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- Gold Bars And Ingots…The Definitive Guide!
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With all the recent interest in gold, I want to address the question of “which gold bars to buy?”
The most obvious limitation in answering this question is how much money you have to spend- as it is this which determines the weight of the bars in your range.
There are some very pleasing 1gm “bars” available in small presentation packs- but assuming you are after something a bit more substantial, here is a rundown:
First off, there are about 55 different categories of gold bar – so I will only deal with some that may be of interest to investors, collectors or have that “jaw drop” factor.
For, mouth agape- look no further than the 400 0z London Good delivery bars. These cast, big daddies are the kings of the bullion tree. The most impressive lump of gold money can buy.
In second place, weight wise are the 100oz Comex bars used in transaction on the NYSE.
If this is a little out of your budget (!), you might consider a 1kg cast ingot. These have a flat shape, and this size is the most widely traded of the small bars.
A popular brand name in this size is Johnson Matthey.
Not all bars are weighed in grams or ounces. Gold bars from Asia are often weighed in Tael’s & Baht’s. If you are uncertain about these units- then you should steer clear.
In recent years beyond the cast bars, there are the minted bars. These are works of art. Beautiful to behold they often carry a significant premium above the spot price.
If you are new to gold bar buying then a word to the wise: The bar should come with its accompanying paperwork.
This will comprise an assay certificate, and the number on this certificate should match the serial number on the bar. If it doesn’t- then I would view this as a deal breaker.
The question about which bar to buy is ultimately one about personal preference & the size of your wallet. If you are looking for the lowest premium above spot, the chances are this will be from a rather un-aesthetic cast bar. If you want your gold bar to have extra aesthetic appeal, then the options are great indeed.
Till next time,
Happy gold collecting,
You’ve seen the film. Maybe a bank raid ……..or the evil den of some secret billionaire. You just never knew what they were called…..
Well they are London Good Delivery Bars.
Those huge gold bullion ingots which grace the plot of a thousand movies…..and the dreams of gold bugs everywhere.
A London Good Delivery Bar is the main size of gold ingot used for trade in the international markets.
And here’s the specification:
They weigh 350- 430 Troy ounces, or about 12.5 kilograms.
This is the form of bar held in most central banks. They occasionally go by the (unsurprising) name of “large bars”.
These ingots have a minimum fineness of 995, which is about the same as many bullion coins.
Worldwide only sixty companies are currently approved to produce these ingots. They are the top drawer of smelters and assayers.
However, because ingots are rarely melted back down, many bars still exist bearing the stamp of one of the forty-two firms no longer in operation or whose name has changed.
Intrinsic to the specification is that the London Bullion Market Association also defines that the bars must be of “good appearance” and easy to handle and to stack.
This emphasis on appearance enables a casual observer to determine that the smelting process is under control & the bar isn’t made up of “layers” nor has surface pits.
The ease of handling requires that the bars don’t have sharp corners which might injure workers during loading operations.
When you see the “spot” price of gold in the newspapers, it is these bars which it is referring to.
Additionally, on the surface of the bar, besides the refiners stamp (sometimes referred to as a “chop”), there is always a serial number, as well as the fineness and the year of manufacture.
In so many movies, these gold bullion ingots represent the ultimate in money….
You would like one…right…..there’s just one question you have…..
How can I put this delicately…..
The price? Well if you have to ask….I gently suggest that you can’t afford one!
Till next time,
Happy Gold Coin Collecting!