The weight of a gold bar can often be a matter of great debate.
Gold has traditionally been an important investment avenue.
But have you ever wondered what form of gold you should invest in?
Even, if you consider conventional physical gold, there are many variants.
Perhaps the most common form of physical gold investments includes gold coins and bars.
But then, you get gold bars of varying weight.
The question is, does it really matter how much these bars weigh?
But it is surely important to understand how much does a gold bar weigh?
This is not only important in terms of assigning a value to the gold bar.
It also helps create a standardized form of investment.
As in case of gold coins, a gold bar too can have varying measurements.
Some of the weight variants are standardized.
On the other hand, you have certain unique ones that are created for special situations.
A certain degree of the gold bar weight is also as per international accreditation.
This is crucial and creates a certain amount of standardization for gold bars internationally.
It helps you to assess the potential investment opportunity.
When you consider how much does a gold bar weigh, you also need to look at regional specifications.
In many ways, that also goes on to determine individual weight specs as well.
This is exactly why the weight of gold bar oscillates in a wide range.
The starting levels can be very small, and there can be really large ones too.
The overall weight is also dependent on the purpose for which you use the gold bar.
You have different variants for the different purposes.
What Is a Gold Bar?
Before we delve deeper into how much does a gold bar weigh, it is important to understand what it is?
As the name indicates, it is a quantity of pure yellow metal in the shape of gold bar.
This is one of the most common forms of physical gold apart from gold biscuits and coins.
Relatively, large quantity of the pure metal is molten and then molded as bars.
These bars are, of course, created as per certain pre-decided standards.
The variations are then incorporated according to the purpose for which they are made.
On an average, this is why the purity of the gold bar is also standardized.
Surprisingly, that has no bearing on the weight of the bar.
The purity is maintained on a global basis.
The fact that it is one of the most commonly used formats of physical gold investment is also important.
This is why there is always a great demand for the gold bar.
As a result, there is also that additional emphasis on the weight of these bars.
The point to note in this context is that these gold bars are much in demand internationally.
Especially for banking transactions, this is the ‘gold standard’.
Most Governments and financial institution use gold bars as investments.
Even the gold against the printed currency is stored in this format.
This is why the gold bar weight is such an important consideration.
They use it as an international measure of fund reserves at a specific weight.
Of course, the weight and purity of these gold bars are always pre-decided.
But that apart, you have other variants of the gold bar too.
In that case, the weight can be very different from the pre-determined international standard.
It goes on to highlight the weight intricacies.
Types of Gold Bar
The weight of the gold bar is directly proportional to its purpose.
This is why you need to know the purpose the bar is for before determining how much it weighs.
The gold bar can be categorized roughly into 55 different variants.
This is determined as per their size, weight and manufacturing process.
Typically a gold bar can be of a standard weight or of innovative dimension.
There are some usual shapes and certain unusual ones too.
While there can be many types of grouping, let’s check some international standards.
The most accepted ones are, of course, the grouping as per The Industry Catalogue of Gold Bars Worldwide
The Grendon International Research or the GIR relies heavily on this list.
Apart from it, they have derived a list from The Industry Collection of Gold Bars Worldwide.
Needless to mention that weight forms a key element of this grouping.
Normally the key factors determining this categorization also depends on
- Shape of the gold bar
- Weight specification
- The particular denomination of the gold bar
- The decoration used
- Any unique feature that may have been incorporated
The overall categorization carefully follows all of these specific details.
The jewelry and the fabrication market utilizes the bulk of these gold bars.
But in 46 of the total 55 categories, these bars are investment quality.
In other words, they have every quality that fulfills investment requirement.
Normally by this, I mean, in terms of purity and composition these are investment grade.
They adhere to internationally created weight standards.
More often than not, you will see that the gold bar is issued at a premium to existing valuation.
These categories include varying types of the gold bar like
- Scrap gold bar
- Dore gold bar
- High premium/sample gold bar
1. Cast Bar
Along with the purity, this is the most important factor.
The cast bars are the most common types of gold bar.
London 400 oz Bars
As the name indicates, this is a standard form of transaction in the London Bullion Market.
The London Good Delivery or the LGD is a 400oz gold bar with minimum 99.5% purity.
This gold bar weighs around 400 oz or 12.5 kg.
The fine gold content of this bar can, of course, vary within a range.
The fine gold content can be anywhere between 350-430 troy ounces.
The troy ounce is an important measure.
Gold bar measures typically in this unit.
But that weight is not recorded on the bar.
COMEX 100 oz Bars
The name indicates that it is commonly used for the transaction on COMEX.
The COMEX Good Delivery gold bar weighs around 100 oz .
Though commonly referred to as 100 oz bar, the weight can vary.
It can range anywhere between 95-105 oz.
This is again dependent on a variety of factors that go into manufacturing it.
The purity of this gold bar is again around 99.5%.
It is one of the most commonly used transaction gold bar internationally.
Given the fact that COMEX the biggest commodity exchanges, it is common too.
Shanghai 3000 g Bars
By now I am sure you have understood that the naming convention follows the exchange.
The Shanghai Gold Exchange uses it as transaction standard.
The weight of this gold bar is almost 3000 gm.
The purity, of course, is standardized at 99.95% as is the case with other gold bars.
Most cast bars have pre-determined purity parameters.
This helps in the more effective categorization of the gold bar.
In fact, the Kilobar weighing a kilo or 1000 gm is one of the smallest gold bars in terms of weight.
But the interesting fact is that this is also one of the most widely traded gold bars.
Though most international gold bars are flat, traditional kilo bar is shaped like a brick.
In fact, these brick shaped gold bar is still available in many parts of Europe.
The purity of the kilo bar can vary fractionally.
The normal and commonly used purity measures include
The weight of this gold bar makes it a very convenient alternative for trading.
As a result, you will see a wide variety of traders opting for this variant for their transactions.
Both in terms of pricing and portability, the weight of this gold bar is one of the best internationally.
As a result, this is used by a wide gamut of traders for trading.
Even in terms of investment, this is a very convenient size.
The weight of this gold bar helps investors take an active position in the yellow metal.
3. Small Cast Bars: Gram Bar
This is one of the smallest gold bars available.
As the name indicates, they weigh so less that you measure them in grams.
Most times, these measure about 500 gm or even lesser.
In fact, you even have gold bars that weigh 250 gm or 100 gm
The smallest known Gram Bar weighs around 10 gm.
This 10 gm gold bar is manufactured by Umicore Brazil since 2006.
This is the smallest known variant of the tradable gold bar.
The purity of the Gram Bar is at par with most other gold bar variants.
The valuations of these gold bars are directly proportional to the weight.
The advantage of this type of small cast bar is that they can be traded conveniently.
That makes these gram bars very attractive.
Moreover, it enables high volume and fast trade globally.
They are also durable and enables easy storage for an extended period.
Needless to mention that has also helped enhance its charm globally.
But you do get a small gold bar for even the smaller duration.
4. Troy Ounce Gold Bar
Though not very popular, these are made by some accredited refiners.
Troy ounce is in fact, one of the smallest measures of gold.
The Perth Mint in Australia is the only accredited manufacturer globally.
They offer a wide range of these low denomination gold bar.
You will be surprised to know how much these gold bars weigh.
It can weigh anywhere between 50 oz to 1/2 oz.
So in many ways, these are the micro variants of gold bar in weight terms.
They are not used very extensively.
Regional Gold Bar Weight Specifics
Globally you will notice that the weight of the gold bar is standardized.
Though this remains same for most global transactions, there are some area-specific options too.
This is primarily in areas where there is a high usage of gold.
China and India figure prominently in this list.
This is also because the local demand for gold in these market is quite extensive.
1. Tola Bar
As a result, the Tola Bar is a specific gold bar manufactured for Indian consumers.
1 tola stands for 3.75 oz or 116.64 g.
So in many ways, this is a type of Gram Bar in terms of international standardization.
The purity of the total bar is closer to 99.9%.
Apart from India, 10 Tola bar is used in the Middle East as well.
These have rounded and smooth edges.
Typically, you will not see serial numbers in these Tola Bars.
2. Tael Bars
1 Tael equals to 1.20337 oz or 37.429 gm.
The 5 Tael biscuit with a weight around 187 gm is the most popular variant.
This is listed as a transactional unit as per the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society
3. Baht Bar
The 10 baht biscuit is the most popular variant.
10 Baht equals to 152.44 gm.
The purity, of course, is the most unusual element.
While the other two had purity close to 99.99%, this one is 96.5%.
The weight of these gold bar can be anywhere between 1-100 baht.
Therefore, most of these regional gold bars are essentially Gram Bar.
These are not just portable and convenient but easily tradable too.
Storing is also a key advantage.
4. Cast Gold Bar Issued By Banks
One of the gold bar weights that manage most is the ones issued by banks.
Are you wondering how much does a gold bar weigh when a bank issues it?
Well, there are no specific weight measures in this case.
But most times the banks get these manufactured by outsiders.
Once the external makers have created the bar, they market with the bank’s name.
You have customized bars issued by a wide range of European banks.
Some of the Middle East banks also get these manufactured.
Most times the Swiss refiners specialize in manufacturing these.
The UBS, Commerzbank and Credit Suisse are some of the common issuers of these gold bars.
How Does The Gold Bar Weight Impact Transactions?
The question therefore arises, how does it matter how much a gold bar weighs?
Well, in this context, you must understand that these variants of the gold bar is purely demand driven.
Different gold bar weight serves different purposes.
While some are better for trading, others might be more useful for the investment.
Moreover, the weight of the gold bar is dictated by local concerns too.
The region-specific gold demand to plays a crucial role in deciding how much a gold bar weighs?
1. Lower premium
The lower average premium of the gold bar is the most pronounced advantage.
On an average, the premium on the gold bar is much lesser than a gold coin.
As a result, if you are sourcing bars of greater weight, this can be advantageous.
This is primarily because of the lower cost of production for the gold bar.
So for the same money, you can get a higher weight bar for a lesser cost.
Most times in gold coin, the rarity and grade of gold are crucial determinants.
But in case of a gold bar, the weight remains the primary price determinant.
2. Trusted Quality
Unlike gold coins, not every jeweler can create a gold bar.
These are mostly manufactured by trusted authorities.
More often than not, these are private players or accredited government representatives.
The Perth Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint and The United States Mint are common manufacturers.
The bar’s weight, purity and refiner’s names are clearly etched.
So, you get a way better value for the money.
Therefore, it is very important to ascertain how much does a gold bar weigh.
Different countries and regions have specific gold bar weight.
But there are some basic specifications in the international arena.
Especially compared to gold coin, you can get better value from a gold bar.
This is primarily because of the variety of standardized norms for international gold bar weight.
It, therefore, will help you get better returns by investing in gold bar.