Bars and Rounds
Precious metals bars and rounds are the perfect choice for some investors. While government-issued "sovereign" coins are rightly valued for their superior liquidity and government-backed weight and content, they are issued with cost premiums imposed by the minting authority. Bars and rounds are issued by private firms, with only nominal premiums over the value of their metal content, reflecting the costs of refining, assaying, and manufacturing the final product. These products are suitable for investors who want the absolute most metal for their money, and are comfortable and confident with their options in trading or liquidating them.
"Bar" is a somewhat generic term, most specifically associated with large, brick-like ingots that may weigh as much as 400 Troy ounces or more, but also used to describe much smaller specimens weighing one ounce or less. They are stamped or struck with a hallmark specifying the manufacturer, weight, purity, serial number, and various other data. A "round" is a privately-produced bullion coin, typically containing one Troy ounce of a metal. They may bear designs similar to or evocative of sovereign coins, feature completely unique designs, or bear nothing more than simple, descriptive information.