Pictured to the left is my Johnson Matthey one troy ounce gold bullion bar. I just purchased
this bar the other day at my local coin shop. This is actually the first gold bar that I have ever
purchased. I have been purchasing gold coins such as
Krugerrands for quite some time. However,
gold bullion bars are new territory for me. In today's article I'll discuss my Johnson Matthey bar,
my personal experience buying this gold bar, and also a big mistake that I unfortunately made.
Description of My Johnson Matthey Gold Bar
First, let's start off with a description of my gold bar. I'm happy that my images turned out quite well
but also would like to walk through the bar. At a high level, it's absolutely beautiful! I actually went
to the coin shop to purchase a gold Krugerrand and ended up buying this bar because it caught my attention
in the showcase.
This gold bar is a rectangular shape, just like a
silver art bar. The key difference is it is not as
thick as a silver art bar. The reason is gold is a very dense metal. This is the same reason that 1 ounce
gold American eagles
are smaller than one ounce
silver American eagles. The heft of gold
never ceases to amaze me. I believe this bar is 24 karat gold bullion because of its amazing color, very
similar to a 24 karat
gold Canadian maple leaf. The obverse
(pictured to the left) says Johnson Matthey, fine gold .9999 , 1 ounce troy, and most importantly contains
a unique serial number. You cannot see the serial number in the picture because I placed a black box over it
for security reasons. The reverse (pictured below and to the right) contains the Johnson Matthey monogram and
is quite pleasing to the eye. Also, the bar is enclosed in a sealed flexible plastic container, an important
aspect of keeping the bar in great condition.
My Mistake Buying This Gold Bar
As discussed in the introduction, I made a mistake buying this gold bar. You might have guessed it already.
What's missing from the pictures? There is no assay certificate. I'm actually really mad at myself.
Well before I bought this bar, I championed the idea of only buying gold bars when you get an accompanying
assay certificate. Just check out my article all about
Credit Suisse gold bars from a year ago!
What was I thinking? I truly don't know and regard this as a momentary lapse of judgment. I went to the
coin shop to buy a Krugerrand and came away with a gold bar with no assay certificate. Nobody talked me
into it, the bar just caught my eye. Oh well...
How Severe Is My Mistake - Is It A Counterfeit?
At the end of the day, I have rationalized that my mistake is not too bad. I truly believe I have
an authentic gold bar and while I will never buy another gold bar without an assay certificate I'm
ok with my purchase for a few reasons:
- I bought my Johnson Matthey gold bar from a very
reputable coin shop.
They have been in business forever and I trust them to only supply the best bullion products. I can trust
that they have verified all of their gold bars to be authentic before presenting them for sale.
- I asked about my bar the next time and they assured me my bar is the real deal. They showed me other
similar bars without assay certificates. While I will not be buying another without a certificate, it's nice
to see the other bars.
- The bar has a unique serial number on the obverse (blocked from the image above).
- The bar looks real to me in and side by side comparison with one of my gold bullion coins.
My Gold Bar Buying Advice To You
I have all sorts of different gold bullion coins. It's fun to collect different ones and it's important
to diversify within your gold portfolio.
Consequently, I decided to venture out and try a gold bullion bar. Do you currently own all sorts of different gold coins?
If so, you may want to venture out and buy a gold bar or two like me. If not, I definitely suggest you first start with
gold bullion coins such as Krugerrands, American Eagles, and Canadian Maples. I have read these are much more difficult
to counterfeit and a better place to start when you are building the base of your gold coin portfolio.
Have your base in order and ready to buy gold bars? Sounds good, just make sure to only buy when you get an
accompanying assay certificate. (Of note, an assay certificate is not always a formal "certificate".
Many times, it's part of the packaging right around the gold bar.) What did I do right? I went with Johnson Matthey.
Johnson Matthey is one of the best names when it comes to gold bars. Other great assayers and refiners include Engelhard,
Credit Suisse, and Pamp Suisse. When you are new to gold bullion bars, definitely stick to these names only.
Diversifying within your gold bar portfolio is fun. In fact, this is my favorite part of investing in a
tangible asset like gold.
Want more? I recently purchased a Johnson Matthey silver bar
that's just like my gold one (but it's silver). I'm amazed at the quality of my Johnson Matthey silver bar and it accompanies my gold
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