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Friday, December 01, 2006

Bars of Gold

Bars of gold can make a great investment as well as an excellent collection since there are many types, sizes and weights of gold bar available.

Firstly bars of gold come in a number of weights which are mostly the result of various regional preferences around the world.

Grammes - International
Ounces - Mainly English-speaking countries: USA, UK and Australia
Tolas - Mainly India, Pakistan, Middle East, Singapore
Taels - Mainly Chinese-speaking countries: Hong Kong, Taiwan, China
Bahts - Thailand
Chi - Vietnam
Dons - Korea

Here are some typical examples types of bars of gold

'400' oz ('12.5' kg) bar
Kilobars
'Tezabi' Bars
Tael Bars
Baht Bars
Tola Bars
Chi Bars
Decorative Bars
'Hologram' Bars
'Rainbow' Bars
'Yin-Yang' Bars
'Koban' Bars
'Twin-Coin' Bar
'Gold Leaf' Bars
Fine Gold Cards
'Bone' Bar
'Gold Fillet' Bars
'Pendant' Bars
'Double Pendant' Bars
'Bank' Bars
'Commemorative' Bars
'Heart' Bars
'Kinebars™'
'Bullion Watch' Bars
'Fine Art' Bars
'Bas-Relief' Bar
'Full-Colour' Bars
'Cartoon' Bars
Minted 'Brick' Bars
'Model' Bars
The world’s largest - and smallest - bars
Historical Rothschild Bars
Oldest Stamp
Oldest Assay Mark
Bullion Coins
Gold Nuggets
Gold-Bearing Ore
'Dore' Bars
'Garimpo' Dore

Bars of gold are made in two different ways. Cast and minted. Cast bars are made by pouring liquid gold into a mould. These are generally known as ingots and usually weigh around 400 ounces so they are very heavy, large and of course expensive to own and carry around. These are generally held in bank vaults and many companies keep reserves that way as a hedge against inflation and difficult economic times.

By contrast minted bars are made by pressing sheets of gold into various sizes and forms and can be anywhere from one gram upwards. This makes it easier for people buy, own, store and move around their gold. It also comes in handy if one wants to sell a bar or a few bars.

Of course how much you pay for the smaller bars depends on the size. The smaller the bar the higher the mark up or premium one pays and this is the trade off for the convenience and cheapness of purchase. It means also that you have to hold on to the bar longer to recoup your purchase price.

This applies when selling the bars of course. One cannot simply slice off one ounce from a ten ounce bar as you would cheese. If you sell a bar it has to be the entire bar regardless of size.

In addition less people buy and sell bars as they do coins so it is just that bit harder to find a buyer when the time comes to sell.

So selling the smaller bars is easier than the larger ones although the cost of them is proportionately higher.

When buying bars of gold then, all these factors need to be taken into consideration and it depends largely on the purpose for which you are buying bars of gold.