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Fineness of gold coins | Rarity factor

Fineness of gold coins

Coins are usually made of an alloy as other metals are mixed into the coin to make it more durable.

Fineness is the actual gold content in a coin or bar and expressed in grams or troy ounces.
Karat weight is a unit of fineness for gold equal to 1/24 part of pure gold in an alloy. For example, pure gold which is 1000 fine. Below is a karat weight to fineness conversion chart.

Correlation between karats and fineness:

  • 24 karats = 1000 fine
  • 23 karats = 958.3 fine
  • 22 karats = 916.6 fine
  • 21 karats = 875.0 fine
  • 20 karats = 833.3 fine
  • 18 karats = 750.0 fine
  • 16 karats = 666.7 fine
  • 14 karats = 583.3 fine
  • 10 karats = 416.6 fine

The fineness is often converted to a percent, as well. If a gold coin has a fineness of .900, the decimal point is moved two places to the right and that number is expressed as a percent – that is 90.0% pure gold. If a gold coin has a fineness of .850, then the gold coin is 85.0% pure, etc..

Coins have varied greatly in fineness through history. Notable historical standards that were closely adherred-to include the crown gold (22 karat) used in all English gold coins intended for circulation from 1526 onward, and 0.900 fine (21.6 kt), the standard for all American circulation-coins from 1837 onward.

Fineness is not the only way to value a gold coin; a great deal of value in collector coins comes from condition and rarity. To a far lesser extent, even the value of gold bullion coins is influenced by their physical condition.

Rarity factor

The value of coins depends on their rarity. There are several scales which have been developed for the definition of the rarity of a particular coin. The most common are the “Sheldon rarity scale” and the “Universal rarity scale” “Rarity Scales”. “Rarity System”. Retrieved June 3, 2010.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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