A gold bar, also called gold bullion or gold ingot, is a quantity of refined metallic gold of any shape that is made by a bar producer meeting standard conditions of manufacture, labeling, and record keeping. Larger gold bars that are produced by pouring the molten metal into molds are called ingots. Smaller bars may be manufactured by minting or stamping from appropriately rolled gold sheets.
Gold is measured in troy ounces, often simply referred to as ounces when the reference to gold is evident. One troy ounce is equivalent to 31.1034768 grams. Commonly encountered in daily life is the avoirdupois ounce, an Imperial weight in countries still using British weights and measures or United States customary units.
The standard gold bar held as gold reserves by central banks and traded among bullion dealers is the 400-troy-ounce (12.4-kilogram; 438.9-ounce) Good Delivery gold bar. The kilobar, which is 1,000 grams (32.15 troy ounces) in mass, and a 100 troy ounce gold bar are the bars that are more manageable and are used extensively for trading and investment.
The premium on these bars when traded is very low over the spot value of the gold, making it ideal for small transfers between banks and traders. Most kilobars are flat, although some investors, particularly in Europe, prefer the brick shape. Asian markets differ in that they prefer gram gold bars as opposed to troy-ounce measurements. Popular sizes in the Asian region include 10g, 100g & 1kg.
Based upon how they are manufactured, gold bars are categorized as having been cast or minted, with both differing in their appearance and price. Cast bars are created in a similar method to that of ingots, whereby molten gold is poured into a bar-shaped mold and left to solidify. This process often leads to malformed bars with uneven surfaces.
The super-size is worth more than the standard gold bar held and traded internationally by central banks and bullion dealers is the Good Delivery bar with a 400 ozt (12.4 kg; 438.9 oz) nominal weight. However, its precise gold content is permitted to vary between 350 ozt (10.9 kg; 384.0 oz) and 430 ozt (13.4 kg; 471.8 oz). The minimum purity required is 99.5% gold.
Most natural diamonds have ages between 1 billion and 3.5 billion years. Most were formed at depths between 150 and 250 kilometres (93 and 155 mi) in the Earth's mantle, although a few have come from as deep as 800 kilometres (500 mi). Under high pressure and temperature, carbon-containing fluids dissolved various minerals and replaced them with diamonds.
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Synthetic diamonds can be grown from high-purity carbon under high pressures and temperatures or from hydrocarbon gases by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). Imitation diamonds can also be made out of materials such as cubic zirconia and silicon carbide. Natural, synthetic and imitation diamonds are most commonly distinguished using optical techniques or thermal conductivity measurements.