Precious metals products often come as bullion bars, coins, or rounds. Before making any major purchases, it’s important for potential collectors and investors to develop a strong understanding of the primary differences among these bullion products. Here are some of the most important things to know about the precious metal products found on our site.
Forms of Precious Metals
Below we will outline the different forms in which precious metals are most commonly found:
Silver and gold bullion bars are rectangular pieces manufactured by private minting companies. They can vary significantly in size. Some bullion bars weigh as little as one gram, while one of the largest bars weighs over 11 kilograms (about 400 ounces). Typically, however, buyers will find bullion bars sold in weights between one gram and one kilogram.
A one-gram gold bullion bar costs about $50. A gram of silver can cost as little as one dollar. The price of bars, however, will vary throughout the day as the world’s precious metals market fluctuates and spot prices are updated.
Many collectors prefer bullion bars because they are easy to store, and the bars have lower premiums than coins or rounds. Instead of paying a collector’s premium for artistic collectibles, these buyers would rather focus on spending money to acquire plain bullion bars.
Bullion coins are minted under a government’s authority. They often have a stamp including a national emblem, the year, and another decorative image. Nearly all government bullion coins have images pressed on both sides.
Bullion coins are usually made of silver or gold, although government mints may use other metals, including platinum. Coins are usually small, weighing between one-tenth of an ounce and one ounce. Some countries have printed large bullion coins weighing up to a kilogram.
When first made, bullion coins are worth the amount printed on them. This amount is usually higher than the value of the metal. As the coins age, they can become popular among collectors, which pushes their numismatic value higher. Even as spot prices change, bullion coins keep stable prices because of the collector’s premium and potential numismatic value.
Bullion rounds are very similar to coins. Rounds look much like legal tender, but they are not backed by any government. Instead, private mints create bullion rounds they can sell to collectors. The rounds often have decorative images stamped into the metal (typically gold, silver, or copper). The rounds should also have stamps showing the coins’ weight and purity.
Bullion rounds usually weigh between half an ounce and five ounces. Since bullion rounds are collectible items, they often cost more than plain bullion bars. Even though the spot price of precious metals changes, a round’s collectability can make the price more stable.
Buying Precious Metals Online
Investors prefer buying precious metals online because they can usually get the best prices on bullion bars, coins, rounds, and other products. Online sites can also offer a wider range of products. This makes it possible for investors to find the specific bars, coins, or rounds they want to add to their collections.
JM Bullion makes it safe and easy to buy precious metal products online. After choosing the products they want, buyers decide whether they want to pay with major credit cards, bank wires, PayPal, or paper checks. JM Bullion encrypts buyer information to keep payments and private information secure from hackers.
Companies Who Produce Precious Metal Products
JM Bullion sells precious metal products made by mints around the world, including Perth Mint, People’s Republic of China, Royal Canadian Mint, United States Mint, and Credit Suisse. Most of these mints produce precious metal coins for legal tender currency. Others, such as PAMP, Republic Metals Corporation, and Geiger, are private mints that create and sell their own products.
Buyers interested in bullion bars will usually find products made by private mints, although some government mints, such as Perth or the RCM, produce bullion bars. Some collectors will prefer gold bars made by government mints because they want a government-backed guarantee on the metal’s weight and purity.
Some mints create specialized bullion products that appeal to collectors. PAMP makes divisible gold bars that some buyers like to collect. Since the gold bars break into one-gram segments, owners can give them away as gifts or potentially trade them for goods, services, or cash. The Perth Mint has a one-ton gold bullion coin, although collectors aren’t likely to find it for sale outside of high-profile auction houses.
In some cases, the value of bullion products varies depending on which mint makes them. Mints that make collectible coins often charge premium prices for bullion because they are selling more than the plain metal. Buyers are also getting decorative images and collector’s premiums that could grow in value faster than the metal.
Mints that primarily produce bars usually have the lowest prices on precious metal products. Since the products don’t have any potential collector and numismatic value, they are worth the current market price of the metal.
Prices of Precious Metal Products
Precious metal prices change according to complex market forces. Availability is a strong force in market prices. When people start to buy more precious metals, though, supply and demand can push the values up.
Some collectors prefer to invest in coins, because they retain their numismatic values even when precious metal prices change. Of course, if the value of a coin’s bullion exceeded the numismatic value, then the owner could sell it at the higher price.
The value of a precious metal at any point during the day is called the spot price. The spot price moves up and down over time. JM Bullion provides updated spot prices for gold and silver. The actual price buyers pay for bullion products, however, will not equal the spot value of the metal. That’s because dealers have to charge an over spot premium to pay for the transaction. Still, buyers get the lowest possible prices by using JM Bullion’s website.
JM Bullion offers a range of precious metal products that will appeal to different types of collectors. With so many options, investors might want to diversify their collections with gold, silver, platinum, or copper products.