ASSAY - The chemical analysis of metallic substances to determine their specific contents of various minerals and percentages of purity relative to the total mass that is analyzed; for example, a silver bar assayed as .999 Pure contains 99.9% pure silver with .01% trace minerals.
BARS - Term used to describe the appearance of the generally rectangular shaped metal castings or strikings into which precious metals are formed; gold bars as small as 1 gram up to 100-oz. size are manufactured, with silver bars ranging from 1/2-oz. sizes up to the Comex 'good delivery' bars of +/- 1,000-oz.
BULLION - Specifically, the term long-used to describe Gold coins and bars of relatively pure form that were not valued for any numismatic or collectable premiums; nowadays, the general term applied to Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium products which are traded at minimal premiums above their intrinsic fair-market values or "spot" pricing.
COINS - Legal tender strikings of metallic composition of varying sizes which normally denominate specific values or worth, generally round and of diverse thicknesses and actual purity; for example the $50. American Gold Eagle is composed of 1-oz. of .999 pure Gold and .01% copper and nickel added for tensile strength, with a diameter of 32.7 mm. and a gross weight of 33.93 grams.
COLLECTIBLES - The general term describing objects, such as specific coins or currency as well as a multitude of other artistic and historic objects which, because of their relative scarcity, beauty, or perceived value are prized by groups of buyers and collectors of such objects; for example, rare coins are obviously sought by many, as are Fabrege' jewelry and creations, paintings of famous artists, early American furniture, antique firearms, sportscards and memorabilia, stamps, etc.
COMEX - The New York Commodity Exchange in New York where gold and silver as well as many other commodities are traded daily; the gold and silver markets begin trading at 5:25 a.m. PST, closing at 11:25 a.m. PST in normal sessions.
DEPOSITORY - An approved and licensed vaulting facility authorized by the New York Commodity Exchange and/or Chicago Board of Trade to receive and safeguard specific commodities in designated-sized lots or amounts; for example, most silver bullion bars are accepted in either 100-oz. or +/- 1,000-oz. sizes as struck or cast by a handful of approved refiners, with assay stamps and designations of exact purity of the bars plainly struck into the upper surfaces of the bars.
FACE VALUE - The recognized and assigned worth or "value" of a specific coin(s) in terms of U.S. Dollars; not necessarily the actual worth as, for example, a 1-oz. American Silver Eagle has a 'face value' of $1.00 while its real value is tied to the price/value of its silver content, or intrinsic value.
FINENESS - The percentage of purity of a precious metal coin or bar relative to any additional alloys or trace metals; a "pure" coin or bar is generally expected to have at least a 99.9% content of the primary metal it represents, such as a silver bar stamped and designated ".999 Fine".
GRAM - The basic unit of weight in the metric system upon which precious metals weights are figured; 31.1033 grams = 1 Troy Ounce, 12 Troy Ounces = 1 Pound Troy.
HALLMARK - The mark, symbol, or "logo" utilized by most refineries to indicated their company's production of a precious metal bar or medallion; usually placed on the upper surface of the bar for easy recognition.
INTRINSIC VALUE - The actual, fair-market value of the precious metal within a coin or bar, usually based on current "Spot Market" price in dollar amounts.
MEDALLION - Typically a silver or gold product struck in a round form resembling a coin but not a legal tender item; traded and valued primarily for intrinsic content or worth, such as the common 1-oz. silver 'rounds'.