What is a Gold Ingot? Overview, Price, How To Buy, 17 Facts

A gold ingot is the pure form of gold metal. A gold ingot is the most essential component in the creation of jewelry or decorative items. Click on each section below to view additional details about it. 

What is a Gold Ingot?

A gold ingot is a way to store large amounts of gold for monetary reserve purposes or for further processing into gold jewelry, gold charms, and other decorative uses.

What is a Gold Ingot?

Ingots typically have a rectangular, brick-like shape and a surface imprint indicating the gold’s purity, net weight, and possible ownership information. Ingots are a subset of the definition of gold ingot.

How to Buy Gold Ingot

Step 1: Choose the Size and Type of Gold Ingot

Gold ingots are produced in a range of sizes and are sold at various prices. Choose between 1 ounce and 1 kilogram ingots based on your budget, personal preferences, capacity for storage, and holding strategy.

SIZE AND PRICE

Nearly all of a gold ingot’s market value is determined by its gold content. The price of an ingot is comparable to the spot price of gold, which is the price at which one ounce of gold can be purchased immediately as opposed to at some future date.

In general, the price of an ingot is proportional to its size. How much of your cash would you like to safeguard with gold? With this number in mind, you can narrow down your options to only include establishments that fall within your budget.

What is a Gold Ingot?

Note that the final purchase price of an ingot will vary from the spot price of gold based on market supply and demand as well as regional, national, and international economic factors.

MINTED VS. CAST

In addition to the size of the ingot, two types of ingots are typically available: minted and cast. Hand-cut or punched from a large, flat piece of gold, minted gold ingots are occasionally produced with glossy surfaces and artistic embellishments (though the design generally has little impact on the market value of the ingot).

Depending on the size and refiner of the ingot, it may be sealed in an assay card (left) that contains information about the ingot’s validity and maintains its quality.

This ancient manufacturing technique entails pouring molten gold into a mold. These ingots vary in appearance based on how the gold is poured and cooled, as they lack the lustrous sheen of minted ingots. Cast ingots are preferred by some gold owners because they appear more “natural” and are excellent visual reminders of gold’s extensive history.

Step 2: Understand How to “Read” a Gold Ingot

In contrast to gold coins, gold ingots are rarely adorned with designs that significantly impact their market value. However, they are manufactured with identifying markings that reveal the ingot’s manufacturer, weight, and gold content, in addition to a serial number.

THE GOLD INGOT’S PRODUCER

Purchasing a gold ingot with a well-known hallmark could be advantageous in terms of liquidity. A hallmark is a mark that is exclusive to the ingot’s manufacturer. It functions similarly to the trademark of a product.

The greater a brand’s reputation and regard, the simpler it may be to sell or exchange its products in the future. A reputable brand can increase the liquidity of an ingot. On the right is the mintmark of the Perth Mint.

Among the reputable government and commercial minting facilities that produce gold ingots are the Perth Mint in Australia, Johnson Matthew, Asahi, and the Royal Canadian Mint.

THE GOLD INGOT’S WEIGHT AND PURITY

The manner in which an ingot’s weight and purity are indicated depends on the ingot’s manufacturer. As depicted on the right, some mints, such as the Perth Mint, mark these data independently from the hallmark. Other refiners, including Johnson Matthew, include the weight and purity of the ingot in their signature.

What is a Gold Ingot?

THE GOLD INGOT’S ASSAY CARD

The assay card of an ingot serves a purpose beyond mere protection or aesthetics (though it does make storage easy). It includes a serial number that is exclusive to the manufacturer and serves as proof of an ingot’s weight and purity.

Although this card may provide additional assurance of an ingot’s authenticity, not all ingots include it. They may be oversized or accompanied by an additional method of authentication, such as an assay certificate.

Step 3: Plan to Protect Your Gold

Consider where and how you will store and protect your gold. Compared to coins, gold ingots require less space to store the same quantity of ounces, making them easier to keep at home. Alternately, you could store your gold ingots in a bank safety deposit box or a facility specializing in the storage and protection of gold.

How and where you store your gold ingots will be influenced by your financial goals. Do you intend to use them to protect your funds until your children reach adulthood, or as an emergency fund?

If so, you may want to consider storing your gold close to home, as a bank or storage facility may have limited hours or be located in an inconvenient location. In times of peril, your gold may be inaccessible. Before obtaining custody of gold ingots, implement storage and security measures to mitigate risk.

Step 4: Choose a Gold Company

Purchasing from a reputable gold company that prioritizes your needs is one of the most prudent ways to obtain the finest gold ingot at the best price. How can you determine whether a company is trustworthy? Look for…

Third-party evaluations and extensive customer feedback history. According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should use an online search engine to investigate the vendor. Read about others’ experiences with the company.”

Reputable, established gold firms may have a lengthy history of providing excellent service. In addition, many have received the highest ratings from organizations that advocate for consumers, such as the Better Business Bureau and the Business Consumer Alliance.

Education is highlighted. A company that takes pride in customer education will not pressure you into making an unsuitable purchase. In an interview with Enterprise Radio, Angela Koch, CEO of U.S. Money Reserve, stated, “We specialize in educating consumers not only on the gold market, but also on the types of portfolios they can use to protect their assets.”

Other Ways to Buy Gold

Invest in gold-related companies, mutual funds, and ETFs if all of that sounds too complicated but you still want some bling in your portfolio.

Stocks of Gold Mines

As an alternative to investing in actual gold, you can purchase shares of gold mining and refining companies. Barrick Gold (GOLD) and Newmont Mining Corporation are two of the most significant gold mining companies (NMC).

Despite the possibility that their stock prices will not precisely mirror the trend of the price of actual gold, it is likely that they will be linked. This allows you to invest in gold without the risk or inconvenience of handling actual gold.

Gold Mutual Funds and ETFs

Instead of investing in a single gold-related company, investors in gold mutual funds and ETFs invest in a diversified portfolio of gold-related assets. Gold funds may track the price of gold, hold shares of multiple gold miners and refiners, or provide exposure to gold futures and options.

The following are the top gold mutual funds and ETFs:

  • Gold iShares Trust (IAU)
  • Futures & Options on Invesco DB Gold Fund (DGL)
  • Franklin Gold and Precious Metals Fund (FKRCX)

Futures and options may appeal to investors who are willing to assume a higher level of risk. (If you are unfamiliar with any of these terms, you should generally avoid these gold investments for the time being, as they are highly speculative.)

With gold futures, you agree to buy or sell gold in the future at a predetermined price. A gold options contract allows you to buy or sell gold if its price reaches a predetermined level by a predetermined date.

To purchase gold futures or options with success, a brokerage account and extensive industry knowledge are required. You must regularly monitor your account and the gold price to avoid missing the opportunity to exercise your options.

As futures and options frequently involve leverage, or the use of borrowed funds to purchase securities, you may also end up amplifying any losses you incur.

How Much Does a Gold Ingot Weigh?

Typical gold ingots are relatively heavy. About 400 fluid ounces or 27.5 pounds. This is the type of gold ingot stored at Fort Knox. It is roughly the size of a common brick.

However, the gold ingots you would purchase for your investment portfolio weigh considerably less. For instance:

  • A 1-oz. gold ingot weighs 1.097 ounces (0.0685 pounds). That’s about the weight of a slice of bread.
  • A 10-oz. gold ingot weighs 10.97 ounces (0.685 pounds). That’s about the weight of a grapefruit.
  • A 1-kilo gold ingot weighs a little over 2.2 pounds. That’s about the weight of 1 liter of water.

How Much Does a Gold Ingot Cost?

Typically, gold ingot prices closely track the spot price of gold (the price at which one ounce of gold can be purchased “on the spot”) plus a slight premium. In general, larger ingots are more expensive than smaller ones. Shipping, insurance, payment method, and the seller may also influence the final price of a gold ingot. Comparison of prices for gold ingots in real time.

How Big Is a Gold Ingot?

Photographs may make gold ingots appear large, but their actual size is quite small. Here is a synopsis:

  • The dimensions of a Perth Mint 1-ounce gold ingot are approximately 0.95 inches wide by 1.65 inches long by 0.08 inches thick.
  • A 10-ounce gold ingot from the Perth Mint measures approximately 1.46 inches by 2.28 inches by 0.35 inches in thickness.
  • Perth Mint 1-kilogram gold ingots are approximately 1.58 inches wide, 3.15 inches long, and 0.71 inches thick.
  • Standard gold ingots, such as those found at Fort Knox, are approximately 7 inches wide, 3.63 inches long, and 1.75 inches thick.

Do Central Banks Buy Gold Ingots?

Yes. A nation’s central bank (such as the Federal Reserve in the United States), which determines monetary policy, purchases gold ingots for many of the same reasons that you do:

What is a Gold Ingot?

  • In order to manage financial risk and promote financial stability
  • To diversify away from paper assets and assets pegged to the dollar.
  • As an insurance against inflation
  • To counteract the unpredictability of paper currency

According to the World Gold Council and Bloomberg, while central banks were net buyers of gold for the tenth consecutive year in 2019, demand has become more concentrated, with fewer banks adding to reserves in 2020.

Bloomberg reports that central banks began selling gold for the first time since 2010 in 2020 news.

How Are Gold Ingots Made?

Casting and minting are the two methods for producing gold ingots, respectively.

Hand-cut or punched from a massive, flat piece of gold, gold ingots are frequently produced with lustrous finishes and exquisite designs. Depending on their size and refinery, minted ingots may be stored on assay cards that are hermetically sealed to preserve their condition and provide information about each ingot’s authenticity.

Melted gold is poured into a mold to produce cast gold ingots. This practice dates back thousands of years. The appearance of these ingots varies based on the manner in which the gold is poured and cooled. Typically, they lack the dazzling sheen of ingots that have been minted. Some gold owners prefer cast ingots because their appearance is more “natural.”

Who Makes Gold Ingots?

Government mints and private companies throughout the world manufacture gold ingots. Included are the following:

  • Australia’s Perth Mint: The majority of the gold ingots produced by this government mint are Kangaroo ingots weighing between 5 grams and 10 ounces.
  • Royal Canadian Mint: This government mint produces gold ingots ranging in weight from 1 kilogram (approximately 2.2 pounds) to 400 oz.
  • PAMP: The ornamental Lady Fortuna ingot is Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux’s (PAMP) most well-known gold ingot. From 1 kilogram to 400 ounces, PAMP’s minted and cast gold ingots range in weight. PAMP is located in Ticino, a canton in Switzerland.
  • United Kingdom’s Royal Mint: This government-owned company produces and sells twelve distinct cast and minted ingots. In June of 2022, a 400-oz gold ingot cast by the mint was sold for more than $750,000.
  • Sunshine Mint: This private mint produces gold ingots ranging in weight from 1 gram to 10 ounces. Sunshine Mint is located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
  • Scottsdale Mint: This private mint in Scottsdale, Arizona produces gold ingots ranging in weight from one hundredth of an ounce to one kilogram.
  • Valcambi: This private mint in Balerna, Switzerland, produces gold ingots weighing between 20 grams and 400 oz.
  • Asahi Refining: This private mint manufactures gold ingots weighing between one and four hundred ounces. As a subsidiary of the Tokyo-based Asahi Holdings, Asahi Refining operates refineries in the metropolitan areas of Salt Lake City and Toronto.

Notably, despite the fact that the United States Bullion Depository in Fort Knox, Kentucky, stores gold ingots owned by the federal government, this United States Mint facility does not produce gold ingots.

Know the Difference Between Ingots and Coins

Although all types of pure gold have substantial monetary value, not all types of gold are equally suitable for investment. Those looking for a tangible product that tracks the price of gold may wish to avoid investing in gold coins. Despite their frequently attractive designs, historical significance, and low gold content, these coins are more expensive due to their numismatic value.

In addition to being more expensive, gold coins can distort the value of an investor’s portfolio on occasion. Due to its collectible value, the highly regarded American Eagle coin produced by the United States Mint contains 91.67 percent gold but costs more than plain gold ingots. 2

Some investors may be interested in collector’s items, whereas others may prefer simple gold ingots, which are frequently the simplest to hold and convert to cash over time. Consequently, gold ingots are the most common choice for investors seeking gold as a safe haven.

Where to Buy Gold Ingots

Nearly ready to take action? Where you purchase gold ingots can affect the available sizes, types, packaging, and prices. You can purchase gold ingots online, over the phone, or locally; however, you should consider the pros and cons of each method.

When dealing with a local dealer, it may be possible to acquire gold ingots relatively quickly. Instant gratification frequently appears to be gratifying, but it often comes at a price. Can you compare all of your product and pricing options side-by-side? A time- and product-spanning comparison is one of the best methods for determining where to purchase gold ingots.

In addition to the price of gold ingots, security considerations must also be taken into account. How far do you intend to travel while transporting actual gold? How far away are you from the nearest reputable gold company? How far will you have to carry your gold into and out of your vehicle, and are you able to do so?

What is a Gold Ingot?

A kilogram of gold feels comparable to a one-liter bottle of water. One liter of water can be transported. However, suppose you get ten gold ingots. Are you able to transport the equivalent of 10 liters of water from a local gold dealer to your vehicle, then to your residence or storage unit? Do you feel secure transporting all these gold ingots, even if you don’t break a sweat?

Learn more about our selection of gold ingots ranging from one ounce to one kilogram by shopping online or by phone with U.S. Money Reserve. We ship directly from our vault to your doorstep.

Some of our most popular one-ounce gold ingots are manufactured by the renowned Perth Mint in Australia, one of the few precious metals refiners certified by all five of the world’s major gold exchanges. The obverse of the ingot features a beautiful swan in a circle. The reverse features a pattern of hopping kangaroos.

Not only are our 10-ounce gold ingots produced by the Perth Mint, but they also feature swan and kangaroo designs.

The Perth Mint in Australia, Asahi Holdings (formerly Johnson Matthey), and the Royal Canadian Mint are among the world’s most reputable minting facilities that produce kilogram-weight gold ingots. Design details differ.

Call U.S. Money Reserve for information on where and how to buy gold ingots. Working with our knowledgeable Account Executives is advantageous because we can educate you on more than just gold bars.

We offer precious metals products, market analysis, and even diversification of retirement portfolios. As your gold portfolio grows, you will realize that where you buy gold is equally as important as what you buy.

How Can I Better Avoid Counterfeit Gold Ingots?

According to Forbes, the likelihood of purchasing a counterfeit gold bar or coin is minimal. You can avoid counterfeit items by sticking with well-known sovereign coins, such as Gold American Eagles and Gold Canadian Maple Leaves, or ingots made by government mints or London Bullion Market (LBMA)-approved mints and refineries.

If you have any questions, a professional precious metals dealer can verify the authenticity of a gold ingot. By paying close attention to the weight, diameter, thickness, and price of a gold ingot, you may be able to identify a fake. If the ingot appears too light, too large, or too cheap, you may be in possession of a counterfeit.

Forbes notes that it is extremely unlikely that a reputable vendor would sell you a fake product, but it never hurts to know how to examine gold ingots and coins.

Buy Pure Gold Only

Investment-grade gold ingots must be at least 99.5 percent (995) pure. 1 The remainder is a smeltable alloy, typically silver or copper.

Those who acquire gold bullion as an investment should only acquire ingots with the manufacturer’s name, the weight, and the purity, which is typically represented as 99.99 percent, imprinted on their faces. Popular manufacturers of gold ingots include the Royal Canadian Mint, the Perth Mint, and Valcambi.

Is Gold a Good Investment?

If you are looking for a modern gold rush, you are probably in the wrong place. The price of gold has increased by approximately 36% over the past five years, while the S&P 500 index has risen by 104% over the same time period. Why then all the commotion?

Because some view gold as a refuge from inflation and volatile market conditions. For instance, the entire stock market fell 33 percent during the financial crisis of 2007-2008. Gold, on the other hand, declined by only 2%.

Due to its volatile price, gold is not a completely (or even primarily) secure investment. In reality, you can easily construct a diversified investment portfolio without gold.

But if you want some of that golden gleam in your investment portfolio, gold should represent only a small portion of your investment funds.

Can You Add Gold Ingots to an IRA?

Certain forms of physical gold, including ingots and coins, can be added to an individual retirement account (IRA). However, gold bars cannot be added to all IRA types. The ingots of gold must be stored in a self-directed IRA, which can hold alternative investments such as precious metals. An IRS-approved custodian must purchase gold for your IRA.

What is a Gold Ingot?

An IRA-eligible gold ingot must meet a minimum fineness standard of 0.995 and be produced by a national government mint or a recognized refiner, assayer, or producer.

Perth Mint 1-ounce and 10-ounce gold ingots are eligible IRA investments.

Can You Store IRA Gold at Home?

No, IRA gold must be stored in a depository authorized by the IRS. It cannot be stored in a bank safety deposit box or a home shoebox. Why?

The Industrial Council on Tangible Assets warns that holding IRA assets in your own home could be construed as “self-dealing” and viewed as a prohibited transaction by the Internal Revenue Service. A prohibited transaction involves the distribution of all IRA assets, not just gold held at home.

So Where Can You Store Gold Ingots Not Held in an IRA?

If you acquire gold ingots not intended for a gold IRA, you are free to store them anywhere.

However, storing gold ingots in your garden or beneath your mattress is not advised. Consider purchasing a secure safe for storing precious metals.

If you choose not to store your gold ingots at home, consider a bank safe deposit box or, better yet, an authorized precious metals depository or vault.

Conclusion

The byproducts of gold mining and refining are gold ingots. In addition to slag and other byproducts, gold mining yields alloys of gold and other metals, such as silver and copper.

When an ore deposit is extracted, the ore is smelted, and the resulting metal is refined to remove impurities. Refining produces an ingot, a spherical form composed primarily of pure metal.

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