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Investment Gold Bars

The variety among gold bullion bars is wide, especially in terms of size.

Before buying gold bars, one has to first learn about gold's characteristics (about the metal itself) and then proceed to understand gold bars. For the latter, you have this guide hereunder...

Gold bars

Poured gold bars

Source: ©

The Weight of Gold Bars

The smallest gold bars usually have weights of 1 gram, 2 gram, 2,5 gram etc. Sometimes they are measured in ounces: 1 oz, 10 oz.

It's important to underline that the ounce measurement used is "troy ounce"! 1 oz = 31,1 g (approximately).
Apart from troy ounces, there are avoirdupois ounces (=28,349 g), Maria Theresa ounces (=28,06 g) and so on.

Gold quantity/weight is measured in the bigger (thank God!), troy ounces.

Generally, the larger piece you buy, the cheaper the material will be per ounce or per gram.

In Europe, Russia, you will find most bars measured in grams. In the US and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, you will find all measurements in abundance. Europeans tend to prefer grams.

What you must check is to purchase from a well-established and renowned manufacturer-made bar.

Manufacturers, Packaging, Assay Certificates

Among the best manufacturers of gold bars are: UBS, Umicore, Pamp, Perth Mint, Argor, Heraeus, Credit Suisse, Johnson & Matthey, Metalor, Valcambi. Sometimes you will find Credit Suisse - Valcambi and Argor - Heraeus or other paired names on the bar or on the package. Sometimes these companies collaborate: for instance, a bank can order a number of bars to be manufactured and then the manufacturer and bank names both appear on the bar.

Some manufacturers sell their gold bars in sealed packages, which also serve as certificates. Others sell their bars "almost naked", often in simple transparent plastic envelopes.

It's good to go for the ones that have certificates.

You can even find blocks of gold from which one can break off smaller chunks. For instance, there are 50 breakable piece bars and when required, you can break the small pieces and sell them.

Poured, Cast and Minted Bars

The poured bars are the worst by appearance and are simply the result of pouring molten gold into a rather simple mold just to give it some rather simple shape.

Even the same kinds of poured bars bear major defects and aren't are far from having identical size. Their surface is rather rough, unpolished.

The cast bars have a higher degree of quality - in terms of looks. Many of them are polished, their stamping is of higher quality as well and frequently they bear the manufacturer's emblem and/or name on them.

The highest quality bars you will find are the minted bars. These are rather perfect-looking, well-polished gold bars.
They have highly smooth surfaces and they often come enclosed in transparent packaging.

Practical Advice For Buying Gold Bars

What to take care of, how to buy gold bars? Here are several essential tips...

 Don't buy from eBay or other auction sites or dubious merchants! They will most likely sell you fake gold or gold-plated "whatever else metals". Perhaps there are more scams than good transactions!

 Don't buy to much gold at a time: effectuate multiple separate purchases over time, so that you minimize the risk of paying too much

 Buy bars in sealed package with assay certificates: it will be easier to sell, as you won't have to put special effort into checking them, the package should bear a serial code, sometimes even hologram to prove that the products are genuine

 Compare prices and verify how much they're over spot: check the prices of similar bars at multiple merchants, compare the prices, then check how much these prices are above spot price - buy the cheapest, best one

 Buy when gold price is low: perhaps you'd need some forex training, but it's good to watch the graph at Kitco and buy when gold's price is "downhill" (bear market), not when it's "climbing uphill" (bull market)

 Focus on buying multiple size bars: it is recommended to own bars of multiple sizes/formats (smaller ones will be easier to sell, although their price per gram or ounce will be higher than in case of the larger ones)

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