The various forms of gold available for purchase offer many opportunities for acquiring value. Whether you are interested in gold rounds, bars or coins, gold provides options for investors as well as collectors.
Purchasing Gold Bullion
If you are looking to buy and invest in gold, gold bullion provides various options that can serve your portfolio in the long run. Adding gold diversifies your assets, and it can serve as a viable hedge against inflation since it tends to increase in value during difficult economic times.
Where To Buy Gold Bullion
You’ll find gold and gold bullion available in a variety of forms. These include:
You can purchase gold from local merchants or from reputable online dealers. As respected online dealers often have the best prices and offer convenience, safety and security, many people opt to buy gold bullion this way.
Gold rounds closely resemble coins, but they do not have currency value and are instead valued by their gold content. They are priced closer to spot price than a true coin of the same size. You can find gold rounds that range from 0.05 troy ounces to 1 troy ounce in size. Typically, additional metals are not added to gold rounds. They are also not as collectible as actual coins.
Lady Liberty Gold Round
The Lady Liberty round offers one of the most affordable methods of gold buying. The round is made of 0.9999 pure gold (25 karats) in one-tenth of a troy ounce. The rounds are not legal tender, but they provide buyers with more gold for money when compared with fractional coin bullion. The obverse of the round features Lady Liberty. The reverse of the round shows a bald eagle descending.
Gold bars are also known as ingots or simply as bullion. Bar producers create gold bars from metallic gold, meeting conditions of manufacture. For example, the London Bullion Market Association stipulates that the London Good Delivery bars must weigh between 350 and 430 ounces, be at least 99.5% pure gold, and be stamped with a unique serial number and seal of the refiner.
To create large bars, molten metal is poured into molds to produce ingots. Smaller gold bars such as the 1-ounce gold bar may be stamped or minted from rolled sheets.
Central banks hold the standard gold bar as a reserve, used to promote stability and manage risk. This standard bar is known as the Good Delivery bar and is 400 troy ounces.
The kilobar is more manageable than the Good Delivery bar, so it is frequently used for trading and investment. It is 32.15 troy ounces.
Sizes of Gold Bars
Gold bars require a minimum purity of 99.5%. They are measured using troy ounces.
To maintain Good Delivery bars’ status, these bars are kept in bullion vaults. This method of storage also makes sure that the gold maintains a maximum resale value.
The most commonly available weights of gold bars for sale are 32,150.765 troy ounces and 1,000 kilograms. Other weights include:
- 117 grams
- 50 grams
- 1 ounce
- 10 ounces
- The kilo, which is 32.15074656 troy ounces
Example of Gold Bars
There are various gold bullion bars available. Examples include:
- Credit Suisse Gold Bars
- PAMP Suisse Fortuna Gold Bars
- Sunshine Mint Gold Bars
- RMC Gold Bars
- Valcambi Gold Bars
Bullion, Collector and Numismatic Coins
Coins are another way to buy gold. Bullion coins are used as investments, while other gold coins are meant for collectors. The value of bullion coins comes from their gold content. On the other hand, collectible coins can have numismatic value.
Gold has been used as currency for hundreds of years for various reasons, including:
- Gold has a high value-to-weight ratio and is transportable.
- Gold is difficult to counterfeit, thanks to its density.
- Gold is fungible, since all gold ounces are worth the same.
- Gold is divisible and does not lose value when broken into smaller increments.
- Gold is durable and does not tarnish or corrode.
Modern bullion coins come in the following sizes:
- 1 ounce
- 1/2 ounce
- 1/4 ounce
- 1/10 ounce
- 1/20 ounce
Some legal tender coins aren’t circulated; these coins are known as non-circulating legal tender. Instead, their primary purpose is for collectors and investments.
American Gold Eagle
The American Gold Eagle is the United States’ official gold bullion coin. The U.S. Mint released Eagles in 1986. The government of the United States guarantees that current Eagle coins have an accurate amount of gold weight in either troy ounces or units. The coins are available in the following denominations:
- 1 ounce
- 1/2 ounce
- 1/4 ounce
- 1/10 ounce
Eagles are legal tender with face values of $50, $25, $10 and $5 USD but have an intrinsic value far greater as based on troy weight and current gold prices. You will see Lady Liberty on the obverse of the coin, while the reverse depicts an eagle that carries an olive branch. That eagle flies over a female eagle and hatchlings in a nest.
American Gold Buffalo
The American Gold Buffalo was the first 24-karat gold coin to come from the United States Mint. This coin is only available in 1-ounce gold.
It uses the designs of the Buffalo Nickel, originally designed by James Earle Fraser. A Native American figure in a right-profile portrait features on the obverse, and a left-profile relief of an American bison is on the coin’s reverse side.
Other Gold Bullion Coins
Mints across the globe also produce bullion coins. Examples include:
- Austrian Gold Philharmonic
- Australian Gold Kangaroo
- British Gold Britannia
- British Gold Queen’s Beast
- Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
- Chinese Gold Panda
- European Gold Sovereign Coins
- Mexican Gold Libertad
- South African Gold Krugerrand
- Somalian Gold Elephant
- South Korean Gold Coins
- Ukrainian Gold Coins
- World Gold Coins
Unlike bullion coins, which offer value for investors due to their gold content, numismatic coins command value for collectors. The value of numismatic coins comes primarily from their rarity as opposed to their metal content. Collectors mainly purchase numismatic coins, as they are extremely rare.
Gold coins must not contain alloys, such as manganese brass (from copper and zinc), when used for numismatic purposes. The value of these coins comes from features including:
- Number of coins originally minted
Gold offers many opportunities for both collectors and investors. You can find options to buy gold bullion in the form of bars, rounds and coins depending on your goals.