Gold Bars has been the most popular investment option for families from the wealthy and reasonably rich to ordinary people looking to park some of their hard earned money after spending on essentials.
The idea of buying gold or gold bars is no doubt an attractive option which hedges against money ploughed in other volatile and risky ventures or investments. Primarily, gold bars are ingots that can be molted and made into jewelry of different weights, designs and sizes.
Gold is a very dense metal and a one cubic foot can be worth ten million US dollars.
Gold bar is an investment option where smaller bars are costly because of low premium to bigger bars.
Gold bars come with markings of the manufacturer, weight, purity and those by small manufacturers come without a serial number. Each bar has its own distinctive feature but most minted bars worldwide carry a motif on the reverse.
Range of 'good delivery' by exchanges specifies purity between 99%- 99.9%. Bars manufactured for jewelers and fabricators seldom carry weights and purity markings. Gold can be bought in troy ounce, tola, gram and tael weights. Troy ounces should not be confused with food weight which is lighter.
One troy ounce is about 31.1034768 grams and prices should be calculated according to the price of gold, say in US$ per ounce and then converted to price of a gold gram. One kilogram is 1000grans which again is 32.15074656 troy ounces and the value of one kilogram of gold on Oct10, 2008 was US$27617.49.
Major Banks are known to maintain gold accounts and gold bars for customers who are interested in investment while speculators go through brokers and private banks. Gold bars can be cast or minted. Gold put in a furnace is melted, poured back into the mold or passed through a die for a thinner and flatter look.
Minted bars are cut in shapes and sizes from a cast bar, edges smoothed and marked, and blanked wherever wanted. Most widely traded at a low premium, the small gold kilobar of 1000grams popular among investors, come with a flat brick-like shape. The International Gold Bars exhibition lists only 53 manufacturers of the kilobar.
Tezabi rough cut bars with 99.9% purity are manufactured by Pakistani artisans not by any specified weight but from available old gold jewelry as they were done 2000 years ago with one listing in the exhibition list. Tael is Chinese boat, biscuit and doughnut shaped bars.
Popular traditional Thai baht bars are 150.4 grams of 96.5% purity. Indian Tola bars lack serial numbers and are extremely flat of around 116.64 grams. The exhibition lists a variety of chi bars from Vietnam. Swiss hologram bars are available worldwide.
Accredited Swiss, German and Brazilian manufacturers after 1980 apply decorative designs on the reverse of minted bars.
Japan pioneered the multi-color rainbow bar with 75% purity and Yin-Yang bars with innovative shapes depicting Zen symbols. Vietnam has gold leaf bars which are sewn in clothes and shoes or rolled into narrow tubes weighing around 15grams.