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Gold Art Bars

Updated on September 7, 2018

1 oz Gold 2016 year of the Monkey Art Bar - PAMP Lunar Calendar Series.


Gold Art Bars With Assay Cards

We are starting to see more gold producers and distributors are choosing to package their gold bar products in assay cards.

The word "assay" actually means the investigative method or testing of metal ore to identify its metal content and the quality of that metal content.

An assay card is normally around the size of a standard credit card and will fit in your wallet. These cards have a plastic center that encapsulates the gold bar. These cards also bear important information to ensure the authenticity and integrity of your gold bar. The bars themselves will have their art design stamped on them with the gold value by weight. They will also bear a unique serial number assigned to them by the producer.

The assay card will also bear the mint identification and matching unique serial number as the gold bar has.

I started collecting gold and silver products encased in assay cards to ensure the product I purchased is the same as it was advertised. I always match the information stamped on the actual bar to the information stamped on its assay card.

Since we are discussing gold products, you can image that some of the art bars are really small. You can expect that a magnifying glass may come in handy on occasion to inspect the bar stamps.

What is Considered Gold Clad?

Shoppers for real gold bars and coins need to be cautioned and aware of a form of bonding two or more metals to produce a unique product, or just to cut production costs.

If you are reviewing a gold product that states it is clad or layered gold, that means the product only has a layer of gold covering it. It is NOT .9999 pure gold. Cladding is commonly used to either improve the look and feel of a product or to help the base metal ore resist corrosion.

So, if you see a gold bar, coin, or other jewelry design that claims to be gold and the price is just "a little" too good, please read the entire product description - especially the small print. This will help you identify a product of inferior gold quality and not make the mistake of purchasing it with the belief that you purchased real gold.

Gold Bar in Assay Case - Front View.  Sunshine Mint Design.
Gold Bar in Assay Case - Front View. Sunshine Mint Design. | Source
Gold Bar in Assay Case - Rear View.  Sunshine Mint Design.
Gold Bar in Assay Case - Rear View. Sunshine Mint Design. | Source

Where Can You Buy Gold Bars?

Purchasing gold bars is actually easy than you may think. if you are purchasing them for personal use, like collecting, you can easily search online for Gold Bars on ebay or on Amazon

You can also purchase gold products directly from the mint or mint distributor websites. Please note that not all mints sell directly to the public. Some of the mint and mint distributors that I have purchased precious metals from are JM Bullion and the American Precious Metals Exchange (APMEX). A special note on buying from these mints/mint distributors: to save money and ensure you paid the lowest cost for your product, you can pay by check. If you choose to pay by credit card, you will pay a higher upfront cost. The businesses pass the credit card fees on to the consumer (you an me).

If online purchasing is not for you, you can buy the bars and coins from a local reputable dealer, or actual precious metal exchange if you have one in your hometown.

I have also noticed a trend involving placing specialized Automated Teller Machines (ATM) that dispense gold bars in high traffic public places. This new delivery method was considered successful enough in Europe and was brought to the United States in 2010. I believe Las Vegas, Nevada and Boca Raton, Florida received the first two.

What is the LBMA?

The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) is a trade association that governs the standards set for international trading of gold and silver bullion.

The verify the practices of precious metal refiners and maintain of list of the refiners who pass their tough accreditation process. Members of the LBMA have access to this list and many other resources and standards that are accepted globally.

They also partake in the development and oversight of the global trading practices to ensure they maintain integrity.

Their membership includes all entities, private and public, that hold gold and silver for customers. Think of the banks, mining and refining companies, and investor services companies.

For more information on the gold refining process, please see the video at the end of this article.

Gold PAMP Art Bars

To provide another variety of gold art bars, the Produits Artistiques Metaux, Precieux (PAMP) collection includes the Lunar series. The 2012 Dragon, 2013 Snake, 2014 Horse, 2015 Goat, 2016 Monkey, 2017 Rooster, and 2018 Dog are included in this collection.

The photo below shows 3 of the 7 gold Lunar art bars.

PAMP also has gold art bars with the popular Lady Fortuna with Cornucopia design, Liberty design, Rosa design, and the True Happiness design.

PAMP Lunar Series
PAMP Lunar Series | Source

Can You Add Your Gold to an Individual Retirement Account?

Did you know that you can actually have gold bullion in your Individual Retirement Account (IRA)?

These IRAs are known as precious metal IRAs or just gold IRAs. There are certain types of precious metals and forms that are allowed to be included in a precious metal IRA. See the table below for more information on those.

So what is the catch? There is always a catch to this type of investment. You cannot physically have possession of the precious metal bullion or coins in your IRA account. What the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires is for you to engage a custodian or trustee. Of course that usually also means the custodian or trustee will charge you a fee for their services.

I was curious as to what type of entity qualified as a custodian or trustee. I found that several private companies provide this service, along with some of the mint distributors. These businesses normally charge what they call an annual storage and administration fee.

The charts I found on the internet listed 10 private companies that used a flat rate fee between $160 to $320 per year. Wow, that is a lot of money to store your metal!

It is also good to note that some federal credit unions and other similar financial and investment institutions also provide this service. If you are considering adding precious metals to your IRA, please ask you exiting IRA provider what options you have.

IRA Eligible Gold & Silver Bars & Coins

Gold Coins & Bars
Silver Coins & Bars
Platinum Coins & Bars
Palladium Bars
American Eagle
American Silver Eagle
American Eagles
Accredited Bars - Minimum of 99.5% pure palladium
American Buffalo
Canadian Maple Leaf
Canadian Maple Leaf
Canadian Maple Leaf
Australian Koala
Australian Koala
Austrian Philharmonic
Accredited Bars - Minimum of 99.9% pure silver
Accredited Bars - Minimum of 99.5% pure platinum
Australian Nugget
Accredited Bars - Minimum of 99.5% pure gold

Bars or Coins?

Do You Prefer Gold Art Bars or Gold Coins?

See results

Gold Refining Process

© 2014 Lori Robinson


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    Post Comment

    • Robilo2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Lori Robinson 

      18 months ago

      Thanks Ashish

    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image


      18 months ago


      Brilliant, Unique and Creative.

      I loved this article. This is totally different from the commercial article with some artistic touch to it.

      I am a big fan of Gold but not knowing about this Gold Art Bars.

      I must get this one as soon as I save some money :)

      Thank you for the excellent article.


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