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The MGS Precious Metals Blog

Manhattan Gold & Silver is an industry leader in precious metal pricing and refining with more than 30 years of experience. During our time in the business, we’ve found the topic of precious metals to be a vast and interesting one. Here on our precious metals blog, we write in-depth posts about the science of precious metal refining, historical and modern uses for precious metals, market news, and much more. Subscribe to our RSS feed to stay current, and discuss the latest posts on our Facebook page.

What's up with Palladium Prices these Days

February 27, 2019 07:00
What's up with Palladium Prices these Days

Out the major precious metal commodities, palladium is usually thought of as the least popular or least well known. But if recent pricing trends are any indication, those perceptions are certainly changing. Palladium prices surged more than 50% in Q4 last year, making it among the best-performing commodities of 2018. It did so well, that the market closed with palladium prices higher than gold 8 times in December alone.

While not unprecedented, it’s still pretty unusual for palladium prices to outperform gold. There are several factors that could be influencing this trend. For instance, more than 80% of the world’s palladium is used in catalytic converters to help vehicles reduce their output of pollutants. Antipollution legislation gained traction in several countries around the world last year, which likely had an indirect impact on palladium demand via the automobile industry. Similarly, mining companies dealing with labor disputes or global trade (re)negotiations may be affecting the global supply of palladium in a way that doesn’t keep pace with the growing demand – affecting prices even further.  

It’s anyone’s guess as to how long this trend will last. To stay in the loop, try our precious metals price tracking app.

2019 Market Outlook for Gold

January 30, 2019 15:14
2019 Market Outlook for Gold

Gold is a valued commodity around the globe. Its price may fluctuate, but it's never arbitrary – many types of current events and economic trends factor into whether the price of gold increases or decreases. It’s probably safe to say that these variables were plentiful throughout 2018, so it’s no surprise that it was certainly an interesting year for gold prices.
    
In an annual report from the World Gold Council (WGC), the organization analyzed the economic trends and market factors that influenced the price gold, what investors and speculators can expect from the market in 2019, and the “why” behind it all. You can read the full report by visiting the WGC’s website, but some of the key findings, takeaways, and predictions we found to be interesting are:

  • Gold prices started strong in 2018, but were negatively affected from about April to October as the USD got stronger and the Federal Reserve increased interest rates while other countries remained accommodative. Due to large sell-offs of company stocks and political uncertainty stemming from the US midterm elections, gold prices managed to rally in the fourth quarter.
  • Central banks continue to buy gold to diversify their foreign reserves and hedge against fiat currency risk. This is particularly true of central banks in emerging markets, which tend to have high allocations of US treasuries. Central bank demand for gold in 2018 alone was the highest since 2015, as a greater variety of countries added gold to their foreign reserves.
  • Factors to watch in 2019  include expensive valuations and higher market volatility, political and economic instability in Europe, potential higher inflation from protectionist policies, and the increased likelihood of a global recession.

Do you think the WGC’s predictions for 2019 are accurate? Don’t forget, you can keep track of the latest gold pricing trends (and calculate the estimated value of any scrap or bullion you're holding) on your phone with the MGS smartphone app!

New 3D Printing Method Uses Gold Nanoparticles

December 11, 2018 07:00
New 3D Printing Method Uses Gold Nanoparticles

There’s a new way to 3D print — and it involves printing liquids inside of other liquids. The discovery, made by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, could lead to major advancements in product development.

The printer was adapted to print liquids by replacing the extruder with a syringe pump that feeds into a fine needle, squirting water instead of molten plastic.

With a little re-programming, the 3D printer was able to make three-dimensional patterns, compared to standard two-dimensional ones.

Water is the liquid being used and silicon oil is the base, with modifications made to both. Researchers wanted to create a continuous liquid structure that would hold its shape over time. So they added gold nanoparticles to the water — and polymer ligands (which bond to metal) to the silicon oil.

When the water mixture is infused into the silicon oil, the gold nanoparticles intermingle with the polymer ligands to create an elastic sheath around the water, which keeps it in place.

Source: Gizmodo

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