Given the economic upheaval experienced in recent years, it is logical that numerous investors have sought gold as a secure haven for their investments. Gold is considered a beneficial component of any investment portfolio due to its distinct advantages, such as retaining and increasing value over time, as well as safeguarding against inflation.
There are numerous investment options available for gold, including gold IRAs and gold futures. However, a common approach is to purchase gold bars and coins, which are also referred to as gold bullion. These physical forms of gold come in various sizes and weights and provide a certain level of reassurance to investors who favor tangible assets. Moreover, gold bars and coins are highly liquid, making it simple to sell them for cash when necessary.
In this article, we will guide you through the process of buying physical gold wisely by exploring the available options, including reputable online dealers and less reliable pawnshops. By considering the information provided, you can make an informed decision on where to purchase your gold bars and coins.
Where to buy gold bars and coins
The best places to consider when deciding where to buy gold would depend on your preferences.
Licensed online retailers
Purchasing gold bars and coins from the comfort of your own home is made convenient by online gold retailers. These dealers are a popular choice among customers because they are accessible, offer a wide range of products, and provide transparent pricing. In fact, some of them even provide discounts for bulk purchases or if you use a credit card to pay for your order.
It is crucial to be thorough and choose a trustworthy seller when purchasing gold online. Similar to any financial product, there are dishonest individuals. Therefore, ensure you research and check the reviews and reputation of any retailer you are interested in doing business with. Websites such as the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot can provide valuable insights to determine if you will be dealing with authentic professionals who treat customers fairly.
Best Online Gold Dealers
Online gold dealers are companies that engage in the buying, selling, and trading of gold and other precious metals through the internet.
Previously, investors were restricted to working with physical stores when purchasing gold, thus encountering limitations in both supply and convenience. The emergence of online gold dealers has expanded opportunities for investors to engage in buying, selling, and trading gold from their own residences, thereby increasing the availability of product choices.
Do you want to know who the top five players in the current market for online gold trading are?
1. Best for Diverse Options: American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX)
Founded in 2000, APMEX has built the biggest online collection of precious metals products, offering a wide range of items including gold coins, silver bullion, palladium, and platinum products.
APMEX offers a remarkable range of coins sourced globally, encompassing various countries such as Mexico, Australia, and several European countries. Regardless of whether you identify as an investor or a collector, APMEX guarantees that you will discover something fitting for your preferences.
- Lots of products to choose from
- Great customer interactions
- Extensive, reputable history in the industry
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- Pricing not competitive
- Additional fee to store your gold
- Overwhelming website for novice investors
2. Best User-Friendly Option for Beginners: JM Bullion
JM Bullion is a top-rated online gold dealer that is particularly suitable for beginners. Even the least-experienced buyers will find its online platform easy to use, and it also provides dedicated customer support to assist users in making purchases and investments.
JM Bullion, just like APMEX, offers a wide range of products that include silver coins, bars, and more. What sets JM Bullion apart is its transparent pricing, without any additional fees or commissions.
- Easy, uncomplicated user interface
- Dedicated customer service
- Transparent pricing structure
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- Different prices depending on payment method
- Minimum $1,000 buyback program
- Only ships to U.S. addresses
3. Best for Gold IRAs: Orion Metal Exchange
Investors have the opportunity to invest in American Gold Eagles and other gold products that are eligible for gold IRAs through Orion Metal Exchange. Orion can be utilized not only for retirement investments, but also for personal acquisitions of precious metals and related items.
In addition to being able to ship directly to your home, the dealer also provides the choice of storing your products in a separate storage facility.
- Full-service IRA department
- Fee-free buyback program
- Easy customer service
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- Minimum $10,000 purchase
- Many transactions must be done over the phone
- High shipping costs for insured home shipping
4. Best Buyback Program: Money Metals Exchange
Gold bullion dealing companies benefit from buyback programs because they provide assured marketing support for precious metals investors looking to sell their gold.
Buyback programs offered by precious metals dealers involve a commitment to repurchase the metals sold at the prevailing market value. The specifics of these programs differ, as certain dealers exclusively repurchase based on the spot price.
Money Metals Exchange pays the highest prices among online gold dealers today, demonstrating its customer-centric approach to buyback programs.
- Competitive pricing
- Free, insured shipping on orders over $500
- Secure packaging and fast shipping
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- Varying transaction fees, depending on your payment method
- Limited customer service phone support
- Customer reviews have stated shipping can be slow
5. Best Online Gold Dealers for Low Pricing: SD Bullion
SD Bullion has gained a reputation as one of the finest online gold dealers since 2012, with a well-known track record in providing affordable palladium, platinum, silver, and gold products.
There are advantages to this.
- Numerous payment options, from wire transfer and Paypal to debit cards and Bitcoin
- Free shipping on orders over $199
- Positive customer reviews noting excellent customer service and quick deliveries
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- Limited selection of precious metals products, compared to other online gold dealers
- Refunds not guaranteed
- Varying processing fees depending on payment method
Local precious metal retailers
If you prefer, you can also go to a brick-and-mortar store to purchase gold bars or coins. This will enable you to personally examine the gold and inquire with the staff regarding its genuineness, quality, and other relevant aspects.
In the same way as online dealers, it is important to conduct research in advance to discover reputable ones. Prior to making a purchase, compare prices from multiple retailers, and consider that traditional retailers may have higher prices because of the expenses associated with maintaining physical stores. Additionally, ensure that you are aware of the current spot price before buying gold anywhere, in order to make a well-informed choice.
If you prefer the public accountability of a federally regulated institution, buying gold bars and coins (in addition to silver coins) from some banks in the U.S. can be a suitable choice. However, it is worth noting that compared to online retailers, the range of options available may be more restricted. To check if your local bank sells gold, you can contact them directly.
What to look for
When making a decision about where to buy gold bars and coins, it is important to be cautious and mindful of certain factors in order to obtain a high-quality product at a reasonable cost. When assessing physical gold, take into account its:
- Purity: Investment-grade gold must be at least 99.99% pure.
- Weight: The size and weight of the gold you buy will affect its cost as well as how easy it will be to store it.
- Authenticity: Perform a DIY test such as the magnet test, ping test or float test to detect if the gold is fake or impure.
- Premium over spot price: Compare multiple sellers’ prices against the current spot price of gold to make sure you’re getting a fair deal.
The bottom line
When purchasing physical gold, it is important to ensure that you are buying from a trustworthy dealer who provides competitive prices and exceptional customer service.
It is more challenging to confirm the legitimacy of gold bars and coins purchased from pawnshops or individual sellers on platforms like eBay and Craigslist. Additionally, these sellers may have fewer reviews to determine their credibility. To make a wise investment, it is recommended to adhere to the aforementioned options.