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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 is ‘White Gold’?

October 23, 2018 07:00
What is ‘White Gold’?

There are many different types of precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

But, if you’ve ever shopped for an engagement ring or wedding band, you’ve also likely heard of another option — “white gold.”

It’s made of pure gold, mixed with an alloy metal that has a silvery-white color, such as nickel or palladium.

Typically, a white gold ring might be 25 percent nickel and zinc. If it’s stamped “18 karat,” it would be 75 percent pure gold.

Since some people are allergic to nickel, however, palladium can also be used to create white gold.

It produces a higher quality material — and costs more as a result.

White gold was originally created as a way to imitate palladium, according to the United States Geological Survey.

How Ben Franklin Spotted Counterfeit Money

October 16, 2018 07:00
How Ben Franklin Spotted Counterfeit Money

As long as there has been currency, there have been people trying to create counterfeit versions of it.

Throughout American history, many have tried to make a living from creating fake money, some with more success than others.

In Colonial America, we began to establish our own system of currency instead of using Great Britain’s system.

At the time, however, the country was broken up into different colonies — many of which had their own currency system.

This made it difficult for the currency — and the economy — to grow strong. When people traveled from one colony to the next, their money would be rendered useless.

The lack of a universal system also made it easy to forge money, further damaging an already weak economy.

However, inventor and diplomat Benjamin Franklin had a plan to help curtail counterfeit money.

In 1739, he printed money for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, deliberately misspelling Pennsylvania on the bills.

He believed that any counterfeiter would see the misspelling on the bills, think they were fakes, and correct the spelling on their versions.

Leveraging his ingenuity and print background (he owned a successful print business in Philadelphia), he also had lead casts made of leaves, which he used to print a foliage image on the back of the bills. Finely detailed copper was used to accentuate the leaves’ veins.

Today, counterfeit money is still a problem — especially when it comes to gold bullion.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to spot a fake. If you’re not sure, it’s always best to have it assayed for authenticity.

Better safe than sorry!

New Form of Gold Made in Lab

October 9, 2018 07:00
New Form of Gold Made in Lab

Gold is known for its rarity and beauty, with a brilliant shine that’s unmatched by any other mineral. However, researchers have recently produced a new kind of gold crystal that’s even shinier than the natural kind.

It’s not the first time that gold has been produced in a lab.

In 2012, Michigan State researchers figured out how to change the form of a toxic chemical compound into solid, 24-karat gold. They fed liquid gold to the bacteria Cupriavidus metallidurans. Then, after a week, it created a 24-karat nugget from the digested toxins.

In 2015, another team, led by the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences in Bangalore, India, experimented with creating gold.

During the study, the team put gold chloride in a furnace with cacophonous tetraoctylammonium bromide, turned it to 220°C (428°F), and left it there for 30 minutes.

The outcome? Elemental gold that formed long, microscopic lumps.

These microcrystals became the basis of the new study, which was conducted by much of the same team.

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