Gold bullion is an organic material found on earth courtesy of a meteorite crash over 3.9 billion years ago. While some have committed their skills and time to alchemy, others have accepted that the only way to get gold is to either mine for it or to save up the money needed to buy gold bullion. For those opting for the latter form it is important to note that gold prices (in regards to what a consumer will pay) are based on how pure the gold is.
In its natural state, gold is a soft malleable material; it is used in numerous industries as it is easy to manipulate and is an excellent conductor of electricity. However, there are countless uses for gold and depending on the ultimate destination point for gold, it may be cut with other metals order to strengthen the material. The process converts the gold an alloy, and the higher the level of other metals, the less pure the gold and the lower the gold prices should be.
In its purest and most luxurious state, .9999 fine gold will also be categorized as 24k (like the fine gold used in the American Buffalo 1 oz gold coin). Karat is the term used to quickly share the gold?s purity level. This type of gold is typically mined and sent to top level manufacturers such as the US Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint. Once on site, the organic material is melted down, converted to molten and then converted into 24k?gold bullion, gold coins and gold bars. It is because this gold is the most pure of anything on the market, it fetches the highest gold prices available.
Next up is 22k gold comprised of a cocktail of 91.67 percent gold, 5 percent silver, 2 percent copper and 1.33 percent zinc. This baby still has plenty of fine gold in its composition, but buying a 22k gold bullion bar would be less money than paying for a 24k gold bullion option as there is less gold.
When it comes to 18k gold, there must be a level of 75 percent fine gold, however the metals used to form the gold alloy vary greatly; it is this karat level that colored gold comes into play. While gold investors would not look for a gold bullion bar of 18k gold, jewelry fans love the stuff. This gold alloy comes in a number of shades of the rainbow and it is the other metals that can change a hue. Gold that is categorized as red, rose or pink have a mix of copper tinged with sterling silver. White gold may also contain platinum or palladium or silver or nickel. While it may not be easy being green, it is truly spectacular in its golden form featuring a mix of ? gold and metals including copper, cadmium or silver.??Yellow gold (the type present in gold bullion) can also be mixed with other materials to produce shades of blue and purple gold. The more other metals added, the lower the cost per 1 oz gold as the purity has intentionally been compromised.
Of course there are other karats of gold available ranging from 14k to 8k. The lower the karat count, the less pure the gold is. While the precious metal indeed look pretty, chances are it will not be used to forge gold bullion. When it comes to a gold investment, purity is key and a higher karat is required.