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What Type of Gold and Silver to Buy

16 December 2020

Physical Metal

Physical metal comes in various forms; cast bar, minted bar and coins. Cast Bar is the ‘poured’ form of bullion; the process of casting has been around for hundreds of years and it begins by heating the metal into liquid form. This liquid metal is then poured into a mould designed to hold a certain weight and to create a certain shape. Once cooled, it is taken out of the mould to be stamped and serialised. No two poured bars are the same due to the pouring process that often creates abnormalities and blemishes that are unique to those bars.
Minted bar / tablet and coins are a manufactured form of bullion. Minted bars traditionally begin life as cast bars; from there they are fed through a machine that compresses & strikes, this produces a bar that is more intricate & detailed than a simple cast bar.



These usually come sealed in its packaging (CertiCard, capsules or the likes) accompanied with a certificate containing a unique serial, number assayer’s signature, weight & precious metals content; the selling price of these are usually higher than cast bars due to the added manufacturing cost. ABC Bullion carries a range of minted tablets in various sizes from 1g to 1oz.
Physical metal in coin form are usually available in small denominations, making it an excellent entry to the precious metals market or gifts for those looking for tangible stores of wealth. These small denominations include sizes below one ounce, often called, fractional coins, may go as little as 1/20th of an ounce. When buying in bulk form, a set of coins (supplier dependant) comes in a ‘tube’ and a set of tubes comes in a ‘monster box’.
There are two types of coins available, bullion and numismatic. Bullion coins are acquired for its precious metals content only where numismatic coins may or may not have as much intrinsic value and are often sought for their rarity/collectability.

Non-Physical Metal

Nonphysical metal comes in various forms; ETFs, unallocated, pool allocated.
Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is a basket of securities you buy or sell through a brokerage firm on a stock exchange. ETFs are offered on every conceivable asset class from traditional investments to so-called alternative assets like commodities or currencies. An ETF is bought and sold like a company stock when the stock exchanges are open. Unlike a company stock, the number of shares outstanding of an ETF can change daily because of the continuous creation of new shares and the redemption of existing shares.



Unallocated metal lets you purchase into the Mint’s working inventory; choosing to purchase unallocated option are therefore purchasing into the pool of working metal of said Mint which they use to facilitate their day-to-day operations.



ABC Bullion offers pool allocated metal, where you invest in a ‘share’ in a pool of physical metal managed by ABC Bullion. Clients each own a share of this pool of physical metals, rather than specific bars as with purchasing physical metal. The main benefit of purchasing pool allocated metal is that clients pay a reduced premium and storage & insurance is free of charge. ABC Bullion pool allocated can be purchased in whole ounces or by dollar value (parts of an ounce). If required, this pool allocated metal can also be converted into physical metal simply by paying the balance of fabrication cost to then be collected, delivered or securely stored by ABC Bullion or its sister company, Custodian Vaults.
When deciding between paper and physical gold, the answer comes down to the main reason you are buying precious metals. Are you only speculating on the price of gold or silver going up? Or are you buying gold or silver with a view to wealth protection? That is, as a form of financial insurance.