You decide whether to buy gold bars or coins; your particular needs and preferences should determine your choices. Generally, gold bars have a lower premium than gold coins, because the cost of making a bullion is generally lower than that of a gold coin (and considerably lower for large bars). When it comes to quality, the best gold bars to buy also have an added benefit in terms of cost. All gold bars with a purity of not less than 99.95% do not incur VAT.
Investment-grade physical gold, also known as gold bars, can be purchased at the spot price, which is the price of unmanufactured gold plus additional costs, which vary by seller. The tax-deferred status of gold IRAs makes them an attractive option for investors looking to save for retirement. Gold rounds (also known as medals) represent a kind of compromise between buying gold bars and gold coins. But keep in mind that, just like gold coins, you're likely to pay more for the amount of gold you actually receive.
From an investment point of view, investors who want to add the physical product that follows the price of gold may want to avoid gold coins. Investors looking to enjoy the touch, feel and security of owning gold may want to buy gold bars instead of intangible investments, such as gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This is especially important if bullion is expected to be stored in a gold IRA; less pure gold, unless it is a specifically pre-approved gold coin, cannot be held in an IRA. While gold rounds are shaped and designed like coins, they are not usually as expensive as government-issued gold coins.
But if your main concern is simply getting the most gold for your money, then gold bars are probably the way to go. In other words, you can't go wrong buying gold bars as long as you follow four tips, including where to buy gold bars. Many people expect a bank to issue gold, remembering the days when gold backed the currency, but today most physical gold is purchased from non-bank distributors. Mint contains 91.67% gold, but costs more than simple gold bars because of its value as a collector's item.
On the other hand, the legal tender status of gold bullion coins makes them a highly liquid asset, even compared to gold bullion coins or rounds. Many of these coins (and gold bars from reputable refineries) can be held in a self-directed precious metals IRA.