A pawn shop can also sell gold. Keep in mind the spot price of gold (the price per ounce right now on the market) as you buy, so you can make a fair deal. No, there are no restrictions on private ownership of gold in the United States. You're only limited by your budget and your common sense.
The legalization of the ownership of gold has not restored it as our medium of exchange. Statistic legal tender laws (together with the Gresham Act) continue to impose on us the fiat paper currency of the government. The use of gold as money is still prohibited. Any attempt to use or demand payment in gold for goods or services remains illegal.
The absolute government monopoly on fiat money remains protected by law against competition from gold. This is especially important if you want to store ingots in a gold IRA; you can't keep less pure gold, unless it's a pre-approved gold coin, in an IRA. And don't give in to pressure from phone sellers who insist on calling them immediately for a limited-time discount on gold. The ownership of gold was not legalized to restore solid money, but because the government no longer considers gold to be important.
But as with gold coins, you're likely to pay more for the amount of gold you receive, a premium that can range from 20 to 300%, depending on the manufacturer. Converting gold to paper money, to complete an exchange, and then converting it back into gold from paper will become commonplace. The delivery of gold coins for banknotes is understandable, since gold can no longer be used as a medium of exchange. We interviewed Don Durrett, a longtime investor and author of the book “How to Invest in Gold and Silver,” to help answer the five most common questions about buying gold.
Gold traders usually charge more than the “spot” price of gold, or the price at which it is listed on a commodity exchange. In general, avoid buying gold online through bidding sites; you can end up in a bidding war and paying more for a gold coin than it's worth. It is true that payment was rarely made in gold bars, but the gold certificates or gold coins that were used represented ingots. Owning stocks in a gold mining company or a gold ETF exposes you to the gold industry and, since gold doesn't necessarily move in conjunction with the stock market, it can help to further diversify your shares.
Since gold tends to perform well when the economy is in recession, most people buy it as a type of financial insurance policy to hedge their bets against the value of the dollar in the market. Investing in mining stocks is riskier than buying physical gold bars or coins, but the benefits can be more significant and include dividends that you won't get from buying a piece of gold. In his book How to Buy and Sell Gold and Silver Privately, Internet marketing expert and business coach Doyle Shuler explains many of the complexities surrounding taxes and buying gold. Gold-traded funds or mutual funds have more liquidity than those that hold physical gold and offer a level of diversification that is not offered by a single stock.