Over the past ten years, the gold price per ounce has seen tremendous growth, and it's not uncommon to hear analysts and broadcasters crowing about its meteoric rise. However, what is often misleading is that the price quoted on these programs is the "over-the-counter" spot price for a four hundred troy ounce gold bar on the commodities exchange.
At nearly $1400 per ounce, the average investor is not in the market for a bar that size, and even those who might afford would find it difficult to unload a bar that size to their local dealer.
Instead, the average customer purchases gold in one ounce form, and the cost to acquire gold in smaller quantities is higher than the published "spot" price one might hear on the news. Many factors contribute to the price disparity, not the least of which is the relative cost of minting a large bar of refined gold into one ounce coins.
These coins ship from large mints like the United States Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint of Canada to select authorized dealers, who in turn ship them to over 4,000 coin dealers in the United States alone before they find their way into the hands of a gold investor.
Along the way, there are shipping and insurance charges through each step in the process, and before an investor receives his gold shipment, he may have paid brokerage fees, credit card fees, or other ancillary charges.
To make matters more confusing, some dealers will not ship below a certain volume. Others will not ship above a certain volume. Certain dealers have different price breaks at different quantities. For example, one dealer may offer a discount for buying more than fifty coins, while another may offer a break at sixty.
The difference between the dealer price and the spot gold price is known as the "premium." When all the charges are calculated, the premiums among the many dealers is often quite large between least and most expensive. Strangely, this too varies by product, and while one dealer may have the most expensive Krugerrands, he may have the cheapest Eagles. Go figure.
At Gold Shark, it is our aim to navigate through the murky waters of fees, shipping times, and volume-based pricing to help you, the investor, get the best gold price for coins and bars and most bang for your buck!