Should I Buy Gold Bars or Gold Coins?

Many precious metals investors looking to buy gold for the first time question whether it is better to buy gold bars or gold coins. The answer is that it depends on your investment goals.

Gold Bars
Precious metals refineries worldwide produce gold bars. Some of the most famous gold refineries include PAMP, Argor Heraeus, Johnson Matthey and Valcambi. Government mints generally do not produce gold bars. Gold bars also do not have a face value the way that gold coins do.

However, for those looking to invest in gold, bars have many benefits. Most gold bars come sealed in a certicard to protect them from damage, and they also come with a serial number. Some gold bars, such as those produced by UBS and Argor Heraeus, also come with a kinebar design. A kinebar is a hologram inscribed in the back of the bar, which guarantees its authenticity.

Generally, gold bars are sold at a lower premium to gold coins, making them a slightly better option for those who are looking to purchase gold bars purely for investment purposes. Gold bars are also available in a larger range of sizes, from 1 gram to 1 kilogram. This can make gold bars a more attractive option for investors with smaller or larger amounts of money to invest in gold. The most popular size gold bar purchased by gold investors is the one ounce gold bar. The most popular gold bar brands are Credit Suisse and PAMP gold bars.

Gold Coins
Official government mints produce all gold coins. Each gold coin also comes with a face value and can be used as legal tender. Gold coins do not come in as many sizes as gold bars – they generally are sold in 1/10 oz, ¼ oz, ½ oz and 1 Ounce sizes. The most popular size gold coin is the one ounce gold coin.

Although gold coins generally have a slightly higher premium than gold bars, some gold coins, such as the gold Krugerrand, gold Maple Leaf and gold Sovereign, have very low premiums, which also make them very attractive investment options.

Many gold coins, like the gold Maple Leaf, gold Krugerrand and gold Sovereign, are more recognised worldwide than gold bars, which may also add to their appeal.

Gold coins are also popular as gifts, as the design of them tends to be more intricate than that of a gold bar.

Both gold bars and gold coins are good options for investing. When investing in gold bullion, it is always a good idea to build up an investment over time, adding gold bars and gold coins to your investment portfolio bit by bit.  Maintaining some of your savings in gold bullion is a good way to hedge your portfolio, particularly during bad market conditions.