How to buy Gold?
Once someone has decided on a purchase, the obvious question is – how do I buy it? The whole business of buying gold can seem daunting, an affair best left to connoisseurs and experts.
However, this need not be the case at all. Before answering the “how to buy gold” question, the would-be purchaser needs to first decide in what form they plan to hold their gold and where they choose to buy it from.
Different Forms of Gold
Physical vs. Digital vs. ‘Paper’ gold
The immediate choice is between physical gold, digital gold or a “paper” version, such as an Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF), a type of security that tracks gold but trades on the stock market, like a share.
Should the buyers opt for physical gold for example, new choices will present themselves. Should they buy gold bars or coins? Will the buyer take possession of the gold or store it in a vault? And if the latter, will the gold be “allocated” – in other words, will specific bullion be earmarked with the owner’s name on it – or will it be “unallocated” – a cheaper storage option that simply entitles the owner to gold of a certain value?
Can I buy Gold on the Internet?
Despite being the oldest monetary medium, dating back millennia, buying and selling gold is now heavily done over the internet.
Should the buyer prefer to buy gold through a more traditional route, such as over the telephone or even on the vendor’s premises, the internet is probably the best research tool in terms of comparing dealing charges, services and other factors.
Buying Gold ETFs
Gold ETFs are available through a stockbroker or a bank. Despite their “paper” or electronic status, they are usually backed by physical gold of a certain standard, although this gold may be stored in a different country or continent. Ultimately, the buyer will most unlikely ever lay eyes on it. To find out about The Royal Mint’s gold backed ETC, click here.
Buying Physical Gold
Physical gold can also be bought through a bank or, perhaps more commonly, through bullion dealers. Along with the up-front charges, when buying gold, it is important to compare any other fees and to look at the provision (or not) of carriage and insurance in cases where the buyer wishes to take delivery of the bullion. For those who prefer to leave their bullion with a bank or dealer, there will be vaulting charges to pay, which can vary considerably from one institution to another.
Buying Gold Coins or Bars
In such cases, the decision between coins and bars usually settles itself by reference to the funds available to the buyers; coins are more suitable for those making a modest outlay, while bars offer a straightforward means of acquiring larger quantities. It is usually the case that the larger the bar, the lower the premium over the value of the gold contained within it.
That said, larger bars lack flexibility in terms of changing the size of someone’s holdings, or buying and selling - an advantage provided by buying gold coins. Furthermore, coins, being legal tender, are Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exempt in the UK. Discover The Royal Mint’s full range of bullion coins and bars.
It is also important to be aware of the differences between bullion coins and commemorative coins that carry a premium because of their numismatic value and appeal to coin collectors. When buying gold as a monetary asset, ensure you select only standardised bullion coins, as they offer a lower premium over the precious metal value.
Buying Digital Gold
A digital precious metal programme offers an alternative way to access the precious metals market by purchasing part shares in larger gold bars.
Each part share that you own is clearly allocated and stored in a vault, meaning you do not have to deal with any storage and insurance. More flexible and affordable than buying bullion coins or smaller bars outright, this programme allows you to invest as much or as little as you want, making it appealing if you’d like to invest a certain amount each month, while enjoying the economies of scale offered by larger bars. To find out more about The Royal Mint’s DigiGold service, click here.
Buying Bullion From The Royal Mint
Buying bullion direct from The Royal Mint couldn’t be easier. Create and verify your Royal Mint Invest account in less than 10 minutes, add funds and purchase gold, silver or platinum bullion immediately. All bullion is purchased at real-time prices, and you can choose to have it delivered or store your gold in The Royal Mint’s Vault™. Additionally, for gold stored in The Vault™, there is a guaranteed buy-back service at a competitive market price. Click here to create your account today and begin buying gold from The Royal Mint within minutes.
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