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What is Gold Spot Price?
The spot price of gold is the most common standard used to gauge the going rate for a troy ounce of gold. The price is driven by speculation in the markets, currency values, current events, and many other factors. Gold spot price is used as the basis for most bullion dealers to determine the exact price to charge for a specific coin or bar. These prices are calculated in troy ounces and change every couple of seconds during market hours.
Gold as an Investment
Gold is available for investment in the form of bullion and paper certificates. Physical gold bullion is produced by many private and government mints both in the USA and worldwide. This option is most commonly found in bar, coin, and round form, with a vast amount of sizes available for each.
Gold bars can range anywhere in size from one gram up to 400 ounces, while most coins are found in one ounce and fractional sizes. Like other precious metals, physical gold is regarded by some as a good way to protect themselves against the ongoing devaluation of fiat currencies and from volatile stock markets.
Buying gold certificates is another way to invest in the metal. A gold certificate is basically a piece of paper stating that you own a specified amount of gold stored at an off-site location. This is different from owning bullion unencumbered and outright because you are never actually taking physical ownership of the gold. While some investors enjoy the ease of buying paper gold, some prefer to see and hold their precious metals first-hand.
Gold Spot Price FAQs
When you see the price of gold posted somewhere, such as on a website or a dealer’s page, it will usually be quoted as the spot gold price per troy ounce in U.S. dollars (USD). One can, however, get the price of gold per gram or kilo, as well.
The spot price of gold — or any commodity for that matter — represents the price at which the commodity may be exchanged and delivered upon now. This is in contrast to gold or commodity futures contracts, which specify a price for the commodity for a future delivery date.
Gold is a commodity that is traded all over the world, and as such, it trades across many different exchanges, such as Chicago, New York, Zurich, Hong Kong, and London. The COMEX, formerly part of the New York Mercantile Exchange and now part of the CME Group in Chicago, is the key exchange for determining the spot gold price. The spot gold price is calculated using data from the front month futures contract traded on the COMEX. If the front month contract has little to no volume, then the next delivery month with the most volume will be utilized.
Our up-to-the-minute spot price feed is compiled from the collective data of various reliable sources to ensure our spot prices are always as accurate and current as possible.
Bid prices represent the current maximum offer to buy in the market, and Ask prices represent the current minimum offer to sell in the market. If you are a buyer, you will pay the Ask price, and if you are a seller, you will receive the Bid price. The difference between the two prices is the bid-ask spread, and the tighter the spread, the more liquid the product.
The gold spot price is the prevailing price for an ounce of .999 fine gold that is deliverable right now. The spot price does not take into account dealer or distributor markups or markups by the minting or manufacturing company. Most of our inventory is purchased directly from the mint; those products are priced at the spot price plus a markup for the mint or maker to turn a profit.
The dealer then also has to make a profit in order to stay in business. The dealer will take their purchase price, then markup the products further to cover dealer costs and a profit margin. This is why dealers will typically buy from individuals at or below the spot gold price and they will sell above the spot gold price. The spread between their buy and sell prices represents the dealer’s gross profit.
Spot gold prices are quoted as the price of 1 troy ounce of .999 percent fine gold deliverable now. This means you can usually purchase one ounce of gold bullion for right around this price plus the dealer’s premium.
Gold is traded in U.S. dollars (USD) and is therefore quoted in USD. In areas outside of the U.S., the spot gold price is taken in USD and simply converted to local currency.
The price for an ounce of gold is the same all over the globe; otherwise an arbitrage opportunity would exist. The world spot gold price is simply converted into local currencies to give market participants the price for 1 troy ounce of .999 fine gold in their respective local currency.
Gold Price Factors FAQ
Gold is a commodity that can have very rapid price changes during periods of high volatility and can also have very little price movement during quiet periods of low volatility. There are many different things that can potentially affect the price of gold. These issues include but are not limited to: supply and demand, currency fluctuations, inflation risks, geopolitical risks, and asset allocations.
Gold is viewed by some as a “safe-haven” asset for it is one of the only assets with virtually no counter-party risks (gold requires no performance by outside entities to retain its value). This is why gold’s value may potentially rise during times of economic instability or geopolitical uncertainty.
Gold can, just like any other commodity, become volatile with rapid price changes and swings. The gold market can also, however, go through extended periods of quiet trading and price activity. Today many financial experts see gold as being in a long-term uptrend and that may potentially be one reason why investors are buying gold.
Markets do not usually go straight up or straight down in price, and gold is no exception. While gold can be volatile, gold prices are often no more volatile than the stock market or a particular equity. Large moves have been seen in almost every asset class, and almost all asset classes also exhibit periods in which they simply trade sideways.
Gold is traded all over the globe through all different time zones. In addition, with today’s markets running nearly around the clock, the need for constant price discovery has increased. Gold trades virtually around the clock to allow for banks, financial institutions and retail investors to access the gold market when they choose.
Gold spot prices change every few seconds during market hours and can fluctuate throughout the course of a day based on breaking news, supply and demand, and other macroeconomic factors. The gold spot price is determined by a variety of domestic and foreign exchanges, allowing the gold spot price to consistently update from 6PM EST to 5:15PM EST, Sunday to Friday (markets close from 5:15 PM to 6 PM EST each weekday). The changes in gold prices are due to supply/demand, as well as order flow and other factors.
Gold Futures and Paper Gold FAQ
A gold futures contract is a contract for the sale or purchase of gold at a certain price on a specific date in the future. For example, gold futures will trade for several months of the year going out many years. If one were to purchase a December 2014 gold futures contract, then he or she has purchased the right to take delivery of 100 troy ounces of gold in December 2014. The price of the futures contract can fluctuate, however, between now and then.
Technically, the answer is yes. One could purchase a gold futures contract and eventually take delivery on that contract. This is not common practice, however, due to the fact that there are only certain types of gold bullion products that are considered “good delivery” by the exchange and therefore one’s choices are very limited. In addition, there are numerous fees and costs associated with taking delivery on a futures contract.
Although one can buy gold ETFs, they are not the same as buying physical gold that you can hold in your hand. ETFs are paper assets, and although they may be backed by physical gold bullion, they trade based on different factors and are priced differently.
Other Gold Price FAQ
There are several gold bullion coins that have a face value. That is to say that they are considered good, legal tender in their respective country and could be used to make purchases just like cash. The fact is, however, that these coins are not often used to make purchases. They are worth more for their gold content than their face value.
Have you ever seen someone pay for items at the grocery store with a $20 Saint-Gaudens gold coin? Probably not. These coins, and others that carry a legal tender status, derive their value primarily from their bullion content and collectability or scarcity in the market.
If one is just trying to acquire as much gold as possible, both gold bars and standard gold bullion coins are a viable option. If one is simply looking to purchase gold for the lowest price possible, gold bars will often be the most cost-efficient way to buy gold bullion. Bars carry lower premiums than coins because they have no face value, are not backed by government mints, are rarely considered collectibles, and most gold bars are easier to make than gold coins.
For example, today a 1 oz American Gold Eagle coin may be bought from a dealer for $1355. That same dealer is also offering a 1 oz OPM gold bar for $1323. That’s about a $30 difference per ounce of gold bullion! Gold bars can also be purchased in fractional sizes such as 1 gram, 2 gram, 5 gram, 20 gram, 50 gram and more. The fractional sizes, however, will typically carry larger premiums than a standard 1 ounce or 1 kilo bar due to higher manufacturing costs associated with producing smaller bullion items.
Gold products, especially gold coins, are priced based on gold content and their collectability. The gold content is pretty straightforward. The collectability premium, however, is another animal. Gold coins with the same gold content may have wildly different market values based on such things as when or where they were minted, how many coins of that particular type were minted, what condition the coin is in, and more.
Just because a dealer is selling that coin for hundreds over the spot price does not necessarily mean that the dealer is making hundreds of dollars on the coin. The dealer likely paid several hundred dollars over the gold spot price for the coin, as well, and is now looking to sell it with his or her profit margin attached.
Dealers have procedures for locking in a specific price on gold products based on current price levels. These procedures may vary from dealer to dealer. If one is looking to buy gold and lock in a price, one method is for the buyer to lock that price in once he or she reaches their checkout page when making an online purchase.
At that time, the investor will typically have a specified amount of time to complete their purchase and lock their price in. The amount of time given may be fairly short, however, such as ten minutes (as is the case with JM Bullion). Dealers do this to try and protect themselves from rapidly changing prices.
The gold/silver ratio represents the price relationship between gold and silver. Some investors will analyze historical gold/silver ratios to see if the current ratio means gold or silver are under or overpriced relative to each other.
Gold and silver bullion are very competitive markets these days. Online dealers may offer buyers some advantages over local coin shops. One big potential advantage is lower prices. An online dealer does not have the overhead a brick-and-mortar coin store does. Because an online dealer typically has lower overhead, they can offer products at lower premiums and still make a profit. In addition, online dealers will often have vastly larger selections than a local coin store.
Yes and no. Dealers may charge a fixed profit markup on certain products and they may have varying charges on other products. A simple gold bar, for example, may be sold by a dealer for $20 over the spot gold price, while a graded Double Eagle coin may sell for a premium at the dealer’s discretion based on condition, scarcity, and other market factors.
The price of gold often exhibits a negative correlation to stocks. That is to say that yes, gold and equities usually move in opposite directions; however yhere are also times gold and stocks may both move in the same direction. Many consider gold to have little correlation to stocks and bonds, and therefore feel it can potentially be a wise investment to add to one’s portfolio.
This has been a topic of great debate for some time. One can easily find plenty of information online about this topic and draw his or her own conclusions.
Gold fixing refers to the price set by the London Gold Fixing Company twice a weekday at 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM GMT. This price is determined by certain LBMA market makers, including representatives from Scotiabank, Deutsche Bank, and HSBC.
Certain states place sales taxes on physical precious metals, including gold. When buying online, Internet retailers will only charge you sales tax if you are an in-state customer, and if the state does indeed tax precious metals. Fortunately due to our location, JM Bullion does not have to collect sales tax, although consumers may be liable to pay local use tax. To learn more about your state, read our local bullion guide.
An assay is a certificate or encasing that guarantees the purity and authenticity of the accompanying gold piece. Assays typically include a serial number, which will match the serial number imprinted on the bar. Assays will also include a signature by the official assayer of the piece.
Gold is always measured by the troy ounce, which is equivalent to about 31.103 grams. This standard of measurement was created in France during medieval times and was later adopted by the United States in 1828 for standard coinage. A troy ounce is slightly heavier than a "regular" ounce, which weighs only 28 grams.
There are 32.151 troy ounces in one kilogram of gold.
Gold bullion is available in the form of coins, rounds, and bars. Gold coins are different from the other two options in that they are produced only by government mints and carry a face value in their country of origin. Many countries throughout the world produce their own gold coins containing a wide range of designs and sizes. Gold bars and rounds are produced by private mints and are usually found in a wider selection of sizes than that of coins.
Right here on our website, of course. JM Bullion offers a wide variety of quality physical gold products at the lowest prices in the industry. Browse some of our selection at the links below:
Please note that JM Bullion is the only major retailer in the industry currently offering FREE shipping on all orders to the United States. This allows our customers to keep their transaction fees on gold and silver bullion purchases at an absolute minimum.
Many of our gold bullion products are eligible for a gold IRA. Depending on whether you can allocate gold into your personal IRA account will depend upon the custodian you use. If your current IRA custodian does not offer gold IRA services you can transfer your IRA to a custodian who does offer gold IRA services. To see which gold IRA custodian(s) we work with, click here. To see which types of gold bullion products are eligible for gold IRAs view our IRA Eligible Gold page.