How Much Is A Gold Bar Worth?
A gold bar is a nugget of pure gold cast or stamped for uniformity and easy handling. A standard gold bar weighs precisely 400 troy ounces and represents a nominal value of $100,000, though most now come in kilograms. Since the value of gold is determined by its fineness or number of karats, a bar’s value will vary according to its karat purity. For example, a one-ounce 24-karat gold bar weighs less than a 400-ounce bullion bar.
Gold bars are generally not cast or stamped with other information such as serial numbers or assays marks. This makes them difficult to trace should they ever be stolen or recovered.
Gold bars are one of the simplest forms of investment in gold. They can easily be bought, sold, stored, stacked, and counted. Bars make for easy comparisons of prices between different purities and karat weights. Many investors prefer to purchase larger bars that hold more value than smaller ones, though the smaller bars are easier to carry around and sell if necessary.
Gold bars are generally not considered an appropriate investment vehicle for an individual investor since they tend to be expensive per ounce. An investor with a large amount of money who wants to buy gold in larger amounts may prefer bars rather than bullion coins.
From a security standpoint, there is one inherent risk when purchasing gold bars. The bar’s value depends on its weight and purity, making it easy for counterfeiters to pass off fake bars that contain less gold than they claim. Many bars are cast or stamped with Hallmarks identifying their karat purity to combat this problem. This added security can be purchased as insurance by individuals who buy bars.
Gold bullion bars are often purchased by investors who want to avoid the additional expense of storing and insuring individual coins. They are also easier to transact than their coin counterparts, providing a method for large-volume purchases or selling large volumes at once.
Gold bars can be stored in a vault, safe, or home. They are not available from a broker on credit and require direct purchase from a bank or bullion dealer.
Two types of gold bars are most frequently traded. Coins have a value stamped on the coin itself, facilitating reselling if the buyer does not want to maintain possession. District-minted bullion coins are of limited application for investors and typically trade close to face value, though there are exceptions. For example, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf (GML) is valued at $3.80 as of April 2, 2013, while the American Gold Buffalo (AGB) is worth $1.11.
In contrast, gold bars are typically traded in larger denominations of 1000 troy ounces (31.1 ozt or 454 grams) and up. Each ounce trades at the price of its purity, typically $1,000 for gold in the 100-ounce range and $3,000 for gold in the 500-ounce range.
Gold bars are not taxed when sold, though the dealer may tack on a premium. In most cases, a dealer will buy back gold bars if sold to them, subject to the market’s price.
A small industry around gold bar insurance stems from their confiscation during World War II. Many modern investors do not consider this risk and may find their investments diminished or reduced in value if they cannot access their bars in an emergency.
A gold bar is one of the most common forms of modern gold investment. The ease at which they can be purchased and sold, as well as their relative size and relatively low price point, make them an appealing option for both individuals and large-scale investors. The London Bullion Market Association Website or GoldCore’s Gold Bar Standard Kit may obtain more information on gold bars.
The following is an excerpt from the United States Treasury Directive of July 17, 1934, regarding gold ownership:
It shall be unlawful for any citizen of the United States, or any corporation organized under the laws of the United States, to own gold coin or gold bullion over that amount which he may legally exchange for export among the several countries of which gold may be nationals, provided that such citizen does not export more than three hundred and fifty (350) troy ounces at one time.
The U.S. Treasury provided the following guidelines in regards to the purchase of gold bars. The following is an excerpt from their website:
Are there restrictions on purchasing, selling, and possessing gold bars?
The United States has not restricted the possession or sale of gold bars. However, importation regulations require licensed individuals to declare purchases of $10,000 or more in cash or monetary instruments for any single importation into the U.S.
What are the advantages of gold bars over gold coins?
Bars have a uniform size, shape, and weight. Gold bars are easily identified, recountable in bulk, and easy to identify as to karat content. For those who prefer less risk, bars provide the benefit of minimizing storage space requirements and minimal additional insurance risk associated with the sale of coins.