Bullion is gold bars, silver bars, and other bars or ingots of precious metal. The word bullion comes from the French Minister of Finance under Louis XIII, Claude de Bullion.
The value of bullion is typically determined by the value of its precious metals content, which is defined by its purity and mass. To assess the purity of gold bullion, the centuries old technique of fire assay is still employed, together with modern spectroscopic instrumentation, to accurately determine its quality in order and ensure the owner receives fair market value for it. It is also weighed extremely accurately.
Retailers may sometimes market ingots and bars of base metals, such as copper, nickel, and aluminium as bullion, but this is not a widely accepted definition.
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