A gold bar, also called gold bullion
or gold ingot, is a quantity of refined
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 ingot
s. Smaller bars may be manufactured by minting or stamping from appropriately rolled gold sheets. The standard gold bar held as gold reserve
s by central bank
s and traded among bullion dealers is the Good Delivery
gold bar. The kilobar, which is in mass, and a 100 troy ounce gold bar are the bars that are more manageable and are 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
, with both differing in their appearance and price. Cast bars are created in a similar method to that of ingot
s, 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 Kinebar
File:Kinebar3.jpg|1 oz diffractive kinebar
File:Gold Ingot 100g Perth Mint.JPG|Bar in protective casing
Standard bar weights
Gold is measured in troy ounce
s, often simply referred to as ounces when the reference to gold is evident. . 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; .
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 nominal weight. However, its precise gold content is permitted to vary between and . 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.
[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.]
* TT (ten tola) = 117 grams (3.75 oz)
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.
Largest gold bar
The world's largest gold bar stands at , measuring at the base and high with 5 degree draft angle (equal to ). 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
3,684,000 at the time). , it is worth approximately US$16.1M,
not accounting for the premium associated with being the world's largest gold bar.
* Doré bar
* United States Bullion Depository
* Gold as an investment
* Gold coin
* Millesimal fineness
* Official gold reserves
* Precious metal