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A Guide on How and Where to Buy Gold Bars Safely

Gold bars are a great way to store wealth and protect against inflation. They are also a great investment because gold prices tend to rise over time. If you buy gold bars, you don’t need to worry about storing them or worrying about theft. You can simply put them in a safe deposit box at any bank and forget about them. However, buying gold bars is not easy. There are lots of different types of gold bars available, and choosing the right one can be difficult. In this article, we will talk about what you should look for when buying gold bars.

Buy Pure Gold Only

Gold bars with at least 99.5% pure gold content are ideal investment-quality gold bars. It is the final step of smelting, a process that requires using an alloy of either silver or copper. Gold bullion should only be purchased by investors who are buying it for investment purposes, and these investors should buy only bars stamped with the manufacturer’s name, weight, and purity, which is commonly stated as 99.99 percent. Like the Royal Canadian Mint, the Perth Mint, and Valcambi.

Beware of Scams

To learn more about a gold seller’s reputation, people who are interested in buying gold bars should look at Ripoff Report and the Better Business Bureau websites. It’s generally considered best practice for trustworthy gold vendors to provide all fees associated with completing a transaction in advance.

Gold buyers in the U.S. should perform the appropriate due diligence before purchasing gold from international suppliers. Seller charges may be high even when the gold bars are genuine, and customers may have trouble clearing the gold through customs if they purchase a large quantity.

How to Buy Gold Bars

Choosing the Best Gold Bar Size Is Important

Various gold bar sizes are available at a wide range of price points. Because you have a large amount of money, a large preference, limited storage capacities, and a particular holding strategy, you can choose among bars ranging from 1 ounce to 1 kilo in weight.

To simplify things, we might say that the larger the bar, the smaller the premium per ounce in weight. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that a bigger bar is a cheaper bar.

Difference between Cast and Minted Gold Bars

Two kinds of gold bars are often made depending on the manufacturing process: Gold Cast Bars and Minted Gold Bars.

Gold Cast Bars

The term “poured” or “molded” refers to bars with a typical manufacturing method. In order to ensure that the gold bars have suitable size, shape, and weight, a mold is constructed first. Gold is heated until it melts and is then poured into the mold. Gold becomes solid almost instantly and is then removed from the mold when it has cooled.

Cast gold bars look more natural than other manufactured gold bars. It merely has a simple engraving of the gold bar’s details and manufacturer. After removing the gold from the mold, it is engraved.

Minted Gold Bars

Investors love minted gold bars. One of the most well-known gold bar types has a bright, shiny finish and a flawlessly smooth surface. Minted gold bars are manufactured in a time-consuming and costlier manner than gold cast bars.

Traditionally, minted gold bars have been compressed by a machine to ensure a more consistent shape and size. Today, the minted gold bars are produced using a continuous casting machine, even if the traditional method is still in use. The bar weight and size are meticulously examined, and all the faulty bars are placed in a big furnace to soften and straighten them.

Cast Bars Vs Minted Bars

While both gold cast bars and minted gold bars have their own manufacturing procedures, they also have different advantages and disadvantages.

Appearance: Individual cast bars feature casting imperfections, toughness, and defects. They also have some rough spots. The bars are not identical. However, minted gold bars are made from long strips of gold that have been treated, which means there are no imperfections or markings.

Pricing: Gold cast bars are made by a less expensive technique than the other manufacturing processes, hence they are priced lower. Gold investors wanting to pay the lowest premium possible can use them. Minted gold bars are expensive to produce, so you should expect to pay a higher price for them.

Selling Gold: The minted bar is the better option for people who wish to sell their gold for cash, as it is easier to resale. Gold cast bars can’t compete with these, as they are excellent in size, shape, and design.

Each of these types of gold bars has a specific usage. Although well-liked by collectors and investors for their classic appeal, gold cast bars are traditionally regarded as offering the lowest return on investment. Minted bars cost a lot to purchase, but are more valuable in the resale market. Deciding how you will use your gold bars should be a key consideration when it comes to making an investment.

How to Read a Gold Bar

how to read a gold bar

Bar Serial Numbers: When purchasing gold for investment purposes that is also separated, you should always be given a list of the serial numbers of the bars that you purchased. For bars without serial numbers, keep them in a sealed container with their own unique serial number, which you should be given.

Bar Refiner Mark: When you’re making a purchase, it is helpful to know where the gold bar was refined. If you want pure gold, you should get refined bars from popular refineries. 

Bar Weight: Gold is typically weighed in troy ounces at most refineries. Chinese Mint is among those, like the pound and the kilogram, which are now in use. Due to international demand, it’s possible to interpret international trade as an argument for using the international measuring system, yet the troy ounce has been used to measure precious metals since the Middle Ages.

Purity: Gold of fineness levels of 24 carats and 999.9 are both widely considered as 100% pure gold. However, we can’t make a pure gold of 100% purity. This is why, in ordinary language, gold that is “pure” is not pure in the absolute sense, but rather has a fineness of 999 or 999.9.

Assay/Certificate of Authenticity Card: Assaying precious metals is mostly done to ensure that they meet the mint’s standards, or the specifications required of a particular coin or bar.

Keep Your Gold Bars Safe and Secure

You have a number of choices for keeping gold bars in storage. Others are more convenient, while some are safer. For all practical purposes, the choice you ultimately choose should fulfill your primary priority, be it the simplicity of round-the-clock access, extra security, or a Treasury-recognized bank. Regardless of which solution you select, make sure that it follows all relevant legislation and legal statutes related to gold investing.

Home Storage: A good way to keep your gold bars safe at home is to keep them in a secured safe. A lot of safes keep your investment safe in the event of a fire. This code will stop thieves from getting inside. It is difficult to steal an impenetrable safe, either a huge one or one placed within a wall or floor.

Bank Deposit Box: Gold bars stored in a bank deposit box are highly secure, as they are protected by the bank. Even if there is a danger of theft if a bank is robbed, this is a better option than keeping your gold at home. Banks promise security above all else, and to obtain it, you have to pay a monthly fee to store your gold in a deposit box.

Private Depository: Although a private depository and a bank deposit box are comparable, there are several substantial differences. Bypassing the usual banking system is something many gold bar holders avoid, but you can still do it. You also have access to your deposit box at all times, which is not possible with banks. The IRS gives approval to some private depositories, while others are merely secure locations to retain precious assets. Strict legal standards apply to gold investments, so be careful you meet all the requirements.

Gold IRA: As a retirement asset, you have to keep your gold bars in an IRS-approved depository. Unless you do, it won’t be considered legal. If you choose not to comply, you could be fined, as it is illegal. Your custodian should handle that part of the process for you.

Other Considerations

Insurance: Gold bars are unlikely to be protected by the FDIC and will need to be insured separately. No matter where you keep your gold bars, treat them like any other valuable. So your bars will be covered wherever you store them.

Access: Always bear in mind your gold’s accessibility. Banks and depository may not be able to retrieve gold during a financial crisis. Although safe, those possibilities stand between you and your gold. And if you can’t get your gold in an emergency, make sure someone can. Anybody you trust with your gold—spouse, friend, or child—can be this person.

Pick a Gold Firm

By choosing a trustworthy gold supplier that prioritizes your demands, you can be confident that you’re getting the most suitable gold bar at the best price. What are the signs of a reliable company?

A Solid Track Record

It’s great to have been in the industry for ten years, but fifteen years or more is much better. The flashy discounters and sophisticated internet currency businesses are to be avoided by new people. These sources are geared primarily towards people who collect or dabble rather than those who invest to protect their holdings. Look for a firm with a strong record and a long history. The people who run a business that is dedicated to its customers always recognize it when they are doing well.

Strong Credentials and a Reputable History

A basic background check might help you avoid a firm with a bad reputation and terrible customer service. A brief visit to the Better Business Bureau’s website can save you a lot of time and trouble. The BBB provides consumers with a basic rating, verifiable internet reviews, and a complaint list. (A lack of a BBB grade is a red signal.) Even if the company has a good rating, look at the complaints and how they were handled.

Willing to Take the Time to Listen and Help

An organization that starts things out rudely is likely to provide you with short-term service if you need anything fixed later on. Companies that use pushy sales techniques should be avoided. Look for and cultivate a business relationship with an organization that treats your concerns with friendliness and professionalism. Find a firm that will cooperate with you. It will offer useful advice now and future peace of mind.

Where to Buy Gold Bars

Buying gold bars from a reliable dealer is probably your most crucial step. You may prevent a lot of headaches by doing business with someone you can trust. This person can educate you, show you how to avoid mistakes, and direct you toward the things that will best suit your needs.

Larger Dealers

Look for large volume dealers as they are likely to be more flexible. On the other hand, a smaller dealer may only have a small range of goods, or may not be able to handle a huge purchase or sell request. Additionally, inquire about delivery times; if they do not ship within 2-4 days of your payment clearing, this is a red flag.

A Buyback Policy

Do they offer buyback for what you purchase from them? If this isn’t being implemented, I recommend shopping elsewhere. You need an assurance that you won’t be left without a buyer if you need to sell, but you also want the dealer to stick around when you’re ready to make a purchase (though any gold dealer should buy a gold bar from you). Buyback policies also offer one more benefit: These dealers give customers the best resale value possible.

Multiple Forms of Payment

Most sellers will accept payment in the form of a cheque or money order (or cash, if you buy from a local shop). Bank wires and credit cards are more expensive than cash, but the convenience is difficult to top. Some vendors are already accepting payments via PayPal, Bitcoin, and other digital methods. Whatever method of payment you choose, keep in mind that online merchants will hold your order until your money has cleared before shipping it.

An Online Store

If you’ve found some reliable suppliers, you may choose to examine the benefits of online ordering as opposed to going to a traditional brick-and-mortar store. It’s simple and convenient, and you can do it anytime, day or night. You may lock in your purchase price at the exact moment you choose to buy. It’s true, too: After factoring in delivery charges, your local store could be more expensive than internet vendors because of their higher overhead.

To save money, evaluate the various fees associated with total cost commission, credit card, bank wire, and shipping and insurance. Also, keep in mind that pricing is not the only consideration when purchasing gold bars: you should also look at delivery time, customer service, and buyback options.

It’s recommended that newcomers buy from two separate dealers so they may make comparisons on service, delivery, and price. You also get two solid sources that you can use in the future.

Gold bars are an exceptionally real and liquid type of currency that also helps to preserve your assets in a financial crisis. Considering the current state of the economy, gold bullion is a smart investment.

Gold Bars FAQs

Can you buy gold bars from a bank?

The dollars and cents you often associate with your bank are not the only currencies that it works with. Of course, you can purchase and trade bullion bars and coins at the bank.

What is the best place to buy gold bars online?

Best: Money Metals Exchange
Ideal for Gold Coins: BGASC
Most affordable selection: SD Bullion
Incomparable Value: APMEX
Best Customer Experience: JM Bullion
The most trusted name: Golden Eagle Coins

Can you legally own gold bars?

The answer is yes; you are allowed to own gold. But U.S. citizens weren’t allowed to own gold at one point. Before 1974, no one was allowed to have any bullion unless they had permission. On December 31, 1974, prohibitions on private gold ownership were lifted. After January 1st, 1975, citizens of the United States could freely hold any gold, with no permissions required. 

How much is a 1 oz gold bar worth?

Spot Price: $ 1,790.49

Buy Price: $ 1,857.63

Why do people buy gold bars if they have to pay a premium for it?

Buying gold involves a middleman in the transaction since refineries only sell to certified dealers. For traders to make a profit, the customers who purchase and sell the precious metals need to think it is worth their time and effort.

Should I buy gold coins or gold bars?

Gold is a safe investment in any situation. Since gold bars are also valued by the live spot price, they are especially so. Gold coins are more expensive than gold bars, due to the minting cost and their appeal as a collectible.

What are the sizes and weights of gold bars?

Gold Bar WeightDimensions
1 troy ounceWidth: 24 mm (0.95 inches)
Length: 42 mm (1.65 inches)
Depth/Thickness: 2 mm (0.08 inches)
100 grams (3.22 troy ounces)Width: 31 mm (1.22 inches)
Length: 55 mm (2.17 inches)
Depth/Thickness: 3 mm (0.12 inches)
1 kilograms (32.15 troy ounces)Width: 40 mm (1.58 inches)
Length: 80 mm (3.15 inches)
Depth/Thickness: 18 mm (0.71 inches)
12.4 kilograms (400 troy ounces)Width: 94.5 mm (3.72 inches)
Length: 272 mm (10.7 inches)
Depth/Thickness: 51.5 mm (2.03 inches)

How do you know your gold bars are real?

When genuine gold meets another metal, it makes a loud ping. To achieve a clear result, just put together a clean piece of metal with the gold and notice the sound. If you can hear the ping, it’s the actual deal. If it sounds like a thump, the bar is probably made of anything other than gold.