Welcome to Alchemist 110.

Ever wondered about the hidden economic consequences involved with the assay exchange paradigm? Kim H. Esbensen and Duncan Aldwin Vogel explore the issue of the ‘elephant in the room’ in one of our feature articles – and reveal a remarkably simple solution.

How do we define fineness? It’s a phrase widely known for jewellery, but when it comes to bullion, fineness is by far the most important and useful way of defining purity. Stewart Murray shines a light on what spectrometric techniques to determine fineness have in common, how they work, and how optical emission spectroscopy is raising the bar.

Simon Rostron turns back the clock to spill all about the fascinating and eventual recovery of some 5.5 tons of gold which went down with the SS Egypt in 1922 in the deepest successful salvage mission of all time.

Despite its antiquity, gold is still a useful and robust component of a central bank’s portfolio. James Steel examines the history of this symbiotic relationship in his article.

And don’t miss an editorial by Rhona O’Connell, in which she peers beneath the hood of the latest data from the Bank for International Settlements to discover what the figures –particularly those relating to international settlement – mean for the market.

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