Gold bars are also a popular bullion option. They also come in a variety of sizes, and given that the choices can range from a 1-gram bar to 400-oz bar, this category of products can accommodate a wide range of investors.

When the objective is to the get the most metal for the least money, it's generally best to shop for gold rounds and gold bars, which tend to be cheaper than gold coins of the same weight. The premium for gold coins is higher because of the credibility that they receive from being fabricated by government mints and because of the design detail on them.

Another factor that may need to be considered is the amount to be invested. Large investments may be best made in bars since larger sizes are available. Further, it is often easier to manage large products than it is to manage an array of smaller gold items.

However, physical investors need to also give forethought to occasions when they may want to sell their gold. Large products will require liquidating a larger portion of one's gold portfolio and such products may be more difficult to sell in some instances. Individuals making ongoing or significant investments may therefore want to consider purchasing gold in various weights.

Where to buy gold

Physical gold can be purchased from government mints, private mints, precious metal dealers and even jewelry stores. Before making a purchase, investors should remember to be careful to avoid numismatic coins or other gold items geared toward collecting and gift giving. These products are for play in a different ball game and are not what the average gold investor needs.

When choosing where to buy gold it is again best to give thought to reselling it. Some businesses that sell gold will also buy it back. Some will even buy gold that they didn't sell, but may pay lower prices for it than for items they sold.