Gold prices have risen dramatically in the past year as the US dollar has weakened, with more and more people looking for its inherent value as protection from currency fluctuations. There are several avenues for buying gold, and investors, hobbyists and gift buyers will be smart to investigate any of these prior to purchase.
Here are several ways to buy gold:
- Gold dealers.While some countries offer bullion gold bars through banks, these gold pieces are also available through dealers. Gold bullion often comes with government certificates that guarantee their quality and amount, and are priced using the market value as a basis.
- Jewelry stores. These shops sell gold crafted into intricate designs and may even be embedded with gemstones, which will add value to individual pieces.
- Coin dealers. Coins are excellent investments for small-time investors, due to their easy storage and established market of collectors. The US Mint and its international counterparts and private minters often produce gold coins with special designs on the surface and then distribute them through registered dealers. Look for these dealers at a list provided by the US Mint in their website. Proof and commemorative gold coins are prized beyond their metal content for their limited production runs. One hot new coin is the Buffalo Gold coin, the first one publicly released by the US Mint which is pure 99.99 karat gold. Buy coins preferably with Certificates of Authenticity.
- Online. EBay and other auction sites host individual sellers who auction off family heirlooms and other keepsakes to the online public. Investors can also examine gold sellers online for opportunities. Make sure, however, that the sellers are reputable by checking their peer reviews and comments, or by looking around social networks and message boards for recommended gold sources. There are also websites that offer Goldgrams, a savings account that is completely backed by gold in a European bullion bank. Fees are reasonable, while the value of the account moves with global gold prices.
- Storage. The problem with buying gold is the need for security, and keeping it in the house won't offer as much protection from theft as bank safety deposit boxes. Gold coins and jewelry are small enough to be kept in safes and small recesses around the house. Bullions are other large gold formats are better off in banks and special institutions. There is also a problem with transferring gold, where larger amounts are susceptible to robbery. Small-time investors can transport coins and jewelry in the person, while financial institutions have the facilities and equipment to safety move larger quantities.
- Consider gold stock. While these do not let holders own the gold directly, these stocks allow for investment in gold mines, and their values are based on the amount and quality of the gold extracted from their operation. These stocks carry some risk on whether gold can be found at all.
Beware of fraudulent transactions and scams, where unwary investors buy counterfeits, advance fee fraud and stocks in mines with zero gold reserves. The gold market itself is known to be fickle, and its currently high market value may be a sign of a bubble.