Information provided by Veritas Research & Publishing - Established 1986

Precious Metals

Gold & Silver & Platinum
Bullion and Mining Stocks

Useful and impartial precious metal and mining stock information. Ideas and how-to information to help you wisely pick and choose your precious metal investments.

"Steady plodding brings prosperity:
hasty speculation brings poverty."

Proverbs 21:5

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Picking & Choosing

Mining Properties

Mining properties fall into six basic categories. A company may have one type of property or any combination of properties.

Speculative Properties have definite indications of mineralization. But, funds and work are needed to determine if the property may be economically viable.

Dormant Properties have mineral deposits believed to be uneconomically viable at present. But, with higher metal prices or a new metallurgy innovation the property may have future potential.

Dead Properties can consist of older mines with exhausted ore reserves or without future potential, higher metal prices or not.

Pre-Development Properties have reserves based on preliminary drilling and are ready to undergo feasibility studies.

Development Properties have proven reserves and a tested metallurgical process for extracting the precious metals. A feasibility study supports the project's economic viability.

Producing Properties are doing just that.

The Risk & The Rewards

The odds against a gold mining venture succeeding seem overwhelming. Numerous questions need to be answered and problems solved. Questionable mineral rights, metallurgical uncertainties, or environmental problems may be insurmountable. A smaller ore body in Nevada may have more profit potential than a much larger and richer ore body in a remote area of Canada or Alaska. And political uncertainties can impede the most promising foreign gold mining venture, but changing political climates are opening new opportunities.

The odds against even discovering a new gold deposit are formidable. In Canada and the United States, the odds of a possible discovery turning out to be an actual deposit are 150 to 1. The odds against that one deposit being profitable are 10 to 1.

Should I invest in a gold mining company? Is the financial reward worth the financial risk? It can be. During a hefty jump in precious metal prices, most gold mining stocks will increase substantially in value.

But, you don't need higher gold prices to be a big winner. The company you invest in may make a new or additional discovery, or another company makes a rich strike on a nearby property. You could realize profits of 10 or 20 times your original investment - or more.

The well-chosen exploration company can be your biggest winner; your investment increasing 100 times more than a similar investment in a larger gold-producing mining company.
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Precious Metal Prices

Recent & Historical

Platinum Prices Silver Prices Gold Prices

"Life must be lived forward, but
can only be understood backwards."

Soren Kierkegaard

Platinum Prices

Prices are rounded to the nearest dollar amount.

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2000 $4.95 -- 2001 $4.37 -- 2002 $4.60 -- 2003 $4.88 -- 2004 $6.67 -- 2005 $7.32

2006 $11.55 -- 2007 $13.38 -- 2008 $14.99 -- 2009 $14.67

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Prices are rounded to the nearest dollar amount


1970 $37 -- 1975 $161 --1980 $612 -- 1981 $459 --1982 $375 -- 1983 $424 -- 1984 $361 1985 $317 -- 1986 $368 --1987 $447 --1988 $437 -- 1989 $382 -- 1990 $382 -- 1991 $362  1992 $344 -- 1993 $360 -- 1994 $384 -- 1995 $384 -- 1996 $391 --1997 $331 -- 1998 $294 1999 $279 -- 2000 $284 -- 2001 $271 -- 2002 $310 -- 2003 $363 -- 2004 $410 -- 2005 $445 2006 $603 -- 2007 $695 -- 2008 $872 -- 2009 $972

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Why Bullion Coins & Bars

Gold - Silver - Platinum - Palladium

Why gold and silver bars and coins anyway? Few Americans today can remember using silver dollars in day-to-day transactions. Even fewer can remember using gold coins, or the pledging of gold and silver to guarantee the integrity of public and private financial instruments. What happened - political shenanigans and monetary debasement.

In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt took away the American citizens' right to own gold.. He promised the gold would be returned. It wasn't. Two years later the United States' government discontinued the minting of U.S. silver dollars. Then, at the end of 1964, discontinued minting of 90 percent silver dimes, quarters and half-dollars. That was then.

It took more than 40 years, but, in 1974 the American citizen's right to own gold was won back. In 1985, President Reagan signed into public law the minting of legal tender gold and silver bullion coins. Americans can once more own gold coins and gold bullion. And once more the United States government is minting those coins.

Why own precious metal coins today? Legal tender gold and silver coins offer the investor the intangible benefits of owning an attractive article and the tangible benefits of a legal tender bullion coin. The coin's precious metal content increases in value with higher gold and silver prices. The coin's face value limits to some degree the amount of investment risk. And the limited edition of some coins add a potential rare coin value. During the complete collapse of a paper currency, gold and silver coins can be used to sustain one's day-to-day survival.

Some foreign gold and silver coins, like U.S. gold and silver coins, are universally recognized and easy to resell. Gold bullion coins include, but not limited to, U.S. Gold Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf, Australian Nugget, and the South African Krugerrand. All come in four gold weights: one ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, and 10th ounce.

The Maple Leaf and Nugget are .999 pure, while the U.S. Gold Eagle and Krugerrand have some base metals added for greater hardness and durability. Although the weight and size may differ, the gold content is the same.

Bullion bars avialable to the individual investor include the popular 1 troy ounce, 10 ounce, and 100 ounce silver bars and the one gram to kilo sized gold bars.

To avoid possible assay costs and loss of instant liquidity, stick with well-known brand names. Each bar is stamped with its own registration number, purity, and weight. Names such as Credit Suisse, Johnson Matthey, A-Mark and Engelhard provide you with bars that are easy to buy and resell.

Platinum bars and coins provide investment opportunities for the individual investor in one of the rarest of precious metals. One troy ounce and 10 troy ounce platinum bars are now easily accessible to the individual investor. And the number of accessible government minted platinum coins is increasing. The coins are .9995 pure and come in one, half, quarter, and 10th ounce sizes.

How are precious metal prices set?
Prices are constantly changing, and trading in precious metals continues 24 hours a day, following the sun westward around the world. In the U.S., early morning and afternoon commodity prices are constantly updated by the New York and Chicago Commodity Exchanges. Most local dealer spot prices are provided through-out the rest of the day by major wholesalers - Engelhard Minerals and Metals, Handy and Harmon, and Mocatta Metals.

Prices respond to daily market conditions and each dealer's own supply and demand. Dealer retail prices for bullion bars and coins are based on the spot price, plus manufacturing and distribution costs, wholesalers risk, and retailers commission.

Gold and silver dealers range from small local coin dealers and large well established precious-metal brokers, to a few fly-by-night scam artists. If at all possible, do your trading with your local dealer on a cash basis. If it is a large order, and you must deal with an unfamiliar out-of-state broker, use a "sight draft" in conjunction with your local banker. "Sight draft" means what it says. The merchandise is shipped to your local bank and when your banker sees the coins or bars, the banker wires your funds to the dealer..

What counts when buying precious metal bars and coins? It is the total price you pay and receiving the merchandise, not "discount" commissions or a "hot deal" if you buy now.

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Investment Opportunities Or Scams
Better to lose an opportunity than your money

"A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood." - Shenstone

In America the investment opportunities available are varied and numerous. Unfortunately, so are the numbers of investment vehicles with little or no possibility of making money for anyone other than the promoters.

Some investment programs begin legitimate then turn sour. Usually the idea was dubious and the management inept. Many failed investment programs, however, turn out to be frauds.

Individuals in positions of trust, unwilling to sacrifice their high-life style, sacrifice their ethics for easy dollars. They get into personal financial trouble and begin using their investors' funds for personal use. Others, however, start out to be swindlers. And are good at it.

There is no typical con-man or con-woman profile. You can't tell by their dress, looks, or personal demeanor. They do have three things in common: they are crooks, they are convincing, they are after your money.

And since they don't have to make good on their promises, they promise or guarantee whatever it takes to persuade you to part with your money: They promise low risk and large profits in a short time. They promise the advantage of inside tips and information not available to less enlightened investors. And there is always the urgency, the high-pressure too "act now" or lose out.

If an investment is good today it will be good tomorrow. Don't be rushed. It is better to lose an opportunity now, than lose your money later. The only safe way to double your money, is take the advice of Will Rodgers, "Fold your money over once and put it in your pocket."

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Monetary Theft
Government the cause, not the answer

Since the 1980s, an insidious type of monetary theft has hidden in the public sector. More and more of each dollar we earn goes to taxes and bureaucratic edicts, leaving less and less purchasing power for consumer goods and services.

Government is the cause, not the answer.
We must decrease government spending: city, state, and federal. And not only must we balance the federal budget, we must start paying off the debt.

Today, in the old Soviet Union, the people are still enslaved. Although living in an area rich in resources, the people remain enslaved by poverty and despair. More than 70 years of Marxism - government ownership and control of the economy - plunged the former Soviet Union into an inflationary depression. Yet, many of our politicians, both Democrat and Republican, still believe increased government involvement and management of the economy is the answer. They are unwilling to admit government is the problem not the answer.

I love the United States. Americans are the most generous people in the world. We give out of both our public and our private purse. And at our expense, we have built medical facilities around the world. We have given billions of dollars in food and in aid. We have sacrificed the best of our youth in the defense of others. We are not perfect. But we are generous and freedom loving, a result of our Judeo-Christian heritage.

America will survive. But to do more than just survive we must re-establish hope, a belief that the future holds promise. We cannot, however, rebuild the hope of America's impoverished and the future of our middle-class on the false promise of financial comfort without labor. America must, must experience a moral reawakening, the restoration of traditional Judeo-Christian values. Until then, America's woes will only escalate.

News headlines making wrong appear right only exacerbate our moral and economic decline. To survive the moral decline, the economic uncertainties, and the political rhetoric, you will need to distinguish the truth from the headlines. And you will need to become involved.

There are many areas of involvement available. Get politically involved. Becoming involved in the political process, however, means more than voting for a president. You can stuff envelopes or run for public office. You can replace a judge or help change a school board. You can help restore traditional values in the public as well as the private arena. You can influence the system. First, however, you must arm yourself with the knowledge needed to do so.- M.E. Odell __________________________________________________

"The state as learned from the merchants and industrialists how to exploit credit; it defies the nation ever to let it go into bankruptcy. Alongside all swindlers the state now stands there as swindler-in- chief." _____Jakob Burkhardt

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A Mining Glossary
What All Those Symbols And Words Mean

The Words:

Alloy: metallic properties having two or more chemical elements. At least one is an elemental metal. Any gold or silver less than .999 purity is an alloy.

Alluvial: unconsolidated sediments in river beds and streams.

Alluvium: deposits of gravel, sand and mud, resulting from erosion of higher ground.

Amalgamation: a process of extracting gold or silver from their ore, using mercury to attract the precious metal.

Anomaly: in geophysical usage, a portion of region surveyed different in appearance from the general area.

Apex: the top of a vein or its nearest point to the surface.

Avoirdupois: United State's weight system used for most everything except gems and precious metals.

Base Metal: any non-precious metal covered by a precious metal.

Bench Diggings: mining on narrow ledges along hillsides.

Blast Hole: drilled in rock for explosives.

Block Caving: undercut blocks of ore caving under its own weight.

By-product: a secondary mineral product from a mine or refinery.

Carat: a unit of weight used in gems but originating from the same source as "karat," used to describe the fineness of gold. The weight unit of carat: 200 milligrams.

Carbon In Pulp: a modern process utilizing the precipitatinge ffects of coarse activated carbon on gold and silver from a loaded cyanide solution. A popular Australian heap- leaching method.
Channel Sample: sample of a vein or mineral deposit.

Claim: portion of mining ground held by a miner.

Comminution: is the reduction of ore to the size required for mechanical or chemical separation.

Concentrate: portion of enriched ore left after separation from unwanted ores.

Core: long cylinder of rock recovered by a diamond drill.

Cross Cut: a horizontal tunnel across a mine's ore body.

Custom Smelter: an independent refinery that returns a percentage of the gold, silver or other metal refined.

Cut and Fill: filling excavated ore area with rock or other waste material known as backfill, and used to provide support.

Cyanidation: process of extracting gold or silver from powdered rock by dissolving the metals in a weak cyanide solution.

Decline: the main mine passageway that slopes downward.

Diamond Drill: drilling by cutting rather than percussion. Producing cylindrical rock core an inch or more in diameter.

Dilution: mining low grade ore along with high grade ore.

Dip: the angle between the downward course of a vein and the horizontal.

Disseminated Ore: small particles of valuable minerals spread through worthless waste material.

Dore' Bullion: an impure alloy of gold and silver usually produced at the mine.

Dredging: mass recovery of alluvium.

Drift: a mining tunnel parallel to a horizontal geological formation.

Electrolysis: electric process for refining precious metals.

Epithermal: mineral deposit found near earth's surface, mainly in veins.

Fault: a break in the earth's crust. The rock on one side has moved with respect to the rock on the other side.

Ferrous Metal: containing iron.

Fine: purity of a precious metal in relation to 1,000 parts.

Fine Gold: pure gold is 24 carats.

Fine Ounce: a Troy ounce of precious metal 999/1000ths pure.

Footwall: lower side of fault.

Fracture: opening in rock mass, allowing for entry of mineral bearing solutions.

Free Milling: gold or silver ore, precious metals can be removed from without complicated treatment.

Galena: lead sulphide mineral containing silver.

Gangue: ("gang"), the worthless segment of an ore deposit. t

Grab Sample: non-representative random sample taken to be assayed. Often the choice material is picked.

Grade: amount of gold, silver or other metal per metric ton.

Gross Value: hypothetical ore value before deduction for recovery losses and mining costs. Used with severe qualification.

Hanging Wall: the upper side of an ore body's fault.

High-grading: mining of just the richer ore. Stealing ore.

Host Rock: rock in which ore deposit occurs.

Hydrothermal Gold: gold deposited from hot fluids.

Incline Shaft: mining shaft that follows dip of ore body.

Karat: used in jewelry to denote the fineness of a gold alloy. Pure gold is 24-karat and too soft for jewelry use.

Lateritic Deposits: contain gold in weathered zones.

Leaching: a chemical solution process for dissolving and extracting gold and silver from ore.

Lode: vein or deposit of gold-bearing rock. Comes from the verb to lead. Miners followed the lode, or lead.

Metallurgy: the science and practice of extracting metals, production of alloys and the study of their physical relationships and properties.

Mill-head: the grade of ore entering the mill.

Milling Ore: ore of sufficient value to be treated by milling.

Mineral Deposit: may or may not be mined at a profit.

Mother Lode: a specific limited area in a gold-bearing district, often used to describe the whole district.

Native Gold: naturally occurring gold commonly found in alluvial deposits and quartz veins.

Ore Dressing: the concentrating of ore mineral by removing some of the waste material.

Ore Reserves: the measured tonnage and grade of ore minable at a profit.

Outcrop: the exterior expression of any mineral deposit.

Pinch-out: to decline in size or value as the vein is followed.

Placer: an alluvial mineral deposit.

Placer Mining: washing of surface deposits for gold.

Primary deposits: are veins or lodes occurring in the host rock.

Pure Gold or Silver: 999 fineness or with no alloy.

Raise: a vertical or inclined opening in a mine from lower to higher level.

Recovery: the percentage of valuable metal recovered from ore.

Refractory Ores: the gold is chemically bound in sulphide minerals.

Secondary Deposits: are formed by wind or water eroding a primary deposit. Such as alluvial deposits in streams and rivers.

Slag: waste matter from a smelter.

Smelting: extracting of crude metal from ore prior to refining.

Sorting: eliminating waste rock from mined ore.

Stockpile: accumulated ore awaiting shipment or treatment.

Stope: step-like removal of underground ore.

Strike: horizontal direction of a geological formation.

Strike: the mark left on a planchet.

Strip Mine: mining of surface deposits.

Tellurides: are minerals in which gold is found in correlation with tellurium an element similar to sulphur.

Ton: Short ton = 2,000 pounds
Metric ton = 2,204.6 pounds
Long tonne = 2,240 pounds

Chemical Elements and Symbols

Symbol Element:
Ag Silver - As Arsenic - Au Gold
C Carbon - Co Cobalt - Cr Chromium - Cu Copper
Fe Iron
Hg Mercury
Ni Nickel
Pb Lead - Pd Palladium - Pt Platinum - Pu Plutonium
S Sulfur - Sn Tin
Ti Titanium
U Uranium
W Tungsten
Zn Zinc

Abbreviations and Weights - Symbol Explanation:

cu m Cubic meter
cu yd Cubic yard
eqAg Equivalent silver
egAu Equivalent gold
ft Foot
g Gram
g/cu m Grams per cubic meter
g/t Grams per metric ton
kg Kilogram
kg/t Kilogram per metric ton
km Kilometer
lb Pound avoirdupois
m Meter
mi Mile
mm Millimeter
MM st Million short tons
MM tpy Million short tons per year
Mt Million metric tons

Symbol Explanation:
oz Troy ounce
oz/cu yd Troy ounce per cubic yard
oz/T Troy ounces per short ton
ppb Parts per billion
ppm Parts per million
sq km Square kilometer
sq mi Square mile
T Short ton
t Metric tonne
tpd Short tons per day
t/d Metric tonnes per day

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Information provided by Veritas Research & Publishing ® - Established 1986

Our Privacy Policy: We respect the privacy of those who answer our surveys, fill out our questionnaires, or request to be put on our list of e-mail friends wishing to receive up to date ideas and news. We do not to sell, rent, or in any way disclose our lists to third parties.