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Gold Prices Surged 20 Per Cent Since January 1

The great gold bull market has begun

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Goehring & Rozencwajg said that gold stocks were also strong during the quarter. Pixabay

Gold prices have hit a record high amid a rush for safe haven assets owing to the fears of a recession. Goehring & Rozencwajg, a research firm which focuses on investments in natural resources, says the great gold bull market has begun.

Gold prices have surged over 20 per cent since January 1 and touched a life-time high of Rs 38,666 per 10 gm earlier in the month.

A bull market is defined by a condition in a financial market where commodity, stock, currency or bond prices are rising or are expected to rise.

According to the Goehring & Rozencwajg’s report, this bull market will be driven by Western investors, and their buying pressure may have already started.

Recently, the UK and Germany’s economy contracted, raising fears of recession. Germany, the biggest European economy which is largely export-driven, has been hit by US-China trade tensions.

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Large increase in physical accumulation by both gold and silver ETFs (exchange traded funds) over the last several months. Pixabay

The UK, the world’s fifth largest economy, recently logged negative growth, owing to the pressure on its businesses amid political uncertainty over Brexit.

“Precious metals were strong last quarter, as more and more central bankers talked about cutting interest rates and undertaking additional quantitative easing,” the report said.

Gold rose 9 per cent while silver once again lagged, rising less than 1 per cent. Platinum fell 2 per cent and palladium (again being pushed because of restrictive diesel regulations in Europe) rose 11 per cent.

Explaining the gold bull run further, Goehring & Rozencwajg said that gold stocks were also strong during the quarter, advancing by 14 per cent.

“We have seen a large increase in physical accumulation by both gold and silver ETFs (exchange traded funds) over the last several months,” the firm said.

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Gold reaches a life-time high of Rs 38,666 per 10 gm earlier in the month. Pixabay

However, they added that the only thing that concerned them was the price of oil relative to gold.

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“Over the last three years, we have been very bullish on global oil markets. We explained how we were waiting for gold to become undervalued relative to oil, just like it did back in the 1999-2000 period.

“A ‘cheap’ gold-oil ratio would give us our final signal that gold’s three-and-a-half-year corrective phase had come to a close,” the firm said. (IANS)

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Researchers Create Incredibly Lightweight 18-Carat Gold Using Plastic Matrix

The researchers can even adjust the hardness of the material by changing the composition of the gold

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Gold
According to the study, gold has the material properties of a plastic. If a piece of it falls onto a hard surface, it sounds like plastic. It, however, glimmers like metallic gold, and can be polished and worked into the desired form. Pixabay

A good news for jewellry lovers. The objects of their desire may someday become much lighter, but without losing any of their glitter – especially with gold watches, as researchers have created an incredibly lightweight 18-carat gold, using a matrix of plastic in place of metallic alloy elements.

According to the study, the research team from the Swiss university ETH Zurich have developed a new form of gold that weighs about five to ten times less than traditional 18-carat gold.

The conventional mixture is usually three-quarters gold and one-quarter copper, with a density of about 15 g/cm3, the study said. Study researchers Leonie van’t Hag, Raffaele Mezzenga and team used protein fibres and a polymer latex to form a matrix in which they embedded thin discs of gold nanocrystals.

In addition, the lightweight gold contains countless tiny air pockets invisible to the eye, said the study, published in the Advanced Functional Material. According to the researchers, gold platelets and plastic melt into a material that can be easily processed mechanically.

For the finding, the research team first added the ingredients to water and created a dispersion. After adding salt to turn the dispersion into a gel, they next replaced the water in it with alcohol.

Thereafter, they placed the alcohol gel into a pressure chamber, where high pressures and a supercritical CO2 atmosphere enables miscibility of the alcohol and the CO2 gas; when the pressure is released, everything turns it into a homogeneous gossamer-like aerogel.

Heat can be further applied afterwards to anneal the plastic polymers, thus transforming the material and compacting into the final desired shape, yet preserving the 18-carat composition, the researchers said.

According to the study, this gold has the material properties of a plastic. If a piece of it falls onto a hard surface, it sounds like plastic. It, however, glimmers like metallic gold, and can be polished and worked into the desired form.

Gold
A good news for jewellery lovers. The objects of their desire may someday become much lighter, but without losing any of their glitter – especially with gold watches, as researchers have created an incredibly lightweight 18-carat gold, using a matrix of plastic in place of metallic alloy elements. Pixabay

The researchers can even adjust the hardness of the material by changing the composition of the gold. They can also replace the latex in the matrix with other plastics, such as polypropylene. Since polypropylene liquifies at some specific temperature, ‘plastic gold’ made with it can mimic the gold melting process, yet at much lower temperatures.

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The researchers noted that, while plastic gold will be in particular demand in the manufacture of watches and jewellery, it is also suitable for chemical catalysis, electronics applications or radiation shielding. (IANS)