Gold Bullion Bars
Best suited for high end investors, gold bars are amongst the most aesthetically pleasing of all investment bullion. While larger size bars of course come at a premium, smaller bars are now regularly minted with weights as light as 1 gram now available to cater for those investors who are on a tighter budget. Whether you are investing as a fail safe versus a struggling economy or as a long term investment with a view to profiting from the soaring price of gold, bullion bars are a superb form of alternative investment that are easy to store, simple to maintain and easy to liquidate when you're ready to cash in.
One of the world's most desirable pieces of gold bullion, Credit Suisse gold bars are beautifully crafted bars with a 99.99% gold purity. Due to their massive popularity as investment bullion, they are produced in a wide range of sizes from 1 and 2.5 gram bars all the way up to 10 ounce pieces.
Gold Bullion Bars For Investment And As An Inflation Hedge
Despite the panache of coins, with their varied designs and interesting status as legal tender, gold bars are another highly popular method of storing value as a hedge against inflation. These bars are generally bought as a bullion reserve rather than as an investment – in short, they are useful mostly for their intrinsic value, and not as collectibles which are likely to command a high premium over spot at some point in the future.
Gold bars are a convenient shape for storage, since they stack readily, and are an instantly recognizable symbol of value, as well. Though they naturally have no face value, since they are not legal tender in themselves (and would need to be sold, or “liquidated”, for legal currency before being used to make purchases), they have a high degree of liquidity because precious metal dealers throughout the world – from the rain forest cities of Brazil to the northern climes of Scandinavia beneath the Aurora Borealis – recognize them as valuable and readily convertible assets.
Modern gold bars are not simply a crude chunk of poured gold, as they typically appear in cartoons and similar popular depictions, but are produced with the same exactitude and care as gold or silver coins are struck by the governments of the world.
These gold bars are generally highly attractive, crisply finished and with a polished gleam that makes them beautiful artifacts as well as stores of value. These “mirror finishes” are applied at the end of the manufacturing process specifically to appeal to buyers.
A contemporary gold bar may be designed to be either horizontal or vertical. Since the shape of a gold bar is typically rectangular and quite thin, the information stamped on it may be written either along the long axis or the shorter axis of one of the faces. The placement of this text has no bearing on the basic value of the gold bar, but can be useful in identification in some cases – for example, of the specific series or the year of production.
Gold bars may be issued either by banks or by private companies with an interest in precious metals – or, at times, by governments themselves. The Perth Mint of the Australian government, for example, makes regular issues of gold bars, which are prized by gold buyers for their highly recognizable logo and the liquidity and solid value that this provides.
What Information Is Found On A Gold Bar?
The modern gold bar typically includes the minting company’s, bank’s, or mint’s emblem on the front face. These emblems may be simply a set of initials, but many have artistic, highly distinctive images of animals, allegorical figures, and the like to make their gold bars instantly recognizable at a glance. The name of the issuing organization usually appears, as does the weight of the gold bar, its purity (typically listed as 999, 999,9, .999, or some variant), the legend “fine gold” or “pure gold”, and a serial number.
The serial number on the bar permits banks to track ownership of the bar, and determine quickly and easily whether or not it is genuine, and whether it has been stolen. The serial number is a precaution for banks, but it also has the desirable effect of increasing liquidity, since the authenticity of your gold bar is fairly easy to verify most of the time.
The reverse of a gold bar can bear one of an infinite number of designs depending on the minting organization’s decision. Some are completely blank, just an empty “field” of smooth, mirror-polished gold. Others bear the repeated image of the issuing organization’s logo, emblem, or initials, arranged almost like some kind of wallpaper pattern. Yet others have a unique image on them. For example, the back face of some Credit Suisse gold bars bear the American Statue of Liberty on them.
Major Manufacturers of Gold Bars Today
There are many governments and private institutions that make gold bars for the precious metal market today, but some of these are more readily available than others. The gold bars you are most likely to find useful in building up your own stock of this metal include –
• The Perth Mint: this mint has been producing gold bars for decades, made out of native Australian gold mined from the blistering, rugged interior of the island continent. Perth mint bars are highly prized and include a swan emblem and the image of a kangaroo for good measure.
• Credit Suisse: though racked by a series of scandals, Ponzi schemes, and alleged perfidy on a Herculean scale, this Swiss bank issues some of the world’s highest quality gold bars, which are a good investment for anyone who wants to store monetary value in this medium.
• PAMP Suisse: based in Castel San Pietro, a Swiss town named for the dramatic crag-perched castle that was once a strategically important part of the area, this refinery is a leading “striker” of superb quality gold bars, marked with the allegorical image of “Fortuna” holding a cornucopia from which coins are flowing.
• APMEX: this highly respected and reputable American firm, the American Precious Metals Exchange, produces gold bars as small as 1 gram, placing them within the reach of any precious metal buyer’s pocketbook, or as large as 1 ounce.
• The Royal Canadian Mint: one of the planet’s finest mints, the Royal Canadian Mint produces large gold bars for affluent investors, including 10 troy ounce, 1 kilo, and 100 troy ounce bars. The mint’s hallmark assures the value of the gold you are purchasing.
Sizes of Gold Bars
Gold bars come in a whole range of sizes and weights, designed to appeal to buyers with every amount of resources available. 1 gram gold bars, costing less than $100, allow those with limited incomes to acquire gold as opportunity permits, and countless gradations of size exist all the way up through the massive 400 ounce gold bars that are worth over $600,000 at today’s prices. Gold bars of less than 1 troy ounce weight are known as fractional gold bars.