If you consider investing in precious metals, you may experience some confusion when you see the terms “24k gold,” “pure gold,” “9999 gold,” or “999 gold.” What’s the deal with each type of gold, and what is 9999 gold vs. 24k gold?
Keep reading to set your gold-related terms straight and learn how to tell between genuine and fake gold.
9999 and 24K Gold: Are They the Same?
In short, yes. 9999 gold, 999 gold, and 24k gold are the most highly purified gold, usually in the form of bullion bars.
24k gold is purer than any gold you would typically encounter in a jewelry store. Because gold is a soft, scratch-prone metal, gold jewelry is generally made from alloys to ensure higher durability.
The list of common gold alloys includes:
- 23k gold: An alloy with 95.9% gold content, found in some foreign jewelry.
- 22k gold: A more durable alloy containing approximately 92% gold. This alloy appears in some fine gold jewelry and American gold eagle coins.
- 21k gold: A less-common alloy of about 87.6% gold. Some vintage jewelry has this type of gold content.
- Rose or red gold: An 18k gold alloy that contains 25% copper and 75% gold.
- Black gold: An 18k alloy of 75% gold and 25% cobalt.
- Green gold: also known as electrum, this natural alloy contains about 27% silver and 73% gold.
- White gold: A 14k, or 58.5% alloy that combines gold with nickel, palladium, or manganese.
In scientific terms, gold can never be 100% pure. Even 24k gold will always contain trace amounts of non-gold particles. However, 24k, 9999, or 999 gold counts as pure for investment purposes. “Tradeable,” or “Good Delivery Gold,” has to be at least 995/1000 parts gold.
Why is 9999 Gold Usually Called 24k?
There are two systems to define gold purity: the well-known karats and the millesimal fineness system, which establishes the purity of gold, silver, platinum, and other precious metals by stating the pure metal’s parts per thousands in an alloy.
24-karat, or 24k gold, counts as 9999 (i.e., 99.99%) in the millesimal system. 18k gold is 750 (75%) gold under the millesimal system.
A single gold karat equals 1 part out of 24, or 4.1667%. The karat system goes back to the medieval mark, a gold coin that weighed 24 karats. Since pure gold coins would be too soft for everyday use, metals like copper made up part of the karatage, or coin weight. The proportion of gold in the coin determined its karatage. For example, a coin containing three parts gold and one part copper was an 18-karat coin.
Millesimal fineness is a newer and more precise system. However, 9999 gold vs. 24k gold means the same thing: the purest practically attainable gold with minimum non-gold content.
How to Spot Fake 24k Gold?
Throughout history, crooks have tried to pass counterfeit gold or gold-plated items as 24 karat gold. Fortunately, there are several ways to make sure you buy genuine pure gold:
- Look at the gold bar through a magnifying glass. Discoloration or excessive shine are signs of fake gold.
- Compare the bar’s weight to a same-sized bullion bar from a trusted source. The two bars should weigh precisely the same.
- Handle the bar with your bare clean hands for a couple of minutes. Gold is an inert metal and shouldn’t react with your skin. If you notice a skin reaction, you’re likely holding a counterfeit gold bar.
- Hold a high-strength magnet near the gold bar. If the bar attracts the magnet, you’re dealing with fake gold or a gold alloy.
- Sprinkle the bar with a few drops of white vinegar. If the metal changes color, it’s fake gold.
Remember: the surest way to avoid counterfeit gold is to purchase bullion bars exclusively from trusted sources. With Oxford Gold Group, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing you’ve invested in the purest gold on the market.
Are Bullion Bars 99.99% Gold?
Most bullion bars from reputable sources are 9999 (99.99%) or 999 (99.9%) gold. We do not recommend investing in gold bars that contain less than 99.5% gold. A gold bullion bar should feature its weight, purity, and manufacturer’s name in clear stamping upon its face.
Gold bullion bars available for investment purchase come in weights from 1 gram to 1 kilogram. Central banks trade in standard gold bars that weigh 12.4 kilograms, or 400 Troy ounces.
When exploring investment-quality gold, it is essential to distinguish between bullion bars and bullion coins. While bullion coins look attractive and often have numismatic value, investors typically get less gold for their money when they buy coins. Although both bars and coins offer solid value, bullion bars may pay off better as a standardized, tradeable long-term investment in precious metals.
Oxford Gold Group: Enhance Your Retirement Funds by Investing in Gold
Investing in gold has one significant advantage: gold will always remain valuable, even and especially in times of economic uncertainty when stocks plummet and markets crash. Buying gold and silver from a reputable source diversifies your investment portfolio and enhances your financial security.
At Oxford Gold Group, we convert portions of retirement accounts into solid gold and silver. With us, you can be sure of the best prices and secure, knowledgeable service.
Call (833) 600 – GOLD today to learn more about 9999 gold vs. 24K gold and other precious metals.