One of the most sought-after assets is gold. After all, it has been used as currency and as a store of value for thousands of years. Historically, gold has been a very stable investment and tends to go up in price when the stock market and economy overall are down. In the past few years, gold spot prices have hit multiple record highs.
Buying gold and adding it to your investment portfolio can be a way to hedge against inflation and provide some protection during market crashes. Here’s what you need to know about buying gold coins and bullion as an investment.
Gold prices are at a 7-year high. As of , the gold resale value in the USA was at a near-record price of $ per ounce, or $ per gram.
- How do you buy gold?
- What’s the best place to buy gold?
- Where can I buy gold near me?
- Where can you buy gold?
- Gold dealers
- Frequently asked questions about buying gold
- Frequently asked questions about buying gold bars
- Frequently asked questions about buying gold bullion
- Frequently asked questions about buying gold coins
How do you buy gold?
Buying gold can be straightforward. In most cases, you just need to find a business, bank, gold exchange or gold dealer that sells gold — you might even be able to buy gold from the local pawn shop. As long as you have the money to make the purchase, you should be able to buy gold.
This post is about buying physical gold. Or, learn how to invest in gold stocks, gold ETFs and gold futures.
Here are some things to keep in mind when buying gold for an investment:
- Watch the spot price: The spot price is the price at which gold is selling at the moment on the markets. There are numerous websites that track the spot price throughout the day. Realize that the spot price changes frequently, and is not typically the price that you will pay yourself (or receive if you are selling gold). Think of gold spot price as the wholesale market rate.
Today's gold spot price:
Gold prices are at a 7-year high. As of , the gold resale value in the USA was at a near-record price of $ per ounce, or $ per gram.
- You’ll pay above the spot price: It’s common for gold sellers to charge 2% to 5% above the spot price of gold.
- Purity: Gold is often mixed with other metals for smelting purposes. As a result, gold coins, bullion and jewelry are not 100% pure. However, for investments, you want gold that is at least 24 karat, which is more than 99% pure. When investing, your best value is going to be when you purchase gold that’s at least 99.5% pure. Many dealers offer gold that’s 99.99% pure.
- Coins vs. bars: In some cases, coins might have less pure gold than bars. While gold coins can make good investments, they don’t usually have the same level of purity as bars, a.k.a. gold bullion.
- Scrap gold: Try to avoid buying scrap gold when investing. Gold jewelry, for example, might only be 14 karat or 18 karat gold, and not as valuable — or suitable for investing.
- Storage: When you buy physical gold, you need a place to store it. Some sellers offer storage for a fee. In other cases, you can store the gold yourself, either at your location or at a bank. When storing at your location, consider purchasing a good safe. If you don’t have room to store the gold, paying for storage can make sense. Storage is usually charged as a percentage of the size of the account, up to 1.5%, depending on the company. While you might like to have the gold on hand, you run the risk of having it stolen from you if you don’t store it adequately, while off-site metal storage often comes with insurance.
- Transport: Most online sellers will ship your gold to you. Many offer free shipping for a minimum purchase. Once you have the gold, you need to think about how you’ll transport it if needed. You can pay for couriers if needed. If you have it delivered to your home, and then want to move it to a storage facility or bank, you need a safe way to transport it. Depending on the situation, you can use a courier or armored car company, but this adds to the price.
What’s the best place to buy gold?
There are many places to buy gold. In the end, though, the best place to buy gold is where you can get the type of gold you’re looking for, in a quantity that fits your budget, from a trusted gold seller.
Where can I buy gold near me?
There may be a quality pawnbroker, gold exchange / cash for gold location, or even a bank near you. However, many interested in investing in gold bars and coins find it easier and a better value to shop online for gold. It is easier to compare the gold spot price of that moment with the rate offered by an online gold seller — as well as arrange shipment and storage when necessary.
Where can you buy gold?
Buy gold from a bank
While few banks sell gold over the counter these days, it’s still possible to purchase gold coins and sometimes bullion, from banks. Before you head into your local branch, however, call ahead.
If you’re looking for gold coins, pawn shops can be an easy place to buy gold. However, be careful when buying gold from a pawn shop. You might end up with scrap gold, which isn’t always investment quality. Additionally, in pawn shops you’re more likely to experience a hefty markup of the price.
One of the best ways to buy gold in today’s climate is to turn to a reputable gold dealer. With a dealer, it’s possible to place an order online, and access many different types of gold purchase choices. Additionally, you might also be able to get a better price with dealers.
Here is our list of the best and biggest gold dealers:
Gold dealer: APMEX
The American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX), is one of the most reputable gold dealers and sells gold in coins and bars, including American gold coins, as well as bars from the Royal Canadian Mint and Credit Suisse, along with many other offerings and products in various investment-grade metals. In fact, APMEX is one of the largest retail and wholesale gold brokers in the world. If you’re looking for gold, whether in coin or bar form, you’re likely to find what you need through APMEX.
APMEX purchases can be made online, via an 800 number, or through an app.
APMEX is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) where it has an A+ rating. Additionally, the Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) has given APMEX a rating of AAA.
Gold dealer: GoldBroker.com
GoldBroker.com makes buying gold relatively easy. You can choose to have your gold shipped directly to you, or you can take advantage of the storage option (for an additional fee) and have a gold certificate issued. GoldBroker.com also offers a buyback program, making your investment a little more liquid.
GoldBroker.com is not accredited through the BBB. However, it still has a rating of A+, with no complaints reported to the BBB. GoldBroker.com has a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5 at Trustpilot.
Gold dealer: GoldPrice.com
Rather than being a direct gold dealer, GoldPrice.com tracks the price of gold so you can get a better idea of the spot price. Remember that you often pay a premium on top of the spot price when buying gold.
GoldPrice.com offers a newsletter that can help you stay on top of the latest news. Additionally, you can get access to educational resources and be directed to gold dealers where you can make your purchases.
Gold dealer: JM Bullion
JM Bullion reviews
JM Bullion is another leading, trusted gold dealer, and sells gold coins and bars from mints worldwide, including bars from the Rand Refinery and coins from South Korea. It’s even possible to get gold-backed notes from Utah. JM Bullion ships orders of at least $199 for free. However, the company warns that some of the shipments may take longer, due to current high demand. JM Bullion does not offer storage services or U.S. Mint products.
JM Bullion is a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating. There is no accreditation or rating from the BCA, but there are also no complaints against the company with the BCA.
Gold Dealer: MoneyMetals.com
Money Metals Exchange reviews
This exchange offers a variety of coins and bars, as well as storage services. In addition to gold, Money Metals Exchange also has a variety of other precious metal products, including silver dimes and quarters. Money Metals also accepts Bitcoin as payment, in addition to other traditional payment options .
Money Metals Exchange offers a unique monthly gold savings plan, allowing you to invest as little as $100 each month to own gold.
Money Metals Exchange has an A rating with the BBB where it is accredited. Additionally, while there are some complaints against Money Metals on the BBB website, it has a 5-star average.
Gold dealer: U.S. Gold Bureau
U.S. Gold Bureau reviews
U.S. Gold Bureau is one of the largest bulk buyers from the U.S. Mint, selling these gold bars and coins to the public. The site also sells other sources of gold, including from the Perth Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint. U.S. Gold Bureau also offers storage services, as well as gold IRA products.
Even though U.S. Gold Bureau has been in business for 17 years, it’s not accredited with the BBB. However, this dealer still has a BBB rating of A. On TrustLink, U.S. Gold Bureau has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
Gold dealer: Silver Gold Bull
Silver Gold Bull reviews
Silver Gold Bull sells gold buyers coins, bars and wafers. Additionally, Silver Gold Bull offers gold storage and gold IRA services.Free shipping on orders of at least $199, and all orders come with tracking, required signature and insurance. Another nice feature of Silver Gold Bull is that they will price-match the competition.
This gold dealer is accredited with the BBB and has an A+ rating. Silver Gold Bull reviews on the BBB average almost 5 stars, and a Trustpilot rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Frequently asked questions about buying gold
Why buy gold?
Gold has been used as currency and as an investment for thousands of years — and its value continues to this day. Gold is unique in that it cannot be replicated. Other commodities including oil, diamonds and various food sources have been replicated or replaced, but to date, scientists have not been able to create gold in a laboratory.
Also, unlike real estate, stores of grain or fuel, gold is highly transportable. Meanwhile, gold’s demand for use in jewelry and in electronics has remained strong for thousands of years.
Plus, many investors like buying gold because it is an easy-to-understand investment, beautiful, and seeped with fascinating history.
Is buying gold a good idea?
Whether buying gold is a good idea depends on your personal financial goals and portfolio strategy. However, many investors consider gold a secure, conservative investment that is an important part of a balanced investment portfolio.
In many cases, you can also actively enjoy your investment (unlike a stock or mutual fund) by wearing a beautiful piece of gold jewelry while it appreciates, or collecting gold coins as a hobby.
What is the best gold to buy?
If you’re looking for investment-grade gold, look for gold bars stamped 99.99% pure, though gold that’s at least 99.5% pure is considered investment-grade. While commemorative and collectible coins can be interesting and a good investment, coins that are minted for investment if you want a better store of value. Look for “certified” coins that have serial numbers and have been rated by either the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) or the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS).
How to start buying gold for beginners
One of the easiest ways to start buying gold is to look for a reputable online dealer. You can easily find different types of gold, as well as get free shipping and even potentially find dealers that will handle storage on your behalf.
Investing in a Gold IRA or Gold ETFS are also easy, tax advantaged ways to benefit from gold investments without the burden of storage.
How to buy gold online
When buying gold online, look for a dealer that has a high rating with the Better Business Bureau. Be prepared to set up an account and provide a legit funding source.
Should you buy gold now?
Gold has had staying power as an investment, so it can be a good time to buy gold. However, note that gold is near historic highs and could conceivably lose value (just like any investment).
What is the current price of gold?
The price of gold is always fluctuating. It can change several times per day.
What is the highest price of gold in history?
Gold reached a record high of $2,051.50 a troy ounce in August of 2020, and is up around 29% in 2020.
What is the best time to buy gold?
In general, you’re likely to get better gold prices early in the year, around January, or during March and April. However, gold prices historically have risen over the long-term, which is what makes gold an attractive (if conservative) investment for many.
What’s the cheapest way to buy gold?
Buying gold bars is the cheapest way to purchase the metal, since bars are traded regularly.
Frequently asked questions about buying gold bars
Can you buy real gold bars?
Yes, many reputable gold dealers offer investment-grade gold bars for purchase.
Where to buy gold bars
Gold bars can be purchased from banks, though reputable gold dealers often offer the best selection.
How to buy gold bars online
Open an account with a reputable online gold dealer.
How much does a bar of gold cost?
The price of a gold bar depends on its weight and purity, as well as the spot gold price and any commission to the broker you pay at the time of purchase.
How much is a 1 oz bar of gold?
The price of gold changes frequently. However, your total cost is figured when you factor in the spot price of gold plus the premium and other potential costs.
Why buy gold bars?
Investment-grade gold bars are easy to buy and sell, as well as easy to store.
Frequently asked questions about buying gold bullion
Can I buy a gold bullion?
Yes, gold bullion is available through a variety of sellers.
Where to buy gold bullion
Gold bullion is available at banks, as well as through reputable dealers online.
How to buy gold bullion online
Visit the website of a reputable gold dealer and set up an account.
Why buy gold bullion?
Gold bullion can be a solid store of value, and it’s easy to transport and store.
Frequently asked questions about buying gold coins
Where to buy gold coins
Gold coins are widely available, and it’s possible to buy them from banks, pawn stores, online dealers, rare coin dealers, and even on eBay.
How to buy gold coins online
While you can buy gold coins online via eBay, you might consider purchasing gold coins from reputable dealers.
Is it a good idea to buy gold coins?
Depending on the type of coin you buy, as well as the weight and purity, it can be a good idea to buy gold coins. Carefully consider the type of coin you buy, since some coins might be considered rare collectibles, rather than investment-grade coins. Collectibles are a different type of potential investment. You can learn more about rare-coin collecting through a website like CoinWeek.
Is it worth collecting gold coins?
Whether collecting gold coins is worth it depends on your financial goals, how much you can afford, your risk tolerance, and your need for liquidity. If you believe that gold coins can be an investment, or, in the case of rare coins, an enjoyable hobby, it can be worth collecting them.
Will gold coins increase in value?
There’s no way to predict what will happen with the price of gold. However, gold has continued to increase in value overall, so there’s a good chance gold coins will also increase in value over time.
Why buy gold coins?
Gold can be a store of value and a hedge against inflation, and gold coins are easy to buy, transport and store.
Miranda Marquit, MBA, has been writing about money on the internet for 15 years and has contributed to NPR, Forbes, The Hill, Marketwatch, and CNBC. She is an avid podcaster and enjoys travel, the outdoors, and playing board games with her teenage son. Miranda lives in Idaho and writes at MirandaMarquit.com.