In modern times gold is available for investment in multiple forms due to the advancement in the industries and the technology used today. When we talk about investing or buying physical metal, the two most popular forms are cast bars and minted bars. People also invest in bonds and stocks to get a sizable profit from their investment in the long term. Cast bars and minted bars have their advantages and disadvantages. So, people must be aware of what they are and the difference between them before investing in them.
What Are Gold Cast Bars?
Cast bars are also known as “poured” or “moulded” bars which have been in practice since the 4th century B.C. Manufacturers have excelled in producing them traditionally over hundreds of years. Using modern machinery has made the production process simpler. They first create a basic mould to ensure that the gold bars produced are consistent in shape, size and weight. They then heat the raw gold that is purified to a temperature that is high enough to turn it into liquid, following which, they pour it into the mould. The liquid solidifies quickly in the mould and is then taken off and used as cast bars.
What Are Minted Gold Bars?
Minted bars are the ones that commonly come to mind when one thinks of a gold bar. The bar has perfect symmetrical cuts, has a beautiful shine and a clean finish, making it popular among investors. Bringing the raw mineral to this form is relatively more expensive and time-consuming when compared to cast bars. Traditionally, these bars manufacturers processed them like cast bars using a more precisely shaped compression machine to get the size and shape right. But these days, a continuous casting machine is used to produce them, and each of the bars is inspected for their size and weight. The imperfect ones are returned to the furnace for mending.
The Differences Between the Cast and Minted Bars
Apart from the above-discussed manufacturing processes, cast and minted bars have different pros and cons that investors can consider.
Cast bars have a more natural look as compared to minted bars due to their simple manufacturing process. They usually just come with a simple engraving mentioning the metric and manufacturer details, usually done within a few hours of manufacture. They are usually rugged, rough on the surface, and have irregularities and blemishes unique to each bar. Minted ones are usually cut from a long strip of processed material, making them smooth and symmetrical, eliminating any chances of marks or blemishes.
Cast bars do not require or have strict packing standards. So the customers or investors can examine them by hand before buying them. Minted bars, on the other hand, are usually sealed securely. A significant portion of their value comes from the mint condition they are in. So, if one opens the packaging, there is a huge risk of devaluing the price of the bar. This makes the cast bar a better option for investment.
Cast bars are available at a relatively lower price than minted bars as the manufacturing process is simple. This makes them an ideal investment, especially for those who want to pay the lowest premium over spot purchases. Minted bars are relatively more expensive due to their complex manufacturing process, appearance and packaging.
When it comes to trading gold, minted bars are easier to sell due to their precise shape, size, and design than cast bars.