Gold Bars – A Short Guide
Gold bars are a traditional way to hold and store wealth. They are often used as a way to invest in gold, as they are a convenient and easily-traded form of the precious metal. Their rectangular shape also makes it easy to stack and store them.
Common sizes of gold bars are one ounce, five ounce, 10 ounce, and one kilogram bars. Gold bars are commonly made in both gram and ounce sizes. Gram gold bars range in size from 1 gram to 1000 grams, which provide opportunities to buy gold in smaller amounts. Fractional ounce gold bars are also common with 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce, 1/10 ounce, and even 1/20 ounce bars being available.
Gold bars typically contain either 99.9% or 99.99% pure gold, both are considered to be pure gold. This is also expressed as .999 or .9999. There are some bars, usually privately made, that can have lower or unusual amounts of gold in them.
Gold bars can either be stamped or cast. Stamped bars are pressed and have fine details and each one from a maker is a perfect match for the next, except for the serial number. Cast bars are poured and typically have rounded corners. They may have a concave or convex top to them, and can have bumps, holes, or other imperfections.
Gold bars are made by commercial (private) Mints and precious metals refineries, as well as some government owned Mints, like the Royal Canadian Mint. Refineries refine raw precious metals into pure gold and gold alloys and then create gold bars and rounds to sell. Private mints produce and sell gold bars, and other precious metals, under their own name.
Makers marks are usually stamped or pressed into the gold bar to tell you the origin of it. Some makers are more highly valued or sought after. This reflects both the maker’s reputation and the ease of reselling the bars to other buyers who also value those makers. Gold bars usually have the purity of the gold stamped onto them by the maker. Some gold bars may also be stamped with a serial number or other markings to indicate their authenticity. Some gold bars may lack identifying marks. We will buy these bars after testing them to determine their purity and value.
Some bars, usually one ounce or smaller will come inside a packaging. This packaging helps protect the gold bars and often will contain additional information about the authenticity of the gold bar. This can include the serial number of the bar, the name of the assayer, and in some cases, like the Pamp Suisse 2.5 gram gold bar below, have a scanning feature – to quickly check the authenticity of the bar. Click on the images to see the full details of the packaging.
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