Gold bar

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Gold bars stacked in a pyramid
1kg Gold bars

A gold bar, also called gold bullion or a gold ingot, is a quantity of refined metallic gold of any shape that is made by a bar producer meeting standard conditions of manufacture, labeling, and record keeping. Larger gold bars that are produced by pouring the molten metal into molds are called ingots. Smaller bars may be manufactured by minting or stamping from appropriately rolled gold sheets. The standard gold bar held as gold reserves by central banks and traded among bullion dealers is the 400-troy-ounce (12.4 kg or 438.9 ounces) Good Delivery gold bar. The kilobar, which is 1000 grams in mass (32.15 troy ounces), is the bar that is more manageable and is used extensively for trading and investment. The premium on these bars when traded is very low over the spot value of the gold making it ideal for small transfers between banks and traders. Most kilobars are flat, although some investors, particularly in Europe, prefer the brick shape.[1] Asian markets differ in that they prefer gram gold bars as opposed to Troy ounce measurements. Popular sizes in the Asian region includes 10 grams, 100 grams and 1,000 gram bars.[2]

Types[edit]

A minted bar (left) and a cast bar (right)

Based upon how they are manufactured gold bars are categorised as having been cast or minted with both differing in their appearance and price.[1] Cast bars are created in a similar method to that of ingots whereby molten gold is poured into a bar shaped mold and left to solidify. This process often leads to malformed bars with uneven surfaces which, although imperfect, make each bar unique and easier to identify. Cast bars are also cheaper compared to those that are minted because they are quicker to produce and require less handling.

Minted bars are made from gold blanks that have been cut to a required dimension from a flat piece of gold. These are identified by having smooth and even surfaces.

Security features[edit]

To prevent bars from being counterfeited or stolen manufacturers have developed ways to verify genuine bars with the most common way being to brand bars with registered serial numbers or providing a certificate of authenticity. In most refineries serial numbers are only reserved for large bars (over 250g) with smaller ones having no serial number at all due to their small value.[3]

In contrast to cast bars (which are often handled directly), minted bars are generally sealed in protective packaging to prevent tampering and keep them from becoming damaged. A hologram security feature known as a Kinegram can also be inserted into the packaging. Bars that contain these are called Kinebars.[4]

Standard bar weights[edit]

Gold prices (US$ per troy ounce), in nominal US$ and inflation adjusted US$ from 1914 onward.

Gold is measured in troy ounces, often simply referred to as ounce when the reference to gold is evident. One troy ounce is equivalent to 31.1034768 grams. Commonly encountered in daily life is the avoirdupois ounce, an Imperial weight in countries still using British weights and measures or United States customary units. The avoirdupois ounce is lighter than a troy ounce; one avoirdupois ounce equals 28.349523125 grams.[5]

The standard gold bar held and traded internationally by central banks and bullion dealers is the Good Delivery bar with a 400 oz (troy-ounce) (12.4 kg or 438.9 ounces) nominal weight. However, its precise gold content is permitted to vary between 350 oz and 430 oz. The minimum purity required is 99.5% gold. These bars must be stored in recognized and secure gold bullion vaults to maintain their quality status of Good Delivery. The recorded provenance of this bar assures integrity and maximum resale value.[6]

  • One tonne = 1000 kilograms = 32,150.746 troy ounces.
  • One kilogram = 1000 grams = 32.15074656 troy ounces.
  • One tola = 11.6638038 grams = 0.375 troy ounces.
  • One tael = 50 grams.[notes 1]
  • TT (Ten Tola) = 117 grams (3.75 oz)

Tola is a traditional Indian measure for the weight of gold and prevalent to this day. Many international gold manufacturers supply tola bars of 999.96 purity.

Gold bar manufacturers[edit]

Manufacturer Bar Sizes Ref.
Grams Ounces Taels Tolas
0.3g 0.5g 1g 2g 2.5g 5g 10g 20g 50g 100g 250g 500g 1 kg 1/10

oz

1/4

oz

1/2

oz

1

oz

2.5

oz

5oz 10

oz

400

oz

1 Tael 1 Tola 2 Tolas 3 Tolas 5 Tolas 10 Tolas
Baird & Co. Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY [7]
Emirates Gold Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY [8]
Heraeus Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY [9]
Metalor Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY [10]
PAMP Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY [11][12]
Perth Mint Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY [13]
Royal Mint Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY [14]
Umicore Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY [15]
Valcambi Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY Green tickY [16][17]

Largest gold bar[edit]

The world's largest gold bar at the Toi Gold Museum.

The world's largest gold bar stands at 250 kg (551 lb), measuring at the base 45.5 cm × 22.5 cm and 17 cm high with 5 degree draft angle (equal to 15,730  cm³, or 17.9 in × 8.9 in × 6.7 in ≈ 1062.04 in³). It was manufactured by the Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi. It went on display at the Toi Gold Museum on July 11, 2005. Its gold content was valued in 2005 at 400 million yen (approximately US$3,684,000 at the time).[18][19][20]

As of 29 October 2014, it is worth approximately US$10.33M,[21] not accounting for the premium associated with being the world's largest gold bar.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ This is the official rate of taels in mainland China since the country implemented the metric system. In Taiwan and Hong Kong, a tael is equivalent to 37.429 g.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What is a gold bar?". Archived from the original on 2010-06-19. 
  2. ^ "Buy Gold Bars Online - Gold | LPM". www.lpm.hk. Archived from the original on 2017-10-15. Retrieved 2017-10-15. 
  3. ^ "Do the gold bars that we sell have unique serial numbers?". Gold Made Simple. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  4. ^ "KINEBARS®" (PDF). Gold Bars Worldwide. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2017. 
  5. ^ Boyati, Lested (1 June 2014). "Top Recommended Gold Trading Brokers". FXdailyReport.Com. Archived from the original on 12 November 2016. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  6. ^ "Full List of Official Good Delivery Rules". lbma.org. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Baird & Co | Gold Bars". Baird & Co. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  8. ^ "Investment Bars : Rectangular Gold Bar". Emirates Gold. Archived from the original on 19 May 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  9. ^ "Gold bars". Heraeus. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  10. ^ "Metalor Gold Bars". BullionByPost. Archived from the original on 23 June 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  11. ^ "PAMP | Cast Bars". PAMP. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  12. ^ "PAMP | Minted Ingots". PAMP. Archived from the original on 6 June 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  13. ^ "Perth Mint Spot Prices". Perth Mint. Archived from the original on 16 April 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  14. ^ "Gold Bars | Silver Bars | Royal Mint Bullion | Royal Mint Refinery". The Royal Mint. Archived from the original on 17 June 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  15. ^ "Investment Bars Gold". Umicore. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  16. ^ "Good Delivery Gold bar". Valcambi. Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  17. ^ "1 g Minted Gold bar". Valcambi. Archived from the original on 8 May 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  18. ^ "Historical Exchange Rates". OANDA Services. Archived from the original on 2 February 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2010. 
  19. ^ "Three Diamonds Cast Gold-Medal Gold Bar". The Japan Journal. November 2005. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Mitsubishi makes record-size gold bar". Japan Times. June 17, 2005. Archived from the original on May 31, 2015. Retrieved March 10, 2010. .
  21. ^ "Interactive gold price chart - Gold Market Price - World Gold Council". Archived from the original on 2013-10-29. 

External links[edit]