By law, every gold ingot, regardless of its size or shape, must be compulsorily marked and serialized before being placed on the market. This is done for security, encryption and traceability reasons. A gold ingot itself can be tracked using the serial number printed on it, linked to the refinery that manufactured it. Certain minted bars are also sealed in a package that includes a holographic identification chip.
Although physical gold ingots themselves can be traced back to their manufacturer, the origin of gold cannot be reliably traced. Can you track gold ingots? The answer is yes and no. Of course, you can use serial marking to determine which mint or manufacturer produced a gold ingot. Gold is notoriously difficult to trace.
According to the World Gold Council, an average of 2,500 to 3,000 tons of gold are produced per year and sent to refineries, where they are transformed into gold ingots. However, since gold is indestructible and infinitely recyclable, refineries often mix freshly extracted gold with part of the metal that has been mined since the beginning of time. With around 200,000 tons in circulation, it is almost impossible to determine their origin. Russia is the second largest gold producer in the world, after China.
Both ETFs and gold bars have their value linked to the underlying price of gold, so both provide a certain degree of balance to major assets. Very few banks sell gold today, as they have many other sources of income and gold is considered to be a specialized area. Buying gold coins offers more divisibility than bullion, they benefit from quantity discounts, can be easier to sell, and is free of capital gains taxes. While the U.S.
currency has been backed by a government decree instead of gold since 1971, gold is still a sound investment. As soon as gold enters the smelting process, it enters the final point where it is chemically possible to analyze and scientifically determine the source mine. Gold mining has come under increasing scrutiny because of its links to mercury pollution and human rights violations, leading to the choice to obtain more traceable and fairly mined gold. Metals with a lower gold purity may contain trace elements and specific materials that can identify their country of origin.
You benefit from the peace of mind of knowing that your investment is genuine and of high quality and that you'll have a place to sell the ingots when the time comes. The approximate value of an ingot can be calculated by multiplying the current price of gold in grams by the weight in grams of the ingot. In addition, some minted gold bars have a protective cover that includes a holographic identification chip containing information about the gold content, its refinery, the manufacturer, etc. Minted ingots are usually smaller than molten ingots and, depending on their size and manufacturer, can be packaged in protective covers that can be used to trace the ingot back to its manufacturer.
All reputable private and government mints (such as Perth Mint in Australia or Credit Suisse) must use a serial number to manufacture gold bars weighing more than 250 grams. Both the Alliance for Responsible Mining and Fairtrade International have plans to help brands obtain gold that can be traced from the mine to finished jewelry, and ensure that gold has been produced in a way that protects the people who extract it.