Procurement of Precious Metals

J. Rotbart & Co. offers a one-stop solution for all your precious metals needs.

We provide:

Purchase investment grade precious metals safely, securely and discreetly through us. We source gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion and coins from members and associates of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) and the London Platinum and Palladium Market (LPPM). We source newly minted bars and coins and deliver them directly to your preferred storage facility, office or home. Because we purchase bullion directly from refineries we can save you money and fulfil your order quickly and efficiently. As a boutique firm, we provide a personalized service, with each order tailored to your specific needs. We charge a single fee based on the items in, and the total value of, a purchase.

Our fees are very competitive and all-inclusive, so you will never pay more than the final agreed amount.

Buying Gold For First Time Investors

If you’ve purchased gold before, you’ve most likely purchased some form of jewelry. This guide addresses a different type of interest in buying precious metals: Buying gold as an investment from companies that deal in and sell precious metals.

There are only a limited number of companies that offer purchasing precious metal as a service, and since this is a considerable financial investment, it’s imperative you deal with a reputable gold dealer when purchasing.

This guide covers key points to consider, including:

  • Where to buy gold bars.
  • What to look out for in gold dealers.
  • How to keep gold safe and avoid pitfalls as a first time buyer.

Buying Gold? What You Need To Know

One of the key considerations you need to understand is just how valuable is gold at any given time.

Gold is quite unique in this sense. Unlike agricultural commodities and oil, its pricing isn’t affected exclusively by the rules of ‘supply and demand’, but also by feelings and sentiments – phenomena that are difficult to quantify.

Precious metal companies see their busiest trade at times of uncertainty or financial turbulence. Gold dealers get more inquiries and mints are driven to boost gold bar and coin production when uncertainty is on the rise. Take for example the current global geopolitical situation – it’s a prime example of the type of event that pushes gold prices up.

One of the primary reasons that gold prices behave this way is that it is seen as real currency, and although people will buy silver bullion or buy other precious metals, gold remains the strong favourite as a trusted store of value, considering its relatively low volatility and stable purchasing power.

Where to Buy Gold & What To Look Out For?

Before you ask ‘where to buy gold?’ as an investment, there are a few things to consider. At first, you might be attracted to the craftsmanship of gold coins that some precious metal companies offer; they’re portable and fairly easy to recognise as genuine. However, you should consider the fact that minting production comes at a cost and the high premium you pay all goes towards hiking-up the final price. It’s also important to note that when liquidating coins, the dealer will usually deduct a lower fee than when liquidating bars. It all depends on why you want to buy precious metals such as gold, what quantity and in what size pieces you should invest in.

Gold bars are the choice for many, so where to buy gold bars? You can buy gold in many sizes from gold dealers and precious metal companies, from one gram (so thin it’s referred to as a ‘wafer’) up to 400 ounces, and buying this size will get you more for your money as production costs are less. However, larger bars are more difficult to resell than 1 kg bars for example, and the smaller you go, the easier it will be for you to find buyers, should you decide to sell.

When purchasing larger gold bars, you’ll need an ‘assay’, which is an extra service and therefore more expense. By smelting, it certifies that your gold is genuine. Check that your gold has an authentic hallmark, of which there are many, but reputable gold dealers and precious metal companies should guide you through this process. Without a hallmark, you’ll find your otherwise very International liquid asset difficult to sell at a fair price.

Advice on Where to Buy Gold Bars

Buying from reputable gold dealers or precious metal companies is a must. There’s no such thing as a ‘bargain basement’ when it comes to buying gold, and choosing a gold dealer is no different to when you buy any high value item. Find the larger gold dealers and precious metal companies with the best reputations, they handle higher volumes and should therefore be able to give you a better price. Compare gold dealers, look at customer reviews, read about their other precious metal services and chose carefully. Search, ‘where to buy gold bars’ on the Internet; you may also want to try key phrases such as: ‘precious metal services’, ‘buy precious metals’, ‘gold dealers’ and ‘precious metal companies’ – It’s always a good idea to educate yourself before investing.

Compare commissions, payment fees and insurance premiums. Understand the gold dealer’s ‘buy back’ policy, promptness of delivery and customer-service reputation; all are important factors. A reputable gold dealer will deliver securely to your home, bank or chosen storage facility, something you should never attempt to do yourself with any appreciable amount of gold. However, try to avoid shipping gold coming in over long distances, as you’ll be footing the bill for extortionate carriage charges. Furthermore, ensure your gold dealer is not selling as an agent for larger gold dealers or precious metal companies as you’ll end up paying unnecessary commission charges.

Keeping Your Gold Safe

Fortunately, gold bars are easy to store but they must be kept secure, such as in a home safe or bank vault. Consider how quickly you’ll want to get hold of your gold; in your home, it’s there at all times, but in a bank it could take far longer to access. It largely depends on the current global situation, which is of course difficult to predict. The best decision is to do what you feel most comfortable with, however there are precious metal services that some gold dealers include, such as secure gold storage, which you should take into account.

One recommendation is keeping your gold in a vault that is a member of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). This keeps you within the LMBA ‘ecosystem’, providing you with more safety and less risk. Most of our clients find Singapore and Hong Kong to be safe for long-term storage with various precious metal companies.

Minting Precious Metals

Minting, in reference to precious metal services, is the action of stamping a metal or producing it for the first time.

Precious metals companies don’t usually mint their own bars and coins; these companies usually serve as a mediator between the mints to the end-client, and are considered as “gold dealers”.

Precious metals companies or gold dealers, provide the services of obtaining the gold, silver, and other precious metals for their clients, and sometimes providing additional services such as storage and liquidation of these metals.

Who Refines Gold Bars and Other Precious Metals?

It is crucial that precious metals are sourced from reputable mints only. When buying precious metals such as gold bars or silver bullion, we recommend purchasing from mints and refiners that are on the London Bullion Market Association.

The process of minting is a long, thorough and precise procedure. It starts with a raw material and/or impure form of the gold, silver or other precious metal from mines all around the world.

Let’s focus on Gold as an example – Once the raw material is at the mint it is melted and assayed (some of the process using chemical procedures) in order to determine the purity of the metal. Sometimes the process includes several melts in order to remove any other metals or impurities.

Gold in specific goes through several refining stages to achieve maximum purity. When the gold bars take the shape of a mold it goes through an additional process of infusing it with chlorine gas, some mints even perform a process of electrolysis using titanium plates. This results in the gold particles sticking to the plates and the unwanted metals/impurities being removed, making the gold bar even purer.

The gold bar is melted once again to take the form of an ingot that will take the shape of coins and bullion bars. The ingots are compressed and flattened using heavy machinery in order to mold them into the desirable size and shape (every mint uses different sizes for bars and coins), now the gold bars or coins are ready for stamping – a machine striking it at huge pressure to stamp the gold bars or coins.

After these steps, the gold bar or coin goes through a wide and comprehensive range of inspections and assessments (weight, apparel, etc.). If any of the gold bars or coins do not meet the strict requirements, they go back to the melting stage.

Different mints use a variety of stampings to innovate and distinguish themselves from other mints.

Where to Buy Gold Bars, Silver Bullion and Other Precious Metals?

It is extremely important to buy gold bars and silver bullion from precious metal companies that are able to prove they were minted in reputable and well-known mints. This ensures the quality and purity of the precious metals is at the highest level possible.

J.ROTBART & CO. only works with world-renowned mints, using only newly minted bullion – we don’t take any part of the secondary market.

As part of our precious metals services, we are selling minted coins, such as American Eagles, Canadian Maples, Australian Kangaroos, etc. We also offer minted bars, such as PAMP “Lady Fortuna” series of gold, silver, platinum and palladium bars, Argor-Heraeus ingots, and more.

J. Rotbart & Co. offers storage solutions as a part of our precious metal services. To learn more about our storage solutions, click here.

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Joshua Rotbart
Founder and managing director

J.Rotbart & Co