Gold bars can come in many different shapes and sizes. At one extreme are the one-gram ingots that are usually wrapped in plastic and that are sought after in the market for gifts and gifts.
At the opposite extreme are the standard gold bars of 400 troy ounces (about 12.4kg), the so-called “Good Delivery” bars. These bars are those held by central banks and traded by professional traders in the center of the gold market, the City of London.
Each gold bar or ingot must bear the engraving indicating who its issuer or manufacturer was, what its weight is, and what its grade is, that is, its degree of purity. In this way, each gold bar will be easily identifiable and priceable. The engraving can include the serial number, some additional data or marks, and the certificate of authenticity.
To provide greater security and beauty to the product, important issuers, such as UBS, also add a similar diffractive sheet to the reverse of the ingot. These gold bars that have been treated in this way are called kind bars.
Currently, there are more than thirty types of ingots in circulation worldwide.
- The most commercialized ingots in the precious metals market are Good Delivery. There are more than sixty active refineries approved by the London Bullion Market Association producing about one hundred and fifty thousand bullion every year and weighing about 400 troy ounces.
- In turn, in smaller markets, such as the local markets of countries such as Singapore, the Middle East and India, the Tola gold bar is the most popular bar, with exactly 10 tolas. This bar is minted with the serial number and the weight, which is about 3.75 oz (about 117 grams). Approximately two million “TT” ingots are manufactured annually for these markets.
- In the great Asian country, China, the popular ingot is the 6-ounce Tael, which is about 187 grams. The Tael ingot is manufactured in Hong Kong and is approved and recognized by the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange, with almost a hundred years of operation.
- Outside of the Asian continent, the gold bars most sought after by personal custody investors are kilobars. Its weight is 32.15 ounces, about a thousand grams. Most of these bars are made in Switzerland and more than a million are produced annually.
- Major refineries produce a large quantity of one-ounce gold bars intended for retail investors.
There are silver bars within the gift market, presenting tiny units of only 5 grams and even 1 gram. On the opposite side are the 1000 troy-ounce ingots, about 32 kg, within the “Good Delivery” category. This type of silver bar is manufactured by certain refineries that are part of the LBMA. In addition, its minimum guaranteed degree of purity is 99.9% and it is traded by its gross weight and not by its fine weight as is the case with gold.
There are hundreds of different types of silver bullion within the retail investor market. For American and European investors, the most common silver bars are one, ten, and one hundred ounces.
In the case of the smaller bars, they are purchased from a sheet, which is produced from metal usually purchased and stored as Good Delivery bars, and which is struck on both sides.…