Since gold bars have the lowest price per ounce, they are the best choice if you want to invest in gold. Although coins may seem more appealing to you, processing and packaging increase their value, as well as the money you have to set aside to buy.
On the other hand, everyone who needs a stable investment invests in gold bars. For example, some governments invest in gold bullion to build up reserves their countries’ economic stability is based on. Always carefully select where to buy gold bars when deciding to invest without the fear of becoming a victim of possible fraud.
1. About Gold Bars
The gold bars you can find on the gold market always have the same characteristics, including their purity, weight, and precious metal value. Larger gold bars also have a particular shape, weight, and serial number.
The gold bars’ size and weight vary to be in line with the wishes and needs of each investor. Usually, the typical gold bar is an evenly-shaped rectangular block with a fineness of 99.99%.
You will often notice the name and logo of the refinery or mint engraved on each gold bar surface. This information ensures authenticity and prevents falsification. Plus, they allow easy identification, tracking, and verification of each gold bullion.
The gold bar dimensions depend on the manufacturer and whether it is forged or cast. Keep in mind that cast gold bars are generally larger and thicker than wrought ones.
When deciding to buy a gold bar, you have a few options available. In most cases, you can choose between smaller bars weighing 1 or 10 troy ounces or large ones weighing 100 troy ounces.
- 1-ounce gold bars – Gold bars of this weight are thin and rectangular, resembling an average credit card shape. Although they may differ in shape, they weigh precisely one troy ounce (31.107 g) with a fineness of 99.95% to 99.99%.
- 10 ounces gold bars – These popular gold bars’ size is usually 60 by 35 by 8 mm and contains precisely 10 ounces (311.07 g) of 99.99% pure gold.
- 1 kg gold bars – These gold bars contain precisely one kilogram of gold (32.1507 troy ounces) of 99.99% purity. The dimensions of this format roughly correspond to the iPhone size, or 80 x 40 x 18 mm.
- 400-ounce gold bars – Many institutions accept this format, better known as London Good Delivery Bars, made by casting. These gold bars’ sizes are close to large brick dimensions. They weigh between 350 and 430 troy ounces (about 12.4 kg), with a minimum purity of 99.95%, and achieve the lowest premium due to their impractical size.
- Small gold bars – In the Middle East, China, and India, small bars weighing 1 g, 5 g, or 10 g are trendy, and many manufacturers forge and cast them. Remember that small gold bars bring higher premiums because the casting costs are approximately the same for each gold bar.
It is best to choose a reputable manufacturer when deciding to buy a gold bar since they have imprinted stamps with crucial information. Those markings will show you the gold bar weight, purity, refinery, and serial number.
A recognizable hallmark is a confirmation that you have bought a quality lever made of pure gold. You won’t know what you have got without these marks, so it won’t be easy to resell such bars. Plus, buying a gold bar with a reputable hallmark is the easiest way to avoid fraud.
Gold is not a currency nowadays, although it has been used as money longer than any other item in history. However, gold has always been an excellent long-term investment. Plus, real gold is resistant to fire, water, and rust, making it a safe choice.
By buying physical gold in the form of gold bars, you can carry your investment with you everywhere and quickly convert it into cash when necessary. When your finances allow, it is the same to buy both large or small gold bars. On the other hand, smaller gold bars are a better option if your funds are limited:
- Convenience – Smaller gold bars are more practical if you need less amount of money. Otherwise, it is better to pay a significant investment by selling a large gold bar.
- Buyers – You will find that it is easier to find a buyer for a smaller gold bar since not many investors can buy large ones.
- Fraud – Counterfeiting a smaller gold bar is rare since counterfeiters usually choose large gold bars that worth more.
Analysis – Most buyers will ask for analysis when purchasing a large gold bar, which is an extra cost and delays your payment. On the other hand, they rarely require such checking when purchasing small bars.
5. Gold bars vs. gold coins
Investors prefer gold bars because they are cheaper than gold coins. Coins are prettier, but their design increases processing costs. Plus, it is easier to store a gold bar that takes up less space than the same number of ounces in coins.
6. Where to Buy Gold Bars?
When buying gold bars, the crucial thing is to pick out a reputable dealer with many positive reviews from previous customers. A reliable salesperson can help you select the best product and avoid potential pitfalls. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a gold bar dealer.
Choose experienced dealers and check if customers return to them. Since the logo is easy to copy, you shouldn’t believe it when only seeing the Trustpilot logo on the seller’s website. Always look at the official website.
Beware of a dealer who promotes only the most expensive products, trying to convince you to buy rare coins instead of gold bars.
Choose the ones who can sell you large gold quantities. Small retailers often have delivery restrictions or can’t fulfill large orders. Any delivery that can’t arrive within 2 to 4 days is a warning sign.
Always pick out a dealer who provides a policy of repurchasing gold bars. In such a case, you can often count on better purchase prices.
Remember, you can’t buy gold bars in a bank in the US, but you can do it at one of the banks in Europe or Asia. Be sure to inquire first about the premiums and whether they offer lower rates to the bank clients.
The most common form of payment is a check or money order, and most dealers will accept it. You can also use cash when shopping at a local store. Credit cards are convenient but imply additional costs.
Some dealers accept payments via PayPal or Bitcoins. Regardless of the payment method, be aware that your order will be sent only after withdrawing.
Consider the benefits of ordering online when making sure you can trust a dealer. This way of shopping is fast, easy, available at any time of the day, and gold is cheaper because there are no additional costs.
7. Storing Gold Bars
Once you become the gold bars owner, it is time to decide where to keep them. Your best options include:
Depository (vault storage)
Depository provides a high-security level for your gold bars since depository staff knows how to protect your investment. Unfortunately, access to your bars is limited to depository opening hours.
The advantage of this option is that the depository is responsible for ensuring your deposit, not you.
Keeping gold bars in a bank safe is a convenient option because no one but you can open it. However, access is limited to bank opening hours, and gold bars are not available to you if you need them suddenly.
Since the bank doesn’t insure precious metals, it will cost you extra money to buy insurance. More precisely, it will be possible if you manage to find an insurance company that will cover the gold bars kept in the bank.
A private home safe is ideal for storing gold bars, as well as some important documents. In most cases, gold bars are safe and available to you 24/7.
However, this option may require additional home insurance if your policy doesn’t cover the possible loss of precious metals. Anyway, storing gold bars in a private safety deposit box can be a good option only if:
- Safe is fireproof and waterproof
- You install it on the remote but accessible place in your home
- You don’t tell anyone you have a home safe
You can always keep gold bars in a hidden place in and around your home. For example, you can bury them in the yard, hide them under a mattress, or in the freezer.
Unfortunately, all of these places hardly provide you with high security. On the other hand, you can use bars at any time.
Gold bars are a good investment choice for the future. As with any investment, it is crucial to be very careful. The wrong dealer you choose to buy gold bullion from will bring you a money loss. Therefore, do your homework and always double-check everything before purchasing.