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What is a gold ingot?

We often see confusion around the various words used to describe gold bars, and in particular are asked just what a gold ingot actually is. Although the word is often used much more loosely, a gold ingot is technically a specific type of bar.

The word refers to the specific process by which these bars are manufactured - they are produced by pouring molten gold into a mould. The word ‘ingot’ comes from the mould in which the bars are cast. It is this process that differentiates them from other, usually smaller, bars, which are produced by minting or stamping sheets of gold bullion.

Gold Ingots

A minted bar is just that, while a gold ingot would therefore be a cast bar which is typically reserved for larger sized bars. A gold ingot is bound to a set of Good Delivery Rules laid out by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

Gold ingots

As with all other types of bullion bar, gold ingots are required by the LBMA to contain at least 99.5% pure gold, i.e. 995.0 parts per thousand fine gold. Gold ingots can come in a variety of sizes, but Good Delivery Bars are required to weigh 350-430 troy ounces (11-13 kg). This means that 400oz ingots contain at least 398 oz of fine gold.

An ingot may also carry certain marks: serial number, refiner’s hallmark, fineness, year of manufacture.

Good Delivery Bar Recommended Dimensions
Length (top) 210- 290 mm
Width (top) 55 - 85 mm
Height 25 - 45 mm
Weight 350 - 430 troy ounces / 11-13 kg
Purity 99.5% (995.0/1000) minimum

How much is a gold ingot worth?

As with all other forms of gold bullion, a Good Delivery Bar does not have a fixed price. Its value is dependent on its gold content, and the ever-changing gold spot price. To find this you simply have to multiply its gold content by the current spot price, so a 400oz ingot, at a time when the spot price is £1,000 per ounce, would have a bullion value of around £400,000.

Smaller gold ingots will similarly be worth whatever the gold price is at any given moment. Ingots tend to start at around 100 gram weights and up. Fortunately the gold price is also quoted in grams, making it easy to work out how much these ingots are worth.

12.5kg Gold Bullion Good Delivery Bar

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