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Gold Coins Or Gold Bars?

Author: Ian Davis - Chief Operations Officer

Published: 9 Apr 2018

Last Updated: 30 Jan 2023

Synopsis

Gold coins and gold bars are both popular investment choices. Gold coins can have collectible value and be easier to transport and sell, but they come at a higher premium than bars. Gold bars have a lower premium and are cheaper per ounce, but they are also available in larger sizes and are better suited for long-term investment. The choice between the two is primarily a matter of personal preference, but the premium and size should be considered.

Should I Buy Gold Coins or Gold Bars??

The question of whether gold coins or gold bars are the better investment option for a new gold investor is a common one, but there is no definitive answer as it largely depends on personal preference. Both products contain the same metal and their value increases and decreases in line with the performance of the gold price, but there are differences in terms of factors such as size, transport and storage, affordability, collectibility, and premium.

In uncertain times, both products can add stability to a portfolio. The value of both also increases and decreases alongside one another in line with the performance of the gold price. But there are more subtle variations that are worth considering, for example, the premium.

Being much smaller, coins do have some advantages over bullion bars. For instance, they are easier to transport and store. They can also be easier to sell compared to trying to sell a large gold bar in one transaction. Likewise, they can be more affordable to buy than bars, and therefore useful if you want to incrementally build up a portfolio.

As mentioned above, coins also have a collectable appeal and notable design features, which most gold bars do not. This can be advantageous for a buyer interested primarily in collecting gold, rather than simply investing in it. Coins can also gain value over time on account of their scarcity or historical significance, as well as their instrinsic value. Whether such collectible value is relevant to the buyer is mostly down to personal preference, and it should be remembered that any additional value is speculative and not guaranteed.

On the other hand, there are several benefits to investing in gold bars. Although gold bars are often traded in far heavier weights, there are a wide range of small gold bars on the market. In these smaller sizes, the bars carry similar benefits to investing in gold coins as they can be traded easily in smaller quantities. Larger gold bars can also be an attractive investment as they stand the test of time, requiring minimal maintenance and holding their value extremely well over time. These larger bars are usually the cheapest price per ounce available when buying gold.

Finally, a major consideration is the premium of the product. At Chards, we often carry a larger stock of gold coins, and as you can see below, the lowest premiums are often on the coins rather than bars (although not always)

Gold Bars Vs Gold Coins- Price Comparison

Product Premium  Price Stock Status
1 Kg Gold Bar - Our Choice Pre-Owned 1.5% £52,393.03 Out Of Stock
250g Gold Bar - Our Choice Pre-Owned from 1.8% from £13,137.02 In Stock
1 oz Gold Bar Our Choice - Pre-Owned from 2.2% from £1,640.85 In Stock
1 oz Gold Bullion Coin Best Value - Secondary Market from 1.65% from £1,632.02 In Stock
1 oz Gold Bullion Coin Best Value - Minty from 2.1% from £1,639.25 In Stock
1 oz Krugerrand Gold Coin Best Value - Secondary Market from 1% from £1,621.59 In Stock
1 Ounce Gold Britannia Coin - Newly Minted from 4.7% from £1,680.99 Out Of Stock
Gold Maple Leaf 1 oz Bullion Coin - Minty from 4.65% from £1,680.19 In Stock

Our second hand products are very popular - make sure to set a stock email reminder to find out when we have them in first!

Gold Bars

If you have decided that you wish to begin investing in gold bars, there are a few key points to note. Firstly, it's extremely important to ensure that you are buying a bar that features the name of the manufacturer, its weight and its purity on the bar itself. Certificates of authenticity should also be expected. Once you've identified a reputable dealer, you will want to choose which size of bar is most appropriate. Although this is often dictated by budget, you may also wish to consider whether you intend to store your gold as one asset, or whether you may wish to sell part of your gold at a later date. If you value the ability to liquidate the gold, it's more practical to buy smaller bars than one large bar, despite potentially higher premiums.

Gold Bars In a Stack

Gold Bars

Some investors consider taking physical delivery of their gold to be their preferred method of investing, handling the storage considerations themselves. Gold bars are well suited for this purpose. When purchasing gold bars, the main thing to think about is the size of bar you would like to buy. There are a range of available sizes, and whilst most people will have the size of bar determined by their budget, the variety of sizes available mean there are always options to suit your needs.

London Good Delivery Bars

The only size of bar normally used in major international markets is the London Good Delivery Bar, weighing 400 ounces or 12.5 kilograms. Most gold stored by central banks is in this form, although we do not recommend them for most investors.

Gold Content Of Various Weight Gold Bars

One kilo gold bars have a low premium due to their size but the price is not as easy to track as a one ounce gold bar. 

Smaller bars, such as fractional kilo bars, and one ounce bars, combine convenient size with reasonably low premiums. These are the various different sizes of gold bars, some are more unusual, so we may not be able to provide all of these sizes. 

A Comparison of Gold Bar Gold Content

Gold Coins

As we've seen, gold coins are sometimes viewed as more convenient than bars, and can sometimes be bought for lower premiums than bars, weight for weight. There is also a large selection available. If you have decided to invest in gold coins, the next decision is often whether to buy older coins or new “bullion” coins. It is sensible to consider modern 1oz gold bullion coins as being akin to 1oz circular bullion bars, but guaranteed by a government rather than a refiner. As coins are mass produced, and very efficiently so, they are available at very competitive prices compared with similar size bars. New coins are a solid first investment, although if price is the most important factor, secondary market gold coins are sometimes slightly less expensive. Gold coins are also universally recognised, so they are easy to resell.

Which Gold Bullion Coin Should I Buy?

The following coins all contain 1 troy ounce of fine gold. Some of these are "pure gold" also known as 24 carat gold, some are 22 carat, but all contain exactly the same amount of pure gold. 

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