Your Guide to the Best Gold Bars To Buy for Investment

Gold offers premier inflation hedging, portfolio diversification, and value storing, making it the top choice for many investors in today’s uncertain economy. If you’re interested in investing in gold, you have several options, like coins, bars, mining stocks, ETFs, IRAs, and more. But not everyone knows where to start.

Gold bars for investment purposes allow you to buy high-purity gold in bulk to safeguard your wealth. Investing in gold bars requires a lot of upfront capital, so you must carefully study your options, strategies, and potential risks before making any decisions. Read on for our complete gold bar investment options guide, then consult your financial advisor for investment support.

Historical Performance of Gold Bars as an Investment

Certified bars must meet a minimum purity of 99.5% to qualify as gold bullion. As gold bullion products, gold bars track the spot price of gold rather than performing independently, as mining stocks or collectible numismatic coins might.

Between 1971 and 2022, spot gold averaged a 7.78% global annual return rate. During these decades, spot gold fluctuated slightly but generally returned to positive figures. For example, in 1979, spot gold increased by over 133%, but this massive increase offset the return in 1981, leading to a decrease in price of 32%.

Spot gold has also shown decent performance in recent years, yielding over 24% in 2020 during the COVID-19 crisis. Again, this phenomenal return led to two years of nearly net performance rates before the precious metal achieved an over 13% increase in 2023.

Gold bars can fluctuate year to year due to many micro and macro factors, such as inflation levels, interest rates, central bank gold buying, supply chain restrictions, and retail demand. When held long-term, though, investors typically enjoy steady returns closer to the 7% annual rate.

Types of Gold Bars

various size of gold bullion bar

When picturing a gold bar, you likely imagine those stacks of shiny yellow bricks you’ve seen in treasure-hunting movies. When buying gold bars for portfolio purposes, though, you have quite a few options beyond the standard 400-ounce brick to suit a wide range of investors.

Different Sizes and Weights

Gold bars for investment purposes come in numerous sizes and weights. The standard gold bar size is 400 troy ounces, which would cost over $822,000 based on the spot price of gold at $2,056. Financial institutions, central banks, and seasoned investors typically choose 400-ounce bars (or London Good Delivery Bars) to secure their gold investments in the most cost-effective way.

Gold bars are either cast or minted. The two methods refer to how refiners turn the liquid gold into a bar shape. Larger gold bars are typically cast, while smaller bars are minted.

Here are the most common sizes you can typically buy cast gold bars in:

  • 1 ounce
  • 100 grams
  • 250 grams
  • 10 ounces
  • 500 grams
  • 1 kilogram
  • 100 ounces
  • 400 ounces (London Good Delivery Bars)

You may also buy much smaller minted gold bars, ranging from one gram to one ounce, with many size variations. At Oxford Gold Group, we offer certified gold bars in 1 and 10-ounce sizes from numerous manufacturers.

Purity Levels

Gold bars must be at least 99.5% pure gold (or .995 fine) to meet investment-grade criteria. You’ll find a bit of variation within this range, though.

Gold manufacturers cannot make 100% pure gold bars as the product requires a tiny portion of silver, copper, or a similar alloy to make the smelting process possible. Because of this, the finest gold bars on the market are 99.99% pure, or .9999 fine. You can find these bars at the Royal Canadian Mint and a few other refineries.

When shopping for gold bullion for investment purposes, be sure to consider the purity levels, as pricing can vary based on purity. At Oxford Gold Group, we offer high-purity gold bars above .999.

Popular Brands and Refineries of Gold Bars

Suisse gold bar

Not all gold bars come from the same place. Many renowned mints from around the globe refine gold for international sales. When buying bars for investment purposes, you want to purchase from a London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)-approved refinery or government mint so you can rely on products adhering to strict quality and purity standards.

Below, we look at some of the most reputable bar refineries from around the globe, discussing their advantages, distinguishing features, and more.

Valcambi Suisse

Valcambi Suisse is the largest gold refinery in Switzerland, with the capacity to deliver over 1,200 tons of gold per year. The top-notch refinery offers .999 purity across its gold products. Valcambi Suisse bars are unique because they break into smaller pieces like candy bars, offering simpler storage options.

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse gold bars offer unique branding and low premiums, making them highly sought after. Valcambi Suisse manufactures all Credit Suisse gold bars, as Valcambi is 100% owned by Credit Suisse.


PAMP Suisse is another Swiss-based leading precious metal refinery, delivering 450 metric tons of gold per year. The refinery specializes in bars weighing less than 50 grams but offers a wide range of options.

Compared to Valcambi gold bars, PAMP Suisse bars are slightly thinner, wider, and taller. PAMP Suisse bars offer more detailed artistry, while Valcambi bars may offer a bit more liquidity, given the company’s renowned reputation.

Note that PAMP Suisse and MKS PAMP merged in 2021 to become MKS PAMP Suisse.

Perth Mint

The Perth Mint manufactures high-purity gold bullion in Australia, offering minted and cast bars with purity options as high as .9999 fineness. You can purchase Perth Mint bars in many weights with specialty designs featuring intricate dragons, hopping kangaroos, and more, making them highly attractive to collectors as well as investors.

Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint produces the finest gold product in the world, a .99999 pure gold bullion investment coin. Beyond this, the Canadian mint boasts a stellar range of gold bars and wafers with contemporary designs that stand out from most other products.

Metalor Technologies

Metalor Technologies is a Swiss-based gold refinery that’s been delivering precious metal supplies for over 70 years. The refiner offers cast gold bars from 100 grams to 400 ounces, with minted bars in smaller quantities. All bars have simple certification stamps with customization options.

And More

Beyond the above list, you can find quite a few more reputable refineries approved by the London Bullion Market Association. Here are a few honorable mentions of refineries we would recommend for gold bars for investment purposes:

  • Johnson Matthey (UK)
  • Argor Heraeus (Switzerland)
  • Umicore (Belgium)
  • Asahi Refining (Japan)
  • Rand Refinery (South Africa)

How To Choose the Right Gold Bar Brand

rising stack of wooden block with red star logo

Not all gold bars are created equally. Several factors can impact your investment, so you must weigh your decision carefully. We recommend considering the following when selecting which brand of gold bar to purchase from:

Reputation and Trustworthiness

First and foremost, you should only purchase gold bars from highly reputable, trustworthy brands. You’re investing a lot of money in bullion, so you must ensure the product you’re purchasing will come from a reliable source. If you don’t purchase from a reputable brand, you may struggle to sell it when you’re ready to liquidate your assets.

You can measure a brand’s overall reputation and trustworthiness by looking at scores on the Better Business Bureau, general reviews, and purchase policies. The gold bars should be refined by London Bullion Market Association-approved mints, so you can rely on standard purity and quality levels.

Assay Certificates and Authentication

Large gold bar investments typically come with assay certificates showing proof of authenticity and purity. You should only purchase gold bars from brands that will provide assay certificates so you can verify their authenticity.

Sometimes, you may find street dealers selling gold bars without certificates. An assay certificate proves that the gold was produced by an acceptable mint following all standard practices.

Accessibility and Liquidity

Some gold bars are far more popular, accessible, and, therefore, liquid than others. Major brands, like Credit Suisse, offer ideal liquidity because most buyers recognize the name and feel comfortable purchasing the product. On the other hand, buying gold from a smaller brand and less-recognized refinery could result in more challenges when you’re ready to sell your investment.

How To Buy Gold Bars

small shopping cart with one hundred dollar banknote

Now that you know your options for gold bar investment strategies, let’s move on to the more practical aspects of investing in bullion. When you’re ready to buy gold bars, you will typically need to follow these steps:

  1. Decide whether you’re purchasing online or in person: You can purchase gold bars at physical retail locations or online from verified dealers that source gold from the reputable refineries listed above. Buying gold in person allows you to see the product first, but you may not be able to compare prices or verify the dealer in advance. With online shopping, you can verify authenticity, compare prices, research different dealers, and more.
  2. Select a dealer: Once you decide how you’re going to buy your gold bars, select which brand you will purchase from. If you want to buy gold online, we offer a selection of high-purity gold bars and coins in all different sizes from reputable refineries at Oxford Gold Group.
  3. Select your products: Now, select the gold bar(s) you wish to purchase. Consider the size, weight, purity, and design while shopping. Keep the premiums in mind when comparing different purity options.
  4. Purchase insurance: If you purchase gold online, you must insure your delivery. Many online dealers include full tracking and insurance on all deliveries, but you should verify this before purchasing.

Is It Safe To Buy Gold Bars Online?

Yes, it can be safe to buy gold bars online, assuming you purchase your bullion from a reputable dealer providing certified gold products. If you want to avoid scams, be sure that the online products come with assay certifications so you can verify where the gold was produced and its purity level. The safest online dealers also provide insurance on your delivery to protect you from losses during transit.

Gold Bars vs. Other Types of Gold Investments

If you’ve reached this point of the guide and decided gold bars aren’t for you, but you still want to invest in gold, you have a few other options. Here are some other popular gold investments:

  • Gold coins: Gold coins allow you to invest in gold in smaller quantities for easier storage and a lower entry price. Depending on your market knowledge and preferences, you can invest in high-purity bullion or numismatic rare coins. At Oxford Gold Group, we offer various high-purity gold coins, including coins like the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf.
  • Gold futures: Gold futures allow you to speculate on gold’s future performance rate without owning the physical commodity, saving you the hassle of vaulting and insurance.
  • Gold ETFs: Gold exchange-traded funds, like SPDR Gold Shares and iShares Gold Trust, track the price of gold but come with annual expense ratios. Gold ETFs generally provide better liquidity for short-term traders but come with additional counterparty risks.
  • Gold mining stocks: Gold mining stocks allow you to invest in businesses related to the gold mining industry. Again, you won’t have to deal with physical gold storage requirements, but you will face much higher risks, as such businesses could collapse from various factors.

Are There Storage Considerations for Gold Bars?

bank clerk opening safe deposit box

Yes, gold bars require professional vaulting or at-home storage, depending on the quantity and purpose. You invested funds in your bullion, so you must adequately protect your products.

For smaller bars, you may consider storing your investment at home in a safe. If you do so, you may want to purchase additional insurance to cover your losses in the case of a theft, natural disaster, or home fire.

For larger gold bars, most investors choose professional vaulting services. Professional vaults typically charge annual maintenance and storage fees but may include insurance for your stored products.

Advantages of Investing in Gold Bars

The benefits of owning gold bars include the following:

  • Steady long-term returns: Spot gold’s average return is 7.78%.
  • Portfolio diversification: Gold typically performs well when stocks and bonds go down, meaning it can work as a safe-haven tool within your portfolio.
  • Lower premiums: Gold bars allow you to purchase gold in bulk for lower premiums.
  • Low counterparty risks: Gold is a raw material with limited supply, so it does not fluctuate drastically in price or face counterparty risks.
  • Inflation hedging: You can use gold bars to protect your purchasing power during inflationary periods.

What Are the Risks Associated With Investing in Gold Bars?

Like all investments, gold bars also come with downsides, such as the following:

  • Liquidity: Finding a buyer for your gold bar, particularly an expensive, larger one, can take some time.
  • Storage: Professional vaulting for gold bars requires annual fees.
  • Short-term fluctuations: Pressures such as high interest rates can cause spot gold to go down in price. Because of this, short-term gold investments may pose additional risks.

Can You Include Gold Bars in Your Retirement Portfolio?

Yes, you can include gold bars in your retirement portfolio by opening a gold IRA. Gold IRAs allow you to fund your retirement account with IRS-approved gold bullion to enjoy tax-advantaged, inflation-proof retirement savings. At Oxford Gold Group, we offer gold IRAs with simple rollovers, a wide selection of IRS-approved metals, and secure storage options.

Eligible Gold Bars for Inclusion in a Gold IRA

To be included in an IRA, gold bars must be 99.5% pure and produced by an accredited assayer, manufacturer, or national government mint. At Oxford Gold Group, all our gold bars are eligible for inclusion within your IRA.

Contact Oxford Gold Group today at (833) 600-GOLD to learn more about our Gold IRAs or shop our selection of high-purity gold bars for investment purposes online.

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