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Facts About Gold Bullion Bars

What is Britannia silver?

For those who wish to invest in precious metals, they are readily given two options: to invest in coin bullion or to invest in bar or ingot bullion. There are basically two types of gold bars available for willing investors: ingots, and struck bars. Bullion bars are usually stereotypically portrayed as large bars of fine, heavy gold stamped with a serial number or the mark of the mint or company that smelted and formed them. While such bars do indeed exist, it is the smaller, struck bars referred to as kilobars are more useful for investment and general trade, not only due to their relatively small size resulting in easier transportability, but due to its ready availability as well. While the general shape of a kilobar is usually flat, with the purity, weight, and origin stamped on the front, some mints (especially those in Europe) imitate the brick shape of larger bullion ingots but with the specifications of a kilobar[1].


Just like bullion coins, gold bullion bars also follow a rigid standard of purity that must be met, otherwise problems in its later salability and market value may arise. Gold bullion bars minted by specialized mints of certain countries follows a universal standard of size, weight, length, and gold purity that classifies any gold bullion bar made under those specification as Good Delivery bars[2]. While smelted gold can be formed into a variety of different shapes and sizes, the gold delivery bars have become the standard in ingot or stamped bar investments and is universally accepted by any bank. The standard weight of a bullion bar that is held as gold reserves by central banks and as investments by bullion investors and traders is the 400 / 430-troy-ounce (12.4 / 13 kg) bar, measuring at 210-290 mm by top length, 55-85 mm by top width, and 25-45mm by height[3].

A gold ingot or kilobar may also contain details on the location or name of the mint that produced it, the year that it was minted, the assay stamp of the refiner where the gold originated from, as well as the fineness of the gold itself. For a gold bar to be acceptable Good Delivery bullion bars, it must contain at least 995.0 parts per thousand of fine gold, guaranteeing the utmost in its purity. In most cases, a Good Delivery bar will be identified as such by the mint, as there are some gold bullion bars that do not meet the specifications of a Good Delivery bar. These Non-Good Delivery[4] bars or (NGD) bars are usually ingots, kilobars, and other gold bullion pieces produced by independent mints with material from various refineries (accredited and non-accredited alike), or they may be antique bullion bars that are no longer generally manufactured. Some Non-Good Delivery bars are antique chunks of pure gold that are still useful as bullion investment, but that do not meet the requirements of today’s current standards to be considered true bullion, (i. e. Chinese gold nuggets known as sycee, which are shaped as either almonds, ships, turtles, or an assortment of other exotic shapes[5]).

Gold bullion bars, regardless of their shape, can and will be accepted as international currency; provided that the gold is pure and that the bar is made by an accredited manufacturer. Investing in gold bars as bullion investment is always a better idea than investing in stocks or bonds as precious metals do not depreciate, although their prices may vary depending on the current flux of the market and of general trade.

References:

http://bullion.nwtmint.com/gold_kilobars.php
http://www.lbma.org.uk/pages/index.cfm?page_id=27&title=specifications
http://www.lbma.org.uk/assets/GD_Rules_81.pdf
http://www.lbma.org.uk/pages/index.cfm?page_id=37&title=non-gd_bars
http://www.sycee-on-line.com/Sycee_history.htm


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