A gold bar, also called gold bullion or a gold ingot, is a quantity of refined metallic gold of any shape that is made by a bar producer meeting standard conditions of manufacture, labeling, and record keeping. Larger gold bars that are produced by pouring the molten metal into molds are called ingots. Smaller bars may be manufactured by minting or stamping from appropriately rolled gold sheets. The standard gold bar held as gold reserves by central banks and traded among bullion dealers is the 400-troy-ounce (12.4-kilogram; 438.9-ounce) Good Delivery gold bar. The kilobar, which is 1,000 grams (32.15 troy ounces) in mass, is the bar that is more manageable and is used extensively for trading and investment. The premium on these bars when traded is very low over the spot value of the gold, making it ideal for small transfers between banks and traders. Most kilobars are flat, although some investors, particularly in Europe, prefer the brick shape. Asian markets differ in that they prefer gram gold bars as opposed to troy-ounce measurements. Popular sizes in the Asian region include 10 grams, 100 grams and 1,000 gram bars.
Based upon how they are manufactured, gold bars are categorized as having been cast or minted, with both differing in their appearance and price. Cast bars are created in a similar method to that of ingots, whereby molten gold is poured into a bar-shaped mold and left to solidify. This process often leads to malformed bars with uneven surfaces which, although imperfect, make each bar unique and easier to identify. Cast bars are also cheaper than minted bars, because they are quicker to produce and require less handling.
Minted bars are made from gold blanks that have been cut to a required dimension from a flat piece of gold. These are identified by having smooth and even surfaces.
To prevent bars from being counterfeited or stolen, manufacturers have developed ways to verify genuine bars, with the most common way being to brand bars with registered serial numbers or providing a certificate of authenticity. In a recent trend, many refineries would stamp serial numbers even on the smallest bars, and the number on the bar should match the number on its accompanying certificate.
In contrast to cast bars (which are often handled directly), minted bars are generally sealed in protective packaging to prevent tampering and keep them from becoming damaged. A hologram security feature known as a Kinegram can also be inserted into the packaging. Bars that contain these are called Kinebars.
Standard bar weights
Gold is measured in troy ounces, often simply referred to as ounces when the reference to gold is evident. One troy ounce is equivalent to 31.1034768 grams. Commonly encountered in daily life is the avoirdupois ounce, an Imperial weight in countries still using British weights and measures or United States customary units. The avoirdupois ounce is lighter than the troy ounce; one avoirdupois ounce equals 28.349523125 grams.
The super-size is worth more than the standard gold bar held and traded internationally by central banks and bullion dealers is the Good Delivery bar with a 400 ozt (12.4 kg; 438.9 oz) nominal weight. However, its precise gold content is permitted to vary between 350 ozt (10.9 kg; 384.0 oz) and 430 ozt (13.4 kg; 471.8 oz). The minimum purity required is 99.5% gold. These bars must be stored in recognized and secure gold bullion vaults to maintain their quality status of Good Delivery. The recorded provenance of this bar assures integrity and maximum resale value.
- One tonne = 1000 kilograms = 32,150.746 troy ounces.
- One kilogram = 1000 grams = 32.15074656 troy ounces.
- One tola = 11.6638038 grams = 0.375 troy ounces.
- One tael = 50 grams.
- TT (ten tola) = 117 grams (3.75 oz)
Tola is a traditional Indian measure for the weight of gold and prevalent to this day. Many international gold manufacturers supply tola bars of 999.96 purity.
Gold bar manufacturers
|0.3 g||0.5 g||1 g||2 g||2.5 g||5 g||10 g||20 g||50 g||100 g||250 g||500 g||1 kg||1/10
|Baird & Co.|
|Royal Canadian Mint|
UBS has 1, 2, 5, 10, 50, 100, 250, 500, and 1000 grams and 1 troy-ounce bars.
Largest gold bar
The world's largest gold bar stands at 250 kg (551 lb), measuring at the base 455 mm × 225 mm (17.9 in × 8.9 in) and 170 mm (6.7 in) high with 5 degree draft angle (equal to 15,730 cm3 or 960 cu in). It was manufactured by the Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi. It went on display at the Toi Gold Museum on 11 July 2005. Its gold content was valued in 2005 at 400 million yen (approximately US$3,684,000 at the time). As of 6 May 2019, it is worth approximately US$10.325M, not accounting for the premium associated with being the world's largest gold bar.
- This is the official rate of taels in mainland China since the country implemented the metric system. In Taiwan and Hong Kong, a tael is equivalent to 37.429 g.
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