When confronted with unpredictable markets, numerous investors choose to purchase gold in order to diversify their portfolios and safeguard their investments. Gold has maintained its financial stability over time, and the process of purchasing physical gold and other precious metals has become more convenient through trusted online dealers.
If you fail to screen your dealer beforehand, there can be risks associated with buying bullion, which refers to refined nonferrous metals with a high level of elemental purity.
If you are looking to enhance your retirement portfolio or simply enjoy collecting rare gold coins, a reputable dealer will guarantee you pay the current market price while investing in gold.
Gold is an enticing investment option that offers a sense of security.
With the abundance of gold dealers available, you may be questioning which is the optimal and most economical option for purchasing gold online.
1. JM Bullion – Best Overall
- Best for: Direct delivery of physical precious metals
- Fees: No fees
- Storage: Optional
JM Bullion has gained recognition as a preferred option for individuals interested in investing in gold, owing to their esteemed reputation.
This is the reason why:
JM Bullion is a top choice for user experience due to its user-friendly interface, allowing easy navigation through their wide range of gold products. If you’re in search of a place to purchase physical gold, silver coins, platinum, or palladium, JM Bullion has everything you need.
What differentiates JM Bullion from its competitors? It offers highly attractive rates in the market, enabling you to optimize your investment potential. Apart from a small premium over spot price (which is customary among all precious metals dealers), they do not impose any additional fees.
If you prefer not to receive the physical items, JM Bullion also provides secure storage choices.
When considering the advantages they offer, it is worth noting that JM Bullion charges a shipping fee for orders below a certain value. Nonetheless, it is a minor cost to bear.
If you’re prepared to start investing in gold, JM Bullion is the top choice to purchase gold from in all aspects.
2. APMEX – Best Selection
- Best for: Wide selection
- Fees: No fees
- Storage: Optional
APMEX truly stands out with its exceptional selection when it comes to purchasing gold.
APMEX offers a wide range of gold bars, coins, and other precious metal items to cater to all kinds of investors. Their selection includes popular options such as American Eagles and Canadian Maple Leafs, as well as rare and collectible pieces. They have something for everyone.
With their extensive range of options, you can easily discover precisely what you are seeking. Moreover, it offers the freedom to customize your investment approach according to your preferences.
APMEX guarantees the authenticity and quality of their products by sourcing their gold from reputable mints and suppliers. Rest assured that you will receive genuine and certified items.
3. Orion Metal Exchange – Best for IRA-Approved Coins
- Best for: IRA-Approved Coins
- Fees: For IRAs: $150-225 annually
- Storage: Yes
If you are considering investing in gold within an IRA, Orion Metal Exchange might be an excellent option.
If you are interested in adding gold coins to your retirement savings, they are the top choice due to their extensive range of IRA-approved coins.
Orion has thorough knowledge regarding the distinct criteria and regulations regarding IRA investments, and guarantees that the coins they provide adhere to the stringent guidelines established by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Orion Metal Exchange provides a wide variety of gold coins approved for IRAs, such as well-known options like American Gold Eagles, Canadian Gold Maple Leafs, and South African Krugerrands.
Orion Metal Exchange stands out due to their specialized knowledge in guiding investors through the process of investing in IRA-approved coins. Their highly skilled team is familiar with the IRS rules and regulations, enabling them to offer valuable assistance and support to ensure your investment remains compliant.
They recognize the significance of having a smooth and trouble-free experience with IRA investments, and they are committed to supporting you throughout the entire process.
4. Oxford Gold Group – Best for Personalized Gold IRA Guidance
- Best for: Personalized Gold IRA Guidance
- Fees: For storage, fees are $200 a yea
- Storage: Optional
If you’re seeking a customized and individualized approach to investing in gold, Oxford Gold Group is the top choice when it comes to purchasing gold online. They recognize that each investor possesses distinct objectives, ability to handle risk, and financial situation.
They provide tailored guidance and professional advice to assist you in navigating the complexities of gold investment and making well-informed decisions that are in line with your individual requirements.
Oxford Gold Group provides a comprehensive method for investing in gold, considering aspects such as diversifying your portfolio, managing risks, and preserving long-term wealth. Regardless of your level of experience in gold investment, their team of professionals will collaborate closely with you to grasp your goals and create a tailored strategy.
Oxford Gold Group offers extensive network and access to a wide range of gold products, which proves to be one of its key benefits.
By establishing relationships with reputable mints and suppliers, they are able to provide customers with a wide range of gold bars and coins.
Oxford Gold Group guarantees access to high-quality gold products, including iconic bullion coins and exquisite collectibles, which are authenticated and tailored to match your investment preferences.
5. BGASC – Best for Gold Coins
- Best for: Gold Coin Selection, Discrete Physical Delivery
- Fees: None
- Storage: Optional
If you are looking for the best variety of gold coins, then BGASC is the platform to rely on.
Their collection consists of an impressive variety of gold coins sourced from different countries, encompassing widely sought-after bullion coins, historically significant coins, and valuable numismatic artifacts.
BGASC offers a diverse selection of gold coins, including iconic American Gold Eagles, historic British Sovereigns, and exquisite Canadian Maple Leafs.
BGASC is dedicated to providing competitive prices, making them an appealing option for investors seeking to maximize their purchasing power and potential returns.
BGASC recognizes the significance of secure and discreet shipping and puts meticulous effort into packaging and shipping your gold coins, guaranteeing their safe and reliable delivery to your doorstep.
They place great importance on keeping your investment confidential and take extensive measures to ensure your privacy is safeguarded during the purchasing procedure.
7. Birch Gold Group – Best for Investor Education and Resources
- Best for: Investor Education and Resources
- Fees: For IRAs: Initial Set-up fee $50 | Annual Maintenance fee $80 | Annual Storage fee $100
- Storage: Yes
Birch Gold Group sets itself apart by providing a wide range of educational materials and customized assistance to investors who have an interest in precious metals.
If you are looking for a more comprehensive understanding of the precious metals market and customized investment advice, they are a fantastic platform to consider.
Birch Gold Group strives to provide investors with an extensive range of educational resources, including articles, videos, and guides, to expand their understanding of precious metals.
Insights into market trends, historical data, and the factors influencing the value of gold, silver, and other metals are being provided by them.
Birch Gold Group’s team of experts is readily accessible to offer tailored assistance and cater to individual investment objectives and worries.
8. Noble Gold – Best for Self-Directed IRAs
- Best for: Self-directed IRAs
- Fees: For IRAS: $80 annual service fee, and a $150 annual storage fee
- Storage: Yes
Noble Gold specializes in assisting investors with diversifying their portfolios by incorporating precious metals. What sets them apart is their emphasis on self-directed IRAs, which enables investors to have more control over their retirement investments.
Noble Gold understands the significance of diversification and provides a diverse selection of precious metals options that cater to various investor preferences and objectives.
Investors are guided by them in the establishment of self-directed IRAs, which offer the ability to include not only traditional assets but also gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
Noble Gold enables investors to customize their portfolios and potentially reduce risk through diversification by providing self-directed IRAs and a wide range of metals.
How to find reputable gold dealers online
When conducting a comparison of online gold dealers, it is advisable to seek out those that have a well-defined policy for refunds and returns. The majority of these dealers typically provide customers with a timeframe of three days or more to express their dissatisfaction. It is important to take note of the presence of a restocking fee and, if applicable, the exact amount of such fee.
Before making a purchase, it is important to always check if the dealer is listed on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s RED List (Registration Deficient List).
To ensure you find a reputable company, also consider other factors.
- Established transaction history: One of the ways to determine whether you can trust a dealer is by looking at its transactions and customer reviews. Companies that have moved billions’ worth of metals have built up trust and good reputations. However, some customer reviews may be fabricated or otherwise dishonest, so make sure you don’t solely rely on those when deciding which company to use.
- Physical headquarters: Even if you complete the whole transaction over the phone or on a computer, confirm that the online dealer has a physical headquarters listed somewhere. This makes it easier to contact the company if you have any issues. Avoid dealers who only list a P.O. Box.
- Transparent pricing: Clear pricing on a company’s website is a plus, but this can be difficult to find (you might need to call a representative to get the most accurate and up-to-date prices). Companies that do not offer quick and transparent bid-ask prices can cause unfavorable delays that might result in a different price than you expected.
- Risk disclosures: Any investment comes with some risk. The best gold dealers are upfront about the potential risks and realities of investing in precious metals, so look for a disclosure page that gives you the facts.
- Payment options: Online gold dealers commonly accept payments by credit card, check, money order, wire transfer, PayPal and Bitcoin. Be sure that your dealer accepts your preferred payment method.
Gold dealer scams to avoid
When comparing gold dealers, it is important to be vigilant for scams, as is the case with any industry. The most prevalent scam, particularly in online or phone purchases, involves the sale of counterfeit gold. To prevent falling victim to such scams, it is advisable to exclusively purchase gold from well-established dealers.
Other types of scams may encompass:
- Partial delivery: Some people purchase gold only to receive a portion of what they ordered. The scammer may disappear entirely or claim an order error and promise to deliver the rest, possibly for an additional shipping charge. Scammers know that trust is earned. Don’t let your guard down because you receive what you expect the first time.
- Unwarranted pricing: It is not uncommon for gold dealers to sell a piece for whatever someone will pay for it. The sales prices of the same coin can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars from one dealer to the next. Protect yourself by being knowledgeable about what you’re buying and whom you’re working with.
What to know about buying gold online
Online gold dealers usually offer bars or rounds in various sizes, ranging from as small as one-tenth of an ounce to a kilogram. Gold is typically of a standard quality with a fineness of .999, or 99.9% pure. However, pure gold is too delicate to be easily handled, hence an alloy such as copper is added to maintain the shape of the gold bar or round.
- Gold is a commodity
- Any basic good used in commerce is a commodity. Historically, gold and other precious metals (such as silver and palladium) have functioned as both currency and commodity.
Gold is unique compared to other commodities due to its potential sentimental or collectible worth, resulting in a relatively subjective pricing. Gold possesses greater value when compared to copper, tin, or lead, owing to its rarity, malleability, and resistance to corrosion.
- Types of gold investments
- In addition to bullion and coins, some of the most popular gold investments include mining stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). With all gold investments, the ultimate goal is to see the value of the metals increase over time and earn a net profit.
- Physical gold: Bullion can be purchased in the form of bars, ingots or coins made of gold. The U.S. Mint produces numismatic coins for collectors and proof coins for investors (in addition to circulating coins for commerce). Jewelry is another way to invest in gold — unique gold jewelry is often worth more than the value of the metal’s weight.
- Mining stocks: Mining stocks are a way to invest in companies that source gold through mines. With mining stocks, the value of your investment is tied to the companies, as well as the value of gold. Raw gold is sourced from mines all over the world, including South Africa, Russia, China, Australia and parts of the United States.
- Gold ETFs or mutual funds: Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are traded on exchanges. Gold ETFs are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, SIX Swiss Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange and Euronext. Gold ETFs track the value of the physical gold behind them. Gold mutual funds are issued with ETFs as their underlying asset. For example, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) is a popular gold fund. For more, compare physical gold vs. ETFs.
- Individual retirement accounts: Gold and silver can be included as an option for retirement planning. If you’re interested in IRA options for investing in gold or silver, read more about gold IRAs.
Cost of buying gold
- The spot price refers to the market price at which gold is bought and sold at any given time. In other words, it’s what you’d pay “on the spot.” The spot price of gold changes daily based on market fluctuations.
When purchasing gold, dealers add a premium to the spot price, which is referred to as a “premium over spot.” Prices for gold are subject to constant fluctuations, but it is advisable not to exceed an average markup of 5% or 6% above the spot price. Additionally, dealers and brokers may apply various fees, such as commissions, transaction fees, and shipping fees.
- Transaction fees: Charging customers a transaction fee is standard in the industry. If price is your primary consideration, look for gold and silver dealers with the lowest possible transaction fee.
- Shipping fees: Find out what the shipping costs are for your gold dealer before placing an order. Some dealers offer free shipping with a minimum purchase requirement. Shipping fees can make the cost of purchasing physical bullion more expensive.
- Additional fees: Some companies charge an ongoing management fee, similar to what brokerages charge for investment portfolios. This fee is related to the storage and security of the bullion.
Buying gold pros and cons
Gold and other precious metals differ from paper money in that they cannot be overprinted or lose value. They are physical assets that have finite supplies, which contributes to the stability of their market value. Consequently, gold is an appealing investment option for numerous individuals.
The main reason why most individuals purchase gold is due to its historical tendency to retain value, which offers protection against inflation. During periods of economic and political uncertainty, precious metals can serve as a safeguard for preserving wealth.
Although gold may be an aesthetically pleasing investment, there is no guarantee that it will retain its value. Critics of gold also dislike the fact that it is not a cash-generating asset. In comparison to stocks, the long-term returns on gold are comparatively lower.
- Historically valuable
- Portfolio diversification
- Potential hedge against stock market
- No dividend revenue
- Relatively low long-term returns
- Taxed as a collectible