The U.S. government continued on with this gold tradition by establishing a bimetallic standard in 1792. The bimetallic standard simply stated that every monetary unit in the U.S. had to be backed by either gold or silver. For example, one U.S. dollar was the equivalent of 24.75 grains of gold. In other words, the coins that were used as money simply represented the gold (or silver) that was presently deposited at the bank.
The 1 Troy oz gold bar is the most common size traded around the world. Even countries that use the metric system still produce bars (and coins) in the 1 Troy oz size, since it is so popular. In the gold business, if someone just says “gold bar,” they are probably referring to the 1 Troy oz size. While we’re on the subject, don’t confuse a Troy ounce (the unit of measure used for precious metals) with the avoirdupois ounce (like your local grocery store or bathroom scale might use). A Troy ounce is “heavier” than an avoirdupois ounce. There are 31.1 grams in a Troy ounce, but only 28.35 grams in a “regular” avoirdupois ounce. This bar is about the same size as a military dog-tag, but a bit thicker.
The mining of silver began some 5000 years ago and was first discovered and excavated in what is now modern day Turkey. The center of silver mining eventually shifted to Greece and later to Spain. The Spanish went on to become the major silver supplier to the Roman Empire and played a vital role in Asian trade along the spice routes. Following the Moorish invasion of Spain, mining slowed in the region and began to spread to other parts of Europe.
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Additionally, the metal of kings has been used as currency for centuries. The free market has selected it to be used as money for thousands of years, partly because it is transportable, with a high value-to-weight ratio. Its density makes it more difficult to counterfeit. It is also fungible in that all gold ounces are worth the same. And it’s divisible, meaning that it does not lose its value just because it is broken into smaller increments. And it’s durable – not corroding or tarnishing over the years. Historically, the first gold coins were made in Anatolia during the 6th century BC. Most modern bullion coins come in 1 ounce, ½ oz, ¼ oz, 1/10 oz, and even 1/20 oz sizes.
A flat bar struck using .999+ (usually) pure gold is known as a gold bullion bar. Ranging from 1 troy ounce to even 32 troy ounces, gold bars are available in various sizes. However, 1 gram, 1 oz, 100 gram and kilo size remain the most common weights available in the bullion market. Their popularity stems from the fact that they are worth very close to their gold melt values – making them a solid investment choice.
The name or series of a bar, round, or coin plays a significant role in the demand for the product. To retain the freedom to invest in or divest out of a particular instrument, as and when the investor wants, it is advisable to stick to famous product names and series like the American Silver Eagles or Canadian Maple Leafs. Hence, at any given time you will be assured of scores of both active buyers and sellers in the market.
Gold bars and ingots are the most popular way to invest in gold and generally the form of gold bullion that most people think about. A gold bar can come in a variety of sizes from 1 gram to 1 kilo. Actually, a gold bar can be as big as someone’s imagination. Currently, the largest gold bar in history was produced by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. The bar weighed 551 pounds and would be worth over $11 million with a spot price of $1275.
This is why some investors like to buy gold in a more indirect fashion, via mining stocks. The prices of mining stocks tend to follow the prices of the commodities on which they focus, so there's a logic to this approach. However, because miners are running businesses that can expand over time, investors can benefit from increasing gold production. This can provide upside that owning gold coins never will.
Native American Silver Dollar Coins: An ideal example of special-issue silver coins, the Native American Silver Dollar Coins are proof silver coins issued by the Native American Mint. The coins have a face value of One Dollar, and though they are not legal tender in the United States, the face value is backed by the issuing tribe. Each new design represents an indigenous tribe from North America with an obverse design of the tribe and a reverse design of an animal species special to that tribe's history.
The Chinese Mint is the official sovereign mint of the People’s Republic of China and produces the nation’s official gold bullion coin. Introduced in 1982 with 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz coins in .999 pure gold with the image of a Giant Panda on the reverse. In 1983, the Chinese Mint increased the offering to feature a 1/20 oz coin as well. Designs for the Chinese Gold Panda include:
We have also stayed committed to investors wanting the highest level of education on the how and why to invest in gold and silver. Whether you want to stay up-to-date with live spot prices or analyze historical gold and silver price charts; or maybe you want to understand gold investing fundamentals or silver investing fundamentals; we have it covered.
South Africa introduced the Krugerrand in 1967 to cater to this market; this was the reason for its convenient and memorable gold content – exactly one troy ounce. It was the first modern, low-premium (i.e. priced only slightly above the bullion value of the gold) gold bullion coin. Bullion coins are also produced in fractions of an ounce – typically half ounce, quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce. Bullion coins sometimes carry a face value as legal tender. The face value is minted on the coin, and it is done so in order to bestow legal tender status on a coin, which generally makes it easier to import or export across national borders, as well as subject to laws against counterfeiting. However, their real value is measured as dictated by their troy weight, the current market price of the precious metal contained, and the prevailing premium that market wishes to pay for those particular bullion coins. The face value is always significantly less than the bullion value of the coin. Legal tender bullion coins are a separate entity to bullion gold. One enjoys legal tender status, the latter is merely a raw commodity. Gold has an international currency code of XAU under ISO 4217. ISO 4217 includes codes not only for currencies, but also for precious metals (gold, silver, palladium and platinum; by definition expressed per one troy ounce.
One of the most affordable ways to get gold is the Lady Liberty round, made of .9999 pure (24 karats) gold in one-tenth troy ounce. They are not legal tender and the goal is to provide the buyer with more gold for the money versus fractional coin bullion. Lady Liberty is featured on the obverse with the image of a descending bald eagle on the reverse.
DGSE.com allows customers of Dallas Gold and Silver the opportunity to view what products are currently available for purchase, physically make those purchases and have them delivered. The website also offers an up to date ticker of market precious metal prices. Customers can be up to the minute aware of what gold, silver and other precious metals are worth.
Gold has been used as money for many reasons. It is fungible, with a low spread between the prices to buy and sell. Gold is also easily transportable, as it has a high value to weight ratio, compared to other commodities, such as silver. Gold can be re-coined, divided into smaller units, or re-melted into larger units such as gold bars, without destroying its metal value. The density of gold is higher than most other metals, making it difficult to pass counterfeits. Additionally, gold is extremely unreactive, hence it does not tarnish or corrode over time.
Gold coins are more aesthetically pleasing, containing amazing designs such as the bald eagles on a Gold American Eagle or the American Bison on the American Buffalo Gold Coin. Though gold bullion does not contain such striking imagery, solid pure gold ingots are extremely beautiful to hold and an incredible precious metal to own. Ten ounces of pure gold bullion and ten one-ounce coins have the same intrinsic value, but investment grade gold coins trade at a premium while having the advantages of their smaller format and improved authenticity features. Gold bullion is often selected more for larger commercial investments, gold bullion coins increase in value similarly according to their like intrinsic value. Coins, which are truly rare and historically significant, vary in price according to numismatic collector supply and demand and typically not relative to their intrinsic metal value.
The next best thing to owning physical gold is buying an investment that counts physical gold as its primary asset. The easiest examples of this are ETFs like aforementioned SPDR Gold Shares. This particular ETF has an expense ratio of 0.40% and tracks gold prices pretty closely over time. It's probably the next best thing to physically owning gold, but unlike physical gold it can be easily traded.
These large bars are an efficient way to buy physical gold, particularly if you are going to store your larger gold bullion holding in a recognized insured precious metals storage facility. Also, if you have a working use for the gold, such as in electronics, manufacturing, or the arts, these large gold bullion bars are the most cost-efficient way to buy it.
As you look into ETFs, however, a word of warning: Make sure that you fully understand what the ETF is intended to do. The difference between the SPDR Gold Shares ETF and the two gold miner-focused VanEck ETFs is only the tip of the iceberg, as the more subtle difference between the two VanEck ETFs makes very clear. When you do your research, look closely at the index being tracked, paying particular attention to how it is constructed, the weighting approach, and when and how it gets rebalanced. All are important pieces of information that are easy to overlook when you assume that a simple ETF name will translate into a simple investment approach.
As mentioned above, the market for Precious Metals generally moves independent from stocks and bonds. If you buy physical Gold, you can balance your portfolio so you need not fear the NYSE. In an economic slowdown, your Precious Metals may provide a comforting, stable point among your investments. You can easily look up historical Gold prices to see this balance for yourself.
Due to gold's reputation as a safe-haven, investors are drawn to the precious metal when confidence in other forms of investment is low, raising the gold price and supporting the idea that bullion is a safe asset. Conversely, many investors are often attracted away from gold when the economy is performing strongly and banks, shares and other financial assets are able to deliver regular returns, often pushing the price of gold down.
Exchange-traded funds. If you don't particularly care about holding the gold you own but want direct exposure to the physical metal, then an exchange-traded fund like SPDR Gold Shares is probably the way to go. This fund directly purchases gold on behalf of its shareholders. You'll likely have to pay a commission to trade an ETF, and there will be a management fee (SPDR Gold Share's expense ratio is 0.40%), but you'll benefit from a liquid investment that invests directly in gold coins, bullion, and bars. That said, not all gold-related ETFs invest directly in gold, as I'll discuss below.
Investors who buy gold understand gold's benefits better than other investors. They know that economies are reliant on speculation and gambling, and that this makes things uncertain. When speculation fails and mistakes happen, gold shows its strength. Gold is a universally recognised measure of wealth and does not lose its value even if a fiat currency like the Euro collapses.
A. Gold owners are a group of people I have come to know very well in my 40+ years in the business. Contrary to the less than flattering picture sometimes painted by the mainstream press, the people we have helped become gold owners are among those we rely upon most in our daily lives -- our physicians and dentists, nurses and teachers, plumbers, carpenters and building contractors, business owners, attorneys, engineers and university professors (to name a few.) In other words, gold ownership is pretty much a Main Street endeavor. A recent Gallup poll found that 34% of American investors rated gold the best investment "regardless of gender, age, income or party ID. . ." In that survey, investors rated gold higher than stocks, bonds, real estate and bank savings.
No matter what form it’s in, gold and silver have been prized by civilizations across the world for thousands of years. Once a sign of status for the wealthy, today gold is available to all investors in many forms. Gold serves as a wise investment for anyone who wishes to protect against unstable stock markets, currency dilution, and many other untenable conditions.
ETF shares can be sold in basically two ways. The investors can sell the individual shares to other investors, or they can sell the Creation Units back to the ETF. In addition, ETFs generally redeem Creation Units by giving investors the securities that comprise the portfolio instead of cash. Because of the limited redeemability of ETF shares, ETFs are not considered to be and may not call themselves mutual funds.
America the Beautiful Silver Coins: Offered by the United States Mint, the America the Beautiful collection debuted in 2010. It includes a total of 56 designs to represent each of the 50 US states, five overseas territories of the US, and the federal district of Washington DC. Five new designs are issued each year and discontinued once each release year is complete. The coins contain 5 Troy oz of .999 pure silver.