You want to buy gold but you’re not sure where to start. If you’re looking for gold bullion, you’re going to want to start with gold coins and gold bars. Most gold coins have a .999 purity or better, though that’s not always the case. It doesn’t mean it’s not gold bullion. For example, the American Gold Eagle, one of the world’s most trusted gold coins, has a much lower purity, but still contains one ounce of gold. If you have questions, ask a gold dealer. But where do you start looking?
Buying Gold at a Local Shop
Local gold shops used to be the only way you could buy gold bullion. Premiums tend to be higher at local shops due to their higher overhead. They need retail-friendly locations, which usually means a location on a high-traffic street, in addition to storage and high security costs due to their visibility. Local shops often aren’t able to keep inventories that are as extensive as their online competitors, nor are they able to buy gold back as quickly, as they may need to raise capital. However, if you need to make a quick trade, you can usually get cash quickly from a local gold dealer.
Buying Gold Online
If you want to save on investment-quality gold bullion, buy gold online. Online gold dealers have bigger inventories of gold coins and gold bars and with lower overhead they can charge smaller premiums or offer larger discounts. They tend to be larger operations with deeper liquidity, meaning they can buy gold quickly. One Canadian gold dealer with deep liquidity is Silver Gold Bull. They also provide free shipping on larger orders; shipping is the one downside to buying gold online, so if you can get shipping fees waived, you’re ahead of the game.
Buying Gold from Private Person
The riskiest investment you could ever make is buying gold bars or gold coins from a private person, especially if you don’t have the gold bar tested and verified before you exchange money. Take this cautionary tale for gold buyers coming out of Canada. Near the end of 2017, a man in Barrie, Ontario found an ad on a local Facebook buy and sell page for a 1 ounce gold bar selling below the spot gold price. After handing over $1,200 CAD (when the spot gold price was around $1,600 CAD), the buyer took the bar to be verified. It turned out to be gold-plated copper that was nearly worthless. Alarmingly, more online ads have been found with fake gold bars stamped with RCM and Perth Mint certifications.
If you plan on buying gold bars, go to an online gold dealer you can trust. Before you make a purchase, keep in touch with gold prices and compare. At an online gold dealer or a local shop, you will wind up having to pay a small premium depending on whether it’s a gold coin or a gold bar, or where it’s from. Always be wary of gold bars being sold under spot, as online gold dealers like Silver Gold Bull also buy gold. Gold is highly liquid and it’s not hard to sell to a good gold dealer. Where you buy gold has a number of security and price implications, so compare your options carefully.