Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Myth of the Declining Gold Price

There seems to be a myth about the demand for gold declining in the media, but in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

The demand for gold is as high, if not higher, than ever before as witnessed by the high levels of gold price found around the world.

This myth is the result of a reporting flaw where much of the data is omitted and only one aspect of the gold part is being reported. Gold for the jewelery market has fallen recently due to the recession. For example, Saudi Arabia's jewelers have witnessed a major fall of around 30 percent in the first six months of the year. The reason provided for the fall is economic slowdown and high gold prices. However, what is not being reported is bank gold sales activity has dropped and bank buying of gold has increased putting the banks in a position of demand despite misleading media headlines.

In short, there may be a drop in gold demand for jewelery in a recession but the demand for gold as an investment increases dramatically. A recent gold ETF reported its biggest ever one day inflow of gold since its inception. This followed healthy inflows over the week prior and up eighteen percent.

The following graph gives a clear insight into the actual demand for gold.

Using one aspect of a market to make an assessment of an entire market is faulty report and rather like saying the entire meat market is slow because one butcher did not buy as much meat as usual.

The market for gold investment, and gold in industry for that matter, is still high. Gold bullion investment traditionally increases in a recessionary market and ... well try buying gold bullion from a bank in Europe or even from any gold bullion dealer and find out what the waiting time is. Currently 4 to 8 weeks as mints struggle to keep up with the demand.

in addition the myth of the declining gold price has recently been exploded by the rise of gold on a stable and steady trend to now over one thousands US dollars per ounce.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Tips on Buying Gold

Here are some tips on buying gold that can help you get the best gold for your money.

1. Find out which is the best gold for you to buy. Usually it is gold bullion bars, or gold coins or can even be GoldMoney (more on that later). This can depend on how much money you have to allocate to buying gold and why you are buying gold. If you have sufficient funds then gold bullion bars would be the way to go. These can be as small as one or half ounce bars or as large as one kilo bars or even the 400 ounce bars although buying those sized gold bullion bars would be very rare.

2. Searching around for the best price is important as the prices can vary. The smaller amount of gold you buy, for example, means the higher cost per ounce or gram. Due to fabrication costs and other factors, a one or half ounce bar (or biscuit as it is known) can cost twice as much as the value of the gold. Yet a larger bar will have a more acceptable cost attached to the value of the gold. The price you see in the news is not the actual price of gold. It is the price of gold futures . To see the actual price of gold you have to look at what dealers are charging. You can also get a very good idea from auction sites such as eBay which will show the current value people are placing on gold. Here you would not look at what people are asking but what people are paying.

3. When you have determined what gold you want to buy then the next question is where to buy it. Dealers tend to be the most expensive. You can get some good deals on eBay but that usually involves a lot of time and effort. Plus you have to verify the seller is selling the genuine article and not some fake of course. Practicing due diligence is very important when buying gold bullion online.

4. An alternative is to buy gold from GoldMoney. Here you can simply open an account rather as you would open a bank account. Deposit funds to GoldMoney who will then assign you gold at the prevailing price to your account. Your gold physically sits in a bank vault either in London or Zurich and you can add to it, cash it or a portion in and even, under certain circumstances redeem the gold in the form of one kilo gold bullion bars. The gold held in the vaults is regularly audited and is fully insured against the usual, theft destruction and so forth.

You can also transfer any quantity of gold to another GoldMoney account and, by the same token, have it transferred from another account to yours. You have to show proof if identity in order to open an account but once that is done you are free to accumulate gold without the issues of transport, insurance and storage as this is all taken care of. There is a small storage fee and some transfer fees but the cost of those is far below buying gold, having it shipped, stored and insured by dealer or mint. There is no minimum, you can buy a gram or an ounce at the same rate as a kilo or more as there are no fabrication and other costs to worry about. You can open an account at GoldMoney and quickly start to accumulate gold.

5. The best way to save gold is to accumulate some at regular intervals. This is regardless of the gold price. Each month or each regular period just buy some gold. The price may be up one month or down the next. It does not matter. It is the consistency that counts. The value of your gold will even out and tend to rise in the long term as the value of gold goes up against the value of currency.

So there you are, a few tips on buying gold that may help you to save and and increase your gold holding.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Buy Gold Bullion Bars

A new service offered by GoldMoney enables you to buy gold bullion bars AND take delivery at any time.

What is Gold Money

GoldMoney is a service where you can buy gold, or buy silver, and have it stored on your behalf by GoldMoney in bank vaults in London or Switzerland. Now you can have the gold bullion also delivered to you in most countries a list of which is given below.

GoldMoney are located in Jersey in the British Channel Islands independent to Britain. Jersey is governed by its own laws and regulations and not subject to British Law.

Regulatory services are provided by the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), who oversee the regulation of all financial services in Jersey.

The vaults are owned and operated by The VIA MAT group who operate under the strict standards of the London Bullion Market Association. The VIA MAT group also provide the insurance and the Andium Trust Company performs the regular audit of gold to ensure that the gold bullion matches the customers accounts.

GoldMoney is registered and regulated by the JFSC as a money service business.

How does GoldMoney Work
GoldMoney currently holds, on behalf of its customers in customer account holdings, almost 700 million dollars of solid gold bullion bars in two bank vaults. One in London and the other in Zurich, Switzerland.

Account holders simply sign up for and open an account which records their gold bullion holdings with details of when purchased, where the gold is stored and any transactions such as cashing in the gold, selling the gold and taking delivery of any gold.

You can open a free account at GoldMoney by providing your name, contact details and sufficient ID as you do with a new bank account.

Once the account is opened you simply fund the account through a bank transfer of funds and then you can buy gold bullion.

There is no wait period (other than verifying the details needed to open the account) and the account is fully private and confidential.

There is also the facility to change your gold for silver and to 'cash out' your gold if needed.

How to Buy Gold with GoldMoney
There is no minimum or maximum of gold bullion one can buy. It will depend on how much funding there is in your account. Sometimes when you want to buy gold from a dealer or bank or mint, but there is a minimum you can buy.

With GoldMoney this is not the case, making it ideal for those with smaller incomes who would like to buy gold in small amounts and build up. There are some condition relating to large quantities of gold bought at any one time. This relates to the gold spot price and buying gold at a 'locked rate'.

What are GoldMoney Gold Bars
The gold held by GoldMoney on behalf of its customers are gold bullion bars usually of the 400 troy oz. or 12.44 kg of better than 95.5 percent pure refined gold and meet the London Bullion Market Association. They originate from the following refineries:
Rand Refinery Limited (South Africa)
Metalor Technologies SA (Switzerland)
Argor-Heraeus SA (Switzerland)
Johnson Matthey Limited (United Kingdom)
Also GoldMoney buy gold in 1000 gram bullion bars. All GoldMoney 100 gram and kilo bars are "4 nines fine", meaning they are 99.99% pure gold. Each of these 1000 gram gold bullion bars is produced in Baird & Co.'s factory in London, UK. You can take delivery of these bars and once ordered, the gold bars can either be shipped to you by insured mail or you can arrange to pick up your bars at Baird & Co. Shipping is currently available to customers resident in the following 16 countries:
United Kingdom
You can also personally deliver or ship your GoldMoney bars back to Baird & Co. in London and receive goldgrams in your Holding. The bars must be in good condition and show no signs of tampering (i.e., marks or chips that indicate some of the gold content may have been removed).

GoldMoney will charge a 2 percent fee for each returned bar. Therefore, a kilo bar return will result in a 980gg addition to your Holding. A 100 gram bar return will result in 98gg being added to your Holding.

How Much Does it Cost
Unlike buying gold from gold dealers, mints etc, the cost of buying gold from GoldMoney is appreciably less. The exchange fee to buy gold by the gram ranges from 0.98 to 2.74 percent above the prevailing spot gold price, depending upon the size of the transaction. The more gold you buy at one time the less the transaction fee proportionately.

Selling gold back to GoldMoney does not incur an exchange fee. You simply get the spot price at the moment you transfer back.

How Do You Get Your Gold Bars
Where to Start. is the place to start. Here you can open a Gold Money account and then start funding your account to buy gold. You can then keep all the gold or some of the gold in your account and at any time take delivery of all or some of your gold in 1000 gram gold bars.

This is a very simple and easy, not to mention quick, way to buy gold bullion bars.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Indian Gold Bullion

Up until 1990 Indians were not supposed to hold Indian gold bullion privately due to the Gold Control Act. So most gold investment was in gold jewelery up to then although, of course, there was some limited smuggling of ten tola gold bars. These days, gold bullion is the second most preferred investment vehicle for Indians after bank deposits and for traditional families, probably the first.

After 1990 the increase of Indian gold bullion in the form of small bars, both imported and local, increased significantly to where India now consumes around 800 tonnes of gold a year. This is around 20 percent of the global demand in gold.

In the 1999/2000 budget the Indian government announced a new initiative to tap some of the private gold being held in India, by allowing the commercial banks to take deposits of gold bars, gold coins and gold jewelery against payment of interest. In India, the interest levels are set by each bank individually and all deposits are for three to seven years. As a further inducement, interest and capital gains on gold are exempt from tax.

However the amount of gold collected through this scheme has not been as much as expected falling short of the estimated 100 tonnes hoped for when it was launched. It seems that Indians prefer to keep their gold and pay their debts with money instead.

But now The National Spot Exchange, controlled by Financial Technologies, the Indian market company, is offering contracts for domestic gold bullion, ranging in size from 8 grams up to 1kilogram.

"Though India has a huge household stock of around 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes of gold, there was no single market available where this could be sold." managing director and chief executive of the National Spot Exchange, Anjani Sinha, stated.

He went on. "You don’t know what is the purity, you don’t know what the jeweller is going to pay to you ... and the price realisation is not good because there is no electronic or nationalised market for selling gold." said Mr Sinha. He pointed out that the total commission paid under the new system would be about 50 basis points, or 0.5 per cent.

Sellers now take their gold to approved refineries who then turn it into international standard gold bars of "995" purity.

Whether this will be inducement enough for private families and individuals, traditionally preferring to keep their wealth in Indian Gold Bullion, to relinquish and give up their gold is a moot point. Historically the Indian culture has not found it in its heart to give up gold bullion for cash.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Gold Investment

Gold investment is very much in the news today and to buy gold as an investment is easy to do provided some important factors are taken into account.

It might sound obvious but the first rule would be buy the cheapest gold you can. This means shopping around and a lot of browsing and comparing notes to find the best deals. There is a difference between dealers when it comes to coins and small bars and also take into account the shipping and handling charges which can also vary between dealers and mints.

Gold Bars, Krugerrands and sovereigns are perhaps the best buy with gold bars having the lowest percentage premium over the spot gold price. When comparing dealers and mints, compare the percentage over the premium and look at what is the bottom line. What is the total you would have to pay from each dealer for the same coin or bar delivered.

Buying regularly is another little secret to building up a healthy gold investment portfolio. Even if it is only a small amount each month it is surprising how quickly that small amount can become a substantial gold investment.

A good and thorough understanding of rare gold coins can also reap some spectacular rewards. Scouring the auctions and coin clubs can net one a good deal, particular if someone is in a tearing great rush to sell during a time of economic turmoil.

It is often said that one should buy low and sell high. But for the serious investor of gold who does not sell this is not the best way to go about it. In fact to continue to buy on a regular basis is more likely to conserve ones gold assets as the average price one pays for gold will even out over time.

If one wishes to trade in gold, then this is a different matter. It is more likely that one would speculate in stocks in gold companies or exchange traded funds and then different rules would likely apply. Such as, for example, understanding the dynamics of the gold market and its relationship to inflation, a bear or bull market in stocks, financial instability and so forth. Regular, even day to day trading is subject to more variables and market forces and requires a different way of thinking not for the novice or those of a conservative bent.

But for the saver, rather than the speculator, coins and bars are a more conservative way of saving and, when done on a regular basis, can reward the investor with a very nice gold investment.

An even better method that saves on the problems with shipping and storage, insurance and security, is to buy gold in escrow. Here, the gold is already available so there is no waiting period and the premium is much lower than on the purchase of gold coins and bullion bars.

One simply opens an account at GoldMoney, for example, and funds the account on a regular basis with any amount one can afford. Gold to correspond with your funding is allocated to you and then is legally in your name. You have an account that tells you how much gold you have. There is a nominal storage charge to cover the gold being fully insured by Lloyds of London and an audit is done on a regular basis. This method takes all the heart ache out of handling and shipping gold and reduces the expenses down to an acceptable level.

A new option available is that one can also take delivery, from GoldMoney, of 1000 gram gold bullion bars now. the charges are nominal and it is good to know that one can take out one's gold if the occasion warrants it.

When it comes to gold investment this is surely the best way to go.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Investing in Gold

Investing in gold bullion can be done in a number of different ways. Each have their own particular advantages and which one an individual chooses will depend on a number of factors including is it an actual investment in gold, what are the additional costs such as shipping, insurance and storage going to be?

Gold investment can be done in the following ways:
Gold Stocks and Shares
Gold exchanged funds
Gold Coins and Bars
Gold rounds
Gold held on your behalf
Gold Exchanged Funds
Here the investment is not actually in gold but in a a fund which is apparently backed by gold. One has an account and 'buys' units that reflect the price of gold at any one time. Here the value of your asset is the price of gold rather than gold itself. You might ask what is the difference? Well the price of gold used is the gold futures price. This can be and usually is, very different to the actual value of gold. If you check out the value of gold bullion in the market place, such as from a dealer or even on an auction such as eBay, you will see that there is a marked difference to the value of gold there and the price of gold as reflected in an exchange traded fund. One is subject to potential manipulation of the price with the constant buying and selling of gold futures.

Gold Stocks & Shares
This covers investing in gold producers such as mineral companies, mints and even gold futures.

The investment here, however, does not mean that one is investing in gold. One is investing, rather, in the performance capabilities of the mining or investment company. Such companies may have other interests, investments in other companies for example, or mining other minerals. The management of these companies also play a part in the value or share price of the stock in such companies.

This means you are not so much investing in gold as in the management and administration of companies that may or may not mine gold exclusively. This also includes investing in gold futures. Here again there is no actual investment in gold, only in the prediction of what the gold price in terms of currency will be at some time in the future. In addition, there are other considerations to take into account. Taxes and fees for example. You also have to manage the shares, when to buy and when to sell.

Gold Coins and Bars

Gold coins are one of the most popular ways of accumulating gold for many people. Here you are actually investing in gold. This is not the cheapest way to invest in gold however and there is a high premium to pay for buying theme gold coins or even popular ones such as American Gold Eagles, Canadian Gold Maples or even the South African Krugerrands.

Gold coins such as these demand some care and attention. They cost money for shipping and sometimes storage. They take up space, especially of you have a lot of them and should be insured in case of theft etc.

Gold bars are a little better but still have the same premium, shipping and storage issues. The premium can be less as there is less work involved in the manufacture of gold bars as distinct to gold coins. You can even buy one ounce gold nuggets. Small blocks of gold which one can hoard and store in a squirrel like fashion. Even so gold is heavy and moving gold between some countries can pose problems with customs and security.

But investing in gold coins and bullion bars means that you are actually investing in real gold and not some representation of it. Gold also, in most countries, is tax free to buy and sell.

Gold Rounds

Gold rounds is a little better than gold coins or gold bullion bars in that the premium is usually lower. Yes you still have the same shipping and storage fees etc, but the overall cost to buy gold rounds is somewhat cheaper.

Gold rounds are like gold coins but are not manufactured as legal tender so have no currency value. They are produced purely and simply as a method of owning gold. They are generally the same size as most gold coins and usually pure .999 gold. They are usually one ounce of gold. They are easy buy, transport, store and sell.

Gold rounds are an excellent way of owning and investing in gold.

Owning Gold through a Custodian
owning gold through a custodian has all the advantages of owning gold and none of the disadvantages provided you have the right custodian.

Here you have a company, such as GoldMoney, that holds the gold for you obviating the need to handle shipping storage, insurance and security issues.

In addition whereas you might have to buy gold in specific amounts, here you can buy anywhere from the tiniest amount up to unlimited quantities. Also instead of waiting weeks for gold to be delivered, you can more or less buy it right away and have it instantly credited to your account.

This works by you opening an account and purchasing the gold which is stored in a bank vault. The ownership of the gold you have purchased is then transferred to you and your hold is represented by your account. The gold remains where it is where it is insured against the usual theft or loss by any other means. Audits are done on a regular basis to ensure that the quantity of gold in storage is fully accounted for.

You can also take delivery of your gold if required although this is hardly necessary. This can be in the form of 1000 gram gold bullion bars and it can be delivered to you in most countries around the world. The charge for this is nominal and the gold bars are 95.5 percent or over pure.

The value of your gold is reflected in the price of gold as it changes. One big advantage here is that you can buy gold on a regular basis simply by funding your account and buying the gold. The amount can be small or large.

You can also transfer any portion of gold from a gram or two up to any amount to another account holder through the system.

Opening an account is free at GoldMoney and, after the initial paperwork, can be funded right from the word go.

Accumulating and investing in gold this way has some important advantages. It is never moved from its storage facility. Such issues as shipping, storage security, buying and selling are not a problem anymore.

Buying gold on a regular basis means also that the price you pay for gold evens out over time and you retain the value of your investment. Investing on currency or stock and shares is subject to inflation and recessionary issues. Gold has never lost its value in over 50 years. You can still buy exactly the same value of commodity now as you could 50 years ago with an ounce of gold.

Each of these methods of gold investment is different but each has the same purpose. Owning gold.

The trick is to use that method that saves you the most while giving you the best options to investing in gold

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dental Scrap Gold

Dental scrap gold is fast becoming an additional resource for people wishing to sell gold.
Dental scrap gold consists of any gold that has been used in the mouth and is worth more sold than kept.
It can include any failed, damaged or deteriorated gold or silver crowns, any bridges, PFM's (porcelain fused to metal), PFG’s (porcelain fused to gold), Inlays, Gold Partials and more. In fact here is a list of the dental scrap including gold, silver and platinum that can be sold.
Dental Sweeps
Gold Crowns
Gold Bridges
Silver Crowns
Silver Bridges
Platinum Crowns
Platinum Bridges
Palladium Crowns
Palladium Bridges
Mixed Precious Metal Dental Work
PFM's (Porcelain Fused Metal
PFG's (Porcelain Fused Gold
These can be with or without bone or porcelain.

Sometimes you will find the gold is fused to porcelain as in PFGs. This can still be recovered and separated and most scrap gold dealers will do this.

Many people these days are making some extra money selling old gold caps, PFGs, bridges and crowns. Old teeth given to one or left to one by deceased family members, gold teeth that have fallen out. Sometimes a gold tooth can sell for around 50 dollars depending on weight and other factors. Gold for dental work is usually around 16 karat and needs to be chemically treated to leach out other metals in the alloy before it's melted down.

While the gold may still be attached to a tooth, jewelers will hammer out the gold or if it is really firm, leave it in cola over night to loosen it and then hammer it out in the morning. The small gold dental nuggets are then refined and melted down into ingots and sold back onto the market.

There are many scrap gold dealers who will buy dental scrap gold and you can browse them. There are some reviews here of scrap gold dealers who will buy dental scrap gold.
Once upon a time one might have said, 'there’s gold in them thar hills', but now with dental scrap gold around it is 'there is gold in them thar mouths'.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

All About Gold Bars

This is an article all about gold bars and contains some detailed information about gold bars, the various types there are and who manufactures them.

What is a Gold Bar
All gold is measured in troy ounces and the purity is measured in karats (not to be confused with the weight measurement of carats for diamonds), and comes in a variety of forms sizes and weights. The definition of a gold bar is considered to be:

"A bar of gold made by a recognized bar manufacturer regardless of shape and size and upon which is reported the exact weight and purity of the gold as well as a registration number."

The larger bars are called ingots and are made by casting. That is poring molten gold into moulds. The smaller bars are made by pressing gold strips with a huge multi tonne stamp much in the same way gold coins are made. These are usually called biscuits, although not so crunchy. All bars of gold, regardless of size, should have stamped on them, the weight, the size and the manufacturers stamp. Also a registration number that corresponds with a certificate, which should also accompany every bar.

The advantage of smaller bars is of course the convenience. Gold is heavy and toting around 400 ounce bars is not for everyone. A couple of ounces of gold can be carried around in a pocket however. Smaller bars are easier to buy and sell due to the lower cost involved they are easier to store and transport. The disadvantage is the price. They carry a higher premium over the value of the gold due to the costs involved in manufacture.

The advantage of buying larger bars or ingots is that the premium is considerably lower per ounce and usually a fraction above the spot price of gold for the day of the sale. The disadvantages of course are the shipping and storing considerations. They are much more difficult to move around and store due to their weight. It is also harder to sell a larger bar or ingot than a smaller one due to the shipping, security and costs involved. In fact most of the larger ingots are stored in bank vaults around the world and the ownership is simply transferred by paper. The gold itself is rarely moved.

Types of Gold Bars
In 2008, the Bank of England Museum hosted the International Gold Bars Collection. Here all the various types of gold bars were displayed. There were literally hundreds of these from the basic 400 ounce bars to donuts and double pendants to fillets of wafer thin gold bars. Many of the most common bars which, with a little searching, you can find are described here.

400 ounce or 12.5 kg Gold Bar

There are about 55 active manufacturers worldwide whose 400 ounce or 12.5 kg gold bars are known and accepted internationally as London Good Delivery. All 400 ounce London Good Delivery gold bars weigh between 350 ounces and 430 ounces with a minimum gold purity of 99.5%. About 150,000 are made each year

Kilogold Bars

The Kilogold bar (1000 grams) is popular among investors and fabricators being traded at a low premium above the spot price of gold and is probably the world’s most widely traded small gold bar.
Most Kilogold bars have a flat international shape, but many investors and fabricators in Europe prefer traditional Kilogold bars in the shape of a brick.

'Tezabi' Gold Bars

These roughcast gold bars are manufactured in Pakistan by the thousand in small backyard gold bar manufacturers. They are to a theoretical 99.9% purity. The gold bars are not manufactured to any specific weight but are usually around 99.9% pure. The size can depend on the amount of gold available to the manufacturer as they are usually made from old gold or melted down gold jewelery.

You often find that the Tezabi will resemble some of the earliest known gold coins made by the Lydian kings of Asia Minor in the 7th century BC. The method used by Pakistanis in the manufacture of Tezabi gold bars is not believed to have changed in over 2,000 years. The Exhibition displays Tezabi gold bars manufactured by Saleh Mohammed in Pakistan.

Tael Gold Bars
A tael is more widely known as a Chinese unit of weight. One tael is equivalent to 1.2 ounces or 37.4 grams. Tael gold bars, which are cast not pressed, ranging from 1 tael to 10 taels, and are widely traded in Chinese-speaking countries, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Cast tael gold bars are manufactured in 3 shapes: 'biscuits', 'doughnuts' and 'boats' The 'boat' shape is known to have been used for silver and other Chinese coinage as far back as the Han dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) so it is not unexpected that gold 'boats' should be made also.

The most popular is the 5 Tael 'biscuit' cast gold bar, 6 onces or 187 grams. these gold bars, manufactured in Hong Kong by the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange (founded in 1910), are traded in large quantities. Minted tael gold bars, normally made outside Hong Kong, are also available.

Lastly, the Tael gold bars, known as 'donuts', are available in smaller sizes with a hole in the center. This makes it easy for the donut gold bars to be securely stacked or bound together with string.

Baht Gold Bars
The baht is the unit of weight in Thailand. The most popular gold bar here is the 10 baht gold bar. This is usually 4.9 ounces or 150.4 grams and is 96.5 percent pure gold.

Tola Gold Bars
The tola is the Indian unit of weight. The most popular cast gold bar being the 10 tola equal to 3.75 ounces or 116.64 grams in weight. These are very popular with over two million cast each year in Europe, imported and widely traded in such places as the Middle East, India, Pakistan and Singapore.

The ten-tola bar is distinctive in that it has no serial number and is often used for smuggling. The edges are round rather than sharp and so are an ideal for smuggling, inside a smuggler’s body. Round tola gold bars very form part of 'marriage necklaces' weighing over 500 grams in Pakistan where they are very popular.

Chi Gold Bars
The chi is a Vietnamese unit of weight. 1 chi weighs 3.75 grams. 10 chi (or 1 cay or 1 luong) weighs 37.5 grams. Pamp (Switzerland) was the first among the accredited manufacturers to produce a range of chi denominated minted gold bars for Vietnam.

Decorative Gold Bars
Prior to 1980 gold bars were rather plain. Then decorated, even hologramed gold bars began to make their appearance. The manufacture of decorative gold bars is dominated mainly by manufacturers in Switzerland, Germany and Brazil with Pamp Suisse(Switzerland) pioneering multi-coloured hologram designs to minted gold bars in the 1990s. These gold bars are distributed worldwide and are very popular in the Middle East.

'Rainbow' Gold Bars
Mitsubishi (Japan), traditionally with a finger in very pie, is the pioneer manufacturer of multi-coloured ‘rainbow’ gold bars. This process produces various karat gold tones resulting in an infinite variety of gold patterns. The 'Rainbow' gold bar purity is set at 75 percent or 19 karat gold

Fine Gold Cards
Mitsubishi also pioneered fine gold business cards in the 1980s. These gold cards are very popular in Japan to impress VIP clients. Multi-coloured printed designs are available on the very thin sheet cards available from under 200 dollars each. Gold business cars up to 1000 g are available but the most popular and common card is the one gram gold card. They are available all over Japan as well as on the net by Mitsubishi.

'Yin-Yang' Gold Bars

Ishifuku, in Japan, have created to unusual kidney shaped gold bars representing the harmony of opposites in the Zen philosophy.

'Koban' Gold Bars
Tokuriki Honten, Also in Japan, has been manufacturing the ‘Koban’ gold bars since the early 1960s. These range in weight from 5 grams up to 50 grams. These gold bars commemorate the oval shape of traditional Japanese gold coinage issued between the 16th and 19th centuries.

'Twin-Coin' Gold Bar

Yoo Long Kim Kee (Thailand) was the first to manufacture a decorative cast gold bar to a precise weight through injecting gold into an enclosed mould under pressure. The Exhibition displays an experimental 1 baht gold bar, described as a ‘twin-coin’ gold bar, which was manufactured in 1992.

'Gold Leaf' Gold Bars
Widely used by Vietnamese refugees during the Vietnam war are the “Gold Leaf” gold bars. From the 1930s right up until 1975 these ultra thin bars were manufactured all over Vietnam. Being so thin they were easily hidden in clothing, placed between the soles of shoes and rolled up into narrow tubes. The standard “Gold Leaf” gold bar weighs around 15 g.

'Gold Fillet' Gold Bars
'Gold Fillet' gold bars, manufactured from thin rolled gold strips, are produced mainly for display purposes to demonstrate the official stamps of 400 oz or 12.5 kg gold bars. They illustrate the official stamps and other markings which appear only on London Good Delivery 400 oz gold bars.

Pendant & Double Pendant Gold Bars

Degussa (Germany) is recorded as the first among accredited manufacturers to have manufactured in 1978 a minted gold bar in an unconventional (hexagonal) shape, incorporating a hole so it can be used as a pendant. This concept was expanded by Pamp Suisse in 1984, with the production of minted gold bars in a number of unusual shapes. These are still around and can sometimes be bought from gold dealers and jewellers. In 1996, Pamp (Switzerland) launched the ‘double-pendant’ gold bars in the Middle East. These are available 10 gram, 7.5 gram and 5 gram with two inner shapes: heart and circular design.

Bank Gold Bars
Some banks have issued minted gold bars, marked with their own name but manufactured by an external manufacturer. In Europe and Brazil, minted ‘bank’ gold bars are widely available

Commemorative Gold Bars

Many countries commission the manufacture of Commemorative gold bars, Most notably Degussa (Germany) and Degussa (Brazil). The Chinese have also issued commemorative gold bars of Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan bars commemorating important national or international events. The minting of ‘commemorative’ gold bars, incorporating the mark of the accredited manufacturer, is not yet widespread but a selection of commemorative gold bars are displayed.

Heart Gold Bars
Innovative 'heart' gold bars, defined as heart-shaped or incorporating a heart design, were first made by Pamp SA in 1994, the outcome of a World Gold Council initiative in Singapore. The ‘heart’ gold bars of ARY Traders (UAE), launched in 1997, have aroused much interest in UAE, Pakistan and India and the Exhibition displays ‘heart’ gold bars from both manufacturers.

Kinegold Bars™
Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), through its subsidiary refinery, Argor-Heraeus SA, has applied a KINEGRAM™ as a security device to the reverse of its minted gold bars since December 1993. This new gold bar is called kinegold bar™. KINEGRAM™ is the trade mark of the security device developed by Landis & Gyr Communications.

Bas-Relief Gold Bar

Buan Hua Long (Thailand) marks its standard 5, 10 and 25 baht gold bars in bas-relief. This is done when the bars are cast. The marks are carved into the base of the gold bar mould and formed as soon as the molten gold is poured into the mould eliminating the need for conventional marking tools: dies, punches and hammers.

Cartoon Gold Bars

Even cartoon gold bars are available. Pamp (Switzerland) introduced designs in 1996, from Warner Bros such as Tweety and Bugs Bunny, and, later, in 1997, from Disney, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

Spanish Gold Bars

SEMPSA (Spain) has manufactured a 50 gram bar in the shape of a brick'. It is possibly the only minted gold bar among accredited gold bar manufacturers worldwide to have tapered sides, closely resembling the shape of typical large 400 oz or 12.5 kg London Good Delivery gold bars.

'Dore' Gold Bars
Most major gold mines process their gold-bearing ore at the site of the mine, producing low purity 'dore' gold bars. These rough gold bars are sent to gold refineries for upgrading into tradeable gold bars of high purity (99.5% or more). ‘Dore’ gold bars are normally quite large, some weighing as much as 25 kg. They are mainly used for transporting gold and not for trade.

'Garimpo' Dore

'Garimpo' dore gold bars are made by 'Garimpeiros', Brazilian peasants who independently mine gold in the Amazon jungle. Brazil was the world’s major source of newly-mined gold in the 18th century and still produces around 75 tonnes each year.

Gold Manufacturers & Refiners

Here we have a list of the world gold manufacturers and refiners. They are listed by country and in alphabetical order. Sometimes a gold bar might bear more than one assay stamp. In that case the lower value stamp is the one taken.

Disclaimer: As manufacturers and refiners come and go and various countries are subject to political, economic and other upheavals from time to time, there is no guarantee that any of the following are still operational although it is expected that most are. It is suggested that one does one’s own due diligence and checks out the manufacturer or refiner of one’s choice before approaching any to buy gold.

AGR Matthey — Newburn, since 24.1.2003
Mark: AGR MATTHEY in oval around three stacked bars

Umicore SA, Business Unit Precious Metals — Hoboken, since 1930 (estimated)
Mark: umicore and company logo above the word HOBOKEN and 9999

Umicore Brasil Ltda — Guarulhos, since 11.12.92
Mark: umicore and company logo above the word BRASIL
AngloGold Ashanti Minerção Ltda — Nova Lima, since 21.3.86
Mark: AngloGold Ashanti

Johnson Matthey Limited — Brampton, since 15.6.61
Mark: Johnson Matthey JM and crossed hammers in diamond, and JM Ltd Canada Assay Office in oval
Royal Canadian Mint — Ottawa, since 1919 (estimated)
Mark: ROYAL CANADIAN MINT and MONNAIE ROYALE CANADIENNE in maple leaf logo with four digit year mark
Xstrata Canada Corporation — Montréal, since 1.1.55
Mark since 16.02.07: CCR

The Great Wall Gold and Silver Refinery of China — Chengdu, since 1981
Mark: Refined by Great Wall Gold & Silver Refinery in oval around China, plus Great Wall logo and assay seal
Inner Mongolia Qiankun Gold and Silver Refinery Share Company Limited — Huhhot, since 27.10.99
Mark: Horse’s head logo surrounded by QIANKUN GOLD AND SILVER in Roman and Chinese characters and assay mark with Chinese characters for Inner Mongolia, China in Chinese characters and CHINA in Roman characters
Jiangxi Copper Company Limited — Guixi City, since 30.08.05
Mark: Company Logo above JCC
Shandong Zhaojin Gold & Silver Refinery Co Ltd — Zhaoyuan City, since 13.23.07
Mark: Triangle with two interlocking half circles and ZHAOJIN in Chinese characters within the triangle.
Zhongyuan Gold Smelter of Zhongjin Gold Corporation — Sanmexia City, since 28.03.06
Mark: Circular logo round Chinese character with CHN GOLD below.
Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd — Shanghang, since 28.03.06
Mark: Double crescent logo with ZIJIN MINING in Roman and Chinese characters.

W.C. Heraeus GmbH — Hanau, since 15.7.58
Mark: Heraeus Hanau in rectangle
Norddeutsche Affinerie Aktiengesellschaft — Hamburg, since Before 1934/ 12.8.53
Mark: Norddeutsche Affinerie Hamburg in rectangle and NA
Allgemeine Gold- und Silberscheideanstalt A.G. — Pfrozheim, since 08.04.08
Mark: Allgemeine above logo (a small circle on the inside circumference of a large circle)

Hong Kong
Metalor Technologies (Hong Kong) Ltd — Kwai Chung, since 15.08.01
Mark since 05.05.07: METALOR and the assay mark is M over HK (vertically) within an inverted triangle with the words ASSAYERS and MELTERS along the sloping sides of the triangle.
Heraeus Ltd Hong Kong — Fanling, since 23.01.06
Mark: Heraeus Hong Kong in rectangle

PT Aneka Tambang (Persero) Tbk — Jakarta, since 1.1.99
Mark: LM logo and Logam Mulia Antam Jakarta in oval

Chimet SpA — Arezzo, since 27.7.96
Mark: Chimet Trattamento Metalli Preziosi Badia Al Pino AR in oval
Metalli Preziosi SpA — Paderno Dugnano, since Before 1962
Mark: Metalli Preziosi S.p.A Milano Affinazione in oval round MP in diamond

Asahi Pretec Corp — Kobe, since 12.09.08
Mark: AKK within a horizontal diamond
Ishifuku Metal Industry Co., Ltd. — Soka, since 30.6.82
Mark: Ishifuku Tokyo Melters and Ishifuku Tokyo Assay Office in circles round Japanese ‘Bun’ character
Japan Mint — Osaka, since 13.12.07
Mark: JAPANESE MINT OSAKA in Japanese and Roman script in oval around leaf symbol
Matsuda Sangyo Co., Ltd. — Iruma, since 11.1.00
Mark: Matsuda Tokyo Assayer-Melter in oval with M
Mitsubishi Materials Corporation — Kagawa, since 20.5.81
Mark: Three diamonds mark and three diamonds mark with Assayer Melter in rectangle
Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co., Ltd. — Takehara, since 20.5.81
Mark: Logo consisting of three horizontal lines inside diamond inside circle.
Nippon Mining & Metals Co Ltd — Saganoseki, since 3.5.00
Mark: Hollow circle above NSS with Nippon Mining at right
Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. — Saijo, since 17.6.81
Mark: Sumitomo with logo and Sumitomo Assay Office with logo
Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. — Hiratsuka, since 7.9.78
Mark: Tanaka Tokyo Melters round logo and Tanaka Tokyo Assay Office round logo
Tokuriki Honten Co., Ltd. — Shoumachi, since 21.10.81
Mark: Tokuriki Tokyo Melters Assayers in circle round Japanese ‘Toku’ character

Kazzinc Joint Stock Company — Ust-Kamenogorsk, since 20.6.96
Mark: Stylised K and ‘Kazakstan’ in Cyrillic script in oval with running stag. The year of production is shown as a separate three-digit number and the bar weight is in troy ounces and metric.

Korea, DPR
Central Bank of the DPR of Korea — Pyongyang, since 22.04.76
Mark: Central Bank Pyongyang, Refiners, Melters, Central Bank DPR of Korea and assay mark

Korea, Republic of
Korea Zinc Co Ltd — Onsan (2), since 9.8.2000
Mark: KOREA ZINC CO., LTD. 1974 in circle around KZ
LS-Nikko Copper Inc — Onsan, since 20.5.1994
Mark since 12.7.2005: LS logo and LS Assayer Melter in rectangle

Kyrgyz Republic
Kyrgyzaltyn JSC — Karabalta, since 27.10.99; name & brand changed 1.5.01
Mark: KYRGYZ REPUBLIC in oval round ALTYN on crossed globe logo

Met-Mex Peñoles, S.A. — Torreon, since 22.11.91
Mark: Met-Mex Peñoles SA DE CV in oval

Schöne Edelmetaal — Amsterdam (1), since Before 1934
Mark: Umicore company logo with a separation line and the word Feingold

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) — Quezon City, since 6.9.79
Mark: Central Bank of the Philippines Gold Refinery & Mint in oval round crucible pouring mould and similar assay mark

JSC Ekaterinburg Non-Ferrous Metal Processing Plant — Ekaterinburg, since 11.1.99
Mark: Ekaterinburg logo, Cyrillic ED and Россия (‘Russia’ in Cyrillic script) in oval
FSE Novosibirsk Refinery — Novosibirsk, since 11.1.99
Mark: Novosibirsk logo, Cyrillic NV and Россия (‘Russia’ in Cyrillic script) in oval
OJSC “The Gulidov Krasnoyarsk Non-Ferrous Metals Plant” (OJSC Krastvetmet) — Krasnoyarsk, since 29.11.99
Mark: Krasnoyarsk logo, Cyrillic KR and Россия (‘Russia’ in Cyrillic script) in oval
OJSC Kolyma Refinery — Khasyn, since 17.09.04
Mark: Company logo and Россия (‘Russia’ in Cyrillic script) in oval
Moscow Special Alloys Processing Plant — Moscow, since 11.05.07
Mark: Cyrillic ‘Z’ inside Cyrillic ‘C’ and Россия (‘Russia’ in Cyrillic script) in oval
Prioksky Plant of Non-Ferrous Metals — Kasimov, since 29.11.99
Mark: Prioksky logo, Cyrillic PM and Россия (‘Russia’ in Cyrillic script) in oval
SOE Shyolkovsky Factory of Secondary Precious Metals — Shyolkovo, since 27.10.99
Mark: Shyolkovsky logo, Cyrillic SCH and Россия (‘Russia’ in Cyrillic script) in oval
JSC Uralectromed — Verkhnyaya Pyshma, since 12.05.2006
Mark: Company logo in oval and Россия (‘Russia’ in Cyrillic script) in oval

South Africa
Rand Refinery Limited — Germiston, since 1921(estimated)
Mark: Rand Refinery Limited and Rand Refinery Ltd. South Africa in circle round head of springbok

SEMPSA Joyeria Plateria SA — Madrid, since -.1.84
Mark: Sociedad Española de Metales Preciosos SA in circle round Fundidores Afinadores and star

Boliden Mineral AB — Skelleftehamn, since -.1.84
Mark: Boliden with logo

Argor-Heraeus SA — Mendrisio, since 28.8.61
Mark: Argor-Heraeus SA in circle round AH and AH Melter Assayer in rectangle
Cendres & Métaux SA — Biel-Bienne, since 20.5.81
Mark: Cendres et Métaux SA. CH Bienne in circle round CM logo and CM Essayeur Fondeur in rectangle
Metalor Technologies SA — Marin, since Before 1934
Mark: METALOR® and assay mark showing Essayeur Fondeur with MP in triangle
PAMP SA — Castel San Pietro, since 10.6.87
Mark: PAMP SA Switzerland with PAMP logo and Essayeur Fondeur in rectangle with PAMP logo
Valcambi SA — Balerna, since 20.5.68
Mark: Valcambi SUISSE with assay mark (a rectangle enclosing CHI in a circle and ESSAYEUR FONDEUR)

Johnson Matthey Inc — Salt Lake City, since 22.5.89
Mark: Johnson Matthey with JM and crossed hammers in diamond, and JMI Assay Office in oval round SLC
Metalor USA Refining Corporation — North Attleboro, since 19.7.91
Mark: METALOR® and MUS assayer’s mark including year

Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Complex(AMMC) — Almalyk, since 28.10.97
Mark: Uzbekistan in Cyrillic and Roman script in circle round globe and AMMC logo with Melter Assayer in rectangle
Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinat — Navoi, since 17.10.94
Mark: Uzbekistan, in Cyrillic and Roman script in circle round globe and NMMC logo with Melter Assayer in rectangle
Former Melters & Assayers of Good-Delivery gold Bars

Gold Bars are a popular and convenient way of storing and preserving assets regardless of the vagaries of currency. Gold continues to hold its own in the face of economic depressions, recessions and inflation and understanding all about gold bars is a very good start to maintaining ones assets these days.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gold Holdings

In 2001 it was estimated that all the known gold holdings in the world totaled around 145,000 tonnes, and would fit into a cube roughly 82 feet a side (or about 25m). I say known as it is also estimated that of all the gold on or in this planet, only about 5 percent has been dug up. Now we can expect the global gold holdings to be closer to 150,000 tones.

Gold does not deteriorate or 'expire' and all that gold is still around ... somewhere. Yet, currently, we are experiencing a shortage of gold. So where has all the gold in the world gone?

Gold Coins
The US mint manufactured 2,055,000 one ounce gold American eagles in 1999. Over the years their production of American gold eagles has been steadily reducing so that in 2008, the U.S. Mint production for the year of one ounce gold American eagles was down to 710,000 with just under half its prior yearly production of one ounce gold buffaloes.

When the American eagle shortages first emerged in August 2008, the Mint laid the blame squarely on the vendors stating they were "not able to supply enough one ounce gold bullion blanks to meet the unprecedented demand we are experiencing." The Mint then suspended all sales of the popular one ounce coins. The one ounce gold blanks come from one refiner in Western United States and it seems there are no other vendors willing to hand over their blanks.

In addition, those mints that do produce gold coins are now tending to produce them in less than 24 karat .999 fine gold. Many, in fact, now produce gold “theme” coins in 22 and less karat gold and often mixed with silver. Indicating an apparent shortage of gold.

The current economic situation has certainly been instrumental in the increased demand for gold if only as a safe haven to protect assets. This is evidenced also in the increasing price and premiums for existing gold coins on eBay and other auction sites as well as numismatic and coin dealers.

Gold Bullion
Gold Bullion is suffering the same. A shortage of gold available to meet the demand. This is likely the result of increased demand rather than a sudden shortage of gold. The same amount of gold but more people wanting it, results in a shortage and consequent higher prices for physical gold. Waiting periods of up to 3 months are being reported for the delivery of physical gold.

The world gold holdings would include all the gold in the world regardless of the form. That means, gold holdings by country, US Federal Reserve gold holdings, IMF gold holdings, as well as government gold holdings, coins, bars, jewellery, gold used in industry etc.

But this would be far more than the official gold holdings.

World Gold Holdings
According to theWorld Gold Council, the world official gold holdings as of December 2008 show the following 10 countries hold most of the world gold reserves.


The United States gold holdings equal 8,133.5 tonnes.
Germany’s gold holdings equal 3,412.6 tonnes.
The IMF’s* gold holdings amount to 3,217.3 tonnes.
France’s Gold Holdings equal 2,508.8 tonnes.
Italy’s gold holdings are just 2,451.8 tonnes.
Switzerland has 1,040.1 tonnes.
Japan 765.2 tonnes and the
Netherlands 621.4 tonnes of gold holdings.
China has gold holdings of just 600.0 tonnes and the
ECB** a total of 33.6 tonnes of gold holdings.

*IMF. International Monetary Fund – There is some question over the IMF Gold holdings amount as it is considered by some experts that the IMF is counting debts owed to them by member countries and these may or may not be paid out, if they ever are, in gold)

**European Central Bank

World reserves are 29,697.1 tonnes with all countries 26,354.0 and the Euro Area (including the ECB) of 10,886.8

So there is a fair amount in the reserves held by banks and countries, but nowhere near the estimated total gold available in the world. Somewhat less than 20 percent in fact.

The united States gold holdings is likely to be the single largest biggest with the Treasury Gold holdings over 8.1 tonnes. But in world terms this is a minute amount.

So where is all the gold in the world?

Gold Holdings Conclusion
It seems that all the gold that ever was ‘there’ is still there. The amount of gold being dug up by mining companies is well documented and so the amount of gold in existence is well known throughout the world. One conclusion that we can come to is that many gold holders are not reporting their gold holdings. Gold is being horded in other worlds, by private individuals companies and perhaps even banks and countries. All this goes to substantiate the value being placed on gold. Perhaps the potential collapse of the current monetary system is partially responsible for this determination to put assets into gold.

One thing is certain. Gold is here to stay and the value of gold against currency is going to continue to increase long term as more and more people buy up and hoard gold in defense of their assets against the current economic crisis, so that might give a good idea of where all the gold in the world has gone and it seems evident gold holdings are going to continue to increase over the coming years

Friday, February 27, 2009

Where Do Gold ETFs Buy Gold?

When it comes to the gold in exchange traded funds ( Gold ETFs ), where do the Gold ETFs get their bullion from is a question often asked and the answer seems to be a very elusive one indeed.

Gold ETFs are an exchange traded fund but with gold being the metal the trade is based on. When you buy a Gold ETF, it is quite different to buying and selling physical gold bullion. To understand it better here is a simple understanding of what a gold ETF is.

Exchange Traded Funds

An exchange-traded fund, or ETF, is an investment system traded on stock exchanges, in a similar way to stock and shares. An ETF holds some assets and uses these assets as a basis for the trade. People will then buy and sell or trade funds on a regular basis. All trades of ETFs trade at the net asset value of the stock or assets at the time of the actual trade. An exchange traded fund has funds and stocks in a product, in this case gold, and trade is made on the basis of the current price of gold in gold ETFs.

The original purpose of an ETF was considered to be a method whereby investors would be able to invest in the growth of an industry or even commodity that was not easily available to the market prior to ETFs. But some consider ETFs were set up more as an easy way to manipulate the market for financial gain.

Regardless of the reasons an ETF should have some backing for any trade. Questions are being asked, however, about the amount of assets, used to back up the trades and, indeed, if they really exist.

Only a few short years ago, Stephen Murray, of GATA (Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee), made note of the fact that duplication of gold bars, held by one of the largest Gold ETFs, was occurring. This means that the assets of gold bars for that ETF would be less than actually owned by the gold EFT. This gave rise to the question then, how much of the gold etf is really backed by gold?

The Gold Market

Over the past year or so the amount of gold available for purchase from bullion dealers has decreased. Gold coins are increasingly hard to obtain, indeed, many have minting delays.

Orders for gold bullion that once took days to supply now have a waiting time amounting to anywhere from a couple of months up to six months to complete orders.

Jim Sinclair, precious metals specialist and a noted commodities and foreign currency trader, has made the observation that GLD, a large gold ETF, recently stated they acquired 45 tons of gold in one month. This is a staggering amount of gold to acquire in one hit and begs the question. Where did it come from? There were no substantial deliveries from the Comex to account for such a large influx of gold and with such a tight gold market it is difficult to accept that GLD can pick up such a massive quantity of physical gold bullion.

Furthermore, current world record keeping tracking all gold sales of any appreciable size eliminates all exchanges around the world as a source for this 45 tons of gold to any gold ETF.

Jim Sinclair points out:
"A read of the original prospectus removes any thought that the gold is leased, but leaves one to invite probability. That probability is that the claimed gold can only be OTC (over the counter) derivative long positions. If that is so then the financial reliability of the paper stands on the foundation of the balance sheet of the granting counter party to the OTC derivative. This is true regardless of whether it is a mine or naked speculator."
So it would seem that it is not necessarily the case that, if you own some GLD gold exchange traded funds, that you own any gold. One cannot 'redeem' ETFs for gold, only for funds.In today's economic climate where gold is increasing in value and the financial markets are unstable, could this be an attempt to encourage more investors away from actual gold with a false sense of security in gold ETFs?

Jim Sinclair goes on to point out:
"Can you imagine a situation where a person buys a gold ETF to own “non-gold” but finds out that they in reality own OTC derivatives on gold? That would be an investment in the same type of financial instrument (not gold) that one owns gold bullion to protect against.

I think you own an ETF of derivatives, not of gold!

If I am correct then there is no clearinghouse guarantee for the OTC derivative to function.

Like so many other surprises of the last two years the Gold ETF shareholder may actually have no gold at all.

A perfect Ponzi scheme would allow you to surrender shares for bullion. You need only think about it."
When it comes to gold in exchange traded funds, this is, indeed, food for thought.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fake Gold Dealers

There are a lot of fake gold dealers out there so it pays to have some understanding of how they operate.
Indicators to watch for when it comes to fake gold margin dealers and operators include selling and trading commodity futures and options contracts fraudulently and illegally. The risks of buying gold here is that the buyer can get caught out and lose a lot of gold. Especially when it comes to dealing with any gold margin or even the comex gold margin.

You can recognise such dealers by activities such as:

Not delivering on contracts.

Making claims that the investor will make large fortunes or profits with little or no risk.

Imply an ability to predict the prices or trend of the price of the metal markets. No one can predict the future prices of any market. One can speculate or make judgments based on information and data but always it is a judgment, not a guaranteed prediction.

Imply there is little or no risk to investments in metal investments. There is always a risk when buying gold or any commodity for that matter.

A fake gold dealer will also omit information about how much the price of a precious metal may need to increase in order for an investor to break even or even make a profit by not disclosing various fees associated with transactions such as finance, storage, as well as commissions and perhaps even tax in some cases. When calculating the cost of investment all these factors and costs should be calculated in the overall price.

Some fake gold dealers might also claim to be purchasing and storing the metal on behalf of the investor when, in fact, they are not. This can apply particularly with efts but may also apply to a fake gold dealer who does not hold sufficient gold to cover all their investors or clients holdings. A reputable dealer will have a transparent audit done on a regular basis so the actual holding can be seen and accounted for.

Of course this then leads to charging "fees" for storage when there is no storage taking place of course.

Sometimes fake gold dealers will charge "interest" fees. These would be fraudulent also especially if there is no actual storage of gold or silver on behalf of the client. This can result in the client having to deposit further funds to cover such charges and may easily lead to the client making a loss rather than a profit.

So how do you detect if a dealer a fake gold dealer is shady and a scammer?

Here are seven indicators that you can watch for that can help you to pick the good from the bad.

Avoid companies that offer you predictions of high returns at little or no risk.

Do not give in to pressure tactics such as, "A once only offer", "Must invest today", "Must pay right now or today to get the advantage of high returns", etc. Either through the phone, email, mail or any other medium.

Any unsolicited phone calls encouraging you to invest in overseas or "offshore" investments should be approached with caution. Especially if the company is unfamiliar or unknown to you.

When you buy gold, it is always a good idea, before you purchase any contracts, or gold or silver bullion from a gold dealer you do not know, or who has approached you without you asking them, contact the CFTC or other authorities, including your state's securities commissioner Attorney General's consumer protection Bureau the Better Business Bureau and the National Futures Association

When checking, get as much information about the gold dealer as possible. If the dealer is reluctant to give out any information about themselves then steer clear.

Find out first what all the fees, commissions are and how they are incurred before you part with any money. Any fees and commissions, including storage fees, should be all clearly explained by the salesperson or available in a prospectus or on a website.

Always consult with your own personal financial adviser before embarking on any investment into precious metal futures contracts.

If you have any doubts about the investment, don't invest.

And lastly, don't invest any money in gold futures you cannot afford to lose.

All this may sound like there are no investment opportunities out there. Well in fact there are some good investment opportunities. But it is all about doing your homework and employing some due diligence when dealing with metal future dealers. As well as many good and honest gold dealers out there, there are also many fake gold dealers.

Indeed, it pays to ensure one has a basic education before you buy gold on margin or even comex gold margin contracts. Keeping in mind the above points will certainly reduce the risks of buying gold from a fake gold dealer.