Korean Hollow Form Bullion

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Korean 24K Gold Hollow Turtle Shape Bullion
Korean 24K Gold Hollow Turtle Shape Bullion

In Asia gold is valued for much more than just its intrinsic value (feel, monetary, industrial, wealth storage, jewelry, etc).  Asian gold bullion is often used to represent other aspects of their beliefs.  A parallel to this, in seafood, is salmon in Japan.  In Japan, salmon is not just valued because it tastes good and is nutritious.  It is also values because what its life cycle represents.  It is born on the river, then travels the ocean, then comes back to the river to reproduce and die.

Here are some wonderful examples of Korean bullion.  The key represents opportunity and access.  The turtle represents longevity.  This bullion is made of hammer formed, thin 24K plate, and is wonderfully crafted.  This two items came with certificates by the goldsmith or merchant who sold them.

I bought this items from a Korean couple.  In the US, it is hard to ascertain how pure is the gold.  It looked of super high karat to me.  That is evident.  However, precious metals are all about certainty.  All I could understand from the certificates was the weight, which was in grams and matched my scale.  Not even the seller, despite being Korean and fluent reading the characters could fully understand the certificate.  That, of course, brings uncertainty.  The theory is that this material type of bullion can be sold, or passed to another person, and even sold back to a goldsmith or merchant for at least the intrinsic value of the gold item.  I had a few similar instances when buying gold from Tibet, Thailand and Hong Kong.  The result is that I had to pay for this at a little bit better rate than scrap value.

Unfortunately I had to melt this wonderful item.  I offered them at bullion price to one of my Asian gold customers.  He had the same issue as me and the sellers.  Basically, its is all about certainty.

The gold hollow form tested prior to melt, in the plate, at 24K.  The overall mass tested at just better than 23.5K.  That is because of the minimum amount of gold soldering necessary to put the shapes together.  That is super high karat gold.

Basically, in the US and most of the world, and even in Korea, there is no absolute certainty about the fineness of hollow form gold bullion such as this.  Therefore, in the US, this is treated as gold jewelry.  Not as gold bullion.  That is why it ended melted.

Korean Hollow Form Gold Bullion

  • Mass (weight)                                             Not uniform
  • Net Gold Content                                       Same as total mass
  • Fineness (purity)                                       .999 / 24K
  • Composition                                               Gold Only
  • Diameter                                                    N/A
  • Thickness                                                   Variable
  • Years of Minting                                     Present
  • Sizes (ozt)                                                 Multiple weights

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Korean 24K Gold Key - Hollow
Korean 24K Gold Key – Hollow
Korean hollow form bullion certificate
Korean Hollow Form Bullion Certificate