Glossary of Gold

Relevant Terms and Descriptions

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Spot Price:

The current price in the physical market for immediate delivery of gold. Sometimes called the cash price.


The refining or fabricating facility where a certain bar, round, or coin was manufactured. For example – Golden State Mint.


Precious metals like platinum, gold or silver in the form of bars or other storage shapes. Bullion coins are made of these metals, too. They have little or no numismatic value and closely follow market spot prices.

Troy Ounce:

The unit of weight for precious metals. One troy ounce equals 480 grains, 1.09711 ounces, or 31.103 grams.


The measured amount of gold or silver content contained within a bar, round, or coin The purity of gold in investment is measured in fineness. If it is displayed as 0.999, it indicates 99.9% purity. (Such as Bullion coins)


The condition of a gold or silver bar, round, or coin. Common conditions are “New”, “Varied”, “Brilliant Uncirculated”, “Circulated”, “uncirculated “, “Proof”, etc.


A stamped piece of metal (created in the process of converting metal into money) of a known weight and fineness issued for commerce.


Any coin that has been distributed to the public as currency for everyday transactions are classed as a circulated coins. An officially appointed mint will produce coins for circulation.

Gold Standard:

A monetary system in which a country’s currency or paper money has a value directly linked to a reserved fixed quantity of gold.

Paper Gold:

Investment items (including ETF: Exchange-Traded Funds) without physical ownership of any metal. Paper gold is related to gold prices. The supply can be increased at will by banking providers, undoing the rarity which investors seek when buying real gold.

Gold Proof Coins:

Proof coins are produced by the United States Mint for the collector market. The collectibles are traded at a higher premium than uncirculated or circulated versions of the same coin. These are the finest high-quality coins with mirror-like flawless surfaces and sharp details. The term “proof” refers to the coin’s finish. Proof blanks are struck with greater pressure than normal using special dies and hand-polished. Then coins are then carefully packaged in a showcase and preserve their exceptional finish.

Certified Coins:

Coins that have been graded and authenticated by an independent grading service like NGC or PCGS to verify the quality, authenticity, or state of preservation.

Numismatic Coins:

Collectible coins are valued more than on their own Gold or Silver content. They are valuable for their rarity, condition, dates, historical value, mint marks or minted in an out-of-the-ordinary way.

Precious Metals IRA:

An Individual Retirement Account (IRA) backed by physical gold or other approved precious metals that allows you to invest in precious metals. The tangible assets are held in custody for the benefit of the IRA account owner.

Ask Price:

The selling price a dealer offers.

Bid Price:

The price a dealer pays for bullion or coins.

Collector Coin, Historic Coin, or Numismatic Coin:

A coin whose value is based on rarity, demand, condition, and mintage; in fact, it may be worth more than its bullion value.

Melt Value:

The basic intrinsic bullion value of a coin if it were melted and sold.


The amount by which the market value of a gold coin or bar exceeds the actual value of its gold content. The seller can recover part of the premium at resale.


The difference between the buying price and the selling price, security, and commodity at the same time on the same day by the same person.

Legal Tender:

Coins can be used as an acceptable form of payment by a government. For example, a 1oz. American Eagle Gold coin has a legal tender of $50 USD. In the United States, gold coins stamped with a government-backed face value are deemed to be legal tender.

Intrinsic Value:

The actual value of the Precious Metals contained within a bullion bar or coin.

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