Gold bullion bars are refined and produced by large, independent companies (i.e. Johnson Matthay, Engelhard, and Credit Suisse).

The purity for most bars is 99.9% or higher and will vary depending on the refinery and the refinery’s location. Most bars manufactured in the United States and other western countries are 99.9% pure (24 karats). The bars are produced in a wide range of gold weights and the manufacturers stamp their name, the troy weight, and the purity of the gold onto the gold bar. This makes the gold bullion bars easy to identify and to sell or exchange. The most common gold bars are one ounce, ten ounce, and kilo (32.15 ounces) weights. The total physical size and shape of the gold bar (including base metals) will vary by refinery. Gold bullion bars have no legal tender status, as they are produced commercially, and are not supported by a government or central bank.

Many investors choose gold bullion bars due to the low “premium” when compared to other gold investments, even when compared to gold bullion coins. The “premium” will vary by the specific refinery, by daily market supply and demand conditions, and by gold content. In the case of gold bullion bars, the premium will decrease as the “size” of the bar increases, the “larger” the bar the smaller the premium. Here, “size” and “larger” are referring to the gold content of the coin. The total weight of the coin (including base metals) and the shape of the bar are irrelevant. Similarly to the premiums on gold bullion coins, this change in premium discourages investors from purchasing gold bullion bars for barter potential as the smaller value bars that would be most convenient for trade have higher premiums upfront. However, this change in “premium”, “the larger the bar, the smaller the premium”, is advantageous for the investor purchasing gold bars as a store of value. We only recommend Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX) deliverable bars that are used in future delivery contracts. Currently a premium between 3.50% and 4.25% (as of June 7, 2023) on these bars can be expected. “Premiums” will likely increase as market conditions change.

Because gold bullion bars have smaller premiums than gold coins, they are ideal for self-directed IRAs. Regulations that govern IRAs call for a minimum purity of only 99.95% (24 karats), however, most gold bullion bars are 99.99% pure. Additionally, they must be hallmarked by a New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) approved or Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX) approved refiner/assayer or national government mint. These bars are available in the following gold weights: 1 ounce, 10 ounces, kilo (32.15 ounces), 100 ounces, and 400 ounces. Below is a list of current (as of June 7, 2023) “premiums” by “size”:

Front Image

1 oz gold bullion bar

Back Image

1 oz gold buillion bar back

Premium Approx


Troy Oz

1 ounce

Gold bullion bar 10 oz front
10 oz gold bar back


10 ounces

Kilo gold bullion bar



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