Gold and silver are measured in troy ounces rather than regular food or avoirdupois ounce. A troy ounce is 31.1035 grams and is the standard in the precious metals industry. By contrast a regular ounce is 28 grams.
A proof coin has a mirror-like finish. This is done by polishing the die that is used to strike the coin.
Purity refers to the percentage of metal within the bullion. For example, the gold eagle has a purity of 22k or 91.6%.
Premium is the dollar amount that is charged above the spot price for silver and gold bullion. For example a 1 oz gold bar may cost $100 over spot. The premium is $100. All coins and bars have a premium.
What is “Spot” or “Spot Price”?
Spot or Spot price is the current market price for gold and silver. It is traded daily and price changes from moment to moment.
Bullion is the term used to describe gold and silver for investment. It can include coins, rounds, and bars.
Junk silver or 90% is Dimes, Quarters and Half Dollars 1964 and before. 40% silver is half dollars from 1965 to 1970.
What is “Karat” or “Carat”
Gold percentages are measured in karats. 24 karat is pure gold. 18 Karat is 75% gold. The most common gold in the United States is 14 karat which is 58.5%. 10 karat gold is 41.6% gold. Carat is the standard used in diamond weight. 1 carat is equal to 1/5 gram. With diamonds, 100 points is equal to 1 carat.
Pennyweight is a measurement used in the jewelry industry. 20 pennyweight is equal to 1 troy ounce. 1 pennyweight is equal to 1.55 grams. Please see our Pennyweight vs Gram page for more information on how these two measurements relate to each other.
Numismatic is study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, and paper money. Numismatic coins have an intrinsic coin value over the metal value. Bullion coins generally do not have a numismatic value as they are made for investment.