Buying gold bullion is not as common as buying gold coins. The magic of gold coins far surpasses gold bars in the majority of people's minds.
However, gold bars have an attraction all their own and are an excellent way of accumulating gold on a regular basis.
According to the Industry Catalogue of Gold Bars Worldwide, there are 50 accredited manufacturers of small gold bars, producing 338 standard gold bars between them. As with bullion coins, small bullion bars contain a minimum of 99.5% fine gold. In general, the fineness ranges from .995 to .9999 gold.
Gold bullion comes in many sizes and from many producers. Gold bullion may be bought in a variety of weights and sizes, ranging from as little as one gram to 400 troy ounces (1 kilogram is equivalent to 32.1507 troy ounces) which is the size of the internationally traded London Good Delivery bar. The term “small bars” refers to bars weighing 1000g or less.
Precious metals are measured by the troy ounce, as distinct from your bathroom or postal scale ounces which are known as avoirdupois. 14.58 troy ounces equals 16 postal scale ounces making the troy ounce around 10% heavier than avoirdupois. So this should be taken into account if you have gold bars, or even gold coins, and decide to weigh them on the kitchen scales.
Perhaps the most common sizes affordable and manageable for most people are the smaller gram bars. From 1 gram up to 100 or more gram bars are available at current gold price plus a gold dealer mark up. the smaller the bar the higher the margin of course.
The Perth Mint in Australia. for example, will sell you bar sizes from 1 gram up to 100 grams. As at time of writing, a 1 gram bar will cost just over 20USD (30AUD) and a 100 gram bar will set you back about 1300USD (1900AUD) including freight. Due to production costs, the smaller bars carry a higher margin for the Mint and therefore you pay a higher premium than if you purchased a larger bar.
Examples of other established and popular gold refineries include PAMP (Produits Artistiques de Métaux Précieux) a gold metals refinery based at Castel San Pietro, in Switzerland. Johnson Matthey, a refinery that has been established for many years and is considered one of the leading producers of gold bullion. Also minting are AGR Matthey in Australia and Midwest Refineries in the US among many others.
Today gold bars are also popular and safe because large private manufacturers such as Pamp Suisse, for example, standardized production and created the polished look which makes gold bullion bars so enticing and appealing.
Along with gold coins, purchasing gold bullion bars is an ideal way to improve your assets and besides, its' fun!