Treasure Coast Archaeological Society
Sebastian, Florida  Indian River County

Precious Metal Information and Trivia  


Silver Information:

Archaeological evidence shows that people have been using silver for at least 5000 years!

Silver is obtained from pure deposits, from silver ores such as argentite (Ag2S) and horn silver (AgCI) and in deposits of ores containing lead, gold or copper.

Pure silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity of all known metals, so it is sometimes used in making solder, electrical contacts and printed circuit boards.

Silver is also the best known reflector of visible light, but silver mirrors must be given a protective coating to prevent tarnishing.

Silver has been used to create coins, although today other metals are typically used in its place.

Sterling silver, an alloy containing 92.5% silver, is used to make silverware, jewelry and other decorative items.

High capacity batteries can be made with silver and zinc and silver and cadmium.

Silver nitrate (AgNO3) is light sensitive and is used to make photographic films and papers.

Silver iodide (AgI) is used to seed clouds to produce rain.

Kodak and Fuji companies are the worldís largest consumers of silver.

The main producers of silver are the United States, Mexico and South America.


Gold Information:

A cubic foot of gold weighs over 1000 pounds!

It is estimated that only 125,000 tons of gold have been mined the world over since the beginning of time.

More than 80% of the gold in the Mother Lode is still in the ground!

Gold was made into art objects and jewelry as far back as 4000 BC.

Gold is the most non-reactive of all metals. It never reacts with oxygen so it does not rust or tarnish. The gold burial mask of King Tutankhamun looked as brilliant when discovered in 1922 as when it was entombed in 1352 BC.

Gold is among the most electrically conductive of all metals.

Has a melting point of 1945 degrees Fahrenheit (1063 degrees Celsius).

Federal Trade Commission rules require that all jewelry items sold in the United States as gold shall be described by "a correct designation of the karat fineness of the alloy." No jewelry item less than 10K may be sold in the United States as gold jewelry.




Karat Gold Parts Gold Percentage Gold Normal European Stamping
9 kt 9 in 24 37.50% 375
10 kt 10 in 24 41.67% 416
12 kt 12 in 24 50% 500
14 kt 14 in 24 58.33% 583 or 585
18 kt 18 in 24 75% 750
22 kt 22 in 24 91.67% 917
24 kt 24 in 24 99.99% 999 or .99999




1 gram (g) = 0.643 dwt = 0.0032 oz t = 0.035 oz av
1 pennyweight (dwt) = 1.555 g = 0.05 oz t = 0.055 oz av
1 troy ounce (oz t) = 31.103 g = 20 dwt = 1.097 oz av
1 ounce avoirdupois (oz av) = 28.3495 g = 18.229 dwt = 0.911 oz t


Click here for a Precious Metal value calculator


Click here for a Carat Weight calculator


Platinum Information:

All the platinum mined since the beginning of time, worldwide, would only fill a cube measuring about 25 feet on all sides!

A 6 inch cube of platinum weighs as much as an average man!

It takes 6 months of processing to produce a single troy ounce of platinum!

Over 20% of all consumer goods either contain platinum or are produced using platinum.

Approximately 8 to 10 tons of raw ore must be mined to produce just one pure ounce of platinum!

Roughly 90% of all platinum supplies come from South Africa and Russia.

Gasoline, hard disk drives, anti-cancer drugs, fiber-optic cables, LCD displays, eyeglasses, fertilizers, explosives, paints and pacemakers, all rely on platinum.

Here is a nice article reprinted here with permission from the WWATS organization.



 Please take it with you.

By Jack Lowry


 The Hobby/Sport of Recreational Metal Detecting is under attack again and still we have uncaring and uneducated individuals doing everything possible from the fringes to bring our pastime to its knees. Oh, if we only cared what is being done on our behalf to preserve and protect our right to free and equal access to sites to hunt sanely and with responsibility!

 It is so very easy to wring our hands, gripe, and complain about the loss of parks, beaches, and other sites frequented and to complain about the government and environmentalists trying, and often succeeding, in their efforts to block our participation in the hobby of our choice. Those of you who will not join the ones willing to do something constructive about the problem, who will not support them, who cannot assist them to act in your behalf,  should then be aware that you are the problem and deserve just what you get. And, though you wish otherwise, you by your actions have ceded your right and privilege to complain and gripe. Come to think of it, complaining has no place in this struggle; there is only room for action by those willing to speak for their rights in a manner that is controlled, well thought out, and fact-filled. One can be decisive without being disagreeable and argumentative. Yelling, crying, and screaming are tools of the opposition to break down our resolve. There are some level heads out there that are carrying the load just now. They need and deserve your complete support and assistance. No one will continue this effort if you cannot do your fair share.

 This problem has been brought to mind by several recent events and conversations. In November we learned that the Texas Historical Commission has begun efforts to close county parks in Harris County (Houston, TX) and other counties, and as well close the coastal beaches to our hobby. They are hoping to convince all the county parks administrators that it is illegal to allow any excavation of any type in any park and on any private property. They say also, that the complete State of Texas is all historical property; thus any and all excavation is against the law. Mothers, forget about your children growing up to be cowboys or cowgirls; just be sure that they do not dig in the backyard or the sandbox. Also, forget about landscaping your lawn and donít even think of planting flowers. Isnít this ridiculous? 

 This is the first shot to be fired by the THC. Later they will amend their proposal to eliminate all but metal detecting. Why? Because we will prefer to argue and harangue about how we are wronged, instead of taking them to task and convincing the State Legislature of the value of our hobby and the good we can do for the community. Cities, counties, state, and federal agencies use our metal detecting skills and abilities, but do not see fit to assist us. Why? Because a few people dig and donít fill their holes or pick up their trash. If you dig it, it is yours. If you wish to discard it, do so in a designated container. You could always bring your own private babysitter to dig for you and to pick up the trash.  You would also have an available audience to hear you complain about the lack of sites available for our hobby of metal detecting.

 Also, this editorial has been predicated because one of our club members witnessed two detectorists digging targets, not filling holes, and dropping trash while he hunted a park near his home. All the time they ignored his requests to fill the holes, dig responsibly, and carry the trash found to a nearby receptacle. However, they had plenty of time to expound at length about the places now closed to detecting. While they claimed to be members of several clubs, I find that almost impossible to believe. Club members are better than that. We care about our hobby, we care about our fellow members, and we care about the future and the rights and privileges we are able to pass to our children and the generations that follow.

 These actions, as deplorable as they may be, cannot be kept in our own backyard. Misguided government agencies use our own deeds against us. This threat to our hobby is hopefully the situation that drives us together, not asunder. Let us take to the task at hand. Help those trying to help us. At least, donít hurt their efforts. If you chose not to lead, then follow. If you cannot be counted on to follow and support, get out of the way. It is far past time to act!

 We are blessed with two outstanding organizations that are taking the point in this effort. The Texas Council of Treasure Clubs (TCTC) and the World Wide Association of Treasure Seekers (WWATS) need and deserve your membership and support. Learn more about the hurdles we face and how we can overcome the challenges presented to us.

HINT: It is not sitting on oneís hands.


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