For years, gold has been associated with status and wealth. It’s not surprising that today, the standard gold bullion is still in use and represents an excellent investment. However, the weight of a gold bar was and still is a matter of debate. Many different factors impact the gold bar’s weight, including regional specifications, the purpose for which it’s used, and the type of gold bar.
For example, the United States officially holds more than 147 million ounces of gold bars with a total value of approximately $250 billion. Each standard gold brick weighs around 400 troy ounces.
When discussing gold bar weight, it is good to know what a gold bar is and how the bar is measured.
What Is a Gold Bar?
A gold bar is a minted gold item in a rectangular form. It’s sometimes referred to as gold biscuit or gold bullion and may come in different sizes and weights.
Gold bars are one of the most cost-efficient ways to add value to your investment portfolio. They are produced in large quantities and therefore carry smaller premiums than gold coins.
Categories of Gold Bars
Gold bars around the world can be classified into 55 categories. The categorization is based on the weight of a gold bar, decoration, shape, and unique features.
Small Gold Bars (Under 1 oz)
Considering there are many shapes and types of gold bars, the easiest way to categorize them is by size.
Among investors, one-ounce gold bars are the most popular and commonly traded weights. Small gold bars are more affordable and a perfect option for investors on a tight budget. Some of the most popular small gold bar weights are:
- 20 grams
- 10 grams
- 5 grams
- 5 grams
- 1 gram
Larger Gold Bars (Over 1 oz)
Gold bars can also be larger than 1 ounce. For those who want to buy and invest in larger gold bars, the most popular options include 250-grams, 100-grams, or 50-gram gold bars. There are also gold bars in 10-ounce, 400-ounce, and 1-kilo weights.
Larger gold bars offer higher value than smaller bars and are ideal for both investment and home storage. They can be stored in a bank safe deposit box, home safe, or a depository of your personal choice. Some bars come with added benefits, including a mark or an assay card, which is proof of the gold bar’s purity and content. Others come with a serial number, which is used to validate quality and authenticity.
Both small and large gold bars come in two styles:
- Minted Gold Bars – Minted bars are one of the most commonly traded bars. They are manufactured by stamping a mint mark and inscription. You will recognize them by their bright shine and smooth finish.
- Cast Gold Bars – Cast gold bars are manufactured by pouring liquid gold into specially designed molds. Each cast gold bar has a unique identifying mark and engraving. The key difference is that they are simpler in design and have a slightly more rugged finish.
While there can be many different sizes, we will discuss some of the most popular standard sizes of gold bars and how much they weigh.
London 400 oz Gold Bar
The London Good Delivery or LGD gold bar is the standard-sized bar used in investment portfolios and transactions on the London market. It is commonly known as the 400 oz bar (12.5 kg) and can range from 350 to 430 troy ounces. Investors pay based on the exact weight in ounces when they purchase.
London gold bars have a minimum of 99.5% purity, which is also known as fineness. Each mint manufactures a unique shape, but the traditional dimensions are:
- Height: 1-1.8 inches
- Length: 8.3-11.4 inches
- Width: 2.2-3.3 inches
COMEX 100 oz Gold Bar
The COMEX gold bar or 100 oz bar is a standard-sized bar used in investment portfolios and transactions on the NYMEX or New York Stock Exchange market. Its weight can range between 95 oz and 105 oz.
Shanghai 3000 g Gold Bar
This standard-sized bar weighing 3000 g is used on the Shanghai Gold Exchange market.
Kilobars 1000 g Gold Bar
The Kilobar is probably the most traded gold bar in the world. Most of them feature an international shape, while others come in the form of a brick.
Cast Gold Bar
Cast gold bars are also known as small gold bars and weigh between 400 and 500 g or less. For investors, the most popular weighs are 100, 250, and 50 g. The smallest Cast gold bar weighs 10 g and is commonly found in Brazil.
Troy Ounce Gold Bar
For those interested in investing in small gold bars, Troy Ounce bars are an ideal option. Manufactured by the Perth Mint in Australia, their weight varies between 50 oz and ½ oz.
Tola Gold Bar
Tola bars are popular in India (tola is a standard Indian weight unit) and are traded in the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East. The most popular Tola gold bar weighs 10 tolas, which is equivalent to 116.64g or 3.75oz.
The LGD bar is an expensive piece of gold, but the size and value limit its uses for investment or trade. That’s why smaller kilobar gold bars came into existence – to provide opportunities for everyone to invest in gold. The 1000 g gold bar or 32.15 oz bar is quite popular among investors. It is almost shaped like chocolate and is a relatively flat bar with a smooth appearance.
The 1000 g gold bar is still worth a lot (the current market value is around $50,000). However, the size, relatively lower price tag, and portability have made the Kilobar an ideal choice for businesses, banks, and investment firms. In Asian markets, 1000, 100, and 10-gram bars are preferred as opposed to troy-ounce bars. In Europe, Kilobars (the 1000 g gold bars) are traded daily and are more likely to be shaped in the classic brick shape than the chocolate one.
How Does the Weight of a Gold Bar Affect Transactions?
Now that you know how much each type of gold bar weighs, let’s see how it affects your transaction, investment portfolio, and financial stability.
It is essential to understand that each gold bar serves various purposes. Some gold bars are better for trading, while others serve as investment opportunities.
In some cases, the weight of a gold bar is set by economic, political, and local concerns. The regional gold demand also plays a significant role in deciding how much a gold bar is worth.
Read on to find out how a gold bar’s weight affects transactions.
One of the most significant advantages of gold bars is the lower premium. When compared to gold coins, gold bars, on average, have a lower premium. If you are interested in investing in bars of higher weight, this can convince you to seal the deal.
The reason that gold bars have lower premiums is that they are produced in larger quantities. For the same amount of money, you can get a higher weight gold bar for lower expenditure.
Unlike gold coins, not everyone can produce gold bars. Only an official gold bar manufacturer can create and sell gold bars.
Some of the most reputable gold bar manufacturers are:
- Royal Mint
- United States Mint
- Royal Canadian Mint
- Perth Mint
- Emirates Gold
- Baird & Co
Although different regions and countries have specific gold bar weighs, there are still some standard criteria honored by gold bar manufacturers.
The Largest Gold Bar
Some gold bars are smaller and lighter to adapt to investors’ needs in terms of portability and value. Others are packed with as much gold as possible. When discussing the weight of a gold bar, one bar holds the record for being the biggest bar available.
Even though gold bars don’t exceed the standard sizes and weights set by authorities, the gold bars produced by Mitsubishi Materials Corporation consist of several standard-weighted LGBs.
The record-setting brick weighs in at 551 lb or 250 kg, and it is so big (17.9 x 8.9 x 6.7 inches) that it can be seen at the Toi Gold Museum in Japan. Today, the Mitsubishi gold bar is worth $10.325M.
Why Invest in Gold Bars
Whether you are interested in smaller or larger gold bars, there are many advantages to this form of investment:
- Diversification: Gold bars are the best ways to build and boost your precious metal investment portfolio.
- Ease of Storage: The durability, compact size, and portability allow for easy storage alternatives. A gold bar takes less space than gold coins.
- Easy to Purchase and Sell: Gold bars are the most accessible forms of precious metal to invest in. Unlike coins, bars don’t have historical value limited to one country, culture, or event.
Gold is a valuable asset that should be part of everyone’s investment portfolio. Regardless of the weight of a gold bar, you should be able to find a size that’s suitable for you.