How to Buy Gold Bullion (Gold Bars & Coins)

January 13, 2023

How To Buy Gold Bullion (Bars & Coins)

In this article, we'll delve into one of the more frequent questions we've been seeing lately, where and HOW to buy gold bullion (aka psychical gold bars & coins). If you're still not there yet, and haven't taken your first step INTO Investing in Gold, take a look at my detailed guide, here: How to Invest in Gold. I've also got some other amazing blog posts detailing things such as the Best Gold Stocks to Buy, How to Sell Your Gold, and even the Best Gold Stocks to Buy.

That being said, Let's talk about Buying Gold Bullion!

This is a direct investment into gold wherein you take on all the risks and rewards of actually owning physical gold bars and coinage. You have weighed all the options, done accurate research, and settled on this particular investment decision.

All that is left to do now is actually buying gold. This, however, is where most investors run into problems. Knowing where exactly to get pure gold is not something actively taught in school after all. Finding the right place and avoiding all the scams related to the buying of gold certainly not a walk in the park.

Luckily, we got you covered. Below is some information on where and how to buy gold bullion along with some tips and tricks to get the most out of your money:

Besides stocks & options, I've been investing in Gold, Silver, and other precious metals since 2008, so I know what to look for, and how to do it safely with very little risk.

By the end of this article, you're going to learn:

  • How & Where To Buy Gold Bullion
  • The 5 Things You MUST Know Before Doing So
  • A Safer Alternative to buying & storing Gold yourself

How and Where To Buy Gold Bullion (Coins & Bars)

Little do people know, buying gold bars is easier than one might expect.

Buying it online is often the best and most cost-effective option as retailers will impose lower markups.

This is because they do not pay rent and have lower operational costs than physical gold retailers.

The most common and trustworthy places to buy gold bullions online include:

There are more that exist but it is recommended that you take due diligence in researching the website properly before engaging in any transaction. Try to look up some testimonies, reviews, and whether or not the site has been certified by the relevant agencies or institutions.

You could also invest in a Gold IRA, such as my personal recommendation, GoldCo.  

In buying bullions online, you simply have to put the weight, quantity, and price. The bars are usually cheaper if you buy in large quantities and some retailers give discounts if you use cards. Wire transfers are also an option so buying gold online can be quite convenient.

You can also bid for gold on eBay but, again, this takes your due diligence in research and background check to make sure the seller is to be trusted. The last thing you want is to pay for anything less than the actual value of the gold.

Related: Gold ETF vs Physical Gold: Which is Better?

Gold ATMs (Yes, Really)

Gold ATM in Las Vegas

Some major cities, like Las Vegas or Dubai, also offer Gold-to-Go ATMS but make sure you are aware of the spot price for gold beforehand as they tend to bear extremely high markups.

Once you receive your bullion, keep it secured in a safe at home or put it in a safety deposit box.

Some companies offer insurance for gold bullions which can help recompense you in the event of theft or loss.  

5 Very Important Things to Keep in Mind:

Knowing where to buy the bullions is only half the equation. Knowing how to buy gold bullion means being aware of the things to look out for in order not to be short-changed or even scammed.

1.) Buy Gold in Proper Sizes

When buying gold bullions, especially bars, avoid getting them in unreasonably large sizes.

It is easier to sell gold in bits and pieces more needed for that point in time than finding a buyer willing to shell out a large sum of money for a gigantic-sized gold bar - especially if you are in a hurry.

Large gold bars are just harder to liquidate into cash and, if your need the money in a hurry, make you more prone to accepting an offer less than ideal for its value.

Consider getting them in small one-ounce bars or coinage instead.

This allows you more flexibility with your gold and can be sold little by little when needed.

2.) Buy only the Purest of Gold

When buying gold, it is best not to settle for anything less than 99.5% of pure gold. The remainder is usually an alloy of either silver or copper that is needed for smelting.

The purity of the gold not only means it's worth more, but it also makes it easier for you to track its worth and justify its value when the time comes to liquidate.

Ideally, the gold bars should also feature the manufacturer's name, weight, and purity (expressed either in percentage or karats), and perhaps a serial number for security purposes.

The popular mints that produce gold bars and are generally trusted by buyers include Perth Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint, and Valcambi.

3.) The Difference Between Bars and Coins

Both hold significant monetary value but they differ in some substantial ways.

Though gold coins are valuable and can make for a great return on investment, it should be noted that it is not only because of their gold content. 

Coinages also boast designs, historical significance, and rarity that make them very attractive to collectors.

This of course means that they cost more - which is a good thing in terms of potential earnings when compared to plain gold bars.

The problem is that they require a lot more time and effort to sell to get that value in full. This, of course, is up to you at the end of the day but most investors prefer gold bars as their value is easier to track and they are generally much easier to liquidate than coinage.

4.) Don't Be Afraid to Look around First

Know that where gold is easier to buy, selling it can be quite tricky. Being aware of the going spot price of gold will allow you to know whether or not the selling price is close enough to the mark for you to make a purchase.

A too high mark-up can run the risk of losing the profit potential. Sellers also vary in prices due to shipping costs, handling fees, and authentication certification by accredited appraisers.

This means in order for you to get as much as possible for as little a cost as possible: you need to be prepared to look around a lot first.

Avoid buying gold in a hurry as much as possible as this will lead you to accept the first offer that comes your way. If you know that the selling price is way beyond the current spot price, try to negotiate using this knowledge as a basis. Otherwise, do not be afraid to say "no" and turn down the offer.

5.) How to Avoid Scams

Reputable and trusted sellers of gold must have a good review on Better Business Bureau.

Looking this up will let you know if the seller is to be trusted. 

On the other hand, if they have engaged in less than desirable conduct, they will probably be featured on sites like Ripoff Reports and the like.

Try to look up as much about what's been said about the seller and/or the website must precede any transactions.

Do your due diligence and try to double-check any claims of certification and licensing to see if they are as accredited as they claim to be. It also helps if they used trusted third-party appraisers industry professionals with traceable activity.

All fees must be disclosed before any transaction takes place too. That includes and transaction and handling fees and ideal the amount of mark-up they implement. This means the seller is upfront about the buying process.

When buying gold from other countries, be sure to brush up on the rules and regulations involved in the shipment of gold from abroad.

Depending on the quantity, gold might run into an issue with customs clearing even if they are pure and legally obtained.

Beware of beyond normal asking prices too. Finance, news, and gold market forecast websites usually report on the daily price of gold. Giving these sites even just a quick look-through can provide you with enough information to avoid basic scams in prices.

Gold & Precious Metals IRA (Alternative)

Instead of buying gold and storing it yourself, why not have the professionals do it for you with a gold ira? 

A gold IRA is an Individual Retirement Account in which physical gold or other approved precious metals are held in custody for the benefit of an IRA account owner, stored in a secure vault.

GoldCo Precious Metals is who I recommend for this, they help their customers transfer their retirement investments into Gold & Silver IRA's, which can be great for a long term investment. Our #2 choice would be Augusta Precious Metals..

They're one of the top trusted Gold IRA companies in the USA.  They've got a 5 Star Rating on Trust Pilot as well as an A+ Rating with the BBB, which is why I do recommend them.

To learn more about Goldco, see my review here: Goldco Review (Gold & Precious Metal IRA’s)

In Conclusion

Probably the final thing to consider even before buying gold bullion is that they come with storage and insurance costs.

It is a great responsibility to undertake and not many investors are willing to bear that much considerable commitment in their personal finances.

Other forms of gold investments exist that do not require the actual handling of the precious material.

They also do now come with the transaction and mark-up costs that go into the physical buying and selling of gold. If you are looking for something that does not require much mental or physical effort to invest your money in, then direct ownership of gold is just not for you.

All that being said, gold is also one of the best forms of safety nets out there when trying to secure one's wealth.

They will, no matter what, guarantee at least some profit and can be easily liquidated when in need of quick cash.

They are also ideal fail-safe in the event of a total or even partial economic collapse - one that might render normal money next to useless. Though the last scenario is quite unlikely.

If you decide to add owning gold to your investment portfolio, we hope that this article was able to let you do so with the best possible judgment.

About the author 

Jenna Lofton, an expert in stock trading, investing, and financial planning, combines over a decade of experience with rigorous academic training. Holding dual MBAs in Finance and Business Administration from the University of Maryland, Jenna's expertise is grounded in a deep understanding of the financial markets. Her career, which started on Wall Street, has evolved into empowering others through her insights and analyses in the dynamic world of finance.

Based in New York City, Jenna's approach is informed by her hands-on experience as a former financial advisor and her keen observation of market trends. She is known for translating complex financial concepts into actionable strategies, making her a valuable resource for both seasoned investors and newcomers to the stock market. Her commitment to financial literacy and her ability to demystify investment principles have made her a respected and authoritative voice in the investment community.

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