For example, gold can be a volatile investment, so you shouldn't put 100% of your assets into a gold investment. The real benefit, for new and experienced investors alike, comes from the diversification that gold can offer; investors often buy gold when stock prices are falling in an attempt to protect their assets. Adding a small amount of gold to your portfolio can materially increase diversification. Although that percentage is up to you, going above 10% would probably be too much exposure unless you have a very strong conviction about the market's future direction.
Gold stocks are typically more appealing to growth investors than to income investors. Gold stocks generally rise and fall with the price of gold, but there are well-managed mining companies that are profitable even when the price of gold is down. Increases in the price of gold are often magnified in gold stock prices. A relatively small increase in the price of gold can lead to significant gains in the best gold stocks and owners of gold stocks typically obtain a much higher return on investment (ROI) than owners of physical gold.
Karat weight (K or kt) is a traditional fraction-based system used to denote the fineness of gold, with one karat being equal to 1/24 part of pure gold in an alloy. With the precision of modern assaying techniques, however, the fineness of gold ingots and bullion is more likely to appear as a decimal measurement. In this system, pure gold would be denoted as 1.000 fine. However, since absolutely pure gold is very soft and therefore not suitable for coinage or ingots, it is generally accepted worldwide that anything above .999 fine qualifies as 24K. Below is a karat weight to fineness conversion chart.
Investors who are solely interested in Gold’s stable purchasing power can find security in Gold rounds. Gold rounds are circular discs often manufactured by private mints, though sometimes produced by government mints. They have no “face value” and are not recognized as legal tender. Gold rounds are not quite as diverse or as collectible as Gold coins, but are an excellent choice for those who want to invest in Gold as an anti-inflation hedge.
In the United States, the avoirdupois measure of weights is used when weighing everything except precious metals, gems, and drugs. For precious metals, such as silver, the troy weight system is used. The standard avoirdupois ounce contains 28.35 grams, while the troy measure is a bit heavier, with 31.1 grams. The weight difference might seem almost negligible, but when weighing even small amounts of precious metals, this difference can have a significant impact. It's definitely important to make sure that the right unit of measurement is being used.
Exchange-traded products (ETPs) include exchange-traded funds (ETFs), closed-end funds (CEFs) and exchange-traded notes (ETNs). Such instruments give investors exposure to the current gold price without storing physical bars. However, the complex structure of the aforementioned instruments as well as gold certificates, derivatives such as options and futures, all involve counterparty risks which should not be underestimated. People may also invest in mining companies, a highly speculative alternative to owning the physical metal itself.
Precious metals in bulk form are known as bullion, and are traded on commodity markets. Bullion metals may be cast into ingots, or minted into coins. The defining attribute of bullion is that it is valued by its mass and purity rather than by a face value as money. While obsolete gold coins are primarily collected for their numismatic value, gold bullion coins today derive their value from the metal (gold) content – and as such are viewed by some investors as a "hedge" against inflation or a store of value. Many nations mint bullion coins. According to British HM Revenue & Customs investment coins are generally coins that have been minted after 1800, have a purity of not less than 900 thousandths, or have been legal tender in its country of origin.[5] Although nominally issued as legal tender, these coins' face value as currency is far below that of their value as bullion.

The gold that miners dig up goes into a number of different industries today. The largest by far is jewelry, which accounts for around 50% of gold demand. Another 40% comes from direct physical investment in gold, including gold used to create coins, bullion, medals, and gold bars. This broad demand category includes individuals, central banks, and, more recently, exchange-traded funds that purchase gold on behalf of others. The remaining demand for gold comes from industry, for use in things such as dentistry, heat shields, and tech gadgets. 
The Mexican Mint issues the official gold bullion for the nation of Mexico. Backed by the federal government and Banco de Mexico, the nation’s central bank, the Mexican Gold Libertad coin debuted in 1981 and has been available annually since 1991. The coin series includes 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz options. The Gold Libertads feature the following designs:

Knowing that you have the best Silver bullion with a high level of purity is easy when you purchase from a world-class retailer such as APMEX. Every single product sold is guaranteed to match the quality and origin outlined on the website. If you have bought Silver bullion in the past, and are skeptical about the fineness or authenticity, there are a few ways to evaluate your Precious Metals at home. The magnet test is the most common. Silver does not bear any magnetic properties, but imitation coins or bars that have iron or steel content will be drawn to a magnet, immediately signaling that your bullion is not pure. An ice test will also give you a quick indication because Silver is an extremely powerful conductor of heat. Place a small piece of ice on top of your Silver bullion. If it begins to melt immediately, it is a sign that you have a high-quality product.
Coins are another very popular way to invest in silver bullion. Silver coins, like bars, can offer investors a simple and convenient way to invest in the precious metal. There are many different types of silver coins available today produced by various governments throughout the world. Some of the most common bullion coins are the American Silver Eagle, Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, Chinese Silver Panda and British Silver Britannia. Silver bullion coins come in various sizes with the 1oz variation being the most popular. In addition, one can buy tubes or monster boxes of multiple coins for convenience at at reasonable cost over spot price.

The Austrian Philharmonics made their debut in 1989. These Gold coins depict the famous Great Pipe Organ from one of the most notable concert orchestras in the world. The reverse features a cadre of musical instruments. The Austrian Philharmonic coins are popular with investors all over the world for their high Gold content and unique depictions of the world-renowned orchestra. Multiple sizes are also available for these coins, including a 1/25 oz Gold coin.
These coins come in fractions of an ounce, such has a half-ounce, a quarter-ounce and even one-twentieth of an ounce. You’ll pay a higher markup for such coins than for one-ounce coins. The only real reason to own them is if you believe in a future meltdown of society, at which point paper money will be worthless and you’ll need small (gold) change to buy, say, ammo, freeze-dried food or a latte.

The mining sector, which includes companies that extract gold, can experience high volatility. When evaluating the dividend performance of gold stocks, consider the company's performance over time in regard to dividends. Factors such as the company's history of paying dividends and the sustainability of its dividend payout ratio are two key elements to examine in the company's balance sheet and other financial statements. A company's ability to sustain healthy dividend payouts is greatly enhanced if it has consistently low debt levels and strong cash flows, and the historical trend of the company's performance shows steadily improving debt and cash flow figures. Since any company goes through growth and expansion cycles when it takes on more debt and has a lower cash on hand balance, it's imperative to analyze their long-term figures rather than a shorter financial picture timeframe.

However much also depends on the way in which you invest in gold. There are many forms of gold investment, offering the opportunity to pin your wealth on the fluctuations of the gold price. Issuers of assets such as gold ETFs, unallocated gold bullion and gold futures will use gold's reputation as a secure and dependable commodity as a reason to invest in their product. However, despite being backed by gold, these contracts do not entitle the investor to any amount of physical gold. The validity and worth of such investments are ultimately dependent on the performance of the organisations issuing the contracts and, in the same way as any other paper or electronic asset, are vulnerable to entirely losing their value. For access to the long-term financial security offered by precious metals, then, the safest way is to invest in allocated, physical bullion bars and coins.
Unallocated gold relates to authorized participants like JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs who trade gold futures. Futures contracts are often bought if the trustee needs to create new shares fast and doesn't have the time to buy and deliver the bullion. Typically allocated gold far outweighs the unallocated gold and the amounts are tallied each day by the custodian. The ETF also has a set amount of time when it must deliver the physical gold into the vault.

The United States Mint, like other world mints, does not sell its bullion coins directly to the public. Instead, we distribute our coins through a network of official distributors called “authorized purchasers” who, in turn, create a two-way market buying and selling to precious metals wholesalers, private investors, and local bullion coin dealers.