How Much Is a Gold Bar Worth?

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Last Updated on: 18th January 2023, 12:27 pm

Answering the question How much is a gold bar worth? depends on three factors:

  • Weight of the gold bar
  • Purity of the gold
  • Spot price of gold

All three aspects of the value of a gold bar merit further consideration. We will get into the precise details of how much a gold bar is worth as well as where to buy them.

Note that taking delivery of a gold bar will add extra costs to the amount you paid. Some gold dealers include free shipping and insurance, but that extra service will be reflected in a higher markup over the spot price of gold. The same goes for brand-name gold bars, which can bring up the price. To bring down costs, consider buying larger bars, because these carry lower premiums per ounce.

What's a Gold Bar?

A gold bar, also known as a gold ingot or gold bullion bar, is a block of pure gold that is cast into a specific shape and weight. Gold bars are typically produced by private mints, banks, and other precious metal refineries, and are used as a way to store wealth and as a form of investment.

Gold bars have been used as a way to store wealth for millennia, are still widely recognized, and are still a popular investment that can be a useful addition to a well-diversified portfolio. They offer the stability and security of a tangible asset and can be a good hedge against economic uncertainty and inflation.

How To Determine the Value of a Gold Bar

As we said earlier, the value of a gold bar is determined by several factors, including its weight, purity, and market conditions.

The weight of a gold bar is usually expressed in troy ounces, which are slightly heavier than standard ounces. One troy ounce is equal to about 31.1 grams. The value of a gold bar is directly related to its weight. The larger the bar, the more gold it contains and the more valuable it is. 

Gold dealers also tend to offer lower premiums above spot for their larger bars. The smaller the bar, the higher the premium. 

The purity of a gold bar is also a factor in determining its value. Gold is typically measured in karats, with 24 karats being the purest form of gold. Most gold bars are at least 99.5% pure, or 24 karats. Naturally, if you have a gold bar that is mixed with other metals, you can expect a lower valuation. The higher the gold content, the more valuable the gold bar will be.

Market conditions also play a role in determining the value of a gold bar. Gold prices are influenced by a variety of factors, including economic conditions, political events, and the demand for gold. When the demand for gold is high and the supply is low, the price of gold will generally increase. 

On the other hand, if the demand for gold is low and the supply is high, the price of gold may decrease. 

The Markup

All gold bullion dealers need to make a profit over the spot price on their sales. This price difference is known as a markup. Which is the difference between the price you pay for a gold bar and the price of gold in the spot market.

The markup may vary greatly from one dealer to another. However, these differences may be justified depending on the services the bullion dealer offers. Most online gold bullion dealers have the spot price of gold on their website, allowing you to compare the markup over the spot price.

Popular Gold Bars for Investors (Brands & Examples)

Here are some of the most popular gold bars for investors looking to hold products from renowned and reputable refiners and minters.

Credit Suisse Gold Bar

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Credit Suisse gold bars are a type of gold bullion produced by Credit Suisse, a Swiss bank and financial services company. These bars are made of pure gold and are a popular choice among investors. Thanks to their high gold content, recognizable brand, and reputation for quality.

The bars are made with the highest purity of gold, 99.99% which is considered to be the highest purity available. All bars have the Credit Suisse logo impressed as well as the weight, purity and serial number for authentication.

Perth Mint Gold Bar

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The Perth Mint is renowned globally for making gold bars and coins of the highest purity. All gold bars are made of 99.99% pure gold. The bars come with an impression of the Perth Mint logo, weight, and purity.

In more recent years the mint has dedicated a design to the reverse of its gold bars. Recent designs have featured a Dragon and the effigy of the late queen Elizabeth II. The trend seems to be catching on as the Perth Mint is not the first nor the only mint to take up this practice.

Royal Canadian Mint Gold Bar

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The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) is a crown corporation of Canada and produces bullion coins and bars that are renowned for purity and quality the world over. All RCM gold bars are made of the highest purity gold at 99.99%.

The gold bars are impressed with the RCM logo, serial number, and weight. Often their gold bars have an RCM pattern on the reverse side of the bar which gives the item a special characteristic.

The Royal Mint Gold Bar

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Possibly the world’s oldest mint that is still operating today. The mint makes gold bars and coins with the highest purity of gold, 99.99%. The gold bars range in size from as small as 1 gram and as large as 1 kilo. The mint also produces a variety of sizes such as 1 ounce, 50 grams, or 500 grams.

The Royal Mint certainly has some creative coin designs that you won’t find anywhere else. The mint currently has an Indian deity and James bond-themed designs on offer. However, the most classical and possibly most popular remains the image of Britannia.

Valcambi Gold Bar

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Valcambi is a Swiss precious metals refining company, founded in 1961 and based in Balerna, Switzerland. The company produces quality investment-grade gold bars and coins. Valcambi is renowned for its strict adherence to standards and high quality.

The company is accredited by the London Bullion Market Association, The Swiss National Bank, and the Dubai Multi Commodities Center. They also offer other value-added services such as assaying, precious metals recycling, and refining. 

Gold Bars Versus Gold Coins

Gold bars and coins are both ways to invest in physical assets that are not correlated to stock market returns. However, they have a variety of characteristics that separate them from each other. The table below outlines the main features of each type of gold item.

PropertiesGold BarsGold Coins
PurityTypically made of at least 99.5% pure gold and often 99.99%Gold content can vary greatly when coins are not minted as bullion
ValueBased solely on weight and purityBased on weight and purity but some coins can have a much higher value due to numismatic factors such as rarity & condition
Price Relatively low markup over the spot priceHigher markup over spot price due to design and mint costs and possibly other numismatics
DesignUsually, no imagery is impressed into gold barsGold coins have a design, typically an image on one side and the country of origin on the other
Legal TenderCannot be used as legal tenderOften issued as legal tender in the country of origin
CollectabilityPrimarily a form of investmentOften collectible for historical, artistic, or cultural value
Shape & SizeTypically, rectangular and larger, 1 kg is a common sizeRound and not usually bigger than 2 ounces
Marketability Widely recognized form of investment, easy to sell and buySome coins with numismatic value may be harder to sell or buy

Common Weights for Commercial Gold Bars (Oz. & Kg)

Commercial gold bars come in a variety of weights that start from as little as 1 gram and reach much larger weights such as 1 kilo or even 100 ounces. 

Standard Weights in metric

  • 1 gram
  • 5 grams
  • 10 grams
  • 100 grams
  • 250 grams
  • 1 kilo

Standard weights in Imperial

  • 1/10th oz
  • 1 oz
  • 5 oz
  • 10 oz
  • 20 oz
  • 100 oz

Weight & Purity Considerations

When investing in gold bars, it is important to consider the weight and purity of the bars.

  • Weight: Gold bars are typically available in a range of weights, from 1 gram to 100 ounces. The weight of the bar can affect the price and the size of the investment. Larger bars may be more cost-effective on a per-ounce basis, but they also require a larger upfront investment. Smaller bars may be more affordable, but they may also come with higher premiums or markups.
  • Purity: Gold bars can vary in purity, with some being made of pure gold (24 karats) and others being made of a gold alloy. The purity of the gold affects the value of the bar, with purer gold typically being more valuable. It is important to check the purity of the gold bar before making a purchase, as this can have a significant impact on the value of the investment.

When investing in gold bars, it is also important to consider the reputation of the manufacturer or issuer and the storage and insurance costs associated with the investment. Gold bars should be stored in a secure location, and it may be necessary to insure the bars against loss or damage.

Where to Find Gold Bars for Sale

There are a few different ways to buy gold bars. You can purchase them directly from a mint, bank, or other reputable dealers, or you can buy them through an online dealer or broker. It's important to do your research and choose a reputable dealer when buying gold bars. 

Many fraudulent or unscrupulous sellers may try to sell you fake or overpriced gold. It's also a good idea to get the gold bars insured or stored in a secure location to protect them from loss or theft.

Top Companies to Buy Gold Bars

Now that we have reached a conclusion to the question How much is a gold bar worth? It’s time to look at where you can buy them. Gold bullion dealers must have an outstanding reputation and offer top-tier service for their customers.

Here is our selection of the top 5 companies to purchase gold bars and other bullion products from:

1. SilverGoldBull

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SilverGoldBull guarantees the best price in the market with the lowest markups over the spot price for their precious metals bullion. Their markups on gold bullion are typically lower than 5 percent. They have also racked up over 290,000 five-star customer reviews across various sites, the highest in the industry.

Pros

👍

  • Lowest markups in the industry
  • A large number of positive reviews is a reflection of the quality of their services and their pricing
  • They have a wide selection of bullion products that are IRA and TFSA approved 
  • A no-hassle buyback program 
  • No additional fees when selling back

Cons

👎

  • Not fully transparent about the management team
  • Not rated by the Business Consumer Association

2. Augusta Precious Metals

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Augusta Precious Metals has excellent customer reviews across all the main sites like BBA, TrustLink, and Google. The company has a no-commissions sales team which is rare and takes the pressure off the client. The company is committed to transparency and is the first company to create an in-house compliance department.

Pros 

👍

  • Top customer ratings across the board
  • Endorsement by customer Joe Montana and his financial team 
  • Harvard trained economist
  • One-on-one web conference
  • In-house compliance department
  • No high-pressure tactics from the sales team
  • Named “Most-Trusted Gold IRA Company”

Cons

👎

  • High minimum investment of $50,000
  • Higher markups on premium coins

3. Noble Gold

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Noble Gold was set up in 2016 and emphasizes client education. The gold dealer offers a wide selection of bullion and also rare and collectible coins. They have positive ratings across the board except for one complaint filed with the BBB in 2020.

Pros

👍

  • Perfect average rating of 5 out of 5
  • Low IRA minimum of $2,000
  • Emphasis on client education
  • IRS-approved exclusive storage in Texas
  • Easy buy-back policy

Cons

👎

  • Younger brand than others
  • Only an “A” rating by the BBB
  • A key founding partner left in 2020
  • Higher markup on exclusive coins

4. American Hartford Gold

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American Hartford Gold was founded in 2015 and concentrates on two precious metals gold and silver. At the time of writing, no other precious metals were on offer. However, the company has a wide selection of gold and silver bullion.

Pros

👍

  • Exceptional customer reviews
  • Offer price match guarantee
  • Easy buyback program

Cons

👎

  • Higher markups on exclusive coins
  • No pricing data available on their website
  • No platinum or palladium items

5. Gold Alliance

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Gold Alliance was created in 2002 and has since climbed the ladder to place itself among the top gold investment companies. The company has excellent customer reviews and ratings and prides itself in maintaining the highest standard of customer service.

Pros

👍

  • Excellent ratings and reviews from BBB, TrustLink, and Trustpilot
  • Partnership with 3 IRA custodians: Equity Trust, Preferred Trust, and GoldStar Trust
  • World-renowned preferred vault facility Delaware Depository 
  • Segregated and non-segregated storage options

Cons

  • No platinum or palladium
  • Higher markups on exclusive coins

Why Investing in Gold Bars Through Your IRA Is Preferred

An individual retirement account (IRA) is a tax-advantaged investment account that allows individuals to save for retirement. Gold bars can be held in an IRA as a way to diversify the assets in your portfolio and potentially protect against the erosion of purchasing power over time.

There are several reasons why it may be preferable to buy gold bars through an IRA:

  1. Tax advantages: When gold bars are held in an IRA, they are generally not subject to capital gains tax when they are sold. This can help to maximize the potential return on the investment.
  1. Diversification: Gold can act as a hedge against inflation and may provide diversification benefits when included in an investment portfolio. By holding gold bars in an IRA, investors can add an alternative asset class to their portfolio and potentially reduce overall portfolio risk.
  1. Liquidity: Gold bars held in an IRA can be sold at any time, providing investors with the flexibility to access their funds as needed.
  1. Storage and insurance: When gold bars are held in an IRA, they are typically stored with a third-party custodian, such as a bank or precious metals dealer. This can provide additional security and insurance for the bars.

It is important to note that there are rules and restrictions around the types of gold bars that can be held in an IRA, and it is necessary to work with a financial advisor or IRA custodian to ensure that the bars meet the necessary requirements.

What to Look for In a Gold Bar

When investing in gold bars, there are a few key factors to consider:

  1. Weight: Gold bars are typically available in a range of weights, from 1 gram to 400 ounces. The weight of the bar can affect the price and the size of the investment. Larger bars may be more cost-effective on a per-ounce basis, but they also require a larger upfront investment. Smaller bars may be more affordable, but they may also come with higher premiums or markups.
  1. Purity: Gold bars can vary in purity, with some being made of pure gold (24 karats) and others being made of a gold alloy. The purity of the gold affects the value of the bar, with purer gold typically being more valuable. It is important to check the purity of the gold bar before making a purchase, as this can have a significant impact on the value of the investment.
  1. The reputation of the manufacturer or issuer: It is important to buy gold bars from reputable manufacturers or issuers, as this can affect the quality and value of the bars. Look for manufacturers or issuers with a good track record and a reputation for producing high-quality gold bars.
  1. Storage and insurance: Gold bars should be stored in a secure location, and it may be necessary to ensure the bars against loss or damage. Consider the storage and insurance costs associated with the investment and make sure the bars are being stored in a way that meets your needs.

Gold Bar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There are several ways to buy gold bars:

  1. Through a broker or dealer: You can buy gold bars from a broker or dealer, either online or in person at a local gold shop. However, this will not necessarily get you the best premiums and you’ll have a limited selection of gold bars to choose from since local dealers prefer to sell premium coins. 
  2. Through a bank: Some banks offer gold bars for sale and may provide storage options as well. TD Bank for instance is known to sell its own TD-branded gold bars, which aren’t as widely recognized as the gold bars presented earlier in this article. 
  3. At a coin shop or precious metals dealer: These types of retailers typically carry a small selection of gold bars and may be able to provide advice on buying and storing the bars.

The price of gold bars can vary based on weight, purity, gold spot price, and market demand. In general, gold bars tend to be less expensive on a per-ounce basis than gold coins due to their larger size and lower manufacturing costs.

It is important to shop around and compare prices from different sources before making a purchase.

There is no minimum investment in gold bars. Gold bars are available in a range of sizes and weights, and investors can buy as much or as little as they want. The only time you should expect a minimum investment to come into play is if you decide to buy gold bars through your IRA or 401k, as companies who deal with these retirement accounts are known to enforce a minimum investment amount (e.g., $10,000) when rolling over a retirement account to precious metals.

Keep in mind that the price of gold bars may be affected by the size of the investment, with larger bars typically being more cost-effective on a per-ounce basis.

Gold bars should be stored in a secure location, such as a safe deposit box or a home safe. It is also a good idea to insure the bars against loss or damage.

Some investors choose to store their gold bars with a third-party storage provider, such as a bank, private vault (e.g.: Brinks), or precious metals dealer, which may offer additional security and insurance.

To sell gold bars, you can contact a broker or dealer, either online or in person. You may also be able to sell the bars to a bank or precious metals dealer.

It is important to shop around and compare prices before selling, as the value of gold can fluctuate, and different buyers may offer different prices.

You should also be able to sell back your gold to the same dealer you bought from. Ideally, you should have inquired about the dealer’s “Buyback Program" before purchasing from them. Most dealers will gladly buy back from you and they “should” help you recoup any premium you paid initially for your gold.  (again, always do your due diligence and ask all these questions before you buy).

Gino D'Alessio
Gino D'Alessio

Gino D'Alessio is a broker/dealer with over twenty years experience in various OTC markets such as bonds, FX and derivatives. He is currently a financial markets and investments writer & analyst.

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