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Jewelry and manufacturing companies, with enough money and resources, often purchase raw gold directly from mines and refine it themselves. Coin dealers purchase precious metals from mints, master dealers, and dealer networks. The process begins with extracting and refining precious metals. The typical process involves:. Individuals have two main options when trading precious metals: How Do People Trade Metals? How Institutions Trade Precious Metals Jewelry and manufacturing companies, with enough money and resources, often purchase raw gold directly from mines and refine it themselves.
The typical process involves: Ore extraction - Mines extract ore from the ground and either refine and extract the metals themselves or sell raw ore to a refinery that then refines it. Refinement - Mints and manufacturers purchase large amounts of either unrefined or refined precious metals. Mints refine the precious metals and use them to make bars, rounds, bullion, and coins.
Manufacturers use precious metals in their manufacturing process. Wholesale sales - Master dealers purchase the coins, rounds, or bullion bars from the mints.
Depending on the size of the mint, such as the U. Mint, master dealers must have millions of dollars in order to purchase wholesale precious metals. Mints do not sell directly to the public with the exception of special products such as proof sets.
Master dealers usually do not sell to the public either. They distribute products through dealer networks networks of dealers that buy and sell large amounts of precious metals to and from each other and directly to dealers. Retail sales - Dealers purchase large quantities of precious metals from master dealers or dealer networks and sell them to the public. Individual investors purchase precious metals from the dealers. How Individuals Trade Precious Metals Individuals have two main options when trading precious metals: Stock market investments - Investors can invest directly in mining and exploration companies by purchasing company stocks or bonds or investing in mutual funds that purchase tangible precious metals.
In either case, you do not hold any physical precious metals nor can your stocks be redeemed for precious metals. Instead, you purchase shares in companies or mutual funds that hold physical precious metals or contracts backed by precious metals. These companies take a portion of the assets it holds in managerial fees.
Investing in mining and exploration companies - These companies explore and mine for precious metals. Factors other than the price of precious metals, such as management and the cost of extraction and exploration can affect the stock prices of these companies. Exchange traded funds - With an exchange traded fund ETF , you buy shares in a fund that purchases and holds physical precious metals or future contracts. Each share represents a share of gold bullion rather than a group of individual stocks.
Buying and selling physical precious metals - Many individual investors buy physical precious metals at jewelry stores, local coin dealers, online dealers such as AmagiMetals.
Jewelry stores - Most gold and silver is used for jewelry, making jewelry stores the obvious choice for purchasing gold and silver jewelry.
Local coin stores - Local coin stores tend to be smaller than large online dealers. They typically offer a variety of products ranging from collectible coins to investment-grade coins.
Most local coin dealers can appraise bullion, collector's items, and proofs as well as buy and sell precious metals. Online precious metals dealers - Reputable online companies provide the largest variation in investment-grade precious metals. This appeals to first-time and seasoned investors alike. For example, investors just starting out may be interested in purchasing 1 ounce silver coins while larger investors may want to buy ounce silver bars.
In addition, you can usually find the best prices online and receive quantity discounts. Coin and jewelry conventions - Coin collectors often join large coin collecting groups such as the NGC Numismatic Guaranty Corporation and trade coins at group meetings or at coin collecting conventions.