The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Your First Gold Bar

If you’re looking to invest in physical gold for the first time, buying a gold bar is one of the best ways to get started. Gold bars contain a set amount of pure 24 karat gold, making them an ideal investment. But with so many sizes, brands, and sources to buy from, the process of purchasing your first gold bar can also seem daunting. This beginner’s guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from the most popular gold bar options to where to find the best prices, so you can buy your first gold bar with confidence.

Most Popular Gold Bar Brands

When buying a gold bar, you want to stick with recognizable brands from reputable mints or refineries. Some of the most popular include:

  • The Perth Mint Gold Bars – Based in Australia, these matte-finished bars come in various sizes. The 50 gram bar is a cost-effective option.
  • Credit Suisse Gold Bars – This Swiss bank produces gold bars that are widely available in Europe. They meet the standard .9999 purity.
  • PAMP Suisse Gold Bars – Arguably the most recognizable gold bar worldwide, PAMP Suisse bars can be found almost anywhere gold is sold. PAMP gold has been minted since 1979.

Cost of Gold Bars

The price you pay for a gold bar consists of two main components:

  1. The spot price of gold – This fluctuates daily based on gold trading around the world. For example, the spot price may be $1,850 per troy ounce one day and rise to $1,900 a few weeks later.
  2. The premium – This is the markup above spot price charged by the dealer/manufacturer. Premiums on one ounce bars may range from 3% to 8% over spot price.

Larger gold bars like 100 gram and 1 kilo tend to have lower premiums percentage-wise. However, you’ll pay more overall compared to smaller sizes like one ounce.

Where to Buy Gold

Bars You have several options when sourcing gold bars:

  • Local coin/bullion shops – Call around to compare buy prices on the specific bar you want. Purchasing locally avoids shipping fees.
  • Online dealers – Large selection but higher costs overall with premiums and shipping. Watch for occasional sales and clearance items.
  • Banks – Some banks sell popular bullion gold bars. However, accounts and wire transfers may be required instead of cash purchases.

Avoid most jewelry stores, as their overhead leads to excessive premium markups on gold bars.

How to Spot Fake Gold Bars

Counterfeit gold bars do exist but are fairly rare. Some signs of fakes include:

  • Improper designs, logos, or text font
  • Larger than normal dimensions for a standard sized bar
  • A fake “gold” coating over base metal underneath, making the bar appear too light for its size

For added security, some gold bars have anti-counterfeiting measures like holographic strips and QR codes that allow you to validate authenticity.

Buying Your First Bar

For a beginning gold bar investment, a one ounce size offers the best value. At current gold prices, one ounce provides substantial precious metal value without the high premiums of fractional sizes. Focus on low-premium, .9999 fine brands to get the most gold for your dollar.


Now that you understand the basics of the major gold bar options, costs, reputable sources, and how to avoid fakes, you can enter the gold bar investment market with greater knowledge. Be sure to compare prices from multiple dealers, and stick with well-known brands like PAMP Suisse for your first purchase. Feel free to check out my other gold and silver investment videos for more tips. Thanks for watching and happy gold bar buying!