"Can somebody please explain to me the difference between a grade being magnetic in the sense that a magnet is attracted to it, versus a grade actually being magnetic itself in the sense that a steel object is attracted to it (as in the case of a paper clip sticking to the alloy). I am confused about these two distinctions, and the difference between the concepts."
A body which possesses net permanent magnetisation is called a magnet( e.g. a compass needle, a bar magnet). On the other hand a body (or to be exact, a material)is said to be magnetic if it can be magnetised by some means. So iron,some grades of steels, nickel etc are magnetic materials, though they may not be in the magnetised state. Finally the attraction between a magnet A and a magnetic body B(which was originally unmagentised)is a mutual interaction, and B becomes magnetised in the interaction.
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