Talk:Precious metal

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Bullion[edit]

Anybody think we should say why 100% purity is impossible? The Literate Engineer 02:55, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Rather than using the current term "asymptotically," which refers strictly to theory, I would prefer that the reasons given be economic--namely, that further purification means one spends more refining the metal for the coin than the mint can receive for it in trade! 64.231.142.157 06:28, 5 November 2005 (UTC) Peter Johnson

Why can one not buy a bullion coin, melt it and sell it for its value in weight? (unsigned comment)

One could melt down a bullion coin and sell the metal, assuming a willing buyer. But why? Coins generally have a market value higher than that of the equivalent amount of bullion (for instance, in the U.S., the spot price for silver refers to a 1Koz. ingot), among the factors for this: the minting costs, and the greater utility for small amounts which facilitate transaction. The reason a person might melt down a coin to sell the metal would arise from artificial valuation by the government. Take for instance when U.S. pennies had a copper content worth more than 1 cent. The government insisted on them having a face value of 1 cent, even though they had a higher metal worth, thus eventuating in the move to cheaper materials, such as zinc with a copper coating, in order to prevent individuals melting the coins for their copper, since copper melts at a relatively low temperature. I would suggest keeping coins in their original condition unless the above scenario comes about. Note: bullion coins, such as American Gold Eagles, have a largely symbolic face value. Nobody selling a 1oz AGE would accept $50 (the face value) for a $682 coin! The difference is that the government insinuates that clad coins be exchanged at face value, regardless of content. Bullion coins, however, exchange at market value, irrespective of the face. 68.92.197.91
More importantly, the purity level on coins is assured by the mint that makes the coin. Melting the coin down breaks that certification and probably reduces the value unduely. Only people or organisations with a registered hallmark may attest to a purity level. Carbonate 11:24, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Gold said to be 1000 parts fine is marked down to 999.9 in the London gold bullion market. — Preceding unsigned comment added by MissouriOzark1947 (talkcontribs) 11:22, 20 September 2014 (UTC)

Durable goods vs durable value[edit]

The first para says that precious metals are "of high, durable economic value." To me, that reads too much like a prediction that their value will stay high. It's true that precious metals are durable goods, it's true that their value is high and has "always" been high, but predictions, however obvious, are not the business Wikipedia is in.

I'm going to change this, but it feels potentially controversial to me so I figured I'd give everyone the chance to object ...

RandomP 20:37, 3 June 2006 (UTC)


RandomP is currently engaged in Mediation regarding changes to inflation.

Carbonate 06:37, 4 June 2006 (UTC)


Precious metal should not be merged with Noble metal While most precious metals are also noble metals, and vice versa, the two express different concepts. Precious refers to a metal's economic value and desirability, while prcious refers to its resistance to corrosion or other chemical attack. Lawrence Chard

I agree, and since consensus over at Talk:Noble metal was against it as well, I've removed the merge requests for now.
RandomP 21:12, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Uranium and plutonium[edit]

Why are they listed in the arcticle as precious metals? The price of depleted uranium is very low compared to silver or germanium, it is even lower than of tungsten. These metals are not used in jewellry at all, and hardly in any domestic artifacts. I think Uranium and Plutonium do not belong to here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thebiggestmac (talkcontribs) 08:18, 22 September 2006

Agreed, took 'em out. Vsmith 10:26, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
Put Uranium 235 back in? Russia is selling the stuff to Iran at a rather high price. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.197.21.34 (talk) 02:25, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Two comments:

  • this is the definition as given in the article.
A precious metal is a rare metallic chemical element of high economic value.

Now I won't insist on putting them back in, as they are generally not considered precious metals, but according to the strict definition they are precious metals.

  • the second is that uranium has traditionally been used as a coloring agent in glass, giving a blue to green tint, depending on the concetrations. It is only enriched Uranium which is lethally radioactive. A small amount of natural or depleted uranium can be fairly safely handled, although like lead excessive amounts are toxic.

Like I said, they are only technically precious because they are rare metals of economic value. Just a little commentary from the chemical engineer in training.--Scorpion451 00:36, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Well, one difference is that uranium and plutonium are not nearly as widely traded as silver, gold, or platinum -- or even palladium, rhodium, or iridium. For instance, in any city in the Western world I can probably find a dealer to buy or sell gold bullion or silver coin; this is simply not the case for uranium. :) --FOo 21:57, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, at least one would hope! I was just pointing out that they were by the definition precious metals, and have seen them included in some listings of precious metals with a disclaimer of the type I mentioned, that they are non-traditional precious metals.--Scorpion451 00:01, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Same argument, diffrent place, over at [Metal] the same argument is taking place. Precious metals are a social/economic phenomenon, most of the precious metals have been known since antiquity, hence..."Historically, precious metals were important as currency"... perhaps 'and jewelry would be a nice addition to that statement.
Hense although Indium, now in high demand due to LCD production, is NOT a precious metal.
Heavy Metal is not an object, but has used Metal in its production. Rob Halford spoke of using cutlery in the production of the song "Metal gods", "We wanted to make a crashing sound, so we tried pans of all forks, knives and spoons, but it didnt give the sound we wanted, so we tried forks, and spoons alone, and spoons gave is a great crashing noise, I suppose you could change the name of Heavy metal to Heavy Metal Cutlery." --67.174.157.126 (talk) 12:05, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
The exclusion of radioactive metals from the description of precious metal needs source(s) to back it up. (The current not radioactive, except for these ones that are is particularly strange.)
The table of mass abundance and approximate prices includes metals that aren't "precious," and certainly should include those that either have been considered precious in the past, and those that are of high price (even if excluded from being "precious") by other factors. Therefore, Plutonium (quite rare on earth, high priced - both because of rarity and because of its "usefulness") [1] should be included in the table for purposes of comparison. Zodon (talk) 20:15, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Rhenium[edit]

I see nothing in the Rhenium article to indicate its use in jewelery or art. It is stated to be one of the most expensive metals, but does that warrant its inclusion on this page? Rojomoke (talk) 13:32, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

definition of precious metal is not well-defined[edit]

I get the feeling that the given definition here is really "bad-defined", because "high economical value" is very elastic. Considering only these metallic elements which price is currently higher than Silver, then there are dozends of elements qualifying as "precious metalls". I doubt this should be so, or? Regards, Achim1999 (talk) 15:41, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Market price table[edit]

I've tried to clean up the market price table. I don't quite understand its purpose. It appears to have been created to list current prices of representative metals.[2]. Now though it includes data from three dates, which suggests that it's intended to provide an historical price context, but it only includes data for the last three quarters, and at irregular intervals. A snapshot of current prices would be useful, combined perhaps with an historical price chart, but I haven't looked yet for a (free) source of historical data to use and reference. Can anyone suggest such a source?

The data itself is incompletely sourced. The 10 Apr 2009 data "is taken mostly from London metal exchange" [3], but no other source is named nor which of the nine prices came from the LME. "Data from 22th july 2009 are from the the bulliondesk com taken, except Germanium, Gallium" [4], indium, and beryllium, perhaps indirectly through this table. Prices for Ge, Ga, and In came from MinorMetals.com [5]. Neither source appears to track Be; where that price came from is a mystery. No source is cited for the 7 Jan 2010 data, which should therefore be removed. Yappy2bhere (talk) 23:50, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

First, as for sources, I don't have anything for most of the metals on the list, but http://www.xe.com/ict/ has historical information on most currency exchange rates recorded at noon, daily back into 1995, and has information for platinum, gold, and silver back to 3-Nov-97, and palladium back to 30-Nov-98. They do, of course, list price of these metals by ounce, not kilogram, and it's not indicated whether they're standard ounces or troy ounces. (Xe uses 3-letter currency codes for their currencies, precious metals are listed as X followed by the chemical symbol in caps, platinum is XPT, gold is XAU, so on. Interestingly, defunct currencies are also listed with X as the first letter, and most current currencies are listed by a country abbreviation that's two letters long followed by the first letter of the currency's name).

Second, I'd like to point out that currently the market price table will not sort correctly according to price. I'm not familiar with how the Wikipedia standards for that work, and don't have time to look it up right now, otherwise I would have found a way of fixing that myself. (Astrocom (talk) 05:06, 13 June 2010 (UTC))

An additional point that I would like to mention is that the "Market Price Table" gives it's prices in an unstated dollar currency, making it impossible to obtain the actual value for any given period - and as such rendering it essentially useless. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.151.66.170 (talk) 12:57, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

The purpose of the market price table seems obvious to me. Precious metals are commonly used as bullion, and bullion is a type of money. So the price is of immediate and primary importance in this article. Of course, the prices should be listed in troy ounces, and not in of the many other types of ounce nor in kilograms, since the troy ounce has long been and still is the international standard for measuring bullion. US dollars works for me, since I'm an american, but the other big international currencie, the euro, should also be included. Rwflammang (talk) 18:30, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Sort not working[edit]

I tried Firefox, IE and Chrome. None of the sort options work in any of them on my computer. 156.110.38.82 (talk) 21:22, 28 March 2013 (UTC)