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Best Gold Dealers

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    Many investors prefer to buy gold to diversify their portfolios and secure their investments in unpredictable markets. Gold has stood the test of time financially, and buying physical gold and other precious metals is easier than in the past with reputable online dealers.

    Purchasing bullion, the term used for nonferrous metals that have been refined to a high standard of elemental purity, can be risky if you do not vet your dealer first. Our team compared 25 online gold dealers to find the safest and best companies for you.

    Whether you are investing in gold to boost your retirement portfolio or just love the idea of collecting rare gold coins, the right dealer will ensure you pay the latest market price.

    Our picks for the best gold dealers are based on customer reviews, selection and online shopping experience, among other factors. Read our full methodology to learn how we picked companies.

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    Gold and other precious metals are an investment and carry risk. Consumers should be alert to claims that customers can make a lot of money in these or any investment with little risk. As with any investment, you can lose money and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance results. Consumers should also obtain a clear understanding of the fees associated with any investment before agreeing to invest.

    Compare our top 3 choices for gold dealers


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    All information accurate as of time of publication.

    More info on top choices for gold dealers

    These three gold dealers offer online purchases (minimums/maximums may apply) and offer a wide variety of precious metals.

    Best overall experience
    Precious metal options
    Gold, silver, platinum, palladium and copper
    Years in business
    Headquarters location
    Shipping rate
    Free shipping on orders over $199

    Founded in 2011, JM Bullion offers gold and precious metal options for investors and collectors alike. Investors can choose from coins and bars as well as precious metal IRAs through its partnership with New Direction IRA. Collectors and gift givers will like the variety of coin designs, including Batman and Star Wars options.

    There is no minimum order amount for most payment methods, and orders over $199 ship free through USPS or UPS. Orders under that threshold ship for a flat $7.99. Once your payment is cleared, your order is shipped within one business day. All orders are fully insured while in transit.

    The price you pay for bullion depends on your method of payment and the quantity you are buying. The price for most items decreases slightly the more you buy. You will also pay less with an eCheck or bank wire and more with cryptocurrency, credit cards or PayPal. Plus, how you choose to pay comes with a maximum limit. For example, your maximum purchase total is $50,000 with a credit card but 500,000 with a bank wire.

    JM Bullion also offers customers the option for do-it-yourself buybacks, provided you have at least $500 worth of products to sell. You can complete a  price lock anytime online without having to speak to a buyback specialist. There is a $25 to $30 fee if you request your money via bank wire or check, but there is no fee if you are paid via ACH.

    • Precious metal IRA option
    • No order minimums for most payment methods
    • Do-it-yourself buybacks
    • Higher cost for credit cards and PayPal
    • Maximum purchase limit lower for credit cards
    • Minimum $500 buyback

    Customers choose JM Bullion because it made buying precious metal online stress-free with constant shipping updates and quick delivery. One customer from Wyoming said: “It's quick and painless process to actually GET gold and silver from them. It's usually shipped the next day and makes it to me within three days. Tracking provided. The products I buy are exactly as described, well packaged and discreet!”

    The top complaint against JM Bullion is unexpected cancellations. Customers have complained that their orders were canceled due to their payments not being processed correctly or an item going out of stock.

    Best for IRA-approved coins
    Precious metal options
    Gold, silver, platinum and palladium
    Years in business
    Headquarters location
    Los Angeles
    Shipping rate
    Flat rate of $39

    Orion Metal Exchange was established in 2017, but the co-founders have over 40 years of combined experience in the precious metal industry.

    You can invest in Gold American Eagles plus other U.S., British and Canadian coins that are eligible for gold IRAs. Customers can use Orion for retirement investments or for personal, nonretirement precious metal purchases. Nonretirement purchases can be stored in Orion’s third-party insured-storage vault or delivered with insured home delivery.

    For those who use Orion for retirement investing, it offers a full-service, in-house individual retirement account (IRA) department for the life of the account. Every IRA commercial depository and third-party storage program is insured by Lloyd’s of London for the value of the precious metal holdings.

    Customers can buy several coin options online. You must make a minimum purchase of $10,000, and shipping is a flat-rate cost of $39. The company prompts customers to call for several other services, though, such as buying bars, buying IRA-approved coins or qualifying for the special offer of up to $30,000 in free gold and silver.

    Orion offers fee-free buybacks for its customers. Customers can receive the market value of their metals without an additional charge. To do this, customers need to do a 30-second phone call with the company for a guaranteed buyback price.

    • No-fee buyback policy
    • Retirement and nonretirement account options
    • In-house IRA department
    • $10,000 checkout minimum
    • $39 flat-rate shipping costs
    • Many transactions over the phone

    Customers love that they can rely on Orion Metal Exchange and that customer service is friendly and helpful. Most felt confident buying through Orion. One reviewer in Virginia bought silver and platinum coins for an IRA transfer into precious metals: “The rep I worked with was very good and very knowledgeable. I have been a coin collector for many years, so I was pretty knowledgeable, too. He helped me to pick out what coins to go with, and the transfer went very well.”

    A past reviewer mentioned that they wished the company also offered bullion bars instead of just coins, and Orion now offers bars over the phone.

    Best for great selection
    Precious metal options
    Gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rare currency
    Years in business
    Headquarters location
    Oklahoma City
    Shipping rate
    Free shipping on orders over $199

    APMEX has been dealing gold and other precious metal since 2000. It offers a wide selection of coins, bars or rounds, bullion, semi-numismatic or numismatic products, and precious metal IRAs for U.S. and international customers. There is no minimum or maximum order for domestic orders. Orders over $199 ship free in the U.S.; orders under $199 will be charged a $9.95 fee. APMEX guarantees orders will be processed and shipped within one business day or you receive a $10 credit.

    Precious metal IRAs are done through one of APMEX’s partner IRA custodians. The minimum purchase from APMEX for an IRA is $2,000. Customers can keep track of their investments with APMEX’s custom portfolio tool. The AutoInvest program allows you to set and forget regular precious metal purchases so you can build up your investments consistently.

    You can sell precious metal products to APMEX (minimum $1,000 sale amount), but you will need to lock in your rate over the phone. There are no hidden fees and APMEX buys a wide range of products. Canceling a purchase or a sale will result in a $35 cancellation fee and a market loss fee (if applicable). All shipments are insured.

    APMEX guarantees product satisfaction and customers can request a return or exchange within seven days from when the item is received. However, shipping and handling charges are nonrefundable and there might be a restocking fee of $50 or 10% of the total order price (whichever is greater). A $50 processing fee might apply on all exchanges.

    • $10 credit for delayed orders
    • No minimum or maximum for domestic orders
    • Account management tools
    • Must have an account to checkout
    • Cancellation and market loss fees
    • IRA minimum

    Customers love how quickly and securely APMEX ships, along with the variety of products offered. Many reviewers are repeat customers. A reviewer in Louisiana has bought from APMEX for over a decade: “It is the only company that I purchase from. I have never had an issue stock, shipment, or quality of coins. Shipment is always fast and insured with tracking.”

    Several customers were not happy with customer service or felt that they shouldn’t have to pay the cancellation fees for their situation.

    Compare Top Gold Dealer Reviews

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      How to find reputable gold dealers online

      When comparing online gold dealers, look for ones with a clear refund and return policy. Most give you a window of at least three days to express dissatisfaction. Pay attention to whether there is a restocking fee and, if so, how much.

      Always make sure the dealer isn’t on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s RED List (Registration Deficient List) before you make a purchase.

      Other things to look for to ensure you find a reputable company include:

      • Established transaction history: One of the ways to determine whether you can trust a dealer is by looking at its transactions and customer reviews. Companies that have moved billions’ worth of metals have built up trust and good reputations. However, some customer reviews may be fabricated or otherwise dishonest, so make sure you don’t solely rely on those when deciding which company to use.
      • Physical headquarters: Even if you complete the whole transaction over the phone or on a computer, confirm that the online dealer has a physical headquarters listed somewhere. This makes it easier to contact the company if you have any issues. Avoid dealers who only list a P.O. Box.
      • Transparent pricing: Clear pricing on a company’s website is a plus, but this can be difficult to find (you might need to call a representative to get the most accurate and up-to-date prices). Companies that do not offer quick and transparent bid-ask prices can cause unfavorable delays that might result in a different price than you expected.
      • Risk disclosures: Any investment comes with some risk. The best gold dealers are upfront about the potential risks and realities of investing in precious metals, so look for a disclosure page that gives you the facts.
      • Payment options: Online gold dealers commonly accept payments by credit card, check, money order, wire transfer, PayPal and Bitcoin. Be sure that your dealer accepts your preferred payment method.

      Gold dealer scams to avoid

      As with any industry, you'll want to be on the lookout for scams when comparing gold dealers. The most common scam is selling fake gold, especially for purchases online or over the phone. Avoid this by purchasing gold only from established dealers.

      Other scams might include:

      • Partial delivery: Some people purchase gold only to receive a portion of what they ordered. The scammer may disappear entirely or claim an order error and promise to deliver the rest, possibly for an additional shipping charge. Scammers know that trust is earned. Don't let your guard down because you receive what you expect the first time.
      • Unwarranted pricing: It is not uncommon for gold dealers to sell a piece for whatever someone will pay for it. The sales prices of the same coin can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars from one dealer to the next. Protect yourself by being knowledgeable about what you’re buying and whom you’re working with.

      What to know about buying gold online

      Online gold dealers typically sell bars or rounds that range from as small as one-tenth of an ounce to a kilogram. The standard quality of gold fineness is .999, or 99.9% pure. Gold in its purest form is too soft to handle, so an alloy like copper is added to keep the shape of the gold bar or round intact.

      Any basic good used in commerce is a commodity. Historically, gold and other precious metals (such as silver and palladium) have functioned as both currency and commodity.

      Gold is different from other commodities in that it can also have sentimental or collectible value, which makes pricing somewhat subjective. Gold is more valuable than copper, tin or lead because of its rarity, malleability and resistance to corrosion.

      In addition to bullion and coins, some of the most popular gold investments include mining stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). With all gold investments, the ultimate goal is to see the value of the metals increase over time and earn a net profit.
      • Physical gold: Bullion can be purchased in the form of bars, ingots or coins made of gold. The U.S. Mint produces numismatic coins for collectors and proof coins for investors (in addition to circulating coins for commerce). Jewelry is another way to invest in gold — unique gold jewelry is often worth more than the value of the metal’s weight.
      • Mining stocks: Mining stocks are a way to invest in companies that source gold through mines. With mining stocks, the value of your investment is tied to the companies, as well as the value of gold. Raw gold is sourced from mines all over the world, including South Africa, Russia, China, Australia and parts of the United States.
      • Gold ETFs or mutual funds: Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are traded on exchanges. Gold ETFs are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, SIX Swiss Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange and Euronext. Gold ETFs track the value of the physical gold behind them. Gold mutual funds are issued with ETFs as their underlying asset. For example, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) is a popular gold fund. For more, compare physical gold vs. ETFs.
      • Individual retirement accounts: Gold and silver can be included as an option for retirement planning. If you're interested in IRA options for investing in gold or silver, read more about gold IRAs.
      The spot price refers to the market price at which gold is bought and sold at any given time. In other words, it’s what you’d pay “on the spot.” The spot price of gold changes daily based on market fluctuations.

      When you buy gold, dealers charge a premium above the spot price (“premium over spot”). Prices fluctuate constantly, but you shouldn't pay more than a 5% or 6% markup above the spot on average. Dealers and brokers may also charge a range of fees, including commissions, transaction fees and shipping fees.

      • Transaction fees: Charging customers a transaction fee is standard in the industry. If price is your primary consideration, look for gold and silver dealers with the lowest possible transaction fee.
      • Shipping fees: Find out what the shipping costs are for your gold dealer before placing an order. Some dealers offer free shipping with a minimum purchase requirement. Shipping fees can make the cost of purchasing physical bullion more expensive.
      • Additional fees: Some companies charge an ongoing management fee, similar to what brokerages charge for investment portfolios. This fee is related to the storage and security of the bullion.

      Buying gold pros and cons

      Unlike paper money that can be overprinted and devalued, gold and other precious metals are tangible assets with naturally limited supplies. This helps keep the market value of gold stable, which makes it an attractive investment option for many people.

      Most people buy gold because it has historically held its value, which can protect against inflation. Precious metals may act as a hedge for storing wealth in times of economic and political uncertainty.

      Gold might be a pretty way to invest, but it’s not guaranteed to keep its value. Opponents of gold also don’t like that it isn’t a cash-generating asset. Compared with stocks, the long-term returns are relatively low.


      • Historically valuable
      • Portfolio diversification
      • Potential hedge against stock market


      • No dividend revenue
      • Relatively low long-term returns
      • Taxed as a collectible


      What's the difference between gold coins and gold bars?

      The difference between gold coins and gold bars seems obvious (coins are flat and round; bars are shaped more like bricks). However, deciding which to invest in can be less obvious. There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

      Gold bars, sometimes called bullion, are priced very near the spot price of gold. If you want to purchase a large amount, bars are a smart way to do that since you pay less per ounce. Gold bars are also considered easier to store and easier to sell.

      You have more variety when you buy gold coins, however. Coins also have numismatic value and make for better gifts. Gold coins typically cost more than bars because of extra mining costs or commemorative reasons. Rare coins can also have added value because of their scarcity.

      What is scrap gold?

      Scrap gold refers to gold that no longer has value in its original form, like broken jewelry and industrial byproducts. Scrap gold can be melted down and recycled by a refinery.

      Why does the price of gold fluctuate?

      Gold is a massive market and is highly valued in many countries worldwide. For this reason, dozens of factors affect the price of gold. Some of the most influential factors include:

      • Supply: Gold can’t be printed like money, but mining companies may find more at some times than others. Mining operations can also shut down, which decreases the available supply.
      • Demand: Gold isn’t just used for investments — it also has technological purposes that affect demand. The more individual consumer demand goes up, the more gold is worth.
      • State of the economy: When the dollar or other currencies become weak, gold often gains strength. The value of gold may sometimes be independent of other asset classes during economic downturns.
      Do banks sell gold or silver bars?

      Most banks don’t sell gold, though some banks offer silver bars. Usually, you can get a better price going through a dealer.

      How do I sell my gold?

      Pawn shops, gold exchanges, jewelry stores and online gold buyers are the most common places to sell gold. You can sometimes sell it back to your dealer, though it might make an offer below the spot price.

      Generally, pawn shops are best avoided if you’re looking to maximize your payout from selling gold. Online markets like eBay let you sell directly to coin and bullion buyers, which often ends up netting you better profits.


      We started with a list of 25 gold investment companies. To narrow it down, we first looked at reviews and eliminated dealers with an overall satisfaction rating below 3.5 stars.

      We required our top gold dealer picks to offer online transactions through a secured website to stay on the list. Companies were also eliminated if they require you to fill out a form or call for pricing information.

      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. Goldhub, “Gold prices.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2021.
      2. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, “Customer Advisory: Beware of Gold and Silver Schemes Designed to Drain Your Retirement Savings.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2021.

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