There are many ways to invest in precious metals – such as shares, certificates, exchange-traded funds, and more. However, many people prefer to own more tangible investments – and that’s where bullion comes in.
You can purchase bullion as either coins or bars. Most governments mint high-purity bullion coins and offer them to the public for purchase. Unlike bars, bullion coins tend to sell for more than the value of their precious metal content because of limited supply (most governments mint a fixed number of bullion coins per year) and demand (partially influenced by coin collectors). Bullion coins are available from most coin dealers – but you can also buy them directly from the mint.
Bullion bars are mostly produced by private companies and are available in different weights and purity levels. Unless you are buying directly from an official government minting facility, it’s important to do your due diligence when purchasing physical bullion.
First, you should check the seller’s references and make sure they are an authorized dealer. Second, make certain that the seller can give a written guarantee of the authenticity of their products. For example, the gold bars we sell here at MGS are sealed, certified, and labeled with a serial number and QR code for authentication purposes. Third, most bullion sellers are actually re-sellers – meaning that they do not manufacture the bullion themselves. Unfortunately, even legitimate bullion resellers can fall prey to counterfeiters, so you should ask about how they prevent fake bullion products from entering their inventories. Lastly, you should have the bullion assayed by a third-party before finalizing the purchase. All of these steps will limit your risk so you can invest in physical bullion with confidence.