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Last Updated on December 7, 2023

Gold has long been considered a safe haven for investors, providing a reliable store of value and a hedge against economic uncertainty.

As a tangible asset, gold bars offer a level of security that is often lacking in other investment vehicles, such as stocks or bonds. If you’re considering diversifying your portfolio with this precious metal, you may be asking yourself: where is the best place to buy gold bars?

In this article, we’ll explore the various options available to you, as well as discuss the factors you should consider before making a purchase.

1. Buying Gold Bars Safely Online

gold ira kit from goldco

One of the most convenient methods for purchasing gold bars is through online retailers. This option offers a vast selection of gold bars, competitive prices, and the ability to buy from the comfort of your home.

There are many reputable online dealers to choose from, such as Goldco, APMEX, and JM Bullion. When buying gold bars online, it’s essential to verify the dealer’s authenticity and reputation, check for customer reviews, and ensure they have secure payment options.

Additionally, it’s crucial to factor in shipping costs and delivery times when making your purchase.

Buying Gold bars online can seem scary, which is why we recommend going with a highly-rated and trusted company, and Goldco is one of our top choices – learn more below:

2. Buying Gold Bars Locally

Purchasing gold bars from a local dealer can provide you with the opportunity to physically inspect the gold before making a purchase.

Local dealers can be found in many forms, including coin shops, pawnshops, and even some banks. To find a reputable local dealer, consider asking for recommendations from friends, family, or online forums.

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When buying gold bars locally, make sure to compare prices from multiple dealers to ensure you’re getting a fair deal. Also, familiarize yourself with the weight and purity of gold bars, as these factors can impact the price.

3. Buying Gold Bars Using a Gold IRA

A gold Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is a self-directed retirement account that allows you to hold physical gold bars in bulk, along with other precious metals like silver, platinum, and palladium, as an investment.

By using a gold IRA, you can enjoy potential tax advantages and protect your retirement savings from economic uncertainty.

To purchase gold bars through a gold IRA, you’ll need to work with a specialized custodian who will handle the storage and management of your assets.

Companies like Goldco offer gold IRA services and can assist you in setting up and managing your account.

4. Private Sale of Gold Bars

Another option for buying gold bars is through private sales. These transactions typically occur between individuals, often facilitated by online marketplaces or social media groups.

While private sales can sometimes offer competitive prices, they also come with increased risks.

To protect yourself, ensure that the seller is trustworthy, request a bill of sale, and consider having the gold bars independently appraised or authenticated before completing the transaction.

How to Avoid Buying Fake Gold Bars

an enormous stack of gold bars

Counterfeit gold bars are a concern for investors, as fake bars can be difficult to detect and significantly impact the value of your investment.

To protect yourself from purchasing fake gold bars, follow these steps:

  1. Buy from reputable dealers: One of the most effective ways to avoid counterfeit gold bars is to buy from reputable dealers with established track records, whether online or locally. Reputable dealers have a vested interest in maintaining their credibility and will be diligent in ensuring the authenticity of the gold bars they sell.
  2. Verify hallmarks and serial numbers: Genuine gold bars will typically have hallmarks or stamps that indicate the manufacturer, weight, purity, and a unique serial number. Familiarize yourself with the common hallmarks from reputable mints, such as the Royal Canadian Mint, Perth Mint, or PAMP Suisse. If a gold bar’s hallmark or serial number appears suspicious, it could be a sign of a counterfeit.
  3. Test the gold bar’s dimensions and weight: Counterfeit gold bars may have incorrect dimensions or weights compared to genuine bars. Compare the gold bar’s specifications with those provided by the manufacturer or reputable sources. Keep in mind that minor deviations could be due to manufacturing tolerances, but significant discrepancies may indicate a fake.
  4. Conduct a magnet test: Gold is a non-magnetic metal, while many counterfeit gold bars are made from magnetic materials such as tungsten or steel. By using a strong magnet, you can test whether a gold bar is attracted to the magnet. If the bar is magnetic, it’s likely a fake. However, this test is not foolproof, as some sophisticated counterfeits may pass the magnet test.
  5. Perform an acid test: Acid tests involve using a nitric acid solution to test the gold bar’s surface. Genuine gold will not react with nitric acid, while other metals will typically show signs of corrosion. However, this test can be risky and may damage the gold bar’s surface, potentially affecting its resale value. We recommend using this method as a last resort and preferably conducted by a professional.
  6. Seek professional verification: If you’re uncertain about the authenticity of a gold bar, consider seeking the assistance of a professional appraiser, a reputable coin shop, or a precious metals testing facility. These experts can conduct non-destructive tests, such as X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis or ultrasound testing, to verify the gold bar’s authenticity without damaging it.

By following these steps and exercising due diligence, you can significantly reduce the risk of purchasing fake gold bars and protect the value of your investment.

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Top Factors to Consider Before Buying Gold Bars

Before purchasing gold bars, it’s essential to consider several factors to make an informed decision. By evaluating these factors, you can ensure that you’re making a sound investment and minimizing potential risks.

Here are the top factors to consider when buying gold bars:

  1. Reputation and reliability of the seller: The trustworthiness of the dealer is a crucial factor when purchasing gold bars. Whether buying online or locally, verify the dealer’s authenticity by checking for customer reviews, business ratings (e.g., Better Business Bureau), and industry accreditations. A reputable dealer will also provide secure payment options and clear return policies.
  2. Gold bar weight and purity: Gold bars come in various weights (e.g., 1 gram, 1 ounce, 10 ounces, 1 kilogram) and purities (typically between 0.995 and 0.9999 fineness). Familiarize yourself with these factors to make an informed choice that aligns with your investment goals. Keep in mind that larger bars usually have lower premiums over the spot price of gold, but may be less liquid due to their higher cost.
  3. Price comparison: To ensure you’re getting a fair deal, compare prices from multiple dealers. Gold prices can fluctuate based on factors like market demand, gold spot prices, and dealer premiums. Be aware of potential hidden fees, such as shipping costs and insurance, which can affect the overall price of your purchase.
  4. Storage and insurance: Safeguarding your gold bars is crucial for protecting your investment. Consider your options for storing your gold bars, such as a home safe, a bank deposit box, or a professional vault. Additionally, make sure to insure your investment against theft or damage. Some dealers, like Goldco, offer storage and insurance services to their customers.
  5. Payment method and transaction fees: Different dealers may accept various payment methods, such as bank transfers, credit cards, and cryptocurrencies. Be aware of any transaction fees associated with your chosen payment method, as these can affect the overall cost of your purchase.
  6. Delivery and shipping: If you’re buying gold bars online, it’s essential to consider the shipping process. Reputable dealers should offer secure and insured shipping, with clear tracking information provided. Be sure to factor in shipping costs and delivery times when making your purchase.
  7. Legal and tax implications: Depending on your jurisdiction, there may be legal and tax considerations related to buying and holding gold bars. Consult a financial advisor or tax professional to understand the implications of your gold investment.
  8. Liquidity: While gold bars are generally considered a liquid asset, the ease of selling your gold bars can be influenced by factors such as weight, brand, and the local market. Consider these factors when choosing the gold bars that best suit your investment goals.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can make an informed decision when buying gold bars and ensure that you’re making a sound investment.

Buying Gold Bars Online – Why We Recommend Goldco

While there are numerous options for purchasing gold bars online, we recommend Goldco due to their exceptional reputation, comprehensive services, and competitive prices. Goldco is a leading provider of precious metals IRA services and a reputable dealer of gold and silver bars and coins. Here are some reasons why we recommend Goldco:

  • Trustworthiness and reputation: Goldco has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a 5-star rating on Trustpilot, indicating a high level of customer satisfaction.
  • Competitive pricing: Goldco offers competitive prices for gold bars, ensuring you get a fair deal for your investment.
  • Expert guidance: Goldco provides personalized service and expert guidance on precious metals investing, helping you make informed decisions and maximize your investment potential.
  • Gold IRA services: In addition to buying gold bars, Goldco can help you set up and manage a gold IRA, providing a comprehensive solution for your precious metals investment needs.


In conclusion, there are several options available for purchasing gold bars, each with its advantages and considerations. Whether you choose to buy online, locally, through a gold IRA, or via private sale, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and weigh the pros and cons of each method.

Remember to consider factors like the reputation of the seller, the weight and purity of the gold bars, price comparisons, and storage and insurance options.

If you’re looking to buy gold bars online, we recommend Goldco for their exceptional reputation, competitive pricing, and comprehensive services.

By following this guide, you’ll be well-prepared to make a sound investment in gold bars and diversify your portfolio.