Purchase Of Gold Bullion
The purchase of gold bullion is a sound financial investment for Christians and is not all that difficult to do. However, the cost may be a prohibiting factor for some investors looking to buy. Before going out in search of dealer, prospective buyers should familiarize themselves with the commodity and markets. Gold is considered a commodity. Therefore, the price will fluctuate wildly. In fact, the price can change daily, or even several times over the course of a single day. Supply and demand are the greatest factors in setting prices. Amazingly, most of the commodity ever mined is still available for sale through the purchase of gold bullion. London Gold Fixing is a twice daily meeting of representatives of five bullion-trading firms and is only one method used to determine prices. A second method is called the intra-day spot price. This second method derives prices from gold-trading markets worldwide as they open and close for trading throughout the day.
Over the past century prices have increased dramatically. In 1910 an ounce of gold cost $20.67. In 1950 the price had increased to $40.25. Over the next 30 years the price rose to $641.20. At the close of 2007, an ounce of the precious metal was selling for $836. Generally speaking, Christians are concerned with more than worldly wealth and the real value of their treasures. And, there are numerous reasons people give for buying precious metals and other gems. Some investors are really nothing more than collectors of coins. Others see the purchase of gold bullion as a sound financial investment. Still, others believe gold provides a level of security against economic depression or instability and crisis in the financial markets. Unfortunately, some people are bitten by the gold bug. People who get bitten hoard the precious metal for no other reason than it makes them feel rich or important. If the commodity does them or nobody else any good, it's worthless. Hoarding and greed won't gain entrance into the kingdom of God.
Consider Mark's account of The Rich Young Man before the purchase of gold bullion: "And when Jesus was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not Kill, Do not steal, Don not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." (Mark 10: 17-25)
Because of movies and the media many people might bring up images of 400-ounce blocks of bullion. Blocks are only one way used to facilitate the purchase of gold bullion. Coins are now extremely popular. However, coins actually cost more per ounce than do the larger blocks because of finishing, packaging and profit margins of dealers and the mint. Some experts believe that coins are not a good investment. Certificates are also common. Investors can also buy futures, options, or shares in mining companies. Each has benefits and drawbacks. Do the research about which method is best. Once the decision to proceed with the purchase of gold bullion has been made, finding a reputable dealer should be the next step. Gold can be bought in many places. Some countries allow a person to walk into a bank and buy gold over the counter. A bullion purchase can be made online. Some online sources recommend that internet auction sites be avoided unless the dealer is well known and has an established and impeccable reputation. Traditional bullion bars may be the most cost effective method of purchase, but bars are inconvenient. Shipping is difficult, and storage is problematic and expensive. Few people will want to have large bars of precious metal stashed around their house. The best storage is in a bank vault, which costs money. However, if a person can afford to buy large ingots, he or she can probably afford to rent bank space.
Coins are more convenient for storing. They can be kept anywhere. Many countries offer coins for sale as legal tender. The South African Krugerrand, the Canadian Maple Leaf, the American Eagle, the American Buffalo, and the Australian Nugget are popular means to the purchase of gold bullion. According to online sources, the Krugerrand, first minted in the early 1970's, was the first coin to gain popularity worldwide. However, because of South Africa's apartheid policy some countries blocked the import of the coin. Sales dropped, and the Krugerrand has never regained the top spot among collectors. Another means to the purchase of gold bullion is through certificates. A certificate allows a person to own the commodity without the inconvenience of having to physically ship or store the bullion. Futures and options are more suited for serious investors with risk capital. Investing in mining companies is not the same as a bullion purchase. Owning shares of a company company only funds the mining operation.
Selling Gold IngotsBuying and selling gold ingots, bars, and coins may begin as a hobby. But unlike most hobbies that end up costing a small fortune, this one just might grow into a small fortune. The hobbyist who makes savvy decisions regarding both purchases and sales could become, over time, a serious investor with a solid financial investment. Like any undertaking, though, and perhaps more than most, it's important to know a few basics before jumping into the golden world of bullion. Whether hobbyist or investor (or perhaps a little of both), careful research increases one's opportunity for success in this type of venture.
Fascination with gold stretches far back into history, perhaps because it is geologically scattered throughout the world both in mines and in streams. The precious metal is mentioned in Scripture's account of the creation. "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone" (Genesis 2:10-12). Known to the Incas as "tears of the sun" and the ancient Greeks as a "dense combination of water and sunlight," this malleable metal was associated with deity, royalty, and power throughout the ancient world. The famed and controversial treasures of Troy, Priam's Gold, date back to about 2,000 B.C. This treasure trove was found in the mid- to late 1800s by a German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who loved Homer's epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey. The first coins date to 670 B.C. and Julius Caesar used golden coins to pay the Roman soldiers.
The gold bars for sale on the market will be either minted or cast from a mold. The minted bars are stamped out in designated sizes and shapes with any marks created during the minting process. Coins are stamped out in a similar process. The molded bars are known as ingots and have a rougher appearance than the minted ones. An ingot's markings include any foundry or manufacturer's marks, a notation of the purity, and a registration number. The gold bars for sale usually have standard weights in grams, troy ounces, or kilograms. The largest are the London Good Delivery bars which weigh 12.5 kilograms, or 400 ounces. These are mostly stored by central banks, governments, and large institutions. A relatively new product, called ChipGold, is a sealed and certified ingot which is about the size of a credit card that weighs from one to twenty grams.
When buying or selling gold ingots, both the hobbyist and the investor need to be aware of weight, purity, and the premium. Most English-speaking countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, use the troy ounce weight. Slightly heavier than the more familiar liquid ounce, a troy ounce equals 31.1034768 grams. A kilogram is equivalent to 1000 grams or 32.15074656 troy ounces. Purity is expressed in terms of either a percentage or as thousandths or ten-thousandths. For example, the London Good Delivery bars mentioned above have a purity of 99.5%. The purity of a ChipGold ingot is expressed as .9999. A premium is the overhead cost added to the golden piece's intrinsic value. This includes the manufacturing cost, possibly a dealer's mark-up, and any insurance and/or shipping and handling fees.
Experts suggest buying the largest golden bar weight that a collector can afford so that the premium is less per ounce. This may not be practical for the collector who plans to offer gold bars for sale at a later date. Those selling gold ingots in the future have an incentive for purchasing smaller units even if that means paying a higher overall premium. Pieces weighing one gram or less usually are not good investment prospects because of the premium is high per the weight. However, they can make great gifts for children, grandchildren, and novice hobbyists. Some experts suggest that the collector think of one ounce coins as being circular bars. Because of their variety and large numbers, golden coins are often more competitively priced than other options. A rare coin's value exceeds its gold content and can be a great investment.
Investors and dealers often talk about the three Ps when offering gold bars for sale to others: portability, privacy, and permanency. These three qualities enhance the investing appeal of the various forms of this precious metal. Unlike an asset like real estate, bars and coins can be easily moved from place to another. The collection is private, unlike assets kept in financial institutions or in brokerage accounts. Paper assets such as stocks and bonds can lose their value, but precious metals have intrinsic value even though the daily price of gold fluctuates. Because of its intrinsic value, gold and other precious metals are hedges against economic ups and downs, such as both inflation and deflation, and political uncertainties. A country's currency may become worthless after a coup, but precious metals and jewels retain their worth even under such dire circumstances as these.
Whether buying or selling gold ingots, bars, or coins, both the collector and the investor needs to understand the basics of the manufacturing processes, weight, purity, premium, and the three Ps of portability, privacy, and permanency. In addition, the golden history of this precious metal is fascinating and enhances the appreciation for the items in a collection.