Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Gold Rush


Buying the Real Thing
Edited by ROBIN GOLDWYN BLUMENTHAL

A look back at last week's important events.

INVESTORS ARE TAKING A CUE FROM THE RAPPERS and adding more bling to their lives -- not to hang around their necks, but to stash away in safes.

[review]
William Waitzman

Physical gold is hot. Not gold stocks or ETFs, but the glittering stuff itself. You'll read about it in our write-up of the latest Barron's Roundtable, and the numbers are irrefutable. London-based World Gold Council said investment demand for gold, mainly bars and coins, surged 121% in the third quarter as investors rushed to safety.

But how, exactly, do you buy gold? Though you can visit a goldsmith and buy 24-karat jewelry, gold bugs favor bars, both big and small, and guaranteed coins issued by various world mints. Coins are easier to trade, but both coins and bars can be bought through hundreds of dealers' sites, including onlygold.com, kitco.com and finestknown.com. One site, goldmoney.com, even stores your gold.

Bars range in size from one gram to 400 troy ounces, while bullion coins come in weights of 1/20 ounce to 1000 grams. James DiGeorgia, the founder and publisher of goldandenergyadvisor.com, recommends the popular American Eagle or Buffalo coins. They generally fetch $25 to $70 above spot-gold prices, but you might score a better deal by buying directly from the U.S. Mint. DiGeorgia's other advice: Never buy coins that are scratched.

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