Gold Bullion Testing & Purity

– Nigel Doolin, Head of Trading at Core Bullion Traders.

A question we are frequently asked here at Core Bullion Traders is “What purity is the gold you sell?”

Simply put, the gold bullion purity we sell is always 24 carat, 999.9 purity – for the most part all gold bullion bars are 24 carat, although coins may come in varying carat. 

The 999.9 purity is the fineness, in gold, silver and other precious metals, 999.9 purity expresses the percentage of gold to other metals in parts per thousand. It is therefore a more precise scale than carat. In this system, 999.9 is pure gold.

The gold bullion bars we deal in are all from LBMA approved refineries – this means that amongst other things, these refineries are on the LBMA ‘Good Delivery List’ – refiners on this list must adhere to strict rules and protocols laid down by the LBMA which means that bullion coming from these refiners will have no purity issues (999.9 Purity) – the gold will not be ‘conflict gold’ – and there will be no place for slave-labour in the supply chain at any stage.

To ensure all products we deal in are as they should be, we have an in-house 8-Level testing setup.

So when you buy a 1oz gold bullion bar from Core Bullion Traders, you are buying: 1oz (31.1grams) of pure 999.9 – 24 carat gold – investment grade bullion bars.

Coin Purity

Gold coins are a little more complex, as they can be 22 carat (or less in some coins) and they also come in 24 carat 999.9 purity.  This does not affect the precious metal value of the coin however, as if a coin is 22 carat – for instance the South African Krugerrand coin – it will still have 1 Troy oz of pure gold in it. Let me explain further, the Krugerrand weighs in at 33.93grams in total – with a fineness of 917/1000 – but the actual weight of fine gold in the coin is 31.1grams (1 Troy oz).  The fine gold is mixed with copper, to stop the coin tarnishing or scratching easily.  This essential means that the 1oz Krugerrand coin has the same precious metals value as a 1oz gold bullion bar.

24 Carat Coins

Other coins however, are 24 carat and 999.9 purity.  Coins such as the Canadian Gold Maple, The Britannia coin (after 2013), the Austrian Philharmonic, the American Buffalo and the Australian Kangaroo (or Nugget) – all of these coins are the same carat and purity as gold bullion bars.

22 Carat Coins

Some coins that are 22 carat (or less) are the gold Britannia (pre-2013), the South African Krugerrand, the Sovereign gold coin, the American Eagle and there are many others, but these listed would be the most common coins on the market.

Carat Vs Karat

A carat is a unit of weight used to measure the size of a gemstone such as a diamond. A karat is a measurement indicating the proportion of gold in an alloy out of 24 parts, so 18K gold is 18/24 parts gold.  Both ‘carat’ and ‘karat’ to indicate fineness of gold are considered correct.  However, the substitution of karat for carat in regard to precious stones is considered incorrect. 

Confusing… I know!

At the end of the day, this is why experts such as Core Bullion Traders exist – so that we can guide you through the variations of gold bullion and coin on offer – and advise you as to the best gold product you should buy to suit your requirements.  We endeavour to simplify the gold buying (and selling) process and guide you effortlessly through each step of the way.  

Contact us today if you would like to know more.  We look forward to dealing with you at Core Bullion Traders.

Nigel Doolin is Head of Trading at Core Bullion Traders – A gold trading company based in Dublin, Ireland – he can be contacted directly at: or Tel: +353 (0)1 447 5975