1 Gram Gold Bar
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1 Gram Gold Bullion bar - close up
The 1 gram gold bar is a relatively recent addition to the world's gold bullion bar inventory. These gold bars are typically not sold "loose", but are mounted in sealed credit-card sized holders which also provide certification of authenticity: Both the bar and its mounting card will typically have serial number, weight and fineness (purity) inscribed on them.
These mini-bars have proved themselves attractive to purchasers and are popular because they have effectively lowered the bar of entry to gold purchase, enabling more people to "get their foot in the door" and begin investment in gold. They also have great appeal for those who are gift shopping and the ability to "own real gold" at such a price has created many customers for these miniature gold bars. The one gram bars are very small, about 8.5mm x 15mm x 0.5mm in size - so small that it seems they almost shouldn't be called gold bars! The bars are often a cause of great surprise as many people would not have imagined that such a small piece of gold really is so precious.
For the serious investor it is worth remembering that the smaller the gold bar, the greater the relative production cost and the "percentage markup" over spot that is paid as a transaction premium. For example, one retailer is currently selling 1 gram bars at $79.50. Multiplying this figure by the number of grams in a troy ounce (31.1034768) gives a projected figure of $2472.72 per troy ounce. For comparison, the current spot price (at the time of writing) is $1728 and one ounce bars can be purchased for around $1765. However, the resale value of the 1 gram gold bars will also be marked up over spot, so in one sense the 1 gram bars will likely hold their resale value.
The 1 gram gold bars are made by a number of different manufacturers, including Goldas ("ChipGold", as seen in the image), Sunshine Minting, Engelhard, Istanbul Gold refinery, PAMP Suisse, Credit Suisse, Johnson Matthey and others.
The 1 gram bars vary in purity, some being 0.995 fine, 0.999 fine and 0.9999 fine. These minor differences hardly affect the selling price, and the prices of these bars are calculated based on their contents being one gram of gold.
A number of other denominations of small credit-card mounted gold bars are available, typically 2.5 gram, 5 gram, 10 gram and 20 gram.
To increase their attractiveness further to collectors, some manufacturers are making "art bars" which have attractive images stamped into them, sometimes being made in a similar manner to proof coins with frosted relief designs on mirrored fields.
What's fascinating is that these highly tradeable small gold bars are perhaps almost like a new form of gold currency; fulfilling the exact same purpose as the gold coins of ancient days, which were designed to be an identifiable, verified form of precious metal made at an exact size to contain an exact denomination of value. Perhaps we are heading full circle, unconsciously, back to where we were in ancient days - only with modern technology.
1 Gram Gold Bullion bar in card (front and back)
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