Gold has been a mythical substance of lore and aspiration since mankind first laid eyes on it. To this day it remains more than just something dragons wish to covet.
Gold was the barometer by which many modern currencies were measured. However, countries across the globe abandoned the gold standard long ago. As a result, gold prices vary freely on the open market, which entices investors hoping to profit from appreciating values in much the same way they do stocks. When it comes to investing in gold, there are many factors to consider.
What Is a Gold Bar?
A gold bar is metallic gold that has been refined and cast or minted into a shape. That shape is often the typical rectangular bar shape, but can also be round, square or a rod.
What Affects the Price of Gold?
A minted gold bar can vary not only in size and weight but also in market value. Gold prices are dictated by many factors but mainly by the following areas:
- Economic climate: Overall, gold rarely fluctuates much in value and is considered a safe haven investment. When the market is down, or even during times of financial crisis, investors tend to buy gold, which can increase both its value and price.
- Supply and demand: The value of physical gold may go up or down depending on how much is currently available. As supply and demand would suggest, the less there is of something, the more it will cost.
- Interest rates: Gold prices usually move inversely to long-term interest rates. That means prices tend to increase when rates increase and fall when rates fall.
- Investor sentiment: Pessimistic expectations about the economy correlate to higher gold prices, according to a Chicago Fed study.
- Inflation: The U.S. dollar’s value decreases as inflation rates get higher. However, gold isn’t tied to the dollar, so you could possibly use it to hedge against inflation.
How Much Does a Gold Bar Weigh?
Though gold bar weight classifications typically break down into either grams or ounces, to help account for global units of measurement, the 1-ounce gold bar is what is used to calculate live gold prices. Only in this case, the ounce is a troy ounce, which is the unit used when measuring precious metals. With troy ounces, 12 ounces equal one pound. Given these conversions, a 1-pound gold bar would be currently worth $23,952.
Current Gold Bar Price by Weight
Ways To Invest in Gold
When it comes to gold, there are many different ways to invest. Here are the options:
- Physical metal: When you purchase physical gold, you have possession of the gold itself — though you may pay a gold dealer to store it for you.
- Futures: A gold future is a contract to purchase a quantity of gold at an agreed price on a future date.
- ETFs: An exchange-traded fund is made up of a group of assets and is purchased from an exchange or a broker. Gold ETFs are backed by physical gold and intended to reflect its market price.
- Mining stocks: Purchasing shares of companies that mine gold is another way of investing in gold indirectly, without buying physical gold.
- Gold IRAs: A gold IRA allows you to invest in gold for your retirement account, while regular IRAs do not allow you to hold physical gold for retirement.
How To Buy Gold
The standard way to invest in gold is to purchase gold bullion, which typically comes in the form of minted gold bars or rounds — CBS appears to have used the wrong term for rounds. Bullion ranges in purity from 99.5% to 99.99% (also known as 9999 gold), and prices vary according current market prices for the particular purity and weight of the bullion you’re looking to purchase. Common bar sizes include one ounce, 10 ounces and 400 ounces, and 100 grams and one kilogram. Popular round sizes include 0.10 ounce, 0.50 ounce and one ounce.
Bars and rounds aren’t the only forms of gold you can purchase. You might also consider the following:
- Coins: Unlike rounds, gold coins are legal tender that, according to Private Bullion, always display the coin’s weight, purity, face value and year. They’re highly collectible because they’re always worth at least their face value, although that can be considerably less than the purchase price.
- Ingots: Ingots are gold bars that have been poured, or cast, instead of minted. As with minted bars, ingots are at least 99.5% pure.
You can purchase gold bullion, including minted bars, ingots and rounds, from a dealer, but make sure the dealer is reputable before you invest. Some to consider include:
- American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX)
- Buy Gold and Silver Coins (BGASC)
- JM Bullion
- Money Metals Exchange
- SD Bullion
The U.S. Mint makes gold coins available through a network of official distributors called authorized purchasers. Authorized purchasers buy and sell to wholesalers, financial institutions and other retailers.
Final Take: Should You Invest in Gold?
Gold has a pretty solid track record as a physical asset. Whether it’s buying minted bars or putting your money in gold ETFs, most financial advisors would consider gold a safe haven investment that can diversify your portfolio while maintaining a high degree of liquidity. What’s more, the variety of investment types and physical-gold sizes and weights makes gold accessible to most investors. However, it’s important to weigh the various investing options against your financial goals.
While physical gold can be a safer investment than stocks or ETFs, you’ll pay more for the bullion or coins than the raw gold content is worth. In addition, capital gains from the sale of physical gold are taxed at a higher rate than are gains from gold stocks and ETFs.
FAQHere are the answers to some commonly asked questions about gold bars.
- How much is .9999 gold today?
- As of October 26, .9999 told is worth $1,995.80 per troy ounce.
- How much does a gold bar weigh?
- Gold bars come in standard sizes ranging from one to 400 ounces.
- How much is a gold bar worth in 2023?
- Gold bars are priced by weight, typically ounces or grams, and this price is also affected by the market. As of Oct. 26, 2023, the price of 1 gram of gold is $64.16, whereas a gold bar that weighs a kilogram would fetch $64,160.67.
- How much is a 1-pound gold bar worth?
- Though typically not measured by pounds, seeing as 12 troy ounces equals a troy pound, and taking the current value of an ounce of gold as of Oct. 26, 2023, into account, a 1-pound gold bar would be worth approximately $23,952.
- How much is a 20-lb. gold bar worth?
- If such a thing existed, a 20-troy-pound gold bar would $479,040.
- How much is a 1-kilogram gold bar worth?
- As of Oct. 26, 2023, a 1-kilogram gold bar is worth $64,160.67. However, the price does fluctuate daily.
- What are the different types of gold you can buy?
- Physical gold takes on many forms, but the most common valuable commodities include jewelry, gold bars, gold coins, gold bullion or gold rounds.
- How is gold measured?
- The two standard gold bar weight classifications are grams and ounces. The 1-ounce gold bar is what is used to calculate live gold prices.
- There is also a troy ounce, which is the unit used when measuring precious metals. With troy ounces, 12 ounces equal one pound.
Data is accurate as of Oct. 26, 2023, and is subject to change.