For centuries, precious metals have captivated humanity. From the glint of gold in ancient tombs to silver’s glimmer in medieval markets, bullion has been a symbol of prosperity and power since ancient times. The desire for bullion has driven adventurers to brave treacherous seas, conquer distant lands, and engage in bloody wars. From the Incas of Peru to the Roman Empire, bullion has played a pivotal role in shaping the course of human history. Let’s explore this precious commodity’s fascinating origins and evolution, its different types, and some ways to invest in bullion.
What Is Bullion?
Bullion refers to physical precious metals of high purity. Typically, gold and platinum bars are the most common forms of bullion. Smelters also produce bullion “rounds” or coins, which do not serve as currency but derive their value based on metal content.
Investors can purchase physical bullion from precious metals dealers online or in person. For example, through Fidelity, you can buy gold bullion bars weighing from 1 ounce to 1 kilogram with 99.5% to 99.9% purity.
Most Desired Types of Bullion
While gold and silver are the most recognized and traded forms of bullion, other precious metals are just as valuable. Here are some of the most expensive bullions, their unique properties, and what makes them so useful:
Rhodium is the most expensive precious metal in the world. Its price can reach over $20,000 per ounce, according to Reuters. This rare metal has incredible durability and resistance to corrosion, making it a valuable material in the automotive and electronics industries. Rhodium is also used in jewelry and is popular among collectors due to its scarcity and unique properties.
Platinum is another valuable precious metal, with prices ranging from $800 to $1,000 per ounce. Rarer than gold or silver, this metal has a variety of industrial uses, including in the production of catalytic converters for cars. Platinum is also a coveted precious metal for jewelry making, and it has been historically used as a currency.
Gold is one of the most well-known and widely traded types of bullion, with prices ranging from $1,500 to $2,000 per ounce. This precious metal has been used as a store of value and a means of exchange for thousands of years. It is popular among investors and collectors due to its stability and ability to retain value over time. In jewelry making, high-karat gold is well-loved for its beauty and tarnish-resistant properties.
Although not as valuable as the other metals on this list, silver remains a popular form of bullion due to its industrial uses and historical significance. Silver prices can range from $20 to $30 per ounce, making it a more affordable option for investors and collectors.
How Is Bullion Used?
One of buillion’s primary uses is serving as a “store of wealth” or value-increasing asset. Bullion maintains its value and purchasing power, even during economic uncertainty or market volatility. The metals above, in particular, serve as a reliable store of value that can protect against inflation, currency devaluation, and other financial risks.
Bullion also plays a vital role in jewelry making, where its inherent beauty and rarity make it a highly sought-after material. However, using specific bullions in jewelry making expands beyond aesthetic appeal. A metal’s unique physical properties – such as gold’s malleability and ductility, for example – make it easy to work, allowing craftsmen to produce intricate designs and elaborate, high-value pieces.
Finally, bullion is necessary for various industrial applications, from electronics and dentistry to aerospace and medicine. Its unique physical and chemical properties, including high conductivity, resistance to corrosion, and biocompatibility, make it an essential component in many modern technologies. For instance, platinum and palladium are used in producing electronic components such as circuit boards, as well as in medical implants like pacemakers and dental fillings.
How to Invest in Bullion
There are several ways to invest in bullion, including:
- Physical Bullion: This involves buying physical bullion in the form of bars or coins. One advantage of physical bullion is that investors directly own the asset, making it easy to liquidate if needed. Investors can store the bullion themselves or use a third-party storage facility. However, physical bullion can be costly to store and transport, and theft is always a risk.
- Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs): ETFs are investment funds that hold a basket of securities, including bullion. ETFs are traded on exchanges, and investors can buy and sell shares of the ETF like they would a stock. One advantage of ETFs is that they offer diversification, as they hold a variety of securities. However, ETFs charge fees, and investors do not have direct ownership of the underlying asset.
- Futures and Options: Futures and options are contracts that allow investors to purchase or sell bullion at a set price in the future. Traders and speculators typically use futures and options, which they can leverage, meaning investors can control a large amount of bullion with a small amount of capital. In hindsight, futures and options are complex financial instruments and can be risky for inexperienced investors.
Bullion is a valuable asset used for centuries as a means of exchange and a store of wealth. Investing in bullion can offer diversification and protection against economic uncertainty, but it is important to consider the risks and benefits of each investment option. Whether you choose to invest in physical bullion, ETFs, or futures and options, it is crucial to do your research and work with a reputable broker to ensure that you make informed investment decisions.
Where to Sell Bullion in Phoenix, AZ
If you’re looking to sell your physical bullion, Biltmore Loan and Jewelry can help. We offer competitive prices and a hassle-free selling process, so you can get the most value for your precious metals. Our experienced appraisers will evaluate your bullion on the spot, and we’ll provide you with a fair offer based on current market conditions. Plus, we’ll handle all the paperwork and payment processing, so you can sell your bullion quickly. Call or text us to schedule an appointment.