Where can you buy gold bars

Buy gold

This is how you can find the best bars and coins

Hendrik Buhrs
Expert for banks and stock exchanges As of August 31, 2020

Hendrik Buhrs

Hendrik Buhrs is an editor in the bank and insurance team. Before joining Finanztip, he reported on economic and consumer topics for the radio programs of the Hessian and later of the West German Broadcasting Corporation. Hendrik studied economics in Münster and Exeter. He gained his first professional experience at Radio Q and on Recklinghausen local radio. He likes to invest the money he has saved in travel.

  • If you want to invest in gold, you have the choice between bars and coins or securities.
  • If you want to put the gold aside as security in times of crisis, you should buy real physical gold.
  • If you want to reduce fluctuations in your shares, certain securities come into question (exchange-traded commodities, ETCs).
  • You do not pay tax on sales profits if you keep physical gold for at least a year or if your ETCs have a gold delivery entitlement.
  • You can find the cheapest prices for bars and coins on comparison portals. We recommend gold.de or gold-preisvergleich.de.
  • Choose the dealer who offers the lowest price including shipping costs and is a member of the professional association of German coin dealers.
  • Look for the logo of the professional association. It shows a king with a cross in his arms.
  • Weigh up where you want to store the gold: in the safe deposit box or in your own safe. A locker costs around 60 euros a year to rent.

If you are concerned that your fortune will suffer major losses in future financial crises, you can low percentage in gold invest. Because gold reserves are limited worldwide, the precious metal will most likely keep one certain material value. Unlike the so-called cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, gold has been accepted as a means of payment for centuries.

Does it make sense to buy gold? The best way to invest in gold

How much return does gold bring?

Be aware that gold will fluctuate more in value over the long term and generate less returns than a broadly diversified investment in stocks. At best, it is suitable for making an equity-based portfolio a little less susceptible to fluctuations. Finanztip therefore recommends not adding more than 10 percent gold to an equity portfolio.

Returns and fluctuations in equity portfolio with gold component (1975 - 2018)

 average return
per year

Fluctuations
per year1

just gold

3,8 %

15,8 %

only stocks

8,6 %

15,1 %

90% stocks, 10% gold

8,4 %

14,6 %

1 average standard deviation of monthly returns (annualized)
Source: Bundesbank, Finanztip calculation (as of February 1, 2019)

You can read more detailed information on the performance of gold in our gold guide.

If you decide to invest in gold, you have several options: You can either buy coins and bars - that is, the gold physically acquire - or in corresponding Securities that are traded on the stock exchange. You should know the most important purchase criteria and processes for both investment variants.

Do you want to buy gold?

We know where to find a good gold dealer
Portals

We have five Tested portals that specialize in precious metals trading.

criteria

Some gold portals give unclear information about shipping costs or the time of the price. Such we sort out.

recommendations

Two Gold buying portals have convinced us. We recommend gold.de and gold-preisvergleich.de.

What coins and bars are there?

The price of physical gold is based on the weight of the bars and coins. The weight of gold bars is usually given in grams and ranges from 1 gram to around 12.5 kilograms, with coins the weight usually varies between an ounce (31.1 grams) and a tenth of an ounce. The price differences between coins and bars of the same weight are relatively small; bars are usually a little cheaper due to the less complex production.

Make sure that gold bars have a purity of at least 999.9 thousandths and are certified by the London commodity exchange LBMA. Otherwise you may have to reckon with slight deductions when selling the bars.

The most popular gold coins

In the case of coins, it is particularly important that there is a large secondary market and that you can quickly and easily resell them if necessary. The following coins are suitable for investment, as they are produced in unlimited quantities and therefore have no hidden price surcharges:

  • Krugerrand
  • Maple Leaf
  • American Eagle
  • China panda
  • Britannia
  • Wiener Philharmoniker
  • Buffalo
  • Nugget - also called a kangaroo
  • Centenario Mexico


Buying physical gold is not cheap. The largest component of the costs is the trader's margin, which is reflected in the difference between the buying and selling price. The smaller the weight, the greater the difference, since the manufacturing and distribution costs are proportionally higher than the pure gold value. The following table shows as an example the differences for the gold coin Krugerrand at the dealer Pro Aurum.

Difference between the buying and selling price of a Krugerrand

Weight

Purchase price in €Selling price in €

Difference in%

½ ounce

901,00818,00

-9,2

1 ounce

1.718,501.636,00

-4,8

Source: Pro Aurum, Finanztip calculation (as of September 4, 2020)

For coins, we recommend that you choose a weight that is as high as possible. If you prefer to buy bars, you have to weigh up: On the one hand, the costs are a little lower with a higher weight. On the other hand, you have to expect high transaction costs if you only want to sell part of your gold. Then you first have to sell the whole bar and then purchase a smaller unit. The following table shows the differences between buying and selling prices for different sizes of gold bars at the Pro Aurum dealer.

Difference between the buying and selling price of gold bars

Weight in g

Purchase price in €Selling price in €

Difference in%

50

2.7242.599

-4,6

100

5.4215.198

-4,1

250

13.44413.000

-3,3

500

26.82125.991

-3,1

1.000

53.52751.982

-3,0

Source: Pro Aurum, Finanztip calculation (as of September 4, 2020)

Where can you buy gold?

Supraregional providers such as Degussa and Pro Aurum, which have branches in major German cities, are just one possible place to buy gold. The advantage is that you can buy directly from a trustworthy dealer in one of the branches.

The disadvantage is that you usually have to pay more in the branches than on the Internet. You can find the best price with the help of comparison portals. When buying online, however, it is not only about the cheapest price, but also whether the retailer deserves your trust.

Note: Many customers also prefer buying gold from precious metal dealers because they can pay cash there and remain anonymous. However, in order to better limit the risk of money laundering, the German government implemented an EU directive in November and adjusted the German Money Laundering Act. Since January 10, 2020, the precious metal dealer has been obliged to ask buyers with a purchase value of EUR 2,000 or more (instead of EUR 15,000 and then EUR 10,000) to present ID.

Which portals does Finanztip recommend for buying gold?

In our test from September 2019, the portals gold.de and gold-preisvergleich.de perform best. The portals show the various offers clearly and completely. You can find the exact test conditions in the section How We Tested.

The dealers listed on gold.de and gold-preisvergleich.de largely coincide. Basically, you should pay attention to the following points when buying:

The dealer is a member of the professional association - We recommend that you only buy from dealers who are represented in the professional association of German coin dealers. Since in the vast majority of cases you have to pay for your order in advance, the reliability of the seller is particularly important. All dealers who belong to the professional association guarantee the authenticity of the objects sold and commit themselves to professional and commercial care when trading the precious metals.

At gold.de you can get further information by clicking on the name of the dealer. You may have to scroll down the page a bit. On the right of the website you can see the seals that the dealer wears. See if the logo of the professional association of German coin dealers can be seen. It shows a king holding a cross and the "orb".

On gold-preisvergleich.de you can click on "Open offer" to go to the dealer page. Scroll down on it and check whether the logo of the professional association of the German coin trade is there.

Alternatively, you can also check the list of affiliated companies to see whether the retailer you have selected appears.

Shipping costs can be high - The price differences between the individual dealers on the respective comparison portals are usually small for common gold bars or gold coins. However, the shipping costs play a major role due to the value of the insured package. They can differ by 10 euros and more. Therefore always compare the total price including shipping.

In the vast majority of cases, the portals show the correct shipping costs depending on the order value of the gold directly in the overview. Nevertheless, to be sure, check the shipping costs by clicking on the information on the dealer page.

Pay attention to the existing inventory - With smaller dealers it can happen that they offer the coins and bars at low prices, but these are only available in small numbers or you have to pay a higher price for larger quantities.

gold.de
Comparison portal for gold coins and bars
  • One click to the dealer's info page
  • Shipping costs included in the total price
  • The time of the last price query can be viewed
gold-preisvergleich.de
Comparison portal for gold coins and bars
  • With one click to the dealer information
  • Shipping costs included in the total price
  • The time of the last price query can be viewed
Can only be locked with the provider

How do you properly store your gold?

A sensitive issue is the storage of gold. Even a small amount of gold is so valuable that you can hide small and therefore relatively light bars at home and transport them in an emergency. A gold bar with a weight of one kilogram and worth more than 30,000 euros is smaller than most standard smartphones.

Alternatively, you can also store gold in a safe deposit box. The cost of a safe at a bank starts at around 60 euros a year. From a legal point of view, the locker is a special fund and is therefore protected from access by creditors in the event of the bank's bankruptcy.

In any case, you should check the conditions under which your home insurance will cover a loss in the event of damage. With good insurance, gold is protected both when it is stored at home and in a safe deposit box. The banks are often only liable for a limited value of the safe deposit box.

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When is a precious metal depot an alternative?

So-called precious metal depots are an alternative to buying bars and coins. You can acquire ownership of gold that the providers store in vaults. From a legal point of view, the stored bars are private property and are therefore protected from access by other creditors in the event of the provider's insolvency. In terms of security, this form of gold investment is comparable to buying physical precious metal.

The costs for a precious metal depot are usually higher than for storage in a safe deposit box. For example, the provider Pro Aurum charges a fee of around 0.75 percent of the gold value per year. Some providers like Solit GmbH advertise to keep the gold in Switzerland and thus protect it from possible access by the German state.

There were already currency crises in Germany, around 1923 at the time of hyperinflation, in which gold ownership and trading were restricted. In Switzerland, however, gold has never been banned. However, you have to expect even higher costs for this. There is an issue surcharge of 5 percent of the investment amount and an annual administration fee of 1.6 percent.

More on this in the household contents insurance guide

  • You should have this insurance if you cannot replace your facility at your own expense after a fire or burglary.
  • Portal recommended by us: Mr-Money

To the advisor

When is it worth buying gold on the stock exchange?

Various securities that try to track the development of the gold price are traded on the stock exchanges. Most are offered in the form of certificates or so-called Exchange Traded Commodities (ETCs).

Certificates can, for example, be warrants, i.e. speculative papers. As a rule, they are not deposited with physical gold, and banks are often the issuers. The ETCs are usually bonds that certify the value of a certain amount of gold and often include a right to physical delivery of this gold.

A number of ETCs are tradable in Germany, including Xetra Gold, Euwax Gold and Deutsche Bank Physical Gold ETC. The issuer of Xetra Gold is a subsidiary of Deutsche Börse, the issuer of Euwax Gold is a subsidiary of the Stuttgart Stock Exchange. The gold of Deutsche Bank ETCs is held by a trustee.

With securities on gold, you generally run the risk of the issuer becoming insolvent - for example in a severe financial crisis. With certificates you would lose the money you invested. That would therefore completely contradict the sense of investing in gold. With ETCs that include a right to physical delivery of the gold, you can hope that you will actually get this from the issuer or trustee. You may have to enforce the claim in court.

So if it is important for you to have a reserve for an emergency when investing in gold, gold coins and bars are the better choice. You have this safe in the safe. If you want to add gold in order to generally reduce the fluctuation range of your portfolio, you can think about gold ETCs with a delivery claim. For this you need a cheap securities account.

More on this in the securities account guide

  • With the right securities account, you pay little for buying and selling equity funds (ETFs).
  • Finanztip recommendations: Among the cheap and versatile custody accounts did the best: ING, Comdirect and Consorsbank and DKB. The cheapest providers are: Smartbroker, Scalable Capital (Free Broker) and Trade Republic.

To the advisor

Why are gold funds and gold mining stocks not an alternative?

Not only certificates on gold are offered on exchanges around the world, but also investment funds, so-called gold ETFs. What makes them special is that they are secured with physical gold and, from a legal point of view, represent special assets. The best-known example is the SPDR Gold Shares.

The catch is that these products are not approved in Germany because they violate investment fund guidelines. These rules state that the ownership of the mutual fund must be divided into several positions and therefore must not consist of gold alone. While investors used to be able to buy gold ETFs on foreign stock exchanges, this is no longer permitted since the Capital Investment Code (KAGB) came into force on July 22, 2013.

Shares or equity funds from gold mine operators are widely regarded as an alternative to direct investments in gold. The advantage of equity funds is that they are special assets and investors are thus protected in the event of the insolvency of the issuing fund company.

Historical comparisons show that the gold price is only responsible for a fraction of the company's share price development. There are many other factors that influence the stock market price, such as the company's business success and the general development of the stock market. In addition, the companies usually protect themselves from major changes in the gold price, so that operating profits can develop independently of the precious metal exchanges. We therefore advise against investing in these stocks and funds if you are actually interested in investing in gold.

What taxes do you pay on gold?

The sale of physical gold is free of income tax if you have owned your coins or bars for more than twelve months.Otherwise, there is a private sale and you have to tax the profit from the sale at the personal income tax rate.

Securities are free of withholding tax, provided that they include the right to the delivery of physical gold. One example is Xetra Gold, an index fund on the gold price traded on the Xetra stock exchange. On the other hand, withholding tax is due on profits from securities that do not include this delivery claim.

The purchase of coins and bars is also exempt from VAT. Exceptions are some collector coins, the purity of which is lower and which are not suitable for investment anyway.

Make sure that gold purchases - as well as stock purchases or the acquisition of other securities - are excluded from the revocation. The Civil Code justifies the exception by stating that the price “depends on fluctuations in the financial market over which the entrepreneur has no influence” (Section 312g (2) No. BGB).

In our guide to selling gold, we have put together for you what you should pay attention to in addition to tax when selling gold.

That's how we tested

Comparison of online portals buying gold 2019

In September 2019 we searched the internet for portals listing traders who sell gold coins and bars. To do this, we evaluated the first 50 hits from the Google search engine for the search terms “buy gold”, “buy gold bars”, “buy gold coins” and “gold price comparison”.

We found a total of five portals that specialize in precious metals trading - one less than in 2017. Offer three portals have their own price comparison. Two of them forward to gold.de when they want to buy.

A portal that recommends Finanztip must meet these conditions:

Shipping costs shown correctly - The consumer always pays the gold price plus shipping costs. But the latter can be high and vary depending on the value of the goods. We therefore set as a criterion that the portal must show the buyer the actual final price, i.e. the sum of the purchase price and the actual shipping costs.

The date and time of the displayed price can be viewed - The cheapest price is only of use to you if it is also up-to-date. So you should actually be able to buy the gold at the displayed price including shipping costs. We therefore only recommend portals that make the status of the last price query transparent.

The portals gold.de and gold-preisvergleich.de meet both criteria. The following table summarizes the results.

Gold buying portals in comparison

 

Price inclusive

Shipping

current prices

stating
the time

recommendation

Our recommendations   

gold.de

YesYes

Yes

goldpreis-vergleich.de

YesYesYes
Other providers   

bullion-investor.de

NoNo

No

silber.de

redirects to gold.de  

goldpreis.de

redirects to gold.de  

Source: Finanztip research (as of September 11, 2019)

You find that Logo of the coin trade association only with at least one additional click: You can find the seal on gold.de by clicking on the retailer's name and scrolling down a little. At gold-preisvergleich.de you have to click on the button "To the offer", then you get to the dealer page and have to scroll to the end to see the seal.

At gold.de you can see that directly in the comparison list Date and time the last price query. This information is at gold-preisvergleich.de under the comparison table.

We noticed that prices can change by a few euros every minute. If you call up the recommended portals at the same time, you will usually receive the same prices from the same providers. Gold.de sometimes lists providers in the overview that gold-preisvergleich.com does not and vice versa. Sometimes a coin dealer delivers the cheapest price that is only listed on one of the two portals. So if you are on the lookout for the absolutely cheapest price, it is worthwhile to compare the portals again before buying.

Hendrik Buhrs

Hendrik Buhrs

Hendrik Buhrs is an editor in the bank and insurance team. Before joining Finanztip, he reported on economic and consumer topics for the radio programs of the Hessian and later of the West German Broadcasting Corporation. Hendrik studied economics in Münster and Exeter. He gained his first professional experience at Radio Q and on Recklinghausen local radio. He likes to invest the money he has saved in travel.

Sara Zinnecker

Sara Zinnecker

Sara Zinnecker was editor for investment topics until June 2020. Sara had previously written about investments and retirement provision for the Handelsblatt. She completed her traineeship at the Georg von Holtzbrinck School for Business Journalists.

* What the star means:

With our recommendations, we want to help as many people as possible to do their own finances. This is why our content is available online free of charge. We finance our extensive work with so-called affiliate links. We mark these links with an asterisk (*).

At Finanztip, however, we handle affiliate links differently than other websites. We only link to products that were previously recommended by our independent expert editorial team. Only then can the relevant provider set a link to this offer. We get money if you click on such a link or conclude a contract with the provider.

Whether and in what amount a provider pays us has no influence on our recommendations. What our experts recommend to you depends solely on whether an offer is good for consumers.

You can find more information about how we work on our About Us page.

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