How Were Birthstones Chosen for Each Month?

How Were Birthstones Chosen for Each Month?

Photos of Birthstones

Do you have a favorite type of gemstone? Of course, many people love diamonds. But there are many other types of beautiful gemstones.

In fact, each month of the year has a particular gemstone associated with it. We call these special monthly gemstones birthstones, since many people believe the particular gemstone that corresponds to the month of their birth has special properties.

How did certain gemstones become associated with the months of the year? Experts believe that birthstones can be traced back to the Bible. In Exodus 28, Moses sets forth directions for making special garments for Aaron, the High Priest of the Hebrews. Specifically, the breastplate was to contain twelve precious gemstones, representing the twelve tribes of Israel.

Later, these twelve stones were likely also linked to the twelve signs of the zodiac. Eventually, they also became associated with the twelve months of the calendar year.

Throughout history, there have been many myths and legends associated with birthstones. Many cultures have believed that birthstones have magical healing powers or bring good luck. Not all cultures have agreed on which stones correspond to which months, though, so you can find different lists of birthstones over the course of time.

Today, most jewelers agree on a basic set of birthstones. Let’s take a look through the calendar to learn a bit more about each of these birthstones.

The birthstone for the month of January is the garnet. Some believe garnets provide safety during travels. February’s birthstone is the amethyst, which is thought to make one courageous. If your birthday is in March, your birthstone is the aquamarine. Aquamarines have been associated with certain healing powers.

April features what is arguably the most coveted birthstone: the diamond. Diamonds remain an enduring symbol of love. Another birthstone associated with love is the emerald, which is the birthstone of May. June’s birthstone is another popular jewel: the pearl. Pearls have long been a symbol of purity.

The birthstone for July is the ruby. Ancient cultures believed the ruby could ward off evil. The peridot is the birthstone of August. Symbolizing strength, the peridot is sometimes known as the “evening emerald” due to its light green color. September’s birthstone, the sapphire, was also thought to guard against evil, especially poisoning.

The opal is the birthstone of October. It represents faithfulness and confidence. November’s birthstone, the topaz, is usually associated with love and affection. Finally, December’s birthstone is the turquoise, which was often thought to symbolize luck and success.

 

https://wonderopolis.org/wonder/how-were-birthstones-chosen-for-each-month

How to Find Silver Coins in Circulation

How to Find Silver Coins in Circulation

By Contributor

1943 Walking Liberty HalfIt is possible to find silver US coins in circulation. You rarely find them in your change anymore, but they are out there and you can get them at face value. Here’s how to do it.

Silver Kennedy halves found in 2008US quarters and dimes were made of 90% silver up until 1964. Since then, they have been made of the copper-nickel sandwich we see every day. A common silver dime is worth about $1 and a quarter is worth about $2 in melt value today according to coinflation.com. So it would be worthwhile to find them. Half dollars were also 90% silver up until 1964. Those are worth about $5 each. What many people don’t realize is that halves continued to be made of 40% silver from 1965 through 1970, and those are worth about $2 each also. All very interesting, but how do we find them?

Silver coins found in 7 boxes of dimes (17,500)The key is you have to search through a lot of coins to find the silver coins. That means that unless you access a lot of coins at work for some reason, you need to get them from a bank. No problem, just go in and ask for a few rolls of coins and search through them. A roll of halves is $10, quarters are also $10, and dimes are $5.

Silver coins can be foundYour best bets are the dimes and halves. There are a lot of dimes and quarters in circulation. A dime is small enough that you may not notice a silver one, so some slip though everyday commerce, and that’s why you can find them. Silver quarters are scarcer because they are bigger and more easily noticed. So there are not as many to find. Half dollars basically don’t circulate, but they are still made and are sitting in the banks. Since people don’t pull them out of everyday change, you can find them in bulk lots from the bank. I recommend you try some of each and see what you think. You may hear this hobby referred to as coin roll hunting by people who practice it.

50 Rolls of dimesHere are some practical tips for searching for silver coins using this method. Get rolls from a bank you have an account at. If you start asking for a lot of rolls, some banks will want to charge you a fee if you don’t have an account. The coins are delivered to the banks in boxes. You can order boxes from a teller if you want to search a lot of coins. A box of halves costs $500, a box of quarters is also $500, and a box of dimes costs $250.

If your bank has a free coin counter, that is the easiest way to return the coins after searching. If you can unroll the end and put the coins back in after searching, that is good too. If not, sometimes the bank will give you free paper rolls. It is recommended to dump the coins back at a different branch than you pick up from, just to keep the tellers happy. I brought them some chocolates over the Holidays, and they have always treated me nicely.

Proof Kennedy Half found in a bank rollYou can get some coin collecting books and try to fill them up with every date in the series. This is a lot of fun to do with your kids. You can sell the silver coins to coin dealers, but you’ll get a better price on Craigslist or Ebay.

All the silver coins pictured in this article were found recently using this method. It’s really a thrill to pick a nice shiny silver coin out of a roll. Finding silver in circulation is a form of treasure hunting that many thought was long gone.

Good luck and happy hunting!

Tip

Silver S mint coins are still made each year for Proof sets. You can occasionally find proof coins as well, they are stamped on polished dies as seen above. The picture doesn’t do it justice. They are beautiful coins. Nickels dated 1942-1945 are 35% silver also, the nickel was needed for the war effort in World War 2.

Warning

Wash your hands after searching for silver coins or any coins, they can be quite dirty.

https://www.apmex.com/education/numismatics/what-nickels-are-silver

Diamond Clarity

Diamond Clarity

Buying Tips

Flawless
I3-I2
I1
SI2
SI1
VS2
VS1
VVS2
VVS1
IF
FL
Flawless
FL: No visible blemishes, < 1% of diamonds.
Inclusions are not visible under 10X, rarest clarity grade.

 

Diamond Clarity Grade Chart

FL & IF

FL, IF Graded Diamond

Flawless, Internally Flawless

Under 10x magnification, inclusions are not visible, rarest clarity grade.

  • FL: No visible blemishes, <1% of diamonds
  • IF: Very slight blemishes, <3% of diamonds
VVS1, VVS2

VVS Graded Diamond

Very, Very Slightly Included

Characteristics miniscule and difficult to see under 10x magnification, even to a trained eye.

  • VVS1: Few miniscule inclusions
  • VVS2: Slightly more miniscule inclusions
VS1, VS2

VS Graded Diamond

Very Slightly Included

Minor inclusions ranging from difficult to somewhat easy to see at 10x magnification.

  • VS1: Difficult to see minor inclusions
  • VS2: Somewhat easier to see minor inclusions
SI1, SI2

SI Graded Diamond

Slightly Included

Inclusions noticeable at 10x. Best value. SI2 inclusions may be detectable to a discerning unaided eye.

  • SI1: Inclusions occasionally visible to the keen eye without magnification
  • SI2: Inclusions typically visible from the pavilion, and often seen from the top, without magnification
I1

I1 Graded Diamond

Included

Diamonds may have more obvious inclusions at 10X and may be visible to the eye. Blue Nile offers a limited selection of jewelry with I1 clarity diamonds..

  • I1: Loose diamonds of this grade not offered by Blue Nile
I2, I3

>I2, I3 Graded Diamond

Clarity grades not carried by Blue Nile.

Inclusions are obvious under 10x magnification, usually visible to the unaided eye.

More Expert Tips

  • Select an “eye-clean” diamond – one that has no imperfections visible to the unaided-eye through the crown. An excellent value, diamonds of this clarity are much less expensive than flawless (FL) or internally flawless (IF) diamonds, which are extremely rare and command higher prices.
  • If you’re considering a diamond with an SI clarity grade, call to speak to a diamond and jewelry consultant who will review the diamond to ensure the imperfections are not visible to the unaided eye.

https://www.bluenile.com/education/diamonds/clarity?gclid=CIvn1bDdp9YCFQktaQodo5gBuQ&click_id=494646443

“Watches 101”

“Watches 101”What’s the best way to store a watch?
What’s a “movement”?
What is the legal definition of a Swiss watch?
Which leads to the question: What is a Swiss movement? They have a ready answer, of course:
What does the word “Geneve” on a watch mean?
What’s the difference between a mechanical movement and a quartz movement? 
What does 17-jewel movement mean?
What does the word “chronometer” mean?
Who is the COSC and what do they do?
What’s a “chronograph”?
What do the letters “T” and “O” mean on my watch?
It is possible that this comes from the French word for gold, Or, is it true that tritium is radioactive? 
Is there such thing as a completely waterproof watch?
What does “Shock Resistant” mean?
Is it true that only a diamond will scratch a sapphire crystal face?
What’s the best way to store a watch?
Storing a luxury watch properly requires a little extra care. Diamonds and other gemstones are hard enough to scratch metal jewelry and to mar the surfaces of other stones they come in contact with. Store diamond and/or gold watches in their own individual soft cloth pouches, place them in a jewelry box that has separate compartments for each piece or store them in their original box.What’s a “movement”? 
A movement is the mechanism that actually calculates the passage of time–the “guts” of the watch, if you will. Like the engine and transmission of a car, watch movements are so fundamental to the quality of the watch that they are often manufactured by separate companies, or by the same company in a different factory. The movement is also the part of the watch which is usually covered by a warranty–much like the “engine and drivetrain” warranties that come with new cars.

What is the legal definition of a Swiss watch? 
As the universally-acknowledged manufacturers of the world’s best watches, the Swiss are understandably rather persnickety about what watches qualify as “Swiss.” To protect the integrity of their good name, several organizations have formed with the specific intention of regulating quality and defining standards for the industry. The Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry has produced a list of “Verordnung Swiss Made” rules that state that a Swiss watch must:

  • Have a Swiss movement that
  • Was set into its case in Switzerland
  • By a manufacturer of Swiss origin.

Which leads to the question: What is a Swiss movement? They have a ready answer, of course:
It must have been assembled in Switzerland under the supervision of a Swiss factory and the parts of the movement that are Swiss in origin must constitute at least 50% of the movement’s total value. Movements that meet these exacting requirements earn the right to be stamped with the word “Swiss.” Sometimes the stamp will instead say “Suisse,” “Swiss Quartz,” “Swiss Made,” “Produit Suisse,” or “Fabrique en Suisse.” These all mean the same thing. However, if the case is not of Swiss origin, then this inscription cannot be visible–it must be concealed by the case. However, the case may be stamped with the words “Swiss Movement” to indicate that it’s Swiss on the inside, if not the outside. In the case of the reverse–a non-Swiss movement in a Swiss case, only the words “Swiss Case” are permitted.

What does the word “Geneve” on a watch mean?
Just as Geneva is a more specific location than Switzerland, the designation “Geneve” is a more exacting mark of prestige given to watches by the Bureau de controle des Montres de Geneva. To qualify, in addition to matching all the above criterion for a Swiss watch, it must have had one of its major manufacturing steps take place within the Canton of Geneva. The theory is that at least 50% percent of the manufacturing costs will have been incurred “locally,” protecting the trade and ensuring quality assembly.

What’s the difference between a mechanical movement and a quartz movement?
Mechanical movements are what most people think of when they talk about the fine art of watch making–a precise, intricate system of tiny gears and springs which use mechanical energy to operate. These watches have a mainspring, which is wound either by hand or by “automatic movement” (self winding). The spring power is then transferred to the hands of the watch via a precise timing mechanism known as a balance.

A quartz movement is a simpler, less expensive timing mechanism which regulates time by sending an electric current from a battery to a tiny quartz crystal, which vibrates at precise and predictable rates–32,768 cycles per second to be exact. Quartz movements are superbly accurate and reliable. Because they can be mass-produced, quartz movements are used in everything from clock radios and digital watches to some very fine timepieces. However, what is gained in efficiency is lost in elegance, according to some epicureans.

Interestingly enough, the first quartz watch, introduced by Seiko in 1969, cost over a thousand dollars!

What does 17-jewel movement mean?
In spring-powered mechanical watches, conservation of energy is practically an art form. To reduce friction, many of the spaces between gears are set with tiny synthetic gem crystals, which resist temperature changes better than metal and hold lubricant much longer.

What does the word “chronometer” mean?
Strictly speaking, anything that measures time is a chronometer (chronos = time, meter = measure). An hourglass or a sundial is technically a chronometer. However, in modern watchmaking the term “chronometer” is a specific designation of accuracy, assigned only to high-quality watch movements that have been tested by the COSC.

Who is the COSC and what do they do?
The Control Officile Suisse de Chronometers is a Swiss testing laboratory that certifies watches, or rather their movements, as “chronometers.” Each movement is individually tested over a 15-day period in different positions and temperatures, and passes only if it shows a loss of fewer than five seconds per day. Watches that have certified movements will usually be stamped with an inscription that says “Chronometer,” “Certified Chronometer,” or “Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified.”

What’s a “chronograph”?
By definition a chronograph “records time.” In modern watches this refers to a stopwatch function of some sort.

What do the letters “T” and “O” mean on my watch?
The letter “T” on the face of a watch stands for tritium, the greenish-white substance on the hands and numbers that glows in the dark. The letter “O” means that the indices on the dial are made of gold.

It is possible that this comes from the French word for gold, Or, is it true that tritium is radioactive?
Although tritium is a radioactive substance, the amount of radiation from tritium-coated watch faces is less than 25milliCuries, which isn’t even enough to penetrate the watch case or crystal.

Is there such thing as a completely waterproof watch?
Not really–in fact it’s not even a legal term in the US anymore, and for good reason. Even deep-sea submarines have maximum depths beyond which they cannot safely travel. That’s because deeper water means higher water pressure, and eventually water pressure will break the windows. Watches are rated for “water resistance,” which is an evaluation of how much water pressure the moisture seals can withstand. Most watches are rated to 50 meters, which is more than most of us will ever need. Sport and diving watches are often rated to 200 meters or more. Ironically, humans can only safely dive to about half that depth, and extremely high depth ratings are more an indicator of craftsmanship and status than actual utility. Water resistance is also measured in ATM, or atmospheres. One atmosphere is equivalent to 10 meters.

What does “Shock Resistant” mean?
Shock resistance is an American government standard of durability which means that the watch can survive a drop of three feet onto a wooden floor.

Is it true that only a diamond will scratch a sapphire crystal face?
Not quite. Another sapphire or ruby will scratch it. Also remember that scratch-proof is not hatter-proof. A sapphire crystal is remarkably durable, but far from impervious. It’s best to treat a quality watch like any other piece of finely-crafted jewelry.

http://www.watchesandbeyond.com/watches101.asp#top

50 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Gold

50 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Gold

1. The word “gold” comes from the Old English word “geolu,” meaning yellow.

2. There is more steel created per hour than there has been gold dug up throughout history.

3. Around 161,000 tons of gold have been mined by humans.

4. Gold can be found beneath the earth on all seven continents.

5. It is believed that around 80% of earth’s gold is still buried underground.

6. There is an estimated total of 10 billion tons of gold in the world’s oceans. That is 25 tons of gold for every cubic mile of seawater.

7. The world’s first gold vending machine was unveiled in May 2010. Located in an ultra-luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, the vending machine itself is covered in 24-carat gold.

8. Most western economies’ currencies were on the gold standard until 1961.

9. Switzerland was the last country whose currency was tied to gold. 40% of a Swiss Franc was backed by gold until Switzerland joined the IMF in 1999.

 

10. The gold held at Fort Knox is accounted for by the United States as an asset valued at $44.22 per ounce.

11. As of December 31, 1941 Fort Knox held 649.6 million ounces of gold.

12. Today, Fort Knox  holds about 147.3 million ounces.

13. The size of a standard gold bar is 7″ by 3 and 5/8″ by 1 and 3/4″

14. Alchemists believe they can change ordinary materials, such as lead, into gold.

15. A carat was originally a unit of mass based on the carob seed used by ancient merchants.

16. The most expensive gold coin in the world is the 1933 Double Eagle, which was sold at Sotheby’s in New York in 2002 for $7.59 million.

17. Elvis Presley owned three cars manufactured by Stutz Motor Company, in which every part that is normally chrome was converted to gold.

18. Former Tyco International CEO Dennis Kozlowski bought a gold-threaded shower curtain worth $6,000.

19. A noble metal, gold is prone neither to rust nor tarnish and does not form an oxide film on its surface when coming into contact with ai

20. There are 92 naturally occurring elements found in the earth’s crust. Gold ranks 58th in rarity.

21. The chemical symbol for gold is Au, which is derived from the Latin word “aurum,” which means “shining dawn.”

22. Absolutely pure gold is so soft that it can be molded with the hands.

23. The melting point of gold is 2,063 degrees Fahrenheit.

24. Gold is a great conductor of electricity.

25. Gold is the most malleable and ductile pure metal known to man.

26. An ounce of gold can be beaten into a sheet covering 100 square feet.

27. In 1869, two Australians unearthed the world’s largest nugget of gold, the “Welcome Stranger,” which measured 10 by 25 inches before it was melted down.

28. The largest nugget still in existence is the “Hand of Faith,” found in 1980 in Australia. It is currently on display at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas.

29. A gold nugget found in the earth can be three to four times as valuable as the gold it contains because of its rareness.

30. The heaviest modern gold bullion coin is Austria’s Philharmonic. In 2004, the coin, which has a weight of 1,000 ounces (31.1 kilograms or 69 troy pounds or 828 troy ounces) and a diameter of 15 inches, was dubbed the world’s largest gold coin by Guinness World Records.

31. In 2007, Canada made a 100 kilogram (3,217 troy ounce), 0.99999 gold coin with a face value of $1,000,000.

32. Pure gold does not cause skin irritations.

33. Some sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis receive injections of liquid gold to relieve pain.

34. Olympic gold medals were pure gold until 1912.

35. An ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire 60 miles long.

36. Two thirds of the world’s gold comes from South Africa.

37. India is the world’s largest consumer of gold today.

38. South Asian jewelry is generally more pure than western jewelry, comprised of 22 carat gold rather than 14 carat.

39. Gold is the state mineral of California and Alaska.

#-ad_banner_2-#40. 90% of the world’s gold mining has been done since the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in California in 1848.

41. During the California gold rush, some speculators paid more for an ounce of water than they received for an ounce of gold.

42. South Dakota and Nevada produce more gold than any other states.

43. Scientists believe that gold can be found on Mars, Mercury, and Venus.

44. The visors of astronauts’ helmets are coated in a very thin, transparent layer of gold (.000002 inches) that reduces glare and heat from sunlight.

45. The Aztec word for gold, “teocuitatl,” was translated by Europeans as meaning “excrement of the gods.”

46. According to the legend of El Dorado (the gilded one), an Andean chief who was covered in gold dust would make offerings of gold into a mountain lake.

47. Evidence suggests that around 5,000 B.C., gold and copper became the first metals to be discovered by man.

48. King Croesus of Lydia created the first pure gold coins in 540 B.C.

49. When Franklin Roosevelt raised the price of gold from $20.67 to $35 in 1934, the dollar immediately lost 40% of its value.

50. Henry VIII, Diocletian and Nero were infamous gold debasers, mixing other metals into gold coins and decreasing their value.

http://www.investinganswers.com/investment-ideas/commodities-precious-metals/50-surprising-facts-you-never-knew-about-gold-1370

12 Fun Coin Facts

GREAT AMERICAN COIN COMPANY BLOG

12 Fun Coin Facts

Thursday, July 13, 2017 3:31:37 PM PST8PDT

Coin collecting can be a serious business, but it also has its fun and fascinating side. Here are a few things you might not know.

The Constitution Only Allows Coins, Not Paper Money

The Founding Fathers didn’t trust paper money, so they didn’t authorize it. It took an act of Congress in 1862 to print paper money for permanent circulation, and except for brief periods, some types remained redeemable in gold or silver until 1971, when the last U.S. Notes were discontinued.

The U.S. Dollar was Based on a Spanish Coin

The U.S. didn’t start minting its own coins until 1792. Until then, the Spanish silver 8-real coin, made in Mexico City (also known as “pieces of eight”), was so common that it was used as the basis for the value of the dollar. It remained legal tender in the U.S. until the mid-1800s.

A “Bit” Was a Real Denomination—More or Less

That same Spanish silver coin could easily be cut into eight parts (giving it its colloquial name) for smaller transactions. Those pieces were called bits, hence the expression “two-bits,” which was commonly used to describe one-quarter (2/8ths) of a dollar.

So Was the Eagle

The 10-dollar gold eagle, half-eagle and quarter-eagle coins were denominations specified in the Coinage Act of 1792. The double eagle $20 gold coin was created by that name in 1849.

All U.S. Coins Were Originally Gold, Silver, or Copper

Coins originally had worth of their own, since they were made of specific amounts of precious or semi-precious metals. When the value of those metals exceeded the coins’ worth, alloys and non-precious metals were substituted. Today’s circulating coins contain no gold or silver.

There Are No Pennies in U.S. Coinage

The coin representing 1/100th of a U.S. dollar is a cent, not a penny. The term penny came from European settlers who used the word to describe a small unit of currency in their native countries, but it has never been an official term in the U.S.

There Were 2-Cent and 3-Cent U.S. Coins Once

When the U.S. started minting coins in 1792, a dollar bought a lot more than it does today, so a few cents were all you needed to buy everyday items like food and sundries. That made 2- and 3-cent coins practical. Two-cent coins were discontinued in 1873 and 3-cents in 1889.

A Nickel Wasn’t Always a Nickel—Or Made of Nickel

We’ve always had the dime, but original 5-cent coins were called half-dimes and were made of silver. The small, thin coins were hard to use and easily counterfeited, and were replaced by a copper-nickel coin in 1873.

All U.S. Coins Bear Two Mottos

Federal law dictates that all U.S. coins carry the mottos “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum.”

Many Coins Are Worth Millions

In 2013, a 1794 “Flowing Hair” silver dollar sold at auction for over $10 million. 1913 Liberty Head nickels have sold for as much as $5 million. Pennies (OK, 1-cent coins) haven’t cracked the million-dollar mark yet, but a 1943 steel Wheat Cent can bring as much as $110,000.

Counterfeiting Used to be a Capital Offense

Because early coins were more crudely made, they were relatively easy to fake, so the 1792 Coin Act made counterfeiting or defacing coins punishable by death.

Billions of Dollars Are Just Lying Around

An estimated $10 billion in coins is held in U.S. homes. Another 58 million is left behind on airplanes worldwide, according to one estimate.

Coin collecting (numismatics, to be formal) has been a popular hobby as far back as ancient kings and queens, giving it the appellation “The Hobby of Kings.” As you learn more about the lore of coins, we’re sure you’ll agree that it’s a fun, fascinating activity with many rewards.

https://www.greatamericancoincompany.com/blog/12-fun-coin-facts/

Precious Metals….did you know??????

Precious metals

Gold, silver, and platinum have historically been valued for their beauty and rarity. They are the precious metals . Platinum usually costs slightly more than gold, and both metals are about 80 times more costly than silver. Precious metal weights are given in Troy ounces (named for Troyes, France, known for its fairs during the Middle Ages) a unit approximately 10% larger than 1 oz (28.35 g).

The ancients considered gold and silver to be of noble birth compared to the more abundant metals. Chemists have retained the term noble to indicate the resistance these metals have to corrosion , and their natural reluctance to combine with other elements.

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The legends of King Midas and Jason’s search for the golden fleece hint at prehistoric mankind’s early fascination with precious metals. The proof comes in the gold and silver treasure found in ancient Egyptian tombs and even older Mesopotamian burial sites.

The course of recorded history also shows twists and turns influenced to a large degree by precious metals. It was Greek silver that gave Athens its Golden Age, Spanish gold and silver that powered the Roman Empire‘s expansion, and the desire for gold that motivated Columbus to sail west across the Atlantic. The exploration of Latin America was driven in large part by the search for gold, and the Jamestown settlers in North America had barely gotten their “land legs” before they began searching for gold. Small amounts of gold found in North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama played a role in the 1838 decision to remove the Cherokee Indians to Oklahoma. The California gold rush of 1849 made California a state in 1850, and California gold fueled northern industry and backed up union currency, two major factors in the outcome of the Civil War.

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Since ancient times, gold has been associated with the Sun . Its name is believed to be derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “to shine,” and its chemical symbol (Au) comes from aurum, Latin for “glowing dawn.” Pure gold has an attractive, deep yellow color and a specific gravity of 19.3. Gold is soft enough to scratch with a fingernail, and the most malleable of metals. A block of gold about the size of a sugar cube can be beaten into a translucent film some 27 ft (8 m) on a side. Gold’s purity is expressed either as fineness (parts per 1,000) or in karats (parts per 24). An alloy containing 50% gold is 500 fine or 12 karat gold. Gold resists corrosion by air and most chemicals but can be dissolved in a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids, a solution called aqua regia because it dissolves the “king of metals”.

Gold is so rare that one ton of average rock contains only about eight pennies worth of gold. Gold ore occurs where geologic processes have concentrated gold to at least 250 times the value found in average rock. At that concentration, there is still one million times more rock than gold and the gold is rarely seen. Ore with visible gold is fabulously rich.

Gold most commonly occurs as a pure metal called native gold or as a natural alloy with silver called electrum. Gold and silver combined with tellurium are of local importance. Gold and silver tellurides are found, for example, in the mountains around the old mining boom-town of Telluride, Colorado. Gold is found in a wide variety of geologic settings, but placer gold and gold veins are the most economically important.

Placer gold is derived from gold-bearing rock from which the metal has been freed by weathering . Gravity and running water then combine to separate the dense grains of gold from the much lighter rock fragments. Rich concentrations of gold can develop above deeply weathered gold veins as the lighter rock is washed away. The “Welcome Stranger” from the gold fields of Victoria, Australia , is a spectacular 158–16 (71.5-kg) example of this type of occurrence.

Gold washed into mountain streams also forms placer deposits where the stream’s velocity diminishes enough to deposit gold. Stream placers form behind boulders and other obstructions in the streambed, and where a tributary stream merges with a more slowly moving river. Placer gold is also found in gravel bars where it is deposited along with much larger rocky fragments.

The discovery of placer gold set off the California gold rush of 1849 and the rush to the Klondike in 1897. The largest river placers known are in Siberia, Russia. Gold-rich sands there are removed with jets of water, a process known as hydraulic mining. A fascinating byproduct of Russia’s hydraulic mining is the unearthing of thousands of woolly mammoths, many with flesh intact, locked since the Ice Age in frozen tundra gravel.

Stream placer deposits have their giant ancient counterparts in paleoplacers, and the Witwatersrand district in South Africa outproduces all others combined. Gold was reported from the Witwatersrand (White Waters Ridge) as early as 1834, but it was not until 1886 that the main deposit was discovered. From that time until today, it has occupied the paramount position in gold mining history. Witwatersrand gold was deposited between 2.9 and 2.6 billion years ago in six major fields, each produced by an ancient river system.

Placer and paleoplacers are actually secondary gold deposits, their gold having been derived from older deposits in the mountains above. The California 49ers looked upstream hoping to find the mother lode, and that’s exactly what they called the system of gold veins they discovered.

Vein gold is deposited by hot subterranean water known as a hydrothermal fluid. Hydrothermal fluids circulate through rock to leach small amounts of gold from large volumes of rock and then deposit it in fractures to form veins. Major U.S. gold vein deposits have been discovered at Lead in the Black Hills of South Dakota and at Cripple Creek on the slopes of Pike’s Peak, Colorado. Important vein deposits are also found in Canada and Australia. All these important deposits were located following the discovery of placer gold in nearby streams.

Gold’s virtual indestructibility means that almost all gold ever mined could still be in use today. Today, gold is being mined in ever-increasing amounts from increasingly lower-grade deposits. It is estimated that 70% of all gold recovered has been mined in this century. Each year nearly 2,000 tons are added to the total. Nevada currently leads the nation in gold production, and the Republic of South Africa is the world’s leading gold-producing nation.

Gold has traditionally been used for coinage, bullion, jewelry, and other decorative uses. Gold’s chemical inertness means that gold jewelry is hypoallergenic and remains tarnish-free indefinitely.

Silver is a brilliant white metal and the best metal in terms of thermal and electrical conductivity. Its chemical symbol, Ag, is derived from its Latin name, argentum, meaning “shining white.” Silver is not nearly as precious, dense, or noble as gold or platinum. The ease with which silverware tarnishes is an example of its chemical reactivity. Although native silver is found in nature, it most commonly occurs as compounds with other elements, especially sulfur.

Hydrothermal veins constitute the most important source of silver. The Comstock Lode, a silver bonanza 15 mi (24 km) southeast of Reno, Nevada, is a well-known example. Hydrothermal silver veins are formed in the same manner as gold veins, and the two metals commonly occur together. Silver, however, being more reactive than gold, can be leached from surface rocks and carried downward in solution. This process, called supergene enrichment, can concentrate silver into exceedingly rich deposits at depth.

Mexico has traditionally been the world’s leading silver producing country, but the United States, Canada, and Peru each contribute significant amounts. Although silver has historically been considered a precious metal, industrial uses now predominate. Significant quantities are still used in jewelry, silver ware, and coinage; but even larger amounts are consumed by the photographic and electronics industries.

Platinum, like silver, is a silver-white metal. Its chemical symbol is Pt and its name comes from the Spanish world for silver (plata ), with which it was originally confused. Its specific gravity of 21.45 exceeds that of gold, and, like gold, it is found in pure metallic chunks in stream placers. The average crustal abundance of platinum is comparable to that of gold. The melting point of platinum is 3,219°F (1,769°C), unusually high for a metal, and platinum is chemically inert even at high temperature . In addition, platinum is a catalyst for chemical reactions that produce a wide range of important commodities.

Platinum commonly occurs with five similar metals known as the platinum group metals. The group includes osmium, iridium, rhodium, palladium, and ruthenium. All were discovered in the residue left when platinum ore was dissolved in aqua regia. All are rare, expensive, and classified chemically as noble metals.

Platinum is found as native metal, in natural alloys, and in compounds with sulfur and arsenic. Platinum ore deposits are rare, highly scattered, and one deposit dominates all others much as South Africa’s Witwatersrand dominates world gold production. That platinum deposit is also in the Republic of South Africa.

Placer platinum was discovered in South Africa in 1924 and subsequently traced to a distinctively layered igneous rock known as the Bushveld Complex. Although the complex is enormous, the bulk of the platinum is found in a thin layer scarcely more than three feet thick. Nearly half of the world’s historic production of platinum has come from this remarkable layer.

The Stillwater complex in the Beartooth mountains of southwestern Montana also contains a layer rich in platinum group metals. Palladium is the layer’s dominant metal, but platinum is also found. The layer was discovered during the 1970s, and production commenced in 1987.

Platinum is used mostly in catalytic converters for vehicular pollution control. Low-voltage electrical contracts form the second most common use for platinum, followed closely by dental and medical applications, including dental crowns, and a variety of pins and plates used internally to secure human bones. Platinum is also used as a catalyst in the manufacture of explosives, fertilizer, gasoline, insecticides, paint, plastics, and pharmaceuticals. Platinum crucibles are used to melt high-quality optical glass and to grow crystals for computer chips and lasers. Hot glass fibers for insulation and nylon fibers for textiles are extruded through platinum sieves.

Because of their rarity and unique properties, the demand for gold and platinum are expected to continue to increase. Silver is more closely tied to industry, and the demand for silver is expected to rise and fall with economic conditions.

 

http://www.encyclopedia.com/earth-and-environment/minerals-mining-and-metallurgy/metallurgy-and-mining-terms-and-concepts-47

50 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Gold……..

50 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About Gold

1. The word “gold” comes from the Old English word “geolu,” meaning yellow.

2. There is more steel created per hour than there has been gold dug up throughout history.

3. Around 161,000 tons of gold have been mined by humans.

4. Gold can be found beneath the earth on all seven continents.

5. It is believed that around 80% of earth’s gold is still buried underground.

6. There is an estimated total of 10 billion tons of gold in the world’s oceans. That is 25 tons of gold for every cubic mile of seawater.

7. The world’s first gold vending machine was unveiled in May 2010. Located in an ultra-luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, the vending machine itself is covered in 24-carat gold.

8. Most western economies’ currencies were on the gold standard until 1961.

9. Switzerland was the last country whose currency was tied to gold. 40% of a Swiss Franc was backed by gold until Switzerland joined the IMF in 1999.10. The gold held at Fort Knox is accounted for by the United States as an asset valued at $44.22 per ounce.

11. As of December 31, 1941 Fort Knox held 649.6 million ounces of gold.

12. Today, Fort Knox  holds about 147.3 million ounces.

13. The size of a standard gold bar is 7″ by 3 and 5/8″ by 1 and 3/4″

14. Alchemists believe they can change ordinary materials, such as lead, into gold.

15. A carat was originally a unit of mass based on the carob seed used by ancient merchants.

16. The most expensive gold coin in the world is the 1933 Double Eagle, which was sold at Sotheby’s in New York in 2002 for $7.59 million.

17. Elvis Presley owned three cars manufactured by Stutz Motor Company, in which every part that is normally chrome was converted to gold.

18. Former Tyco International CEO Dennis Kozlowski bought a gold-threaded shower curtain worth $6,000.

19. A noble metal, gold is prone neither to rust nor tarnish and does not form an oxide film on its surface when coming into contact with ai

20. There are 92 naturally occurring elements found in the earth’s crust. Gold ranks 58th in rarity.

21. The chemical symbol for gold is Au, which is derived from the Latin word “aurum,” which means “shining dawn.”

22. Absolutely pure gold is so soft that it can be molded with the hands.

23. The melting point of gold is 2,063 degrees Fahrenheit.

24. Gold is a great conductor of electricity.

25. Gold is the most malleable and ductile pure metal known to man.

26. An ounce of gold can be beaten into a sheet covering 100 square feet.

27. In 1869, two Australians unearthed the world’s largest nugget of gold, the “Welcome Stranger,” which measured 10 by 25 inches before it was melted down.

28. The largest nugget still in existence is the “Hand of Faith,” found in 1980 in Australia. It is currently on display at the Golden Nugget Casino in Las Vegas.

29. A gold nugget found in the earth can be three to four times as valuable as the gold it contains because of its rareness.

30. The heaviest modern gold bullion coin is Austria’s Philharmonic. In 2004, the coin, which has a weight of 1,000 ounces (31.1 kilograms or 69 troy pounds or 828 troy ounces) and a diameter of 15 inches, was dubbed the world’s largest gold coin by Guinness World Records.

31. In 2007, Canada made a 100 kilogram (3,217 troy ounce), 0.99999 gold coin with a face value of $1,000,000.

32. Pure gold does not cause skin irritations.

33. Some sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis receive injections of liquid gold to relieve pain.

34. Olympic gold medals were pure gold until 1912.

35. An ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire 60 miles long.

36. Two thirds of the world’s gold comes from South Africa.

37. India is the world’s largest consumer of gold today.

38. South Asian jewelry is generally more pure than western jewelry, comprised of 22 carat gold rather than 14 carat.

39. Gold is the state mineral of California and Alaska.

#-ad_banner_2-#40. 90% of the world’s gold mining has been done since the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in California in 1848.

41. During the California gold rush, some speculators paid more for an ounce of water than they received for an ounce of gold.

42. South Dakota and Nevada produce more gold than any other states.

43. Scientists believe that gold can be found on Mars, Mercury, and Venus.

44. The visors of astronauts’ helmets are coated in a very thin, transparent layer of gold (.000002 inches) that reduces glare and heat from sunlight.

45. The Aztec word for gold, “teocuitatl,” was translated by Europeans as meaning “excrement of the gods.”

46. According to the legend of El Dorado (the gilded one), an Andean chief who was covered in gold dust would make offerings of gold into a mountain lake.

47. Evidence suggests that around 5,000 B.C., gold and copper became the first metals to be discovered by man.

48. King Croesus of Lydia created the first pure gold coins in 540 B.C.

49. When Franklin Roosevelt raised the price of gold from $20.67 to $35 in 1934, the dollar immediately lost 40% of its value.

50. Henry VIII, Diocletian and Nero were infamous gold debasers, mixing other metals into gold coins and decreasing their value.

http://www.investinganswers.com/investment-ideas/commodities-precious-metals/50-surprising-facts-you-never-knew-about-gold-1370

Instagram

Everyday Instagram has over 80 million pictures uploaded. Users under the age of 35 use Instagram more than any other age. Considering Instagram was made in 2010. It has grown very big over the years. The amount of likes on Instagram is very high, about 3.5 billion a day! That is so crazy! People have become so addicted to Instagram and other social media’s also like twitter. Twitter is a very popular social media website. It has over 320 million users.

Come talk more with me about social media at GoldWiser in Conroe, TX  Open Monday-Saturday 10 am – 7 pm

Picture Perfect part two

Hey everybody, i left off  at highlight, you use your brush to apply the highlight on your cheeks where we put the concealer and down your nose. Next, you apply the blush to your cheeks, i use more of a bronze blush on my cheeks for a more contour look instead of having to contour. Next i work my way to my eye shadow after i apply the concealer to my eye lids i apply the transition shade in my crease, after that i apply a more shiny darker color depending on what eye palette i use, i then apply a lighter shiny color to my inner corner and, lid blend the colors together more. After that i apply the mascara to my lashes i use to different brands that make my lashes have more volume. When i am completely done with my make up i add a setting spray to make sure my make up is set, and that it last. That’s how to be picture perfect!

Come see me at GoldWiser in Conroe TX, Monday-Saturday 10 am – 7 pm