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Investing in gold is a timeless strategy, offering a safe haven against inflation and economic uncertainty. However, for those new to the gold market, a common dilemma arises: Should you buy gold coins or gold bars? Both have their merits, and understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each can help you make an informed decision that suits your investment goals. 


In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down the key differences and offer insights to guide your gold investment journey in the UK. Whether you’re looking to buy gold bars in the UK or prefer to buy gold coin online, this article is for you.

Purity and Composition

Gold Coins

When it comes to purity, gold coins often lead the pack. Many popular options, like the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin are made from 24-karat gold, which translates to a gold purity of 99.99%. 


This level of purity not only enhances the coin’s aesthetic appeal but also its value on the global market. The higher the purity, the closer the coin’s value will track the spot price of gold, making it a straightforward investment. However, the high purity also makes these coins softer and more susceptible to scratches and dents, so careful handling and storage are crucial.

Gold Bars

Gold bars, on the other hand, offer a range of purities, often from 22-karat to 24-karat gold. Higher purity bars are available, but it’s essential to check the specifications before making a purchase. Unlike coins, bars are generally more utilitarian in design, focusing on weight and purity rather than intricate designs. 

This utilitarian focus often makes bars a more cost-effective option per ounce of gold, especially for those looking to make a substantial investment. Yet, the varying levels of purity in gold bars mean that investors need to be extra vigilant. Always check for certification, which should provide verified details about the bar’s weight and purity. This information is essential for both resale value and your own peace of mind.


Gold Coins

One of the beautiful aspects of gold coin investing is how liquid the asset is. This becomes even more evident when you own a significant bulk. Selling becomes quicker and more straightforward when you have a diversified collection to offer prospective buyers. 


Not only does this make your investment more liquid than if you’d acquired it piecemeal, but it also gives you flexibility in how much you wish to sell at any given time.

Gold Bars

While gold bars are liquid, their size can make them more challenging to sell in a hurry. You might need to sell a large bar entirely rather than liquidating a portion of your investment, which may not be ideal in certain situations.

Storage and Portability

Gold Coins

Coins are easier to store and transport due to their smaller size. They can be easily hidden in a safe deposit box or even in your home.

Gold Bars

The larger the bar, the more complex the storage requirements become. You may need to consider vault storage, which comes at an additional cost.

Costs and Premiums

Gold Coins

Gold coins often come with a premium over the spot price of gold. This premium covers the cost of design, minting, and the added level of security features often present in coins. 

The intricate designs and historical significance can make coins more appealing to both investors and collectors alike, increasing their overall demand. This heightened demand often leads to slightly higher premiums. 

For example, if you’re interested in buying gold coins online, you may notice that the price is not just reflective of the gold content but also the craftsmanship and brand value associated with the coin. Yet, these premiums can also offer an upside; the additional value from the design and historical significance can appreciate over time, potentially increasing the coin’s overall value.

Gold Bars

When it comes to gold bars, the premiums are generally lower. Bars are often considered a “bulk” way to own gold and are usually closer to the spot gold bar price in the UK or any other market. 

Their utilitarian design and larger sizes mean that the per-ounce premium is often less than you would pay for coins. However, this doesn’t mean that bars are free from premiums altogether. You’ll still pay for the cost of production, albeit at a lower rate compared to coins. 

The larger the bar, the smaller the premium tends to be, proportionally speaking, making gold bars an efficient way to accumulate gold in substantial amounts. But, it’s crucial to consider the resale market; larger bars might be more challenging to sell due to their higher overall cost and fewer potential buyers.


The cost and premiums associated with gold coins and bars can vary widely depending on a host of factors, including the dealer’s pricing strategy, market demand, and even geopolitical stability. 

Therefore, understanding the cost structure is essential, whether you’re looking to buy gold bars in the UK or are eyeing exquisite coins like the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin. Weighing the cost against your investment goals can provide valuable insight into which form of gold is most suitable for your portfolio.

Aesthetics and Collectibility

Gold Coins

Coins like the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin are not just investment assets; they are also collectibles. Their aesthetic appeal makes them gifts and can add an extra layer of value if they are rare or part of a special edition.

Gold Bars

Bars are straightforward, primarily designed for investment rather than aesthetic appeal. They don’t offer the collectibility value that coins do, making them a purely financial investment.

Gold Bar or Gold Coin: Which One Is Better For You?

Choosing between a gold coin and a gold bar depends on your investment goals, the size of your investment, and your interest in the aesthetic and collectible value of gold. Coins offer better liquidity and are easier to store, but they come with higher premiums. Bars are more cost-effective for larger investments but may entail additional storage and insurance costs.


Whether you’re planning to buy gold bars in the UK or opt to buy gold coin online, both options have distinct advantages and drawbacks. Your choice should align with your investment strategy and personal preferences.

Taking the Next Step With London Gold Centre

Ready to start your gold investment journey? At London Gold Centre, we offer a variety of gold coins and bars to suit every investor’s needs. Explore our extensive collection and make a choice that best suits your investment goals.

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