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Real or Fake: How to Buy Certified Gold Bullion Bars

Gold tends to do well during times of economic uncertainty. In early 2016, for example, the S&P 500 was down more than 9 percent. Meanwhile, gold saw a 10 percent increase year-to-date and hit a four-month high of nearly $1,200 per ounce. Historically, any time people worried about inflation or a fragmented financial system, they turned to gold as a fallback plan.

However, gold isn’t just a “Doomsday” investment. In fact, gold bars are the original unit of investment. They started to appear in their standardized form in the 18th Century. During the early Victorian period, the Bank of England began to set size and purity requirements.

Today, gold bars are still produced and sold across the globe. They’re easy to store, transport or liquidate. But just as the reasons to buy or sell them are plentiful, so are the forgeries.

These three considerations can help you find the real deal.

Good Delivery Gold Bars

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) sets the benchmark for acceptable gold and silver bars. These rules and regulations help to establish quality control in production worldwide. Gold bars that meet these standards are called “Good Delivery” gold bars. Some of the specifications include weight, dimensions, fineness, and marks. Unlike bullion coins, “Good Delivery” bars don’t command any premium pricing for the owner, but they are highly regarded in the investment world. However, their large size often makes them too costly for the average consumer to purchase. Many producers also don’t sell to the public.

Spotting a Fake

Gold bars come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are typically sold by private companies or their vendors. In areas with high international traffic, you can even find gold bars being sold from vending machines. But not everything that glitters is gold. Fake bars are often made from copper and then plated with precious metal, nickel or alloy. A few years ago, PAMP® — a bullion brand in Switzerland — discovered that counterfeit PAMP Fortuna® 2.5 g minted bars were being sold globally through auction websites. How can you spot a fake? It’s not always easy to tell. For that reason, you might want to consider having it assayed for authenticity.

MGS Gold Bars

Manhattan Gold & Silver (MGS) sells its own branded 1 ozt. gold bullion bars. Our 999.9 fine bars are certified with the Swiss assayer’s mark. For authentication purposes, they’re also labeled with a serial number and QR code. Clients can either buy our gold bars outright at wholesale prices or receive them as payment for their recycled precious metals. It’s the only place in the Diamond District where you can walk in with precious metal scrap and walk out with investable gold bullion.

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