Gold has been used as a store of wealth for as long as humankind has had any wealth to store.
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- Buy Gold Online. Gold is a long-standing form of currency and has been used as a store of wealth since the beginning of recorded history. From the early civilizations of the Ancient Romans, Egyptians and Mayans to modern day holders of gold, such as private individuals, large institutional firms and central banks: gold has not only shown to survive—but to thrive.
If you are looking to buy gold in the USA, there are several ways to go about it. This article highlights some of the best methods.
For most people, purchasing from an online broker will be the best way to buy gold in the USA. Below, find some recommendations on trustworthy online gold brokers to shop with.
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Buy Gold Online. Gold is a long-standing form of currency and has been used as a store of wealth since the beginning of recorded history. From the early civilizations of the Ancient Romans, Egyptians and Mayans to modern day holders of gold, such as private individuals, large institutional firms and central banks: gold has not only shown to survive—but to thrive. Buying Gold Coins Online As the oldest form of money, gold is a precious metal that has been prized by civilizations across the world for thousands of years. Gold coins are a staple in the gold bullion industry.
- One of the most established gold IRAs
- Transparent IRA fees
- Ethical business philosophy
- Best for USA customers
- Lowest fees for gold IRAs
- Also offers ability for Bitcoin & crypto IRA
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- Also has a wide variety of silver, platinum and palladium bullion/coins
- Also offers ability for precious metals IRA
- Wide range of bullion, gold coins and collectibles
- Competitive pricing
- Free shipping on orders of $499 or more (USA)
- Also offers paid secure storage options
- Offers a precious metal IRA program
- Buys and sells precious metals of all types
- Very low storage costs: just 0.06% of asset value per month
- Margins on buying/selling are competitive; rates vary depending on product
GoldSilver.com is a precious metal broker and dealer that sells a wide variety of investment grade bullion and collectible coins. They offer a wider selection than many competitors, while also keeping margins quite low. This is primarily a place to buy gold to have it shipped directly to you - and shipping is free on orders over $500. That said, GoldSilver.com also offers a secure storage program, with very competitive fees.
ITrust Capital is an IRA custodian offering gold IRAs. That means you can use your existing and future 401k savings to acquire gold over time and in a tax advantaged account.
The wonderful thing about ITrust is that it is the only Gold IRA that offers 24/7 trading via their online platform.
As with all Gold IRA’s, you will not be doing the custody. In the case of ITrust Capital, custody is handled through the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa and Winnipeg.
The minimum account size for ITrust is $1,000, so you need to make sure you have that much ready to invest into your IRA before you can open an account with them.
With ITrust you can count on low fees (only $50 above spot per ounce and a mere $29.99 flat-fee to pay for platform, storage, and reporting) as well as transparent pricing.
- Some of the lowest pricing available to retail investors
- Gives private investors direct access to wholesale professional bullion markets
- Margins on buy/sell of around 0.5%; as low as 0.1% on large purchases
- Trusted vendor; holds over $2 billion in investor assets
- Industry-leading storage costs; as low as 0.01% per month including insurance
- All stored bullion is fully insured and stored in secure vaults (Zurich, London, New York, Toronto or Singapore)
- Bullion stored with BullionVault can be sold instantly at any time, or withdrawn for physical delivery
- One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to own physical gold bullion
BullionVault.com is one of the best ways to buy gold in the United States, or anywhere else in the world!
This company lets everyday investors gain access to the international professional bullion market. This results in some of the lowest prices available anywhere, as well as extremely affordable secure storage rates. Purchases made with BullionVault can be stored in one of 5 secure storage facilities, and sold or withdrawn at any time.
BullionVault doesn’t offer much in terms of collectible coins or fancy bullion products.
What they do offer is investment-grade gold bullion at the lowest prices you will find anywhere. Buying margins are just 0.5%, and can go as low as 0.05% on repeat purchases once you pass a certain investment threshold. Overall, BullionVault has perhaps the best deals on gold you can find anywhere.
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- Widest selection of bullion, old coins, and collectibles
- Huge variety of products, from popular American Gold Eagles to ultra-rare old gold coins
- Accepts Bitcoin as a payment method
- Free shipping with low order minimum ($99)
- One of the largest online coin shops
APMEX.com is an online precious metals dealer and coin shop.
They offer an absolutely massive selection of coins and precious metals, with everything from ancient numismatics to modern bullion coins.
APMEX is best for collectors, rather than investors, as their prices on some investment-grade items are not quite as competitive.
However, if you enjoy coin collecting, or want an interesting assortment of gold coins, APMEX is tough to beat in terms of selection.
How to Buy Gold Bars and Coins in the USA
If you are looking to buy gold in the USA, there are three basic options:
- Purchase from a reputable online gold broker (recommended)
- Purchase from a local coin shop or bullion dealer
- Invest in gold ETFs/investment funds through your brokerage account
The best way to buy gold in the US will depend on a number of factors, including where you live, how much you’d like to purchase, and whether or not you want physical gold.
For most people, the simplest and most cost-effective way is to shop with a trusted online dealer or broker.
This ensures competitive pricing, authentic products and an easy buying experience. For more on each of these methods, see the section below.
Option One: Online Gold Brokers
For most people, purchasing from an online broker will be the best way to buy gold in the USA. Online brokers offer an easy buying experience, low prices, and a huge selection of products. We recommend online brokers for a number of reasons:
- Lowest margins/cheapest prices
- Best selection
- Trusted vendors
- Options to take physical delivery or keep gold in secured storage
- Wide variety of investment-grade bullion, gold coins, collectible gold pieces, and more
- Easy to compare prices across multiple vendors
For 95% of people, these online dealers present the best way to buy gold in the United States. Below, find some recommendations on trustworthy online gold brokers to shop with.
Option Two: Local Coin Shops
Local coin shops may also be a viable option, depending on your location. If you have reputable coin shops in your area, buying gold directly from them does offer some perks. For one, you can take possession of gold the same day, and there’s no extra shipping cost or hassle. Secondly, it allows you to establish a relationship with a local broker, which may prove useful down the road should you decide to sell your gold.
On the other hand, purchasing from coin shops does have some downsides. Coin shops are typically small businesses, so their margins are often higher than what you would find with the big online gold brokers. You may end up paying a bit more, and selection will be limited to what they have on hand. Depending on the reputation of the dealer, the likelihood of ending up with fake gold could be higher with local coin shops than it would be with online dealers. Coin shops buy items from the public, and they don’t necessarily test each piece to verify its gold content. If you do go this route, make sure to choose a reputable vendor.
Option Three: Gold ETFs/Mutual Funds
For those who prefer a hands-off experience, another option is to invest in gold ETFs (exchange traded funds) or mutual funds. This method requires a normal brokerage or retirement account.
If you already have an account, you can simply purchase a gold ETF like GLD or IAU. These investment products track the performance of gold bullion, but do not involve the investor actually taking possession of any physical gold.
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The benefit of this approach is that you don’t have to worry about secure storage, spreads of buying and selling, or any of the other hassles that come with owning physical precious metals.
On the downside, you don’t truly own any gold - only shares in an investment fund designed to track the performance of gold. Another significant downside is that these funds charge an expense ratio every year - typically .25% to 1% - which can really cut into your returns over time.
These are great for an investment portfolio, but not so great if you are interested in buying gold for SHTF (Shit Hits the Fan) Scenarios where you actually want to hodl the gold you own.
Legality & Reporting Requirements for Gold Purchases
The legality of owning gold in the United States has a fascinating history - it was actually federally illegal for US citizens to own any gold between the years of 1933 and 1974.
Today, it’s completely legal for citizens to own gold - but there are still some things to consider. If you are buying gold in the United States, there are some reporting requirements that you should be aware of.
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Today, most reporting requirements are the responsibility of the dealer, not the customer. So, there is typically nothing you have to worry about when purchasing gold.
With that said, it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with these reporting requirements, particularly if you’d like to keep your purchase history private.
IRS Form 8300
Precious metals dealers are required to fill out and submit IRS Form 8300 when they sell over $10,000 in precious metals in a cash transaction. This form only needs to be filled if:
A customer purchases $10,000 or more worth of gold, and pays with cash
A customer purchases $10,000 or more worth of gold, and pays with two or more cash-like instruments (such as money orders, cashier’s checks, etc.). For example, a $12,000 transaction paid using two $6,000 money orders would trigger the reporting requirements, but the same transaction using a single $12,000 money order would not.
This reporting requirement is only relevant for cash and cash-like transactions. So if you pay using a personal check, credit/debit card, bank transfer, ACH wire, etc. there is no need to report the transaction.
Also, this form is only required for transactions taking place within a 24-hour period. So, for example, if you purchase $6,000 worth of gold on Monday and $8,000 more on Thursday, the dealer will not be required to report anything. This article does a good job of explaining these reporting requirements in greater detail.
Tax Considerations of Gold Investment
For US citizens buying gold, there are some tax implications to consider.
When you purchase gold bullion, there will typically be no sales tax. However, some states do charge sales tax, so you will want to factor this into your investment strategy.
In states with sales tax on gold bullion, investing in gold ETFs or buying from gold brokers with secured storage may be a better option.
When you sell your gold investments, you will need to pay taxes on the difference between your purchase price and the sales price.
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Unlike many investment classes, physical gold bullion is considered a collectible, and is taxed as such. This means that you will owe taxes based on your marginal tax rate - and not the preferential long-term capital gains rate.
It’s wise to speak to your accountant about the tax implications of gold investment in the United States.
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Final Thoughts on Buying Gold in the United States
Buying gold in the USA is a simple process, so long as you go about it the right way. For most gold investors, we recommend using an online gold broker. You can choose whether you want to have the gold shipped to you, or pay to have it stored by the broker in a secure vault. Either way, using a professional broker will likely be the most simple, safe and economical way to purchase gold bullion.