There are a few different ways to buy gold, both online and off.
You can buy it online in the form of Gold ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds), gold mining stocks, or by purchasing gold futures contracts. Each of these presents an opportunity to buy gold indirectly, providing you with shares of funds or companies involved in gold, but not necessarily the full use of physically having the gold in your hands.
Some people prefer to buy their gold physically and have it directly on their person. There are a few different reasons for this, but one thing to keep in mind, it will often cost more overall to buy physical gold than to buy it online.
That being said, if you’re looking to buy gold physically, you have few different options regarding what kind of gold to buy and from where.
How to buy physical gold
The best way to buy physical gold depends on a few things, but for most individual investors, purchasing 1 oz gold bullion is the best way to obtain physical gold.
The best gold bullion has strong guarantees as to its purity and a good reputation behind it. It also looks good and can often retain some additional value due to its design and collectability.
Finally, and this isn’t really an investment point, but often it’s nicer to gift with or keep on display if that’s your intended purpose.
Here are a few essential tips as you get started on purchasing physical gold.
- First, make sure you know the current market price of gold. Check a reliable source.
- Second, most gold you can purchase will have a substantial mark-up due to its stamping, storage, display, and delivery, depending on where and how you get it.
- Third, it is worth going to a reputable dealer at a slightly higher price than attempting to buy gold more cheaply and have some part of the deal fall through.
You may decide you want to buy gold bars, which are available in sizes as small as 1 gram. These are less costly to produce than bullion but lack the reputation of a specific government behind them. Compare the prices and availability before you make your decision.
But most people invest in bullion, so that will be our focus.
Best gold bullion of 2021
The three biggest contenders for best gold bullion of 2021 are American gold eagles, a 1-Ounce Gold Coin (91.67% purity), Australian 1 oz gold kangaroos from the Perth Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint’s 1 oz gold maple leaf coin.
American Gold Eagles are by far the most popular gold coin to purchase in the U.S. It was first minted in 1986 and is produced exclusively using U.S. mined gold. As of 2017, they have a face value of $50 USD.
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is one of the most popular gold coins globally, first minted in 1979. They are made using some of the world’s finest minting technology. On the one side, the Canadian maple leaf has remained the same timeless design since 1979. On the other, the Queen’s portrait has been updated over time as it has with other Canadian coins. Its face value as of 2017 is $50 CAD.
The Australian Gold Kangaroo began its printing in 1986 before having its design revised in 1989. They have achieved global recognition for their quality. The coin is available in both regular and high relief designs, with a face value of $100 AUD. On the one side is the national symbol of Australia, the kangaroo, and on the other is a depiction of Queen Elizabeth II.
There are many other printings of gold bullion that are quite good as well, including offerings from Great Britain and South Africa.
Of the three we have looked at here, the American gold eagle has a lower purity rating than the Canadian maple leaf and yet costs more to purchase, but it does have a higher recognition factor. The Australian Gold Kangaroo is more expensive than both but has the same purity as Canada’s and a stellar reputation.
Ultimately, it’s up to your preferences which one you would like to invest in.