Smart investors the world over are seeking out new investment opportunities. Given the current economic climate and the historic staying-power of gold, the industry has attracted savvy individuals who want to make a low-risk investment that promises real rewards for patience and discretion.
If you’re seriously looking to invest in gold, bullion bars are the industry standard. While bullion coins represent a fine investment for many, nothing beats the economic staying-power of high-purity bullion bars and ingots. Bars, and the larger ingots, are kept by central banks of many countries as a guarantee of the value of the country’s national currency.
Gold bars are created by melting pure gold and then either pouring it into a special mold, called an ingot mold, that produces an ingot of a specific size, shape and weight, or by pouring the molten gold onto a flat surface, which, after solidifying is rolled out into a uniform thickness. From this sheet of pure gold a bar is punched out with a special machine, or cut by hand to a specific size and weight, before being weighed and stamped.
Gold bars and ingots are crafted from high-purity gold and are also very cost-effective investments, compared to other forms of physical gold such as bullion coins and gold jewelry.
Gold bars are manufactured by a number of accredited companies. Within the industry, the most reputable manufacturers include PAMP Suisse, Credit Suisse, RCM, Sunshine, and Johnson Matthey.
- PAMP Suisse – One of the world’s leaders in independent refining, Produits Artistiques Metaux Precieux is renowned for its 99.99% purity and stunning designs. PAMP bullion bars, manufactured in Switzerland, are available in 1g, 2.5g, 5g, 10g, 1oz, and 10 oz bars, as well as 100g ‘Investment Advantage’ bars. PAMP’s bars are adorned with mythological, astrological and religious themes, and its signature design, known as “Lady Fortuna,” is perhaps the most iconic engraving in gold trading. PAMP gold bars are elegantly packaged, with an engraved serial number on each bar, and accompanying assay certificate that guarantees purity and weight.
- Credit Suisse – Backed by the Credit Suisse Bank of Switzerland, Credit Suisse gold bullion bars are a firm favorite in the industry. While some may consider Credit Suisse bars to be not as eye-catching as PAMP, it is nevertheless quite popular amongst investors. Credit gold bars are available in 1g, 2g, 5g, 10g, 20g, 1oz, and 10 oz bars, with a unique serial number stamped on each. Credit Suisse gold bars are manufactured in Switzerland, and come in tamperproof packaging that ensure quality and authenticity. One of the top-selling products is the 1oz gold bar, crafted from 99.99% pure fine gold. Credit Suisse gold bars are accompanied by an assay card that guarantees weight and purity.
- Royal Canadian Mint – The Royal Canadian Mint is one of North America’s most respected gold refiners and has been minting high-quality gold bars since 1908. Troy Ounce investment bars are available in 1oz, 5oz, and 10oz sizes. In the gold industry, RCM gold bars are among the most popular, enjoying widespread demand due to their quality and luster. Gold bars from The Royal Canadian Mint are individually-numbered and crafted from 99.99% pure gold. Each comes with an assay card guaranteeing weight and purity. The 1oz gold bar comes in a sealed box for 25 units, and for the 1 kilo gold bar, a sealed box contains 3 units.
- Sunshine Minting – This American Mint, situated in Couer d’Alene, Idaho, offers a variety of gold and silver bullion, as well as rounds. Gold bars are available from Sunshine in 1g, 5g, 10g, 1oz, and 10z sizes. Sunshine gold bars are minted from 99.99% pure gold, and presented in tamper-evident packaging that retains the integrity of the product. Each bar is guaranteed for weight and purity with a certified assay card. Newer 1oz gold bars also contain a cutting-edge security feature known as MintMark SI™ on the reverse of the bar.
- Johnson Matthey – Johnson Matthey Inc. is an accredited American/Canadian mint situated in Salt Lake City, Utah. JM gold bars are in high demand, due to the reputation of the company, and the rarity of its products. In addition to offering a wide variety of smelting services, JM offers bars from both of its North American Mints. JM USA has available bars cast in 10oz, 1000g, 100oz, and 400oz sizes. JM Canada offers cast bars in 1000g, 100oz, and 400oz sizes. Most JM gold bars come with a weight and purity guarantee stamped into the bar.
- Engelhard – Engelhard is one of the most respected names in both gold and silver bullion, despite the fact that they haven’t produced any new material in decades. The market continually demands Engelhard products, whether they are more commonplace 1 oz gold bars, or unique offerings like 2 oz bars, 1 oz Prospector rounds, or gram products. Certain Engelhard products trade for massive premiums over spot price, so be careful what you buy if your primary goal is to accumulate as much gold as cheaply as possible.
Gold bar forgery exists, but if you buy from accredited mints, like those above, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of purchasing impure or low-quality bullion. All internationally accredited mints require exceptionally high purity (over 99.9% or higher) and most will include an assay letter with every bar purchased. Before plunging into the gold market, do your due diligence and discern the good from the not-so-good!
Beyond just the assay letter, by keeping your gold bars in their mint packaging, especially if it is tamper-evident packaging, you can assure future buyers of your gold’s authenticity.