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Best Gold Dealers

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Written by Kathryn Parkman
Edited by Justin Martino
Reviewed by Barbara Friedberg

Investing in gold is a popular way to diversify your portfolio. Read our guide to choose the best gold dealer by comparing precious metal options, buying experience, time in business and customer satisfaction. Our research team vetted 25 gold dealers that are rated by more than 3,510 customers.

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Our picks for top gold dealers

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

Our top pickJM Bullion
  • Gold, silver, platinum, palladium and copper
  • Free shipping on orders over $199
  • Headquartered in Dallas
  • 10 years in business

JM Bullion is a fast-growing company with a wide selection of precious metals. You can buy bullion in the form of coins, bars, rounds and bullets. The company has bulk discounts available, which makes it more affordable to place large orders.

Basic shipping and insurance are free on all orders over $199. Most orders ship through the U.S. Postal Service or UPS.

It accepts credit cards, bank wires, paper checks (including personal or cashier’s checks and money orders, plus PayPal, Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum and some USD-pegged stablecoins (GUSD, USDC, PAX, BUSD).

What reviewers like: Quality metals, competitive prices and fast delivery.

“I've made several orders from JM bullion. In my opinion and experience, they are the best online bullion retailer out there. The selection isn't vast, but if you're looking for common bullion products, they're who to trust,” a reviewer in West Virginia said.

“All items shipped fast based on the method used, tracking was detailed, and my product was delivered and I am super happy,” a reviewer in Florida said.

“The great part too is they actually have a human being that will answer your questions if you call,” a reviewer in Virginia said.

Great for IRA-approved coinsOrion Metal ExchangeAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Gold, silver, platinum and palladium
  • Shipping and storage costs vary
  • 4 years in business
  • Headquartered in Los Angeles

Orion Metal Exchange is a full-service investment company that specializes in coins for precious metal IRAs. You can invest in Gold American Eagles plus other U.S., British and Canadian coins that are eligible for gold IRAs.

We like that Orion Metal Exchange has a no-fee buyback policy. This gold dealer also offers third-party vault storage or expedited home delivery — not something that all gold IRA companies offer.

What reviewers like: Reliable and helpful customer service.

“The customer service was extraordinary,” according to a reviewer in Michigan. A reviewer in California said, “The employees at Orion went above and beyond to make sure that from start to finish, I felt comfortable and confident in my purchase.”

“The rep I worked with was very knowledgeable, helpful and very professional. They answered my questions very well,” a reviewer in Ohio said.

A 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.”

Great selectionAPMEX
  • Gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rare currency
  • Free shipping on orders over $199
  • Headquartered in Oklahoma City
  • 21 years in business

In addition to the standard coins, bars and rounds you find with most online dealers, you can also buy jewelry and rare currencies, including Confederate bills, vintage Mexican pesos and medieval coins.

Other APMEX highlights include online order tracking and a guide to bullion taxes by state. The company also buys and accepts trade-ins of gold, silver and platinum.

The company accepts payments via credit or debit card (no prepaid cards), bank wire, paper or electronic check, PayPal and some cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Wrapped Bitcoin, Dogecoin and five USD-pegged stablecoins (GUSD, USDC, PAX, DAI, BUSD). Orders may ship through the U.S. Postal Service or UPS.

What reviewers like: Competitive prices and convenient checkout.

“They are reliable, service is fast, products are shipped out most cases next day and their customer service is top notch,” according to a reviewer in Missouri.

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.”

“Ordering was easy. Shipment was well packaged. Delivery was fast,” an international reviewer said.

Compare Top Gold Dealer Reviews

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Quick and easy. Get matched with a Gold IRA partner.

    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.

    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.

    Gold has a benchmark price that is set every day.

    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.
    • 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. It will be easier to contact 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.

    • Fake gold: While rare, it’s not unheard of to find bars or coins that have a thin layer of gold coating a more common metal.
    • 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 upsells: 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 person 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.

    Gold is a commodity

    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 a 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.

    Types of gold investments

    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 is 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). The South African Mint is known for its Krugerrand bullion coins. 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, not 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 Paris Bourse. Gold ETFs hold 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.

    Cost of buying gold

    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.

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission does NOT RECOMMEND taking cash from retirement plans to speculate on precious metals.

    When you buy gold, dealers charge a premium above the spot price. Prices fluctuate constantly, but you shouldn't pay more than a 5% or 8% markup above the spot on average. Dealers and brokers also charge a range of fees, including commissions, transaction fees (“premiums to spot”) 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 provides protection against inflation. Precious metals 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.

    Pros

    • Historically valuable
    • Portfolio diversification
    • Hedge against stock market
    • No contracts required
    • Private and confidential
    • Easy to buy

    Cons

    • No dividend revenue
    • Relatively low long-term returns
    • Can be difficult to sell
    • Little practical utility
    • Taxed as a collectible

    Online gold dealers FAQ

    Like with most other internet transactions, there are good companies that you can trust, and there are others that you shouldn’t. Luckily, it’s really hard to rip people off these days and not have somebody figure it out. That’s why it’s so important to read online gold dealer reviews before making a big purchase.

    In some ways, buying gold online is safer than in person. There could be tax advantages to working with an online dealer, depending on where you live.

    Gold investors should monitor real-time market data updates online to stay updated with current gold market pricing.

    After current market value, the weight of a gold coin or bar is the most significant factor in its price. Generally, the higher the weight, the lower the premium you pay over the spot price to the dealer.

    Gold is considered a relatively good investment because it tends to hold its value when markets drop. Since gold is often inversely correlated to the strength of the dollar, it can be a smart way to diversify your portfolio and hedge your bets against uncertainty. Some financial advisors recommend investing up to 10% of your portfolio in bullion.

    Typically, gold prices drop in a bull market (when the stock market is trending up) and increase in a bear market (when stocks are trending down). Over the last few years, its value has trended up with a few notable dips.

    On the other hand, some financial experts advise against buying gold because the returns may not be as good as other options, and it can be hard to sell.

    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.

    Scrap gold refers to gold that no longer has value in its original form, like broken jewelry and industrial byproducts. Scrap gold still has value because it can be melted down and recycled by a refinery.
    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 often increases during economic downturns.
    Most banks don’t sell gold, though a few offer silver bars. Usually, you can get a better price going through a dealer.
    Pawnshops, 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, pawnshops 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.

    Investors and collectors can buy gold through online dealers, brokers or local stores. Some gold brokers and dealers publicly post their precious metal prices online, while others sell complex packages or only disclose the price on the contract for sale.
    • Gold dealers: A dealer is a person or firm that sells bars, coins and other forms of gold online or through a physical location. Dealers commonly carry insurance up to the value of their total vault to cover anything they are storing for customers. Some gold and silver dealers offer insurance during shipping and for at-home storage.
    • Gold broker: Gold brokers set up deals between distributors, buyers and sellers. Unlike dealers, brokers function as a middleman between the buyer and seller. Similar to online stockbrokers, they usually charge a fee for setting up the deal and a transaction fee for brokering the deal.
    • Local coin shops: Shopping at a local store lets you see your potential investment before you purchase it. Plus, you can avoid shipping and delivery costs when you buy locally. Coins often carry additional value based on their rarity, condition and history. A dealer specializing in numismatic value will often have higher prices than the gold weight value for specific coins.
    • Gold vending machines: You can buy coins and small bars at market price through gold vending machines. Sometimes called “gold ATMs,” gold vending machines are becoming more common in airports and shopping malls in large international cities.
    • Financial services company: A gold dealer that offers retirement and other planning services can be considered a financial services company. Gold dealers that are part of a larger financial system can offer advice about investment options, including securities, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and real estate.

    Methodology

    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.

    Not sure how to choose?

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      Author reviews of gold dealers

      Lear Capital

      Lear Capital was founded in 1997. It specializes in precious metal IRAs, including IRA-approved gold and silver bars and coins. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

      Read 1156 Reviews
      AUTHORIZED PARTNER
      Goldco

      Goldco Precious Metals specializes in precious metals investments and aiding customers in opening individual retirement accounts (IRAs) that include gold, silver and other metals.

      • Hedge against government money problems: Goldco Precious Metals focuses on investments that help provide a secure financial future, even in the face of problems like the rapid expansion of money supply via The Federal Reserve.
      • Customer service assistance: Customers of Goldco Precious Metals are assigned two experts who can provide help and advice regarding their precious metals IRAs.
      • Reduce fees and taxes: This company helps individuals cut investment fees and taxes as they transfer from stocks and bonds to precious metals investments.
      • Free guide: Goldco Precious Metals provides free information about using precious metals to secure financial health, including a free Gold IRA Guide, a free Silver IRA Guide and detailed website overviews of various gold and silver coins.
      • Hands-on help: When a Goldco Precious Metals customer decides to roll over an existing retirement account to a precious metals IRA, the company works with the existing retirement account company to ensure a smooth transaction without any added taxes or penalties.
      Read 566 Reviews
      AUTHORIZED PARTNER
      Patriot Gold Group

      The Patriot Gold Group sells gold, silver, platinum and palladium for cash purchase or IRA investment. It offers investor-direct pricing to manage the costs for customers.

      • Free newsletter: All interested consumers can sign up to receive Patriot Gold Group’s free newsletters, which include market news and economic forecasts. To request a newsletter, consumers should fill out the Contact Us form on Patriot’s website.
      • Investor direct pricing: Customers buying from Patriot directly deal with senior partners. This more direct sales approach helps customers save money, giving them more investing power.
      • Self-directed IRA: Individuals with IRAs, 401ks and some other retirement accounts can roll their existing account into a self-directed, precious metals IRA through Patriot.
      • Social media: The Patriot Gold Group is active on Facebook and Twitter. Interested consumers can follow the company on those sites to learn about investing in precious medals.
      • Informational reports: The Forecasts & Projections section of Patriot’s website includes over a dozen information reports that educate consumers about the economics of precious medals.
      Read 627 Reviews
      APMEX

      APMEX recently celebrated its 15th anniversary and has a catalog of more than 10,000 products for investors interested in both precious metal weight and numismatic value to choose from.

      Read 171 Reviews
      JM Bullion

      Located in Dallas, JM Bullion is primarily an online gold and precious metals dealer offering customer service online, by telephone and in walk-in meetings.

      Read 238 Reviews
      Provident Metals

      Also known as "The People's Bullion Dealer," Provident Metals has been supplying bullion since 2009. The company is a member of ANA, ICTA, CCE and NGC and professional membership organizations.

      • Customer service: Call anytime between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on a weekday to speak to a company representative.
      • Buy and sell: See both the buy and sell price for virtually any coin. If a specific coin is not listed, a quick call can usually deliver an estimate of what it is willing to pay.
      • Accessories: Shop for a variety of resources in addition to bullion, including storage books, coin holders, safes, and books and videos about coins.
      • Free shipping: Get precious metals delivered to the front door free with any order of $99 or more. Shipping on smaller orders is just $5.95.
      Goldline International

      Known as Goldline International since 1992, this well-established gold dealership has been rapidly expanding its operations.

      • Price guarantee program: Goldline International's seven-day price guarantee ensures that it will re-price an order at the lower rate when asked.
      • Real-time market prices: Keep up to date with what the markets are doing using the charts provided at Goldline International. Spot prices may vary though, so call in to get the most accurate information.
      • Low cost liquidations: Goldline charges only one percent with a $25 minimum to liquidate holdings at the posted buyback bid price.
      • IRA investments: Learn about which coins and bullion options are eligible for IRA investments and how to get started under the IRA tab on the Goldline website.
      • TrueCost Pricing: The TrueCost pricing program shows not only the asking price from the seller but also the buyback price and how much the metal needs to appreciate to break even.
      Monex Gold

      Monex was founded in 1987 by Louis Carabini. To date, it has handled client transactions totaling more than $40 billion.

      Read 15 Reviews
      U.S. Gold Bureau

      U.S. Gold Bureau was founded in 2003. It’s currently headquartered in Austin, Texas. It is an authorized purchaser of bulk gold coins, bars and bullion from the U.S. Mint.

      Read more about U.S. Gold Bureau
      Global Gold and Silver

      Global Gold and Silver specializes in buying jewelry, precious metals and diamonds. It has over 60 years of service in the jewelry trade industry.

      • Precious metal buyers: The company buys a variety of jewelry and metals, including gold watches, gold jewelry, gold coins, diamond jewelry, loose diamonds, silver jewelry, silver coins and silver sets.
      • Certified gemologists: The dealer employs a certified gemologist at each location to ensure items are expertly evaluated.
      • Certified gemologists: There is a certified gemologist at each location, ensuring that items are expertly evaluated.
      • Free shipping: Sellers can send tracked jewelry items to the company for evaluation for free.
      • Store locations: There are three stores, located in Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey.
      Fisher Precious Metals

      Fisher Precious Metals is an online gold dealer based in Florida. The firm offers one-on-one advice and storage services.

      • Selection: The company buys and sells gold, silver, diamonds, rare coins and other investment products.
      • Fast shipping: It can drop-ship items within 24 hours.
      • Authenticity confirmation: The company uses metal purity testing technology to authenticate all its gold and silver products.
      • Buybacks and returns: Fisher Precious Metals buys back items at the current market rate.
      Money Metals

      Money Metals is an online dealer that sells silver, gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium and copper. IRA programs and storage for precious metals are also available. The company is headquartered in Idaho and services customers nationwide.

      • Market pricing: Its site publishes spot prices, premiums, weight, purity and current buyback prices on most products.
      • Returns and refunds: You have three days after receipt of shipment to contact customer service for a return or refund. Not all items are eligible for a refund or exchange. Restocking fees apply.
      • Additional services: Money Metals also offers storage services, security products and books about precious metals.
      • Customer service: Representatives are available online and over the phone from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mountain Time.
      SD Bullion

      SD Bullion sells and buys gold, silver and platinum. Popular products include coins, bars and rounds. Search for bullion by grade, metal content and year.

      • Payment options: Payment options include bank wires, personal or cashier’s checks, money orders, credit card, debit card, Bitcoin, Paypal and electronic check. Costs are updated to reflect current spot prices.
      • Shipping: All orders through U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx are fully insured. The company provides free shipping on domestic orders of more than $99.
      • Returns: You have three days after receipt of shipment to request a return or refund for any reason. There is a restocking fee of up to $35.
      • Customer service: Sales and customer service representatives are available online and over the phone from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday (Eastern Time).
      BGASC

      BGASC offers a wide selection of coins, jewelry, bars and more. Customers can browse the inventory by theme, bullion type or mint.

      • Payment options: Accepted payment methods include PayPal, credit card, debit card, paper check and bank wire.
      • Shipping: The standard shipping rate is $7.95, but the company provides free shipping on orders over $5,000. BGASC currently only ships within the United States. The company doesn’t deliver to mail drop locations or third-party postal boxes. All packages are fully insured.
      • Additional products: BGASC also offers storage supplies, such as coin tubes, holders, bags, boxes and flips.
      • Customer service: Online ordering help is available 24/7. You can contact customer service over the phone from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.

      Compare Top Gold Dealer Reviews

      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page.
      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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