got more conceptual and explored the idea of using precious metals as a reward. The Olympics has awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals since 1904, and it will probably stay that way. But don’t you think a platinum medal – perhaps awarded only to record-breakers – would be a fine addition to the award ceremony?
To get ready for the London games in 2012, we broke down the content for each Olympic medal. The medals are made to standards set by the International Olympic Committee, and it was quite interesting to learn what these medals are really made (and worth, from a refining standpoint).
Who’s going to take home the gold in London? We’re excited to find out!