What are Gold Bars?
Gold bars are, essentially, a form of gold bullion that is refined into the shape of a bar. Smaller gold bars are usually minted bars, whereas larger bars, sometimes called gold ingots, can be produced by simply pouring molten gold into molds to create a cast gold bar. A minted gold bar is usually decorated with a design, while casts are, normally, just engraved with the brand's logo.
Producers must, however, meet certain production standards of purity, manufacture, labeling, and certification in order to commercialize their products.
Many private and government-run mints are responsible for refining these products around the world. They are typically produced in a variety of sizes and weights, from 1 gram to 1 troy ounce gold bars or even 1 kilo. Nevertheless, 1 oz gold bars are the most popular for their stackability, ease to transport, and deal with.
Why are Gold Bars popular among investors?
Since the dawn of society, gold has always been considered a precious commodity and a symbol of royalty and prosperity due to its beauty and rarity. It was used to embellish castles, to manufacture jewelry and idols for worship, as a valuable bartering item, as a way of exchange for international trades, among other uses.
Nowadays, on top of all that, physical gold is traded and owned as a tangible asset in order to sensibly diversify and stabilize an investment portfolio, to protect one’s wealth against inflation and deflation alike, and/or to fund a precious metal IRA.
A Gold bar is the epitome of those qualities. A bullion bar is usually seen as a pure gold investment, rather than carrying any numismatic value like a gold coin such as the American Gold Eagle, which usually tends to contain higher premiums. It is also easier to transport and store due to its high value for small volume (when compared to silver bars, for instance).
Where to Buy Gold Bars?
Gold bars can be purchased from gold dealers, both physical or online, such as us here at SD Bullion. However, a brick-and-mortar gold dealer will, more often than not, ask for higher premiums on their products in order to be able to meet their cost of operation and still turn in a profit.
When buying gold from online dealers, on the other hand, you will usually find more competitive prices because they normally enjoy a bigger demand.
Best Gold Bar Brands to Buy
The following list is a grouping of the best gold bar brands to buy from a gold dealer, as considered by investors worldwide, but especially our dear customers here at SD Bullion.
This world-leading refiner operates from Balerna, Switzerland. According to their website, they refined approximately 6.6 tons of gold bars and coins per day in 2020. Their .9999 fine minted gold bars come in a serial numbered assay certificate.
The gold bars are engraved on the obverse with Vаlcambi’s famed logo, a revolving square. Below the logo are the weight, purity, the assay mark, and, finally, the serial number. On the left-hand of the reverse the words “Vаlcambi Suisse” are imprinted.
This domestic, privately owned mint based in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is the main supplier of silver blanks to the United States Mint for the production of silver coins. They also manufacture high-quality gold bullion bars, along with other products such as medallions and silver rounds.
Their gold bars come in a variety of weights and size dimensions, but all of them contain .9999 fine gold content.
The obverse of their gold bars features a soaring eagle with the blazing sun on the back. Below the logo is the gold content and weight, along with the serial number.
The reverse is adorned with a diagonal pattern of rising suns and, on the center, the unique MintMark SI, which is invisible to the naked eye and can only be detected by the Sunshine Mint Decoder Lens that helps certify its authenticity. On top of that, to prevent fraud, their gold bars come in an assay card in sealed tamper-evident packaging (TEP).
Another American private mint (this one in Arizona), is known for its top-quality products as well.
They are specialized in the making of silver bullion products, such as silver bars and silver round stackers, but they produce some fine gold bars as well, both cast and minted.
Some of their gold bars are even co-branded by their Swiss partner Heraeus. These bars come in a Certi-Lock assay card and carry unique credentials for improved security.
Their beautiful logo, a majestic crowned lion’s head, embellishes their gold bars which are guaranteed to contain .9999 pure gold.
This Australian government mint is one of the few institutions owned by a sovereign country in the world to produce gold bars. The Perth Mint was the third branch of Britain's Royal Mint in Australia and was established in 1899. The first two, in Sydney and Melbourne, are now closed.
The mint was created in the Western Australia colony with the intent to help spread bullion production across the British commonwealth. They started producing gold bars after Britain abandoned the gold standard in 1931 and had to stop producing gold coins.
Their gold bars will usually come in a tamper-evident case for protection with the bar number on the back. They are beautifully engraved by the Perth Mint’s logo, an elegant swan encircled by the words “The Perth Mint” and “Australia”. The purity of 99.99% fineness and the weight are also visible on the obverse, while the reverse contains a pattern of jumping kangaroos with a mirror-like finish.
The Perth Mint also has a series of rectangular coins with designs based on the Chinese Calendar. These gold bars are called rectangular coins because they carry a face value of 100 Australian Dollars and are actually legal tender inside Australia.
The Royal Canadian Mint was created in 1908 in Ottawa (at the time, it was known as the Ottawa Mint) as a branch of the British Royal Mint. They are the official government mint and producer of gold and silver bullion coins for Canada (including the world-famous Maple Leaf Coins), along with all the country’s circulating coins. They also produce gold and silver bars for companies and private investors.
Their gold bars come in a variety of sizes as well, from 1 troy ounce to larger kilo cast bars.
The Mint’s logo is engraved on the obverse of the bar (a maple leaf on top of the letter M, encircled by the words “Royal Canadian Mint” both in English and in French), along with the weight and purity and the serial number. The reverse is composed of a pattern of the Mint’s insignia.
This premier precious metal refiner from Switzerland is, arguably, the most regarded mint in the world. Their products, in particular their gold bars, are widely known as extremely high quality and boast as one of the most popular bullion investments.
PAMP stands for “Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux” - artistic precious metals products and it really lives up to this name. Their Lady Fortuna design, which beautifies their products, is easily recognized by investors worldwide as a stamp of bullion refining finesse.
The obverse of their gold bars is imprinted with their logo, the weight and purity (.9999 fineness), and the certificate number.
The reverse depicts a rendition of the Roman Goddess of Luck, Lady Fortuna, who is blindfolded to symbolize the uncertainty of future endeavors. She has her palms open to restrain the overflow of precious coins from Her cornucopia.
The gold bars from PAMP Suisse are shipped in an assay card and are protected by their Veriscan technology, which creates a pattern of microscopic metallic fingerprints on the surface of the bar, unique to each one of them.
They will also, occasionally, release limited-time themed series, such as the Faith Series, that are designed with different spiritual and belief symbols from societies across the world.
Check our guide if you want to learn more on how to buy gold bars
How is the price of a gold bar formed?
A gold bullion bar’s price is usually formed in respect to its gold content when compared to the gold spot price, similar to what happens with a gold bullion coin, but without any numismatic value attached to it.
The gold spot price fluctuates various times during the day according to mining stocks, gold stocks, and gold futures being transacted in derivative marketplaces, such as NYMEX and COMEX.
However, a gold bar price can also be somewhat influenced by its brand. Some manufacturers are more prone to attract slightly higher premiums (both when buying and reselling) because they are more renowned by gold buyers.
For instance, a gold bar produced by a government mint that carries the name and regard of that country will, most likely, draw higher premiums than lesser-known private mints. By the same logic, when it’s time for an investor to liquidate their assets, they will likely be able to ask for a more sizable value due to the fact that other investors and gold dealers are constantly looking to purchase them.
The same goes for highly recognized private mints, such as PAMP Suisse and the other ones mentioned on the list above. Basic laws of supply and demand are applied. Because these brands are more sought after, they tend to boast a marginally better value.
If you are looking to start or expand your gold holdings with gold bars from any of these brands, you have come to the right place. When in stock and available, you can buy any of the gold bar brands listed above online right here at SD Bullion with the lowest premium prices guaranteed and fast shipping! Buying gold requires a trusty dealer. We believe in doing business the old-fashioned way and our customer support is available over the phone at 1(800)294-8732 or through our live web chat feature to solve any queries you might have.