> > 12 Best Places To Buy Gold In 2024: Coins & Bars

12 Best Places To Buy Gold In 2024: Coins & Bars

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Gold has long been seen as a stable store of value and hedge against inflation. Investing in gold allows you to diversify your portfolio and generate wealth over time. There are a few ways to add gold to your portfolio of investments, including buying gold bars, gold coins, gold certificate accounts, exchange-traded funds, and mining stocks.

For beginners, purchasing physical gold bars or coins is one of the most popular strategies. Buying gold bars or coins is a simple process that allows you to own tangible gold assets. Once you own them, they are fairly liquid, meaning that you can always sell them back to your dealer or any third party. 

Are you looking to get into gold investing but are not sure where to buy your first gold bars or coins? There are a number of reputable dealers and websites that make it easy to purchase gold. We’ve reviewed the best places to buy gold online to make things simpler for you.

TL;DR


Best Places to Buy Gold

In this section, we will be reviewing the best providers that we believe offer the best service for investors looking to buy physical gold for their portfolios. To help you make a purchase decision, we have highlighted all the features, fees, pros, and cons for each provider.

1. JM Bullion 

JM Bullion Screenshot
Source: JM Bullion

JM Bullion is an online retailer that specializes in buying and selling physical gold, silver, and other precious metals. Established in 2011, JM Bullion aims to make purchasing metals simple, affordable, and reliable for all investors. They offer a vast selection of gold coins, bars, and other products at prices close to or even below the current spot price.

With a reputation for quality and service, JM Bullion is a top choice for beginners looking to get started with gold and other metals. They only sell premium products from reputable mints and distributors to ensure the highest standards. They also back their products with a lifetime return policy as well as optional 1-year return insurance.

Main Features

  • Ample portfolio of gold products: JM Bullion offers access to gold coins, bars, rounds, and other products from major mints like American Gold Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs, and South African Krugerrands.
  • Fast shipping: JM Bullion orders typically ship within 1 business day after payment is received.
  • Free shipping on eligible orders: This dealer offers free shipping on all orders over $199 within the continental U.S. They use UPS and the U.S. Postal Service for discreet and insured shipping.
  • Outstanding customer support: Customers can reach out to a representative of JM Bullion via phone, email, and live chat.
  • Accredited BBB Business with excellent ratings: JM Bullion has received 4.6 stars out of 5 from over 800 customers on the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It has also received an A+ rating from the same institution.

Shipping & Storage 

All shipments are fully insured, and the packaging is designed to conceal the content for maximum discretion. In case the package is damaged or lost, which is extremely unlikely, JM Bullion offers a full refund. 

Customers must notify of any incidents involving the reception of damaged products within 48 hours. Orders priced below $199 pay a shipping fee of $7.99. This gold dealer only ships to US addresses, including PO boxes and military addresses.

Pros

  • Competitive prices.
  • Premium products from reputable mints.
  • Excellent customer service and support.
  • Convenient and affordable shipping options.
  • Lifetime return policy and optional 1-year return insurance.
  • Free shipping on eligible orders.
  • This provider accepts payment in Bitcoin.

Cons

  • Only ships to US addresses.
  • Foreign currencies are not accepted for payment.
  • JM Bullion is not an official US Mint dealer.

Where JM Bullion Excels

JM Bullion offers fast shipping times, free shipping for orders exceeding $199, and a lifetime return policy. All shipments go out fully insured, and the company offers a full refund if the gold is lost on the way. Finally, this provider has an excellent reputation based on online reviews and offers an ample portfolio of gold products.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Free on orders over $199
  • Storage: Through a partner
  • Return Policy: 5 days
JM Bullion

on JM Bullion’s website

2. SD Bullion

SD Bullion Screenshot
Source: SD Bullion

SD Bullion is an online dealer specializing in physical gold, silver, and other precious metals. Established in 2011, SD Bullion aims to provide the absolute lowest prices and highest quality with outstanding service. They offer a wide range of gold coins, bars, rounds, and other products from major mints like American Gold Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf.

SD Bullion is committed to educating investors on the benefits of precious metals and preparation. Whether you’re new to metals or want to advance your knowledge, they have educational resources covering topics like spot prices, fundamentals, analysis, news, and more.

Main Features

  • Ample experience in the gold dealing business: Since 2012, SD Bullion has facilitated transactions involving precious metals that are worth over $3 billion.
  • Incredible selection of products: SD Bullion offers buyers the possibility of choosing among a vast number of gold products, including US Gold Eagles, Gold Maple Leafs, Chinese Gold Pandas, and bars of different weights. 
  • Fast, insured shipping: All orders $199+ ship free within 1-3 days. Shipping is fully insured for the value of the order.
  • A+ BBB rating and high reviews: SD Bullion has received over 100,000 positive customer reviews and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • No monthly or annual fees: Unlike some dealers, SD Bullion charges no recurring membership or storage fees. Only a one-time shipping cost.
  • Accepts multiple payment methods: You can pay your gold purchases via bank wire, check, cashier’s check, money order, credit/debit card, Bitcoin, PayPal, and e-check.

Shipping & Storage 

SD Bullion’s orders ship within 1-3 days via USPS, UPS, or FedEx for free on orders $199+. They insure shipments for the full order value. They do not charge monthly storage fees, but the metal belongs to the customer. They can store items in their vault for a one-time storage fee if requested.

For orders priced below $199, the shipping fee is $9.95, including insurance. SD Bullion offers international shipments. The cost of this service is quoted at the time of checkout.

Pros

  • Ample selection of gold products, including numismatic coins and different weights for gold bars.
  • Fast and insured shipping at a low cost and free for eligible orders.
  • International shipments are possible.
  • Multiple educational resources are available on their website to help you learn more about gold investing.
  • Trusted and reputable service with excellent online reviews.

Cons 

  • International customers have access to a limited selection of products.
  • In case of theft or package loss, the customer must wait until the insurance company used by SD Bullion responds to the claim to get a refund.
  • Restocking fees ranging from 5% to 10% apply to returned orders.

Where SD Bullion Excels 

SD Bullion offers fast and affordable shipping costs. In addition, it offers the possibility of buying gold to international customers, although they have to pay higher shipping fees. The company has an incredible track record in terms of customer service, as highlighted by its online reviews and standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Free on orders over $199
  • Storage: Available
  • Return Policy: 3 days (5% restocking fee, minimum $35)
SD Bullion

on SD Bullion’s website

3. Money Metals Exchange

Money Metals Exchange Screenshot
Source: Money Metals Exchange

Money Metals Exchange is a highly reputable gold and silver dealer that allows investors to purchase precious metals at a low cost without hidden fees or commissions. They offer highly competitive prices, discrete and dependable service, and provide educational resources to help customers make informed decisions.

Money Metals Exchange offers gold bars, silver bars, gold bullion coins like South African Krugerrands and Canadian Maple Leafs, and silver bullion coins such as American Eagles and Canadian Maples. Products are priced near the melt value of metals to ensure the best value.

Main Features 

  • Exceptional track record of executed transactions: Money Metals Exchange claims to have processed and executed orders worth over $3 billion.
  • Ample selection of gold products: the company offers access to an extensive selection of gold coins from Canada, Australia, the United States, and China. In addition, they offer gold bars of multiple different weights.
  • Education center: Money Metals Exchange has made available multiple educational resources, including price charts, a podcast that discusses topics related to precious metals, and blog posts covering several related topics.
  • In-house depository: the company owns and operates a depository called the Money Metals Depository that can be used by investors to store their gold safely. The contents are insured by Lloyd’s of London, and the metals are fully segregated. In addition, customers are eligible for free shipping on their orders if they opt to use the firm’s depository.
  • Monthly savings plan: this gold dealer offers a savings plan that gives customers access to lower premiums on gold purchases if they opt to commit to buying a certain amount of gold every month. 

Shipping & Storage 

Orders are shipped quickly via insured carriers like UPS and typically arrive within 3-5 business days. There are no freight or fuel surcharges, and customers only pay the exact cost of shipping. Returns are allowed within 3 days of delivery for a full refund and up to 30 days for jewelry or statues, though there may be restocking and return shipping fees.

Pros

  • Extensive reputation in the precious metals dealing business that goes back to 2010.
  • Money Metals Exchange has executed orders worth over $3 billion since the company was founded.
  • Multiple educational resources are available for beginners to keep learning about precious metals investing.
  • A monthly savings plan is available to investors who would like to build a portfolio made up of physical precious metals progressively.
  • The company charges no shipping fees if customers opt to use its depository.

Cons

  • No free shipping for eligible orders.
  • Markups can go up to 20% of the spot price according to the firm’s terms and conditions.
  • Returned orders are subject to a 5% restocking fee.
  • Orders cannot be canceled. 

Where Money Metals Exchange Excels?

Money Metals Exchange offers two services that its rivals don’t. They own and operate a depository that charges low annual fees for storing gold safely and offer free shipping for customers who buy gold with them and store them at the depository. In addition, they offer a monthly savings plan that lets investors buy gold with lower premiums. The plan is quite flexible and accessible to most customers, as the minimum purchase required to be enrolled stands at $100.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Free on orders over $500
  • Storage: Available
  • Return Policy: 3 days (5% restocking fee)
Money Metals Exchange

on Money Metals Exchange’s website

4. APMEX (American Precious Metals Exchange)

APMEX screenshot
Source: APMEX

APMEX, a leading gold and silver dealer, is committed to providing investors with an exceptional customer experience. As the largest precious metals dealer in the U.S. with over 20 years of experience, APMEX distinguishes itself through unmatched product selection, competitive pricing, and reputable service.

APMEX offers a vast array of gold bars, silver bars, gold coins like Gold Eagles and Maple Leafs, and silver coins such as American Eagles and Canadian Maples at low premiums above the spot price of metals. They have options for every need, from small 1-ounce silver bars to 100-ounce gold bars. APMEX also provides educational resources and trained specialists to help customers build an investment portfolio that meets their goals.

Main Features 

  • Real-Time pricing: APMEX’s systems let customers keep track of live gold, silver, platinum, and palladium prices.
  • Strong partnerships: APMEX has partnered with over 18 Mints to offer the best products to its customers, and this dealer is an Authorized Purchaser of the United States Mint.
  • Vast product selection: over 30,000 gold bars, silver bars, gold coins, and silver coins like Gold Eagles and American Eagles are available for purchase. There are options for every need, from 1-ounce silver bars to 100-ounce gold bars.
  • Exceptional service: trained specialists and educational resources have been made available to help investors build an ideal portfolio of physical precious metals.
  • Price alerts: APMEX lets customers set alerts to be notified when gold, silver, and other metal prices have reached a certain target price.
  • 30-year price charts: customers can use these charts to analyze trends in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium pricing over the past 3 decades.
  • QuickShip Program: this program guarantees expedited shipping within 1 business day with a $10 credit if delayed.
  • Access to rewards via the APMEX Club: this gold dealer rewards its customers’ loyalty by giving them access to flash sales, exclusive offers, priority on order fulfillment, and anniversary gifts based on their membership tier. The scale starts at Select for customers that have completed 2 to 5 orders worth $5,000 or more and goes up to VIP, which is an invitation-only membership level.

Shipping & Storage 

Free shipping is offered for orders over $199. Orders under $199 are subject to a $9.95 shipping fee. Shipments go out fully insured and are typically sent via US Mail or UPS. Orders are processed and shipped within 3 to 5 business days, depending on the size and the selected shipping method. Returns are allowed within 7 days of delivery but may be subject to a $50 fee or 10% of the total order price – whichever is greater.

Pros

  • Huge selection of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products
  • Real-time and historical pricing data with alerts.
  • Low premiums and competitive prices.
  • Exceptional service that includes top-notch customer support and an extensive library of educational resources.
  • Expedited shipping within 1 business day via the QuickShip® program.
  • Full refund policy within 7 days of delivery.
  • Fully insured shipping with tracking.
  • APMEX is a BBB-accredited business rated A.
  • Positive online reviews give the firm 4.9 out of 5 stars on ShopperApproved.
  • International orders are supported.

Cons

  • Restocking fees are quite high, at 10% for returns.

Where APMEX Excels

APMEX has an ample reputation in the gold dealing business, with over 20 years of servicing its more than 1.5 million customers. Its partnerships are quite valuable to customers, including its standing as an Authorized Purchaser of the US Mint and multiple other well-reputed refiners. Moreover, the company offers free shipping for eligible orders and a Quick Ship program that supports single-day deliveries.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Free on orders over $199
  • Storage: Through a partner
  • Return Policy: 7 days (10% restocking fee, minimum $50)
APMEX

on APMEX’s website

5. BGASC (Buy Gold And Silver Coins)

BGASC screenshot
Source: BGASC

BGASC offers gold and silver products at competitive prices with high-quality service. The company provides access to an ample range of gold and silver bullion coins, bars, rounds, and graded numismatic coins. Customers can order online or by phone and take physical delivery of their purchases.

This provider is an official dealer of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), a certified member of the Certified Coin Exchange (CCE), and a member of the NGC Collectors Society. In addition, they are bulk purchasers of non-bullion coins from the United States Mint.

Main Features 

  • Ample product selection: BGASC offers access to popular products, including Gold American Eagles and Buffalos, bars of multiple weights from various mints and top-notch refiners, gold jewelry, and coins from all over the world.
  • Fast and affordable shipping: most orders are shipped within a day of payment, and free shipping is available for orders exceeding $199. All orders are insured by this provider.
  • No minimums: with BGASC, customers can buy whatever amount of gold they have at their disposal as long as they find a product that matches their budget. 
  • Trusted & reliable provider: this gold dealer is an A+ rated business as per the Better Business Bureau. In addition, they have received thousands of positive reviews on ShopperApproved, and they are members of multiple industry organizations.
  • Multiple payment methods available: BGASC accepts all traditional payment methods, such as bank wires, ACH, and personal checks, along with non-traditional alternatives like Bitcoin.
  • Quick buybacks: BGASC offers customers the possibility of selling back $1,000 or more worth of gold products, and payment will be immediately released upon delivery of the metals. 

Shipping & Storage 

BGASC insures all shipments and uses discreet packaging to maintain customers’ privacy.
U.S. shipping is free for orders worth over $199, while a $7.99 shipping fee applies to orders valued under $199. International shipping is not offered except to military bases.

Upon delivery, packages whose value exceeds $1,000 require a signature. BGASC utilizes USPS and UPS for shipping and aims to resolve any claims within 30 days.

Pros

  • Large selection of gold and silver products. 
  • Competitive prices with no hidden fees.
  • Fast and insured shipping with free shipping on large orders. 
  • Trusted and reputable company with an A+ BBB rating and thousands of positive online reviews.
  • Dedicated customer service team available to address any issues.
  • No order minimums are required.
  • Bullion-backed certificates offering flexibility and potential cost savings.
  • Price charts and price alerts are available for customers.

Cons 

  • International shipping is not offered.
  • PayPal and other electronic wallets are not accepted as payment methods.

Where BGASC Excels?

BGASC is an online gold dealer that provides a seamless experience to customers, fast shipping times, free shipping on eligible orders, and the possibility of buying back the customers’ gold quickly. This latter alternative increases the liquidity of customers’ holdings and makes this provider a valuable partner. 

In addition, they can be considered a specialty gold dealer as they provide access to collector’s coins.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Free on orders over $199
  • Storage: Through a partner
  • Return Policy: 5 days
BGASC

on BGASC’s website

6. Vaulted 

Vaulted screenshot
Source: Vaulted

Vaulted is an app that allows customers to invest in physical gold. The company was founded in 1972 with a mission to protect investors through gold and other precious metals.

Vaulted aims to give buyers access to new technology, enhanced security, and more control over their gold investments. The company aims to empower the next generation of gold investors through innovative tools and unmatched expertise. By combining technology with guidance from seasoned professionals, Vaulted is transforming gold investing into a simple, transparent experience.

Main Features 

  • Personalized advice: Vaulted provides support and guidance on gold investing by leveraging a team of seasoned professionals who have, on average, more than 15 years of experience in the industry.
  • Decades of gold investing expertise: Vaulted has a proven track record of success and expertise in helping clients invest over $2.5 billion in gold. The app is owned and operated by the McAlvany Financial Group, a company that has over 50 years in the business.
  • Gold is allocated and stored safely: Vaulted buys pure gold kilo bars minted by the Royal Canadian Minted. These products are 99.9% pure, and they are stored at this same location.
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): this gold dealer offers access to this type of tax-advantaged account so investors can use gold to build their retirement funds.
  • Automatic gold savings via VaultPlan: Vaulted has created a plan to help investors save money by investing in gold periodically through a dollar-cost averaging (DCA) strategy. This plan can be easily set up on the app, and purchases can be made monthly or every two weeks. 
  • Straightforward fees: all buy and sell transactions generate a 1.8% flat fee. In addition, there is a 0.4% annual maintenance fee applicable to the average value of the net cumulative gold purchases in the account. This covers the cost of storing gold and keeping the app up and running. The maintenance fee is charged semi-annually.

Shipping & Storage 

Vaulted uses the Royal Canadian Mint, which insures gold and guarantees its purity/weight. The gold is stored at the mint, which results in zero shipping charges. The cost of ordering, shipping, and storing the gold is covered by the 0.4% maintenance fee paid by customers twice a year.

Pros 

  • Straightforward pricing and fees with no hidden costs.
  • Convenient and secure storage at the Royal Canadian Mint. 
  • Technological tools are available to facilitate account management and gold purchases via the Vaulted app.
  • Vaulted provides personalized advice to investors via a team of seasoned professionals with an average of 15 years of experience in the business.
  • Customers can invest in gold via tax-advantaged accounts like IRAs with this provider.
  • An automatic savings program called VaultPlan lets customers schedule monthly or bimonthly gold purchases.

Cons 

  • Customers can’t opt to buy the gold products they like as Vaulted invests in 99.9% pure gold bars only minted by the RCM.
  • To take delivery of their assets, customers must have enough balance in their account to cover the cost of a kilo gold bar.

Where Vaulted Excels? 

Vaulted is a passive investing solution focused on gold. This makes it a great alternative for investors who prefer to adopt a hands-off approach when it comes to building a portfolio, whether that is for retirement or wealth generation. The fees charged by this dealer are fairly straightforward and in line with the industry’s averages.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: $50 per delivery + $2 per bar paid to the Royal Canadian Mint
  • Storage: Through a partner
  • Return Policy: N/A
Vaulted

on Vaulted’s website

7. Augusta Precious Metals 

Augusta Precious Metals screenshot
Source: Augusta Precious Metals

Augusta Precious Metals is a gold dealer that specializes in helping customers diversify their retirement savings with gold and silver bullion and coins. Their team of professionals is highly knowledgeable about the gold and silver industry, and they offer a streamlined process for customers to open a gold IRA account

Augusta Precious Metals has received numerous accolades for its customer service, transparency, and value, including the Most-Trusted Gold IRA Company in the United States award from the IRA Gold Advisor website. Read our full Augusta Precious Metals review to learn more.

Main Features 

  • Dedicated service: Augusta Precious Metals offers a team of gold and silver investing professionals that are available for the lifetime of the account. They are highly knowledgeable about the gold and silver industry, and they can be of great service to help customers achieve their financial and investment goals.
  • Self-Directed IRA: With a gold IRA account from Augusta Precious Metals, customers have control over their purchases and sales decisions. They do not pay someone else to manage their account, which means that they can direct and manage their own physical precious metals within the IRA.
  • Pre-selected custodians: Augusta Precious Metals has carefully vetted and selected the best gold and silver IRA custodians. Equity Trust is their preferred custodian, and Augusta can act as a liaison between customers and these companies if needed.
  • Education department led by Harvard-trained economic analyst: Augusta Precious Metals has an education department that is led by an on-staff Harvard-trained economic analyst. This team of precious metals professionals can show customers how a gold IRA can potentially offset losses during times of economic upheaval. They provide valuable insights and guidance to help customers make informed decisions about their retirement savings.
  • Long-term resource: Augusta Precious Metals is not a one-and-done gold and silver provider. They aim to be a long-term resource for customers, helping them diversify their savings for years to come. Customers have continual access to Augusta’s team of gold and silver investing professionals over the lifetime of their accounts.
  • Award-winning customer service: this provider has been the recipient of two Stevie Awards for Customer Service Success and Sales Distinction of the Year. These awards are some of the world’s most coveted business awards in the gold IRA industry, and they are judged by respected executives, entrepreneurs, innovators, and business educators. Augusta Precious Metals’ commitment to providing excellent customer service is evidenced by its numerous accolades and high ratings from customers on review websites like TrustLink and the Better Business Bureau.

Shipping & Storage 

Augusta Precious Metals offers free shipping and liability insurance for metals until they are delivered to the IRA storage location for qualifying purchases. Customers can pay by bank wire or personal check, and packages are discreetly wrapped to ensure privacy.

Augusta uses USPS Express Mail, Registered Insured, or Federal Express for shipping, and large orders are shipped via Brinks Armored. The company has done its due diligence to find the best-secured private depository in the United States, and they have chosen the Delaware Depository. This depository is IRS compliant, exchange-approved by the CME Group and ICE, and it has $1 billion all-risk insurance from London underwriters.

Pros

  • Dedicated team of gold and silver professionals available for the lifetime of your account.
  • Access to a self-directed IRA that gives customers control over their gold purchases and sales decisions.
  • Carefully pre-selected custodians for gold and silver IRAs.
  • Free shipping and liability insurance for eligible purchases.
  • Discreet packaging to ensure customer privacy.
  • Highly secure non-government depository storage facility with $1 billion all-risk insurance.
  • They support the rollover of 401(k)s and other retirement accounts to open a gold IRA.

Cons 

  • The management fees charged by August are not explicitly disclosed before the customer moves forward with the sign-up process.
  • The only supported payment methods are bank wire and personal checks.
  • Augusta does not sell products made of other precious metals aside from gold and silver.

Where Augusta Precious Metals Excels?

Augusta Precious Metals stands out as a gold IRA company due to its commitment to delivering the best service possible to customers via features such as lifetime support to all accounts performed by its team of seasoned professionals and its strong partnerships with top-notch organizations in the industry, such as the Equity Trust Group and the Delaware Depository.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Free shipping and free insurance on all orders
  • Storage: Through a partner
  • Return Policy: 7-day refund policy for first-time buyers
Augusta Precious Metals

on Augusta Precious Metals’ website

8. United States Mint 

U.S. Mint screenshot
Source: U.S. Mint

The United States Mint is the first national mint in the United States, established by Congress in 1792. The mint is responsible for producing the nation’s circulating coins, as well as bullion and collector coins, and offers various shipping and payment options for customers. 

The Mint maintains production facilities in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Denver, and West Point and a bullion depository in Fort Knox.

Main Features 

  1. History and tradition: The United States Mint has a rich history that dates back to the nation’s founding. Its long-standing tradition of producing coins for the country has earned it a reputation for quality and excellence. The Mint’s commitment to preserving this tradition is evident in the attention to detail given to each coin produced.
  2. Ample product catalog: The Mint produces an extensive catalog of collectors and investment-grade gold products, including coins and medals.
  3. Cost-recovery basis: The United States Mint operates on a cost-recovery basis, meaning they cannot use tax dollars to fund their numismatic operations. Their prices are self-sufficient and cover all associated costs of their numismatic portfolio, plus enough margin to cushion against volatility. This means that the cost of buying gold from them directly is typically cheaper compared to other alternatives.
  4. Affordable shipping rates: The US Mint offers shipping rates starting at $5.95 per order that arrives within 1 to 2 weeks, next-day shipping at a higher cost, and international shipping that costs approximately $20 per order, not including customs duties and applicable taxes on the destination country. Most orders are processed within 1 to 2 business days, and they are fulfilled following a first-in, first-served approach.
  5. Multiple payment methods: customers can pay by using a credit card, PayPal account, or an e-gift certificate issued by the institution. In addition, bulk orders can be paid via wire transfer or ACH.
  6. Product schedules: The Mint publishes its production plans, including upcoming product batches. This allows investors to prepare and save money to buy their favorite gold products.

Shipping & Storage 

The United States Mint offers various shipping options for customers, including budget, standard, expedited, and next-day shipping. Shipping charges are subject to change without notice. The Mint selects from a number of carriers to deliver packages, and packages are shipped without insurance.

For an additional fee of $3.95, customers can require a signature on their shipment. The Mint ships within the United States and selected United States territories, as well as internationally. Customers may also be subject to import duties and taxes when shipping internationally. The Mint does not offer storage services.

Pros 

  • Premium quality gold products produced by one of the world’s most well-reputed refiners.
  • Assured supply volumes resulting from a large network of production facilities spread across the nation.
  • Ample product catalog and planned production that lets customers prepare to buy upcoming releases.
  • Affordable pricing resulting from The Mint’s cost-recovery basis methodology.
  • Competitive shipping rates for regular, next-day, and international deliveries.
  • Multiple payment options are supported, including electronic wallets like PayPal and credit cards.

Cons

  • Shipping charges are subject to change without notice.
  • Packages are shipped without insurance.
  • Customers may be subject to import duties and taxes when shipping internationally.
  • Bullion purchases are not permitted for individual customers.
  • The Mint only produces gold and silver products.

Where does the United States Mint Excels?

The United States Mint’s long-standing tradition and commitment to quality set it apart from its rivals. Its multiple production facilities allow for efficient coin production, and its cost-recovery basis helps it set attractive prices for its products. 

The Mint’s various shipping options and international shipping make it a convenient option for customers looking to purchase coins outside of the US territory. However, customers should be aware of potential changes to shipping charges and the lack of insurance on packages shipped. Overall, the United States Mint is a reliable and trustworthy option for those looking to purchase top-quality gold coins.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Budget shipping fee from $5.95 per order
  • Storage: No
  • Return Policy: 7-day from receiving the item(s)
U.S. Mint

on U.S. Mint’s website

9. Kitco 

Kitco screenshot
Source: Kitco

Kitco is a Montreal-based gold dealer and precious metals authority that offers a wide range of products and services to investors, wholesalers, corporate and institutional buyers worldwide. 

The company has been in business since 1977 and was the first to provide investors with real-time market information, analysis, and online precious metals services. Kitco offers bullion products in gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and rhodium, as well as unique silver and gold gift ideas and collectible items. 

Kitco also offers secure storage facilities, direct home delivery, and investment integration with IRA/RSP accounts. The company’s media division provides cutting-edge news, market insights, and data to a global audience, making Kitco a trusted source of information in the precious metals and mining industry.

Main Features

  • Wide range of precious metals products: Kitco offers bullion bars and coins in gold, silver, platinum, palladium, and rhodium that are recognized and accepted globally. The company also offers unique silver and gold gift ideas and collectible items made from 99.99% pure gold.
  • Secure storage facilities: As a precious metals investor, the need to securely store your assets is a priority. Kitco offers global options for storing gold, silver, and platinum bullion in fully segregated vaults. The company has established relationships with market-leading IRA custodians to help you gain the advantage of precious metals in your retirement savings.
  • Investment integration with IRA/RSP accounts: Kitco helps investors make the most of their retirement savings with flexible, personalized investment options. Through its long-standing relationships with RRSP and IRA investment companies, Kitco offers investment integration with IRA/RSP accounts, giving customers the option to buy precious metals and invest in their retirement account, a safe holding account exempt from taxes.
  • Kitcoin Refining: Kitco Refining is dedicated to helping businesses get the most out of their recycled precious metals. The company’s refining and scrap team offers great pricing and services to jewelers, pawnshops, antique dealers, as well as specialty manufacturers, and dental laboratories.
  • Kitco VaultChain™: Kitco VaultChain™ is a blockchain-based platform that allows customers to buy and sell physical gold and silver digitally. The platform provides real-time tracking, data accuracy, and auditability, making it an easy way to build your precious metals holdings while taking advantage of next-generation digital security solutions.
  • Stay informed with Kitco Media: Customers can keep track of what is going on in the commodities market and with precious metals, specifically via the extensive coverage provided by the Kitco Media team on these topics. Kitco News reaches nearly 5 million visitors every month from more than 100 countries, and Kitco.com is ranked the 959th most visited website in the world, according to Alexa.
  • Access to real-time price data, charts, and news: the Kitco website is an incredible resource to investors for research purposes as it provides tons of data about the gold and precious metals market, including real-time prices, research materials, technical charts, and news.

Shipping & Storage 

Kitco offers direct home delivery and secure storage facilities. With this provider, customers have the option of storing their precious metals in Canada (including storage at the Royal Canadian Mint), at one of its facilities in Hong Kong, or at a COMEX-approved depository in the US.

Kitco offers standard shipping in the United States and Canada for $15 USD/CAD. If the order value exceeds $5,000, the company waives the shipping fee. The transit time for this option is from 2 to 5 business days. In addition, there is an insurance fee of 0.65% of the total metal value.

There is a pick-up option if a customer wants to retrieve a package from the company’s Montreal Counter in Canada or at one of its locations in the United States. However, to do this, the customer has to cover a $70 fee for each pick-up. International shipments (outside the United States or Canada) are shipped using Kitco’s preferred courier services and are shipped from Canada.

Pros 

  • Kitco is a well-reputed gold dealer with over 40 years of experience in the business.
  • Large selection of bullion products, including bars and coins.
  • Competitive pricing from Kitco’s global sourcing.
  • Convenient home delivery or vault storage options.
  • Integration with retirement accounts like IRAs/RSPs allows precious metals investing.
  • Kitco VaultChain enables the digital buying and selling of physical gold and silver.
  • Refining services for jewelers, pawn shops, antique dealers, and manufacturers to sell their recycled precious metals.

Cons 

  • Kitco’s shipping rates are a bit more expensive compared to its rivals.

Where Kitco Excels?

Kitco has established strong partnerships with companies that provide custodian and storage services for their customers so it can deliver a one-stop-shop-like experience. Those who opt to use its platform can easily set up a retirement account, buy gold, and store it safely without leaving their website. In addition, its market and educational resources are considered a reference for both beginners and seasoned investors.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Standard shipping in the United States and Canada for $15 USD/CAD
  • Storage: Through a partner
  • Return Policy: Not refunds offered, only exchanges
Kitco

on Kitco’s website

10. Golden Eagle Coins 

Golden Eagle Coins screenshot
Source: Golden Eagle Coins

Golden Eagle Coins is a leading precious metals dealer that offers gold, silver, and other bullion products to investors. For over 45 years, Golden Eagle Coins has provided customers with access to high-quality precious metals and market insights to help them buy and sell at the right time.

Golden Eagle Coins offers a wide range of bullion products, including gold bars, silver bars, gold coins like American Eagles and Canadian Maples, silver coins from major mints, and rare date and collector coins. They offer competitive pricing that is updated continuously on their live market feeds.

Main Features

  • Live pricing sourced directly from commodities exchanges: this provider’s website shows live prices for precious metals from top sources, including COMEX and World Market. 
  • Ample product catalog: Golden Eagle Coins offers a large selection of gold bars, silver bars, gold coins, silver coins, and rare coins. In addition, they sell platinum, rhodium, and palladium products.
  • Private and insured shipping options for all orders: Golden Eagle Coins offers various shipping options, including free shipping on orders exceeding $99. All packages are shipped via USPS-insured mail.
  • Flexible payment methods: Golden Eagle Coins offers the possibility of making payments via wire transfer, cash, check, money order, credit card, debit card, and PayPal.
  • Positive track record: 96% of the customers that have bought precious metals from Golden Eagle Coins have rated the company with 4 or 5 stars on ShopperApproved

Shipping & Storage 

Golden Eagle Coins typically ships its orders within 5 to 7 days after payment is received except at times of peak volume. The packages are shipped fully insured via USPS mail. Its shipping fees are as follows: 

  • USPS Standard – FREE for orders over $99 ($9.95 for orders under $99)
  • USPS Priority Mail – $14.95
  • USPS Express Mail – $24.95 (Not available for credit card or PayPal orders)

It is possible to cancel orders with this provider, but there will be several charges involved, including a $35 flat cancellation fee and other penalties based on their market-loss policy. Customers can return their orders to Golden Eagle Coins, but they must pay a 5% restocking fee to do so.

Pros

  • Trusted dealer with over 45 years of experience in the gold dealing business.
  • Positive track record of customer satisfaction as indicated by thousands of 4-star and 5-star ratings.
  • Live market prices from top sources and technical charts for analysis.
  • Ample product selection for all precious metals, including gold, silver, rhodium, palladium, and platinum.
  • Advantageous pricing for large orders and affordable shipping options.
  • All packages travel insured, and Golden Eagle Coins waive shipping costs for orders exceeding $99.

Cons 

  • High cancellation and restocking fees.
  • No storage options or gold IRA offering.

Where Golden Eagle Coins Excels?

Golden Eagle Coins is a top-notch gold dealer that offers a decent catalog of products, including US and international coins and bars of multiple weights. The company offers free shipping for eligible orders and live prices sourced from top exchanges, and it has an excellent track record of customer satisfaction based on its thousands of positive online reviews.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Free shipping on orders over $99
  • Storage: No
  • Return Policy: 14-days (5% restocking fee)
Golden Eagle Coins

on Golden Eagle Coins’ website

11. Silver Gold Bull 

Silver Gold Bull screenshot
Source: Silver Gold Bull

Silver Gold Bull is a precious metals dealer that offers gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products. Established in 2009, Silver Gold Bull is dedicated to providing affordable and accessible ways for investors to build wealth through precious metals. They also offer storage and retirement solutions such as gold IRAs via partnerships with top-notch depositories and custodian firms.

Main Features 

  • Outstanding product catalog: Silver Gold Bull offers a great selection of gold, silver, platinum, and collectible products. In the specific case of gold, they sell bars of different weights and an ample selection of coins, including Chinese, Australian, American, and African specimens.
  • Positive customer feedback: customers seem to love this gold dealer, as reflected by their 5-star rating on ShopperApproved from over 300,000 reviews. In addition, this is a BBB-accredited business with an A+ rating.
  • Secure storage option: Silver Gold Bull offers access to secure storage via a partnership with Brink’s Global Services. The company offers the first three months of this service for free and provides access to facilities in 6 locations in 4 different countries. 
  • Flexible payment methods: customers can pay for the gold they buy from Silver Gold Bull by using a credit card, PayPal, PayPal Pay Later, eCheck, cryptocurrency, and wire transfer.
  • Free shipping on eligible orders: orders valued at $199 or more are eligible for free shipping and they travel fully insured.
  • Retirement solutions: Silver Gold Bull offers access to a precious metal IRA, which is a tax-advantaged account that lets customers add gold to their retirement portfolio. The company offers access to gold products that are 99.9% pure to comply with the IRS’s requirements.

Shipping & Storage

All orders made by customers are packed and shipped within 2 days after payment is received. The packages are shipped fully insured, and orders above $199 are eligible for free shipping. Meanwhile, smaller orders pay a $9.95 fee per order.

The packages are securely wrapped and are not labeled, so the contents remain hidden during the journey. In case of a return, customers who opted to receive a refund via PayPal will be charged a 4% restocking fee. In addition, all order cancellations will incur a $50 fee along with any difference in the market price of the items at the moment they are received.

Pros 

  • Trusted dealer established in 2009 with a solid reputation and pristine customer feedback.
  • Ample selection of gold, silver, and platinum products.
  • Secure storage solutions at competitive rates with a three-month free trial.
  • Decent catalog of IRS-approved gold products for Gold IRA customers.
  • Multiple supported payments, including cryptocurrencies and PayPal.
  • Free shipping on eligible orders.

Cons 

  • No palladium or rhodium products.

Where Silver Gold Bull Excels?

Silver Gold Bull is a relatively young company but one that has demonstrated its commitment to customer satisfaction, as indicated by its 5-star rating on ShopperApproved. The company provides storage and retirement solutions with highly enticing promotional offerings and free shipping on qualifying orders. Overall, it can be considered a top pick for beginner investors who would like to save money on their gold product purchases or build a retirement fund.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Free shipping on orders over $199
  • Storage: Available
  • Return Policy: 3 days (restocking fee may apply)
Silver Gold Bull

on Silver Gold Bull’s website

12. Golden State Mint 

Golden State Mint screenshot
Source: Golden State Mint

Golden State Mint is a leading precious metals dealer offering gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products. Established in 1974, Golden State Mint is a family-run business dedicated to providing the highest quality precious metals products and exceptional customer service. They have over 45 years of experience in the industry and a focus on meeting or beating guaranteed delivery times.

Main Features 

  • Unique catalog of products: the Golden State Mint offers a wide range of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium products, including bars, coins, and collectibles.
  • Mint fresh products: all items are newly minted and shipped directly from their manufacturing facility. No secondary market goods.
  • Competitive pricing: this is achieved by GSM via low markups and high volume. As a mint, they have the ability to cut out the middlemen to offer lower prices.
  • Fast shipping and delivery: most in-stock orders ship within 1 to 10 business days. Shorter lead times than competitors.
  • Insured and discreet shipping: valuable products are securely packaged and labeled discreetly to prevent indication of contents. Full-value insurance included.
  • No order minimums and free shipping: free shipping on domestic orders over $199. Reasonable shipping fees for smaller orders. GSM does not demand an order minimum either.
  • Various supported payment methods: GSM currently lets customers pay for their orders via mailed check, wire, PayPal, and credit or debit card.
  • A Precious Metals IRA is available through partners: In addition, GSM provides guidance on IRS rules for retirement account metal investments.

Shipping & Storage 

Most orders ship within 1 to 10 business days via insured and discreet packaging. Despite any fees, Golden State Mint aims to provide good value and service. Orders over $199 enjoy free shipping. Meanwhile, the rate for smaller orders will vary depending on the destination. 

The packages are shipped via UPS, USPS, or FedEx. International shipping is possible to selected countries.

Pros 

  • More than 45 years of experience and positive track record of customer satisfaction, as indicated by an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website.
  • Low prices from high volume and limited markups. 
  • Mint fresh high-quality products with no secondary market goods. Brand new items shipped directly from their facility.
  • Wide selection of gold, silver, platinum, and palladium in various presentations. 
  • Fast and reliable delivery service. 
  • Shorter lead times and greater availability than competitors.
  • No order minimums, which give customers the chance to start small and grow their holdings over time. 
  • Free shipping on eligible orders.
  • Insured and discreet shipping via multiple carriers.

Cons 

  • No rhodium products.
  • No storage service is offered by this gold dealer.

Where Golden State Mint Excels?

As a mint, Golden State Mint is capable of offering lower prices than gold dealers that act as intermediaries. In addition, they can guarantee the quality of their products as they oversee the whole manufacturing and refining process. This makes GSM a great alternative for both retail investors and high-net-worth individuals and institutions that want to buy gold in bulk.

In A Nutshell

  • Shipping costs: Free shipping on orders over $199
  • Storage: No
  • Return Policy: N/A
Golden State Mint

on Golden State Mint’s website


What to Look for in A Gold Dealer

Now that you have an extensive list of gold dealers to choose from, it is time to make a pick. To make an informed decision, you should consider some of the following characteristics and traits of their service.

Dealer Reputation

As with any financial transaction, choosing a reputable dealer is critical. Look for companies that have been in business for at least 5-10 years, have a solid reputation, and have a big number of positive online reviews.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) website keeps track of customer complaints made to a company and rates them based on their customer support and quality of service. In addition, websites like Trustpilot compile reviews from the company’s customers and give them a certain number of stars based on the opinions of these users.

Physical Presence 

For physical gold, go with dealers with an actual physical presence and vault over those that have a website. Having gold stored securely in a vault rather than an unoccupied office provides more safety and reassurance. Reputable dealers will also have insurance to cover your gold holdings in case of emergencies.

As a rule of thumb, investors should avoid gold dealers whose listed address is a PO Box. Keep in mind that these companies may turn out to be scammers. To attract customers, they offer heavy discounts and prices that can easily be considered too good to be true.

Transparent Pricing 

The best gold dealers tell you exactly how much you will be paying for the products you are buying. This includes the spot price of the gold pieces involved in the transactions, along with any commissions, markups, sales taxes, shipping fees, and other similar costs. 

All pricing details and fees should be clearly listed, with no hidden surcharges. You want to know exactly how the listed price is calculated. It is also a good practice to ask for a formal quote, which can be sent as a pro-forma invoice. These documents will allow you to have proof of what the proposed pricing was for the operation before it is completed.

Payment Options

Most dealers accept common payment methods such as credit cards, wire transfers, checks, money orders, and ACH bank transfers to enable secure and convenient transactions.

However, with so many alternative payment instruments nowadays, like cryptocurrencies and electronic wallets, it is convenient to choose the dealer that offers the amplest selection of alternatives. 

Keep in mind that moving your money from one place to the other typically involves some fees along the way. Hence, it makes financial sense to choose a dealer that supports a payment method that matches the location where your assets are parked — i.e., a bank account, crypto wallet, or digital wallet.

Returns & Buyback Policies

Some dealers will offer to buy back your gold instantly, typically at the current market price minus a markdown. This increases the liquidity of your holdings, and it can be considered a plus when you are choosing a provider to work with for your gold purchases. However, make sure you understand the conditions of this service, such as how the price is set and any fees involved.

In addition, most dealers will allow you to return the physical gold you bought within 7-14 days after it was delivered if the customer is not satisfied with the product. The return policies should be very clear to ensure that there are no surprises if you do need to ship back all or part of your order.

Storage

Does the dealer provide storage for your gold holdings either in their vault or via a third-party vaulting service? Storage fees, insurance coverage, and access details should be clearly explained. As a purchaser, having your gold holdings stored adds an extra layer of security and convenience.

However, not every company is appropriately equipped to store your gold safely. Hence, it is often a good idea if they offer storage services in alliance with third parties whose core business is exactly that. Some depositories, like the Delaware Depository, have a great reputation, and most gold dealers partner with similar organizations to offer storage services for their customers.

In any case, whether the storage is offered by the dealer or a third party, you should be informed of all of the safety measures the company takes and the physical location of the vault, among other details, to sleep better at night knowing that your assets are being adequately protected from criminals and natural disasters.

Customer Support

The best gold dealers stand by their products and customers by offering educational resources, live support, and swift response times. Reputable dealers fully back up all of their products in case any issues come up after the sale.

The more alternatives you have to reach out to a representative from the company, the better. In most cases, these companies offer access via e-mail, support tickets, phone calls, and live chat. Online reviews can also help you in evaluating the quality and performance of a dealer’s customer support department.


How to Avoid Scams When Buying Physical Gold

It is not unheard of to learn about people getting scammed when buying physical gold, whether online or locally, so here are some of the most common gold investment scams so you can be on the lookout:

  • Fake gold or fake bars: Carefully inspect any gold before purchasing to make sure it is real. Fake gold will not have the proper hallmarks, stamping, and precious metal composition.
  • Overpriced gold: Compare prices across multiple reputable dealers to ensure you don’t overpay for gold products. Learn more about gold purity, spot price, and the typical premiums paid for different products.
  • Bogus gold dealers: Only purchase from well-established dealers with a verified physical business address, licenses, and credentials. Search online for reviews from other customers.
  • Pressure sales tactics: Legitimate dealers will not use high-pressure tactics or push you to make a quick decision. Take time to evaluate your options.
  • Poorly explained fees: Understand all fees involved in the transaction, including commissions, markup, premiums, shipping costs, taxes, storage fees, and any buyback/return fees. Fees should be transparent, not hidden.
  • Lack of buyer guarantees: Reputable dealers will clearly disclose their buyback policies, return windows, and any fees associated with repurchases or returns. This ensures you have an out if needed.

Meanwhile, here are a few recommendations you can follow to avoid gold scams and fraud:

  • Do thorough research on any gold dealer before purchasing. Google them and check the reviews they have received from other customers.
  • Carefully inspect gold products in person when possible. Learn how to spot real vs. fake gold. Hallmarks and purity stamps should match what is advertised.
  • Compare prices and fees across multiple dealers for the best overall deal. Negotiate if you’re buying large quantities.
  • Understand all fees, premiums, commissions, taxes, and any policies concerning buybacks, returns, and storage fees upfront. Ask questions until all details are clear.
  • Never wire money, pay with gift cards, use prepaid cash cards, or send money orders without first making some questions. These payment methods do not offer fraud protection.
  • Be wary of unsolicited messages, phone calls, or emails about gold investment opportunities. Legitimate dealers do not actively market this way.
  • Take time to evaluate your options. Do not feel pressured into making quick decisions. Reputable dealers will not use high-pressure sales tactics.
  • Check independent resources for guidance on spot prices, purity values, and typical premium ranges for different gold products to ensure you’re getting fair prices.
  • Check if the provider is included in the RED (Registration Deficient) list from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The companies within this list are not registered with the institution, and this increases the chances that they may be either fraudulent endeavors or fail to comply with US regulations associated with dealing with precious metals. 
  • Trust your instincts — if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for unbelievable promises of high returns with little risk.

Pros of Buying Physical Gold

  • Tangible wealth: Physical gold cannot be hacked, denied, or frozen like digital assets. There is security and reassurance in owning tangible wealth.
  • Liquidity: While physical gold may be less liquid than gold ETFs or futures, it is still relatively liquid. You can often sell physical gold to dealers or at local coin shops. Over time, as gold prices rise and more investors buy physical gold, liquidity continues to improve.
  • Scarcity: Gold is rare in supply and scarce in existence. No more gold is being created, so it will always hold value due to scarcity alone. By owning physical gold, you are incorporating a scarce asset into your investment portfolio.
  • Price appreciation: Over long periods, gold prices have provided positive returns to portfolios, and during specific periods, the precious metal’s gains have outpaced those offered by other asset classes.
  • Safe haven: Physical gold is seen by many as a “safe haven” investment during times of economic turmoil. When the stock market declines, gold prices often rise as investors flock to gold for stability.
  • Diversification. Including physical gold, such as gold bars and coins, in your investment portfolio provides diversification from stocks, bonds, cash, and other assets. Gold prices often move independently or even in the opposite direction of traditional assets like the ones mentioned above.
  • Purchasing power protection: Physical gold helps insulate the purchasing power of your money over time. The value of gold tends to hold up better than currencies, thus helping prevent inflation from eroding the value of your assets. Gold is typically considered a good store of value during times of inflation.
  • Instant transfer of ownership: When you take delivery of physical gold bars or coins, you have verifiable assets that are considered “good delivery.” This means that ownership has been automatically transferred to you once you have received the shipment. As a result, the metal is freely tradeable for cash with any buyer.

Cons of Buying Physical Gold

  • Higher costs: There are multiple costs involved with buying and selling physical gold, such as premiums paid to dealers, sales taxes, shipping and insurance fees, and transaction costs if selling. These additional middleman fees can easily eat into potential returns compared to lower-cost gold investments like ETFs.
  • Less liquidity: While physical gold does have reasonable liquidity, it typically takes more time and effort to transact with it compared to other gold investments like ETFs, futures, or options. You have to find a willing buyer, and the price you get can depend on market conditions. There is more price risk due to the absence of an organized market.
  • Responsibility of ownership: When you buy physical gold, you are directly responsible for properly and securely storing those assets. This is an additional responsibility versus other investments where assets are held by a brokerage or company. There is a risk of loss, damage, or theft if gold is not stored properly.
  • Price volatility: While gold does provide benefits as an investment diversifier and safe haven, the price of gold itself can be quite volatile in the short term. The value of your physical gold holdings could decline substantially at times due to the ups and downs of the commodity market. Hence, there is potential for short-term losses.
  • Selling at a loss: If you need to sell your physical gold due to emergencies or other unexpected events, there is a chance that you may have to sell at a price lower than what you paid.
  • No yield: Unlike some other investments, physical gold does not produce any interest or dividend yield. You do not earn money simply for holding the asset over time. The only way to generate a return is if the price of gold increases against the currency or if you find specialty buyers paying a premium.

How to Buy Physical Gold Online?

In this section, we share some recommendations in case this is your first time buying gold online. There are several aspects to consider going from which presentation suits you the best (coins or bars), how to choose the best gold dealer, and what needs to be done to complete a purchase.

Step 1: Decide On a Gold Coin or Bar

When it comes to deciding whether to buy gold coins, bars, or a combination of the two, it is important first to understand the characteristics of what makes a product good and valuable and also its purpose in the marketplace.

Key Characteristics To Consider About Gold Products 

  • Purity: Gold coins and bars come in different purities, typically 24K, 22K, and 14K. 24K is the purest but is too soft for coins, so gold coins are rarely 24K. 22K and 14K have a higher copper content for hardness and durability. Finally, 14K is a popular choice for coins and bars.
  • Mints: Major mints like the U.S. MintRoyal Canadian Mint, and The Royal Mint produce the vast majority of gold coins. Reputable mints ensure quality, and continuity and help establish the collectible or resale value of the products. Coins from certain mints, like Canadian Maple Leafs, are very popular and actively traded.
  • Value:  The value of gold coins and bars depends on the current gold price, size, purity, and other factors like collector demand or mint/series rarity for coins. Coins often have a higher premium over the gold value due to collector interest. “Proof coins” with mirrored surfaces tend to gain the most value over time.
  • Reselling: For those interested in eventually reselling, gold coins typically have lower bid-ask spreads and higher liquidity than bars. However, bars may still achieve a closer-to-spot price upon resale due to lower premiums.

Key Characteristics of Gold coins And Bars

  • Gold bars: Easy to store large amounts of gold. Available in many sizes. Often cheaper per ounce than coins. It can be stored securely at home or in a bank vault.
  • Gold coins: Usually of higher purity (22K-14K) and have a nominal face value even though the gold value often exceeds the face value. Coins are seen as more liquid and are typically easier to resell. Different coin designs and sizes are available, going from 1-ounce up to 10-ounce coins.

Step 2: Compare Gold Dealer Prices

The price of the same gold coin or bar can vary significantly between different dealers. Hence, there are several factors to consider when comparing prices:

  • Markups and fees: Dealers add a markup on top of the spot price of gold, as this is how they generate revenue. Markups vary but often represent around 10-20% of the spot price of the coins. Compare the total price paid per ounce after the markup. Some dealers also charge additional fees for shipping, storage, insurance, or grading. Factor all fees into the total cost to make fair and accurate comparisons.
  • Discounts: Some dealers offer volume discounts for larger orders, loyalty programs, or special promotions. See if any discounts apply to your purchase that can lower the overall price.
  • Buyback and repurchase policies: The best dealers will buy back gold at a competitive price. Compare buyback offers as a percentage of the spot gold price. Look for the most flexible reselling policies and the most advantageous in terms of price when choosing your dealer.
  • Storage: If you are purchasing larger amounts, free insured storage is ideal. Avoid fees for long-term storage as they can significantly add up the cost of your investment over time. Only pay for storage if needed and make sure the depository at which the gold will be stored is safe and adequately insured.
  • Shipping: Compare shipping costs or check if shipping is even free for some eligible orders. Free shipping in the U.S. is common among gold dealers for orders exceeding $100 or $200 or so. International shipping rates may vary widely from one provider to the other, and customs procedures and tariffs will also apply to the purchases.
  • Return policy: A fair, no-hassle return policy within 30 days of delivery is the industry standard. Keep in mind that restocking fees apply in most cases. Read the fine print to know how much you would pay in case you have to return your gold products to the dealer and whether you’ll have to cover the shipping cost.
  • Reputation and reviews: Compare online reviews from past customers regarding prices, customer service, ease of doing business, and other similar aspects related to the process of completing an order with the dealer before finalizing your purchase.
  • Check for deals: Dealers routinely provide website visitors or e-mail subscribers with the latest promotions and deals. Sign up before buying for a chance to access some exclusive discounts or fire sales.

By researching the dealer and learning more about these and other aspects of what they have to offer, you can determine which companies offer the best all-around value and service for the gold coins or bars you want to purchase. 

Comparing prices is only part of the process. Make sure to also give some weight to the intangible aspects of the service that can become quite relevant in case something does not go as expected.

Step 3: Make A Purchase

Once you have decided which product you will be buying and from which provider, it is typically a good idea to research which payment methods they support and how much they will charge you, depending on which one you choose.

Most dealers accept credit and debit cards, bank wires, money orders, cashier’s checks, and personal checks. In addition, a handful of vendors have started to support payment in cryptocurrency or via electronic wallets like PayPal, Payoneer, Skrill, or Neteller.

There are certain limits to the amounts that can be paid by using some of these methods. If you plan to purchase less than $10,000 worth of gold, you will be fine using a credit or debit card or an electronic wallet.

Finally, some companies may offer a discount depending on the payment method you choose. Once you have checked which methods your provider supports, ask about any applicable transaction fees that could inflate the final price of your purchase.


FAQs about the Best Places to Buy Gold

The following are answers to the most frequently asked questions we get about the best places to buy gold.

What Is a Gold Dealer?

A gold dealer is a company that buys and sells gold, silver, and other precious metals. Gold dealers allow you to purchase physical gold and other products.

What Is the Cheapest Place to Buy Gold and Silver?

Online gold and silver dealers typically have the cheapest prices due to lower overhead costs. Websites like APMEX, JM Bullion, Golden Eagle Coin, Money Metals Exchange, and SD Bullion often offer the most competitive prices.

What Is the Difference Between Gold Coins and Gold Bars?

Gold bars are typically larger in size and contain a higher amount of gold by weight. However, the have lower premiums per ounce. Gold coins often contain the same amount of gold but also have a face value stamp, come in smaller sizes but have a higher premium per ounce. Coins may also have collectible value. Bars are usually cheaper to buy and sell, given their size.

How Can I Sell Physical Gold?

You can sell physical gold to a gold dealer, pawn shop, private buyer, or at a coin/metal store for cash. Check current gold prices, get an itemized list of your gold, check buyer reputations, and compare offers to get the best deal when selling. Some dealers may pay a lower price but have a simpler selling process.

Do Banks Sell Gold and Silver Bars?

Some banks offer the ability to buy and sell gold and silver bars, but choices may be more limited than dedicated gold and silver dealers. Prices may also be marked up at some banks. However, buying from a bank can be more convenient than searching out other options.

Where Is the Best Place to Buy Gold Online?

Some of the top places to buy gold online include APMEX, JM Bullion, Golden Eagle Coins, Money Metals Exchange, SD Bullion, and Kitco. These sites are among those that offer the lowest transaction costs, which can result in lower prices overall. In addition, they offer a decent selection of gold products and have a strong reputation as trusted gold dealers. However, you probably want to compare multiple sites to ensure you get the best overall deal when buying gold online.

Is It Safe to Buy Gold and Silver Online?

Yes, buying gold and silver online is generally safe when it is done with a reputable dealer. While there is some risk with any online transaction, gold/silver dealers have little incentive to defraud buyers. Many are also veteran companies that value their reputation. To reduce risk, check online buyer reviews and Better Business Bureau ratings before purchasing from any site. Legitimate dealers will also offer secure shipping options to reduce the chance of theft or loss.

Can I Store Gold at Home?

Yes. Storing gold at home is possible, but it is important to ensure that your assets are safe. Buying a home safe or building a small hidden vault is typically the best way to store gold safely at your residence.

In addition, proper security (i.e., cameras and motion sensors), fire safety, and insurance coverage are must-haves when storing gold at home.

Keep in mind that there are other more convenient options for this, such as renting a safety deposit box from your local bank or opening an account with a commercial depository.

How Much Gold Should I Own?

The right amount of gold for your portfolio depends on your financial goals, risk tolerance, and investment horizon. As a general rule of thumb, most investors should aim to allocate between 3% to 10% of their available balance on gold and other commodities to use the precious metal for diversification and inflation-hedging purposes.

Is Gold a Good Hedge Against Inflation?

Yes. Gold has been deemed a good alternative to protect the purchasing power of investors’ assets for centuries due to its scarcity, long-standing reputation as a store of value, and relatively good liquidity, regardless of what is going on with the world. 

Do Gold Dealers Report Transactions to The IRS?

Yes. Gold dealers are required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to report any purchases exceeding $10,000 that are paid in cash and large transactions involving a specific coin or gold bar. Failing to comply with these rules will result in fines and penalties for the dealers.


Final Thoughts

In summary, purchasing gold can be a solid investment choice, but success comes down to finding trustworthy dealers offering fair prices and excellent service. This guide evaluated the top companies selling gold online based on factors such as product selection, purity choices, pricing, credentials, storage, insurance, shipping, returns, and reputation.

When pricing out options, comparisons must go beyond specified markups to incorporate all related fees and costs. Consider fees for grading, shipping, insurance, storage, and more. While any single coin or bar may seem like a good deal, every additional fee added at each stage of the process can quickly offset any savings on the product price itself.

Equally important as a low price tag, choose a dealer committed to high-quality products, an ample catalog, and integrity. Look for companies that deliver what they promise with promptness and care, hold pertinent licenses or memberships, and with a solid track record of positive customer experiences, not just claims.

For those new to precious metals investing or looking to diversify portfolios, purchasing gold can be done at a range of price points and quantities. Educate yourself on options from 1-troy-ounce bars up to 100-troy-ounce bars or larger units. From bars to rounds to coins, there are endless opportunities based on priorities like portability, liquidity, purity, collectibility, and anonymity.

Whether you are looking to buy gold as a safe haven for times of elevated market volatility, an inflation hedge for future spending power, for collecting, or all of the above, choosing a trustworthy gold dealer is a crucial part of the process.

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