Precious Metal Information and Trivia  


Silver Information:

Archaeological evidence shows that people have been using silver for at least 5000 years!

Silver is obtained from pure deposits, from silver ores such as argentite (Ag2S) and horn silver (AgCI) and in deposits of ores containing lead, gold or copper.

Pure silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity of all known metals, so it is sometimes used in making solder, electrical contacts and printed circuit boards.

Silver is also the best known reflector of visible light, but silver mirrors must be given a protective coating to prevent tarnishing.

Silver has been used to create coins, although today other metals are typically used in its place.

Sterling silver, an alloy containing 92.5% silver, is used to make silverware, jewelry and other decorative items.

High capacity batteries can be made with silver and zinc and silver and cadmium.

Silver nitrate (AgNO3) is light sensitive and is used to make photographic films and papers.

Silver iodide (AgI) is used to seed clouds to produce rain.

Kodak and Fuji companies are the world’s largest consumers of silver.

The main producers of silver are the United States, Mexico and South America.


Gold Information:

A cubic foot of gold weighs over 1000 pounds!

It is estimated that only 125,000 tons of gold have been mined the world over since the beginning of time.

More than 80% of the gold in the Mother Lode is still in the ground!

Gold was made into art objects and jewelry as far back as 4000 BC.

Gold is the most non-reactive of all metals. It never reacts with oxygen so it does not rust or tarnish. The gold burial mask of King Tutankhamun looked as brilliant when discovered in 1922 as when it was entombed in 1352 BC.

Gold is among the most electrically conductive of all metals.

Has a melting point of 1945 degrees Fahrenheit (1063 degrees Celsius).

Federal Trade Commission rules require that all jewelry items sold in the United States as gold shall be described by "a correct designation of the karat fineness of the alloy." No jewelry item less than 10K may be sold in the United States as gold jewelry.




Karat Gold Parts Gold Percentage Gold Normal European Stamping
9 kt 9 in 24 37.50% 375
10 kt 10 in 24 41.67% 416
12 kt 12 in 24 50% 500
14 kt 14 in 24 58.33% 583 or 585
18 kt 18 in 24 75% 750
22 kt 22 in 24 91.67% 917
24 kt 24 in 24 99.99% 999 or .99999



1 gram (g) = 0.643 dwt = 0.0032 oz t = 0.035 oz av
1 pennyweight (dwt) = 1.555 g = 0.05 oz t = 0.055 oz av
1 troy ounce (oz t) = 31.103 g = 20 dwt = 1.097 oz av
1 ounce avoirdupois (oz av) = 28.3495 g = 18.229 dwt = 0.911 oz t


Platinum Information:

All the platinum mined since the beginning of time, worldwide, would only fill a cube measuring about 25 feet on all sides!

A 6 inch cube of platinum weighs as much as an average man!

It takes 6 months of processing to produce a single troy ounce of platinum!

Over 20% of all consumer goods either contain platinum or are produced using platinum.

Approximately 8 to 10 tons of raw ore must be mined to produce just one pure ounce of platinum!

Roughly 90% of all platinum supplies come from South Africa and Russia.

Gasoline, hard disk drives, anti-cancer drugs, fiber-optic cables, LCD displays, eyeglasses, fertilizers, explosives, paints and pacemakers, all rely on platinum.


Rhodium Information


Is chemically very close to platinum and is just as expensive, it is in the platinum metal group (consisting of six closely related metals: Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, Ruthenium, Iridium and Osmium). 

Rhodium is very bright and very hard.  Even platinum will stay bright much longer if it is plated with rhodium.  White gold will be bright white and shiny when plated with rhodium.  

Rhodium, however strong, can wear off.  When rubbed against a base metal, such as zinc oxide, titanium oxide, ferric oxide or calamine (found in most cosmetics) the rhodium will wear off.  This has nothing to do with the quality of the jewelry, it has to do with the chemicals you wash your hands with or apply to your skin.








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