Types Of Gold Bullion

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying that “Everything which glitters is not gold.” That is definitely true, but more importantly for the investor, not all gold is created equal. While gold bullion does derive its fluctuating value from its weight, a 1 ounce gold bar can actually have a much different price from a collectible gold coin which weighs 1 ounce, or even from a commemorative 1 ounce gold round. Gold bullion is the premier precious metals collectible, but it’s high price per ounce demands that you know exactly what you are doing when you consider investing in gold. Let’s take a look at the three main types of gold bullion, and all their differences and similarities.

Gold Bars

We will start with gold bars, because this provides the most versatile gold bullion option for the precious metals investor. Gold bars are minted in various common sizes that are easily liquidated and traded. Each bar is imprinted with its purity level, so you know exactly what you are getting. Also, the larger the bar size purchased, the lower the premium over ” spot price “ you will pay per ounce. And unlike gold bullion coins and rounds, there is no emotional value tied to gold bullion bars, meaning you pay for the physical amount of gold only. And since gold bars generally start off at the 1 gram level, even investors with a meager amount of capital can begin to develop a physical gold bullion portfolio. The most commonly traded and marketable size gold bullion bars are 1 ounce and smaller.  When it comes to storing your investment, bars are typically stacked and seem to be a little more cumbersome to transport than rounds or coins.

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Gold Coins

Gold bullion coins are usually the most expensive form of gold investing. Coins almost always have a collectible value above and beyond the physical and intrinsic value of gold in the coin, and this drives up the price of the coin in question. Gold coins are usually government minted, dated, and issued.  Many collectors focus on gold coins because their scarcity, and since gold coins are and were minted in limited quantities, the price can become many times higher than the intrinsic gold value contained within. If you do decide to focus on gold bullion coins, make sure to do your homework researching the coin before you purchase it.  With select coins demanding six figure prices, fakes are always around.  Also, make sure to develop a relationship with a trusted and reputable dealer. Beginner coin enthusiasts should start off looking into Canadian Maple Leaf and American Eagle coins.  There is plenty of knowledge about these coins, and you’re less likely to get taken advantage of. These two coins always have a very strong marketplace and can be quickly liquidated. With gold bullion coins, however, it is sometimes more difficult to discern the actual gold value as they do not all exist in standard weights.  Coins can be stacked, or in most cases their put into tubes or rolls for easy transport or hiding.

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Gold Rounds

The third option for investment grade gold bullion with a stable trading marketplace is the gold bullion round. The difference between a round and a coin cannot be discerned physically, as they both are typically round.  Unlike government issued coins,  rounds have no legal tender or face value.  The value of a round is determined by the purity and weight of the metal in which it was minted.  As with coins, make sure that the hallmark, or brand stamp, is from a reputable mint.  Also, be very careful of investing in many of the commemorative gold rounds you see advertised on the television, as they might not be solid gold.  They might just be layered or ” clad ” in gold.  If that’s the case, the value of the round is anyone’s guess.   As always with any precious metals investment, check the purity level of the product you are buying.  Rounds can be stacked as well, but are usually sealed in tubes or rolls and are easily transported or hidden.

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Whether purchasing gold bars, coins or rounds for investment purposes, you need to consider storage. Even a small collection can become physically heavy and bulky, and your mind can also become weighed down concerning issues of security. Storing your investment in a home or office safe is highly recommended if you decide to take physical delivery of your gold bullion, and I highly recommend that your gold is in your possession. One alternate method of storage is to allow the online precious metals dealer where you purchased your gold to provide insured, third-party vault storage. In this way, your investment is protected both financially and physically.