Posted on June 07, 2022
Gold bars are a popular way for people to invest in the yellow metal and enjoy the security of a physical, transportable asset. For many decades, governments and individual investors alike have enjoyed the benefits of owning gold bars as an investment and a time-honored means of stockpiling tangible, universally-recognized assets. If you’re interested in which gold bars are best to buy, we’ll walk you through the advantages of owning gold bars and what to look out for when you’re shopping for them.
Gold bullion is physical gold refined to a high purity level (0.995+ in most cases), regardless of its physical form: bar, coin, or round. The word “bullion” comes from the Old French word bouillon, “to boil.” It turns out it requires similar steps to refine gold as it does to make a delicious soup.
The primary financial definition of gold bullion is gold that is priced, valued, bought, and sold based on the intrinsic value of its metal content. In other words, gold bullion isn’t a collectible that might experience aftermarket price appreciation based on its quality or rarity.
An investment in gold bullion shouldn’t be confused with an investment in other types of gold, such as gold ETFs or gold mining stocks. Gold bullion is, by definition, tangible, meaning you can hold it in your hand. We refer to other types of gold investment as “paper gold” in the sense that you can’t touch them, melt them down, etc.
Gold bullion bars are often considered a superior investment to other gold bullion products because they offer the most efficient means of investing in gold. Gold is well known as a hedge against inflation and an investment that stands alone in the face of struggling markets and economies.
Investors who choose gold bars know that gold is a store of value with universal appeal and more stability than silver, platinum, and palladium. As a bullion product, gold bars also have a lower premium over spot prices than gold coins. Lastly, gold bars are easier to store than both coins and rounds and come in more denominations, offering greater flexibility.
There are certain criteria you should consider when choosing which gold bars to buy, including:
Choosing a brand or refinery with a stellar reputation will help ensure you’re purchasing a quality product and that you can sell it quickly and easily when the time comes. If you can, choose gold bars from top refiners or brands like Valcambi (who also refines gold bars for Credit Suisse), PAMP Suisse, the Royal Mint, and the Perth Mint.
Gold bars come in many weights, and it’s up to you to choose which one best suits your needs. Smaller bars will generally come at a higher premium over the spot price of gold but represent a smaller upfront investment; larger bars will give you a better price per ounce (lower premium over the spot price) but are very difficult to divide if you decide to sell some of your gold.
Check the purity of the bars you want to buy and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Most gold bars are extremely fine, with 99.99% purity, while others may only be 99.5% pure. A finer gold bar is usually considered superior, but keep in mind that pure gold can be prone to damage– it is an extremely soft metal that you can scratch easily.
If you’re buying gold bars to invest in your IRA, make sure they’re IRA eligible, per the IRS rules. Generally, this means they are at least .999 fineness and COMEX or NYMEX-approved.
Sometimes, certain gold bars in high demand can be challenging to find. The availability of gold bars can undoubtedly play a big part in your decision around which bar to buy.
A quick and easy way to choose an excellent gold bar is by opting for a product from a refiner with Good Delivery certification. The issuer (a London-based industry group) is the premier authority on bullion, so any company on the Good Delivery List is sure to have an excellent product.
Last but not least, you should always aim to buy gold bars with assay packaging. This special packaging is extremely useful for quickly and easily authenticating your gold bars, which will help you get top dollar when you sell.
You can buy gold bars from trusted online bullion dealers like BullionMax, which is both affordable and convenient. Other online options include private sellers and auction sites (which have risks), but you can always buy gold bars face-to-face at coin shops, pawnshops, coin shows, or live auctions.
Besides the considerations mentioned above, you should also think about where you will store your gold bars before buying them. Maybe you prefer to keep your gold at home in a safe where it’s easily accessible (keep in mind this isn’t an option if your gold is invested in an IRA). Alternatively, you might feel more secure entrusting your gold to a precious metals depository. Always think about the packaging of your gold bars for protection and certifying the product’s authenticity, and do buy insurance to cover the unexpected.
When you’re ready to explore your options for buying gold bars, head to BullionMax.com for dealer pricing on a wide variety of gold bars from world-class refiners in weights ranging from 1 gram all the way up to 10 oz and beyond.