What are Gold Bars?
Gold bars are rectangular-shaped blocks of pure gold, often called 'gold bullion' or 'gold ingots.' These gold bars are cast by pouring molten gold into a mold that is then left to solidify. A standard gold bar weighs 400 troy ounces of 24K gold.
Gold bars are used in mainly three ways: as a personal asset, as a reserve currency, and as a commercial finance tool.
Gold as a Personal Asset
First and foremost, gold bars have been used as a trusted form of investment for centuries. Gold is often purchased to diversity portfolios and balance risk as it's seen as a relatively secure form of investment that garners some protection against inflation.
Gold bars can come in a great variety of sizes (1 gram to 1 kilo), making it very easy to fine-tune your investment.
Historically, gold has always retained its value and can be traded in even the most unstable climate. When there's an economic crash, gold usually increases in value, making it a more secure investment.
Gold as a Reserve Currency
In modern times, national currencies are circulated either digitally or in paper/coin currency. To back some of that value, national central banks and governments buy and keep gold bars as a guarantee to pay depositors and paper note holders.
Gold as a Commercial Finance Tool
Besides private individuals and governments, enterprises also invest in gold to help borrow at lower rates in exchanged-traded funds, more commonly referred to as ETFs. These funds sell gold shares which have to be backed by gold reserves.
Most larger corporations, banks, and governments choose to invest in "LBMA" or "Good "Delivery" gold bullion. LBMA stands for London Bullion Market Association, and they've set strict guidelines when it comes to the quality of the gold bars. When buying gold in bulk, this tag often means the difference between buying genuine gold or being cheated out of your hard-earned money and being left with nothing.