Friday, January 20, 2006

Can You Buy Gold Bullion

You can you buy gold bullion? is the short answer to the question often asked by new collectors.

But there are some factors to consider when buying gold bullion. Firstly gold bullion is basically gold coins and gold bars.

Gold coins are usually 1 troy ounce of fine gold but there can be smaller and sometimes larger coins.

Examples of such coins are America Gold Eagles, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, South African Krugerrands and Australian Gold Kookaburras. There are many others but someone new to collecting would be advised to stick to those to start with until they have some more experience under their belt. All are obtainable from reputable dealers and mints (except for the US mint who do not deal with the public. US Gold coins should be obtained from an authorized dealer).

Bars, or biscuits or wafers, as they are sometimes called, are another option. These can range from the 1 gram wafer up to full bars of 400 troy ounces. Most collectors go for the 1 ounce and up to 10 ounce bars.

When you buy gold coins always check the weight. Usually this is measured in troy ounces or part of an ounce but grams have also become a popular weight measurement recently as well. The fineness should be a 999% fine and this is the amount of gold compared to other metals, such as silver which may be added to give it strength.

Gold bars are usually measured as 999 parts per 1000 and most gold coins are usually 917 parts per 1000. Other metal is added as an alloy to strengthen them. Gold is a soft metal and adding an alloy such as silver or copper also makes them easier to mint.

How much you would be expected to pay for the gold coin or gold bar advertised depends on the above factors as well as sometimes the rarity and aesthetic appeal of the item, particularly if it is a gold coin. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, for example, is considered by some to be particularly beautiful. Also it would include any margin added by the seller and any tax that might be applicable. For this reason it is better to purchase 1 ounce coins rather than 1/10th ounce coins and 1 ounce bars rather than 1 gram bars.

But whether you are collecting as an investment for the future, or just as a hobby because you like the idea of owning gold or simply appreciate the aesthetic appeal of it, I am sure that buying gold bullion will give you many happy hours of enjoyment in the future!

No comments: