Best Gold Bars for Return on Investment

Trey Benedict
Trey Benedict
On June 05, 2024

Lower Premiums & LBMA Accreditation

When buying gold bars, there are many sites, brands, and pours available. However, nothing meets the quality and standard of the LBMA branded gold bars, which have a +2-3% return on investment when it comes time to sell.

What is the LBMA?

The LBMA, or London Bullion Market Association, is the standard of "good-delivery" gold and silver bars that are traded every day in the exchange of the market. The LBMA started in 1987 as a trade association for the OTC (over-the-counter) market for trading firms, market-makers, and assayers to be able to put accreditations on the precious metals industry. So you may be asking yourself, why does this matter? LBMA products have become the standard for assayers and traders around the world by becoming ISO-9001-approved ISO 14001, meaning they have quality and environmental specifications that are met for each bar produced.

LBMA Standards

Gold Bars hold their fineness to a top-notch degree, with 4 nines fineness as a minimum requirement for carded gold bars.

LBMA Gold Fineness Requirement: .9999+ Fine

Silver Bars also hold their fineness, with 3 nines fineness as a minimum requirement for silver bars.

LBMA Silver Fineness Requirement: .999+ Fine

What brands of bars are IRA or LBMA Approved?

Here is the following list of LBMA-approved bars which are certified for IRA eligibility in the United States:

Many more accepted brands may fit into the "accredited assayers" category, if they are produced by one of these assayers with different branding, the accreditation carries over. These bars carry a larger inherit premium than alternative bars due to their ability to go into depositories worldwide, which can be used in good delivery trades.

Branded Bars that do not meet Accreditation Standards

Some brands that fall short of being accredited can be for various reasons. Typically, investors should steer away from buying this type of branded product due to the lower premiums when it comes to selling.


    • 9Fine Mint

  • Elemetal

  • NTR Metals

  • OPM (Ohio Precious Metals)

  • Provident Metals

When it comes to Elemetal, NTR Metals, and OPM, they have all been involved in numerous scandals that have involved violating AML policies breaking laws, and losing their accreditation statuses.

APMEX and Provident fall into a different category, where they have produced their own silver, gold, platinum, and palladium bars, but are not accredited and privately owned. This means that you cannot store these bars in depository locations and cannot be sold as accredited. Instead, they must be sold as the branded bar and can likely incur a discounted premium.

Do LBMA bars need to be sealed to be able to sell?

Yes, for LBMA bars, they need to be sealed in their original assay card, and completely intact so that the precious metals can still be considered "good delivery". Unsealed bars can still be sold, but they will likely incur a discounted price when being put on the open market.