How to Buy Gold Bullion

Over the last two years, gold has grown from a fringe investment opportunity into one of the most talked-about assets in the investment world. Once thought of as something for large investors with hopes of diversifying, it’s now become a stable investment choice for many, and a chance to see an incredible increase in value for many investors that have betted heavily on the precious metal.

The reasons for gold’s recent success are numerous and fairly difficult to explain in short, but one that’s noticeable to many people, both in and outside of the investment community, is its relatively constant value compared to currency. While the value of the dollar continues to fall, largely due to public spending and ‘money printing’ projects, gold has remained a constant source of high growth.

This has attracted thousands of investors, from low-volume casual investors to experienced, smart, and highly market-savvy professionals. All have seen the value in gold, not just for its rapid short-term growth but for its long-term value. Following in the footsteps of these power investors, many newbies to the investment community have looked at purchasing gold, often in smaller quantities.

But unfortunately, despite their optimism and intent on investing in gold, many newer investors just aren’t able to purchase gold at the same quantities or rates as high-volume gold buyers. Despite this, there are ways for new investors to buy gold bullion. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the most common and accessible ways to purchase gold bullion as a short or long-term investment.

In the United States, gold is available for purchase from many banks, although few of the retail banks that most consumers are familiar with will carry gold for investment purposes. Generally, buyers will purchase gold from a major banking center, which will carry both gold coins – often known as ‘bullion coins’ and larger gold bars, which are frequently used for high-volume trades.

Generally speaking, gold bars that are purchased from bank outlets tend to have lower price points than coins, largely due to their greater risk of forgery and thus the initial expenses encountered as a gold owner. While selling a gold coin may require little more than a quick analysis from an expert, someone trying to sell a gold bar may need to have the entire gold bay re-assayed for confidence.

In the United States, gold coins such as the Krugerrand are available from many banks, along with the well-known American Gold Eagle coin. There are two types of gold coin – bullion coins, which are primarily used as investments based on their gold content, and numismatic coins, which have a value based on their rarity and available as collectors’ items.

Obviously, people aiming to invest in gold for its value as a precious metal should aim for the first type of coin – gold bullion. Outside of major banks, these are available from a bullion dealer. Most bullion dealers purchase their gold either directly from major gold exchanges, or from a secondary bank in their area, allowing them to access relatively low rates and pass these on to the consumer.

For those unwilling to purchase gold itself, or simply uninterested in handling bullion, it’s possible to invest in gold through investment certificates. Gold and silver certificates have been a choice for gold buyers looking for limited risk for years. These certificates allow the holder to claim their gold from a bank as an investment, and exchange the certificate for the gold’s relative sales value.

It’s worth noting that up until the fall of the gold standard as a metric for currency values, these gold certificates were the basis for modern banknotes. Today’s currencies operate on a fiat system, with a value that’s tied to demand rather than commodities. Through developments in the 1930s and 1960s, gold certificates moved from being primary currency instruments into metal investment vehicles.

A variety of online gold trading platforms also exist, many of which act as bullion dealers through a delivery network or through a range of retail outlets. Most online gold trading platforms assign each user an account representative and purchasing officer, who are used to complete gold and silver transactions online. Many of these online platforms offer relatively low gold purchase rates.

Alongside buying gold bullion outright, buying gold certificates, and even trading gold online, there is another option for investing in gold directly. It’s known as a ‘gold account,’ and it’s a unique way to invest in gold without having to hold the metal itself. Gold investment accounts are each tied to a gold banking vault, in which the gold purchased by account holders is held securely over time.

This allows account holders to purchase gold without the responsibility of caring for, or the risk of theft, of the metal itself. Like gold certificates, this form of gold investments isn’t risk-free, as a run on the gold investment bank could result in losses. However, it remains a relatively low-risk way to invest in gold as a precious metal, all without having to purchase gold bullion itself.

Whether you’re investing in gold as a buffer against inflation or as a short-term investment option, it’s certainly a metal with a great deal of potential. From collector coins to gold bullion bars; gold certificates to investment accounts, there are several key ways to invest in gold. As with any type of investment, the ideal one for you can depend on your priorities, investment strategy, and goals.

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