Categorized | Gold and Silver

Gold and Silver: The Most Popular Traditional Coinage Metals

The group eleven of the Periodic Table of Elements is made up of four transition metals. Out of these four, only two are recognized as traditional coinage metals – gold and silver. These precious metals are rare and possess high economic values. The production of these two precious metals can be accomplished through metallurgy.

Other Characteristics of Gold and Silver that Qualify Them for Coinage

• Impeccable luster
• Radioactive
• Softer and more ductile compared to other elements
• Less reactive than other elements
• Higher melting points

Gold and silver possess high ductility property. This means that they are easily manageable as coins intended for circulation.  Such coins must have the ability to resist wear and corrosion. As a result, alloying gold and silver with other metals such as manganese is a must. This way, the resulting coin will be increasingly wear-resistant, harder, and difficult to deform or damage.

Gold and Silver as Numismatic Items

Gold and silver as numismatic items are produced virtually of each one’s precious metal. For instance, the gold coins (22-k gold coins) that are collected currently feature 92 percent gold and 8 percent silver and copper. Before 1933, the circulated coins comprised of 90 percent gold, while the remaining 10 percent is silver and copper combined together.

Different Gold Coins and Their Components

• The Canadian Maple Leaf – 99.99 percent gold
• The Chinese Gold Panda – 99.99 percent gold
• The British Britannia – 99.99 percent gold
• The Swiss Helvetia Head – 99.99 percent gold
• The Australian Vienna Philharmonic – 99.99 percent gold

Popular Silver Coins

Before 1965, the silver coins circulated in the U.S. and other countries featured 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper.

The notable silver coins include:

• The American Silver Eagle – 99.9% silver and 0.1% copper
• The Mexican Silver Libertad – 99.9% silver and 0.1% copper
• The Russian George the Victorious
• The Chinese Silver Panda
• The Australian Silver Kookaburra

The thing with minting coins (whether gold or silver) is that the value of the metal used will eventually possess greater value than the coins’ face value.

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