Bullion grade gold bars are as solid an investment as gold coins. In fact, in some cases you’ll get a better deal because gold bars are usually sold at a lower premium over the current value of the fine gold content. Put simply, manufacturing costs are lower when making a gold bar.
A gold bar is simply a cast or minted block of gold. Typically they are rectangular in shape. But if you travel outside of North America and Europe you can find gold bars in a variety of more imaginative and varied shapes and sizes.
Every gold bar will have markings on it, telling you who manufactured the bar, the bar’s weight and gold purity, and a serial number. If someone wants to sell you a gold bar that doesn’t include all of that information, walk away.
Another word you’ll find being used when talking about gold bars is “ingot”. Ingot generally refers to larger bars, like the large 400-ounce bars you see in the movies.
The size of bars you will most likely come across are as follows:
400-ounce or 12.5 kg gold bar or ingot
These are the movie gold bars or ingots. Typically this is the size used by central banks and other very large investors in gold. They are not well suited to individual buyers. Besides their very high cost, you also lose the advantage of liquidity that you get with one-ounce coins. In other words, if you need a thousand dollars or two in cash, you can quickly and easily sell a couple of gold coins. Not so with a 400-ounce gold ingot.
At the time of writing, a 400-ounce gold ingot would cost you over $487,000.
Kilobars or Kilogold bars
These are two names for the same thing – a one-kilo rectangular block of pure gold. These are very popular among investors and gold owners who have more money to spend and don’t want everything tied up in coins. They are also popular among jewellers the world over, who buy the bars and then use the gold to fabricate jewelry.
At the time of writing, a one-kilo gold bar would cost you a little over $39,000.
Other sizes of gold bars
Depending on the dealer you buy from, and the part of the world you are living in, you can find a variety of other gold bar sizes, including 10-ounces, 100 grams and 1-ounce or less.
In other words, there are gold bars to fit every budget from less than a single ounce up to 400 ounces.
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