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Did you know?

Bullion is the generic word for gold and silver in coin, bar or ingot form. The word originally meant mint or melting place from the old French word for boiling: bouillon. However, the word may also have been derived from the surname of Claude de Bullion who served as French Minister of Finance under King Louis XIII.

Bullion, platinum and palladium are collectively referred to as precious metals. Whereas gold and silver have ancient histories, platinum was only categorised as a precious metal in 1751 and palladium was isolated as a separate metal less than 200 years ago.

Precious metals have a lexicon all their own. For example, the Unit for Delivery of Loco (location) London Gold is the London Good Delivery gold bar, which must have a minimum fineness of 995 (where fineness is the proportion of precious metal in an alloy expressed as parts per thousand). Bars are generally close to 400 troy ounces or 12.5 kilograms. And closer to home, the one-ounce South African Krugerrand, first issued in 1967, has a fineness of 916.7 or 22 karats.

Source: A Guide to the London Precious Metals Markets, published jointly by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and the London Platinum and Palladium Market (LPPM)

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