As far as pricing, gold bars are a cheaper alternative to gold coins which will carry higher premiums depending on the country of their origin. Manufacturers can come from a variety of countries with the most popular being Switzerland, United States, Canada & Australia. Normally gold bars are at least .999 fine and most reputable producers of gold bars will encase them in a certificate card with a matching serial number on the bar as well as the card. These certificates will contain not only the serial number but the weight and purity.
Research is everything. Your decision to buy gold online wouldn’t have been taken lightly and should be backed by your own research. Much the same, when it comes to selecting your chosen bullion dealer, again research is vital. The Internet is the best place to conduct your research. The Internet holds information about the impartial experiences, opinions and recommendations of millions of people all around the world. It sounds obvious, but why not start your research by simply typing in the bullion dealers brand name into Google. The Internet really is the world's largest open forum in which companies have no control. It will become quickly apparent if a bullion dealer has a negative online reputation, in which case they should be avoided at all costs.
These different weights of bars will carry prices depending on a number of factors. First, the spot price of gold--the current market price at which gold is being bought and sold--will drastically effect how much a gold bar will go for. What's more, the refinery that has minted the bar factors in to the overall price. Some refineries have a more distinguished reputation and therefore will charge more for their gold bars. The purity of fineness of the gold itself will also come into play. Gold fineness is measured in karats. You can find gold fineness ranked as 333 which equates to 8 karats, all the way to 24 karat 999.999 fine gold, which is the purest gold bar possible.
Gold prices fluctuate daily just like stocks and currencies, since it trades around the world and around the clock. There are many factors that can affect the price of gold coins, including political events, the stock market, and other economic and monetary issues. Gold prices tend to perform strongest when economic or monetary conditions deteriorate.
However, there's a downside as well. Because a miner is running an operating business, you are also facing the risk that things might not work out as planned. As noted above, mines don't always produce as much gold as expected, workers sometimes go on strike, and, unfortunately, mining is risky and disasters can take place that halt production and cost lives. All in all, gold miners can perform better or worse than gold -- depending on what's going on at the specific miner you're looking at.
If you are buying gold coins in the U.S., chances are good that you will see American Gold Eagle coins for sale. These gold coins are produced by the U.S. Mint, and are one of the world’s most popular gold bullion coins. One of the nicest things about American Gold Eagle coins is that they are available in numerous weights such as 1/10th ounce, ¼ ounce, ½ ounce and 1 ounce.
With that said, it's worth noting that many silver bullion coin programs also have proof collectible options. These coins offer the same design as their bullion counterpart but deliver collectible value courtesy of a more visually brilliant design finish and lower, set mintage figures. The Proof American Silver Eagle Coin and the Proof Australian Silver Kangaroo are just two examples of silver bullion coin available in a collectible version as well.
This is a big issue: If someone wants another ounce of gold, they have to dig it up. And aside from hiding gold, there's no realistic way to make it disappear. Meanwhile, no one will be making any more of it (as Medieval alchemists proved long ago), leaving technological advances and price increases as the only ways to increase the economically viable reserve of gold. Although it is the balance between supply and demand that results in a price for gold, the physical nature of it is what provides its intrinsic value. By contrast, if the U.S. government wants another dollar, it just prints one.
As you would have probably figured out by now, all forms of gold bullion products have their purpose in an investment portfolio. Hence, a safe and recommended strategy is to allocate a specific ratio (depending on you or the advice of your investment advisor) of every type of gold bullion instrument in your tangible assets. However, it is an entirely personal decision that one must take after careful deliberation.
When you shop for gold from Australia, you’ll find options from both the Perth Mint of Western Australia and the sovereign Royal Australian Mint in Canberra. The former mint opened in 1899 as a facility within the Royal Mint of England system in Australia, while the latter opened following the Currency Act of 1965 as the new sovereign mint of Australia. The most popular gold coin from Australia is a Gold Kangaroo, which is available different designs from both the Perth Mint and Royal Australian Mint. Examples of other Perth Mint gold from Australia include:
Without question, the South African Gold Krugerrand is the most widely known gold coin in the world. The first bullion coin introduced for private investment, the Gold Krugerrand arrived from the South African Mint in 1967. For more than a decade, the Krugerrand was the only gold coin available to private buyers and has survived a Western economic boycott and the end of apartheid to remain a worldwide symbol of South African gold. The Gold Krugerrand features the following designs: