Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What is a gold bar

What is a gold bar? A gold bar can come in many forms, sizes and weights.

A gold bar is actually defined as any gold product made by a recognized bar manufacturer, regardless of shape. On the bar is recorded the name of the manufacturer, the exact weight and purity. A gold bar is sold with a premium above the value of the gold at the time of sale. The amount of this premium is dependent on the size of the gold bar. The larger the bar the less the premium in proportion.

The weight of a gold bar is measured in troy ounces and purity is measured as karats (not to be confused with the carats of diamonds).

One can buy gold bars from as small as one gram up to one kilo and for commercial purposes, 400 ounces.

There are just 55 refineries in the world today who manufacture 400 ounce gold bars acceptable internationally and these are known as 'London Good Delivery'. Some leeway is given in the weight of a 400 ounce gold bar which can actually weight between 350 and 430 ounces. The purity must be 99.5 percent or more. It is estimated that about 150,000 of these bars are made each year although it is likely to be more than that. Most banks that store gold do so in this form and are believed to hold somewhere around 2.5 million of them. That is a lot of gold!

The kilobar, which is to say 1000 grams in weight, is the bar that is more manageable and is used extensively for trading and investment. The premium on these bars when traded is very low over the spot value of the gold making it ideal for small, transfers between banks and traders. Most of the kilobars are flat although you will also find some investors in Europe will prefer the brick shape.

The smaller one ounce, ten ounce, one kilo and even ten kilo bars are favored by the small investor as easier to buy even though the premium on the bars are higher.

Gold bars make a great way to store assets with the value of gold steadily increasing in the long term.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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