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Types of Gold Bars

When buying gold bars online, investors have a number of options to choose from in terms of the types, sizes and brands of bars they can purchase. That is not to mention all of the companies out there you can purchase gold bars from. Because gold bullion has been being used by mankind since it was discovered thousands of years ago, the production process of refining gold and minting gold bars has had ample time to evolve and improve.

With that said, there are still just a handful of different types of gold bars available to the average investor today. Over the years, the minting process has been reinvented and improved several times over. As a result, there are many different forms of gold bullion which are available to the investing public. In the following paragraphs we’ll go over a few of the different types of gold bullion bars that are often for sale on gold dealer websites.

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New Gold Bars In Assay


Buying brand new gold bars that are sealed in their original assay cards is one of the most popular as well as one of the safest ways to invest in the yellow precious metal. These types of bars are rectangular in shape, often containing rounded edges and are minted with a new, glossy finish. More often than not, these types of bars will contain deigns that are artistic in nature. The specific design found on a gold bar will depend on the manufacturing company and the style of bar you’re considering to purchase. This design will generally not affect the resale value too much.

Advantages of Buying New Gold Bars

These new gold bars are usually sealed in a plastic assay card directly from their respective mints which means they are much harder to fake than a cast bar. Brand new bars in assay certificates also tend to maintain their condition well over time and will usually appear pristine for longer than non-sealed bars. This is because the bar is sealed within the case and consequently protected by it’s plastic assay card. This is convenient if you plan to stack and store the bars for a lengthy amount of time.

New gold bars complete with an assay case can be stacked up in large piles, and fit into most storage containers. You can purchase these storage cases for most new gold bars (like with the PAMP Suisse Fortuna Bars). This makes them easy to put away in a constricted space such as a home safe or desk drawer. In the case of the PAMP Suisse Fortuna Gold Bar, these containers can hold up to 25 oz of gold and stack neatly atop one another. You can find these pieces on sites like eBay, Amazon or straight from your gold dealer.

Cast and Poured Gold Bars


Poured gold bars are another popular type of gold bullion bars. The most popular sub-set of poured bullion among the investing public are referred to as “cast” gold bars. This type of bar is often only produced in larger sizes such as 100 gram10 oz or kilogram. Some one-off minting companies do produce them in 1 oz or smaller weights, however they are slightly less popular and harder to find on the market.

Advantages of Buying Cast Gold Bars

While there are no real pros or cons to buying these types of bars, some people prefer the poured bars over brand new ones because they appear more natural and lack some of the luster and shine of the newer bars. This is a more traditional style of bar production that dates back thousands of years. Depending on the way in which these bars are poured or cooled, each bar has its own distinct characteristics making each one unique.

The poured gold bars aren’t usually sealed which means there is a slightly higher chance of finding fakes, though if you are buying from a trusted dealer who only purchases from approved distributors this is next to impossible. Cast and poured bars often come accompanied by an assay card or certificate as well which will state the bar’s weight, purity and unique serial number. However, unlike new bars with assay these bars are not sealed.

New Gold Bar With Assay (Not Sealed)


This is a unique type of gold bar which is sort of a mix between the poured and new gold bars sealed in an assay. These gold bars are either brand new or pre-owned and often are sealed in hard plastic cases with a separate assay card as opposed to being sealed inside of an assay.

This type of gold bar is different from others in that it will usually come with a paper assay certificate which is separate from it’s mint packaging. In most cases, each assay includes a unique serial number which matches the one on the bar. The main draw to this form of bullion versus the others we mentioned is that they can often be acquired for less of a premium to spot price.

Secondhand Gold Bars

The term “secondhand gold bars” is not necessarily a different form of gold from the others we have mentioned, but it is in a class of its own. This refers to gold bars which have been previously owned by another investor and are not necessarily in new or pristine condition. Secondhand bars can be in any of the previously mentioned forms, however they will more often than not have scratches and marks on their surfaces. These types of bars are generally cheaper per ounce over the current gold spot price than other types of gold.

Does the Type of Bar I Buy Matter?

Now that you know the difference between the major types of gold bars, you may be wondering; Does the type of gold bar I buy really matter? If you’re truly informed and understand what you’re buying, we believe this is really a matter of personal preference which varies from investor to investor. If you are buying gold bars for their gold content, it shouldn’t really matter which type of bar you buy, so long as it is genuine, pure and from a trusted source.