Buying gold in the Internet age has never been easier. Hundreds of websites and platforms enable consumers worldwide to invest in this highly regarded “store of value.” Gold is both a time-tested means of diversification and the Earth’s most popular precious metal.

As additional options for buying gold proliferate, the concern over how to determine the safest way to buy gold online emerges. How do you know if a website is reputable and how do you know you are getting what you paid for?

This article guides you through the process of buying gold from reputable sources and provides insight into the best and safest ways to buy it. We’ll start by reviewing the reasons to buy gold, then dive into how to buy gold safely in today’s modern market.

Why do people buy gold?

Anyone in the world can probably come up with an answer (or two) to this question. Maybe you’ve bought a gold ring or use a cell phone (gold is used in electronics). Maybe you’ve read history books about gold coins being used as currency. It’s possible you have a gold filling in your mouth right now!

The point is, gold is widely used, widely recognized, and universally appreciated as a precious metal with many uses and long-term value. That’s why investors flock to it to diversify their portfolios. When you buy physical gold, you gain access to any number of benefits to gold ownership. If you get in a pinch, you can find a buyer almost anywhere on this earth, in real life or online.

Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons that people buy gold today:

  • To hedge against inflation – When times are tough, gold has historically held its value. This has compelled many investors to increase their gold holdings to hedge from fiat currencies and stock markets during times of volatility. These types of investors buy gold to protect and preserve their wealth.
  • Because it’s uncorrelated – Markets have demonstrated that when other assets like commodities, currencies, and stocks become volatile, often gold does not. This means it’s considered an uncorrelated asset and is the reason why it’s such a well-used hedge.
  • Gold is a popular store of value – Gold has been increasing in value steadily over time. This gives this precious metal a “set it and forget it” feature that long-term investors feel is an important part of their portfolio.
  • Convenience and simplicity – Not everyone is cut out to be a day trader or can comprehend complex global markets. But almost anyone can grasp what it is to buy and own gold. Additionally, gold is easy to come by – much more so than stocks, foreign currencies, or commodities.
  • It’s a liquid asset – There are plenty of ways to buy physical gold in a matter of minutes online. Additionally, there’s always someone who wants to buy it, either in person or online. People don’t normally think, “Man, how will I ever unload this gold bar?” It’s not heard of because gold markets are so well established and respected. Gold is as liquid as a rock could ever hope to be.
  • Because it’s comfortable – Gold is universally recognized as a safe-haven asset that helps protect wealth during periods of high volatility. But more than that, gold ownership is much more part of our collective intelligence. Owning gold is owning gold. It’s not some hyped-up investment package that you can’t understand or suspect might be too risky.

What are the safest ways to buy gold online?

Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why you might want to buy gold, let’s get right into how you would do so safely and securely in the Internet environment.

  • Well-established government mints have been selling gold since before the Internet. Now, they’ve joined the online arena and can be counted on to provide a safe and secure gold-buying experience. The governments of the US, Canada, South Africa, and others all have mints that have been long trusted and used for physical gold purchases.
  • There are many reputable dealers who make buying gold online a breeze. A simple Google search will lead you to the best of the best. Always be sure to thwart phishing scams by double-checking the correct website URL before you make a purchase.
  • Sometimes buying physical gold may pose security issues if you don’t have a secure location for storage. In this case, the option to buy “paper gold” in the form of certificates may be the best bet. Many companies will provide you with an authenticated certification of ownership while they take care of the gold storage.
  • Diversifying your gold holdings – If you have access to some storage but don’t want to store all of your gold at home, think about diversification. You can hold a portion of your gold bullion in a home safe or safe deposit box. Then, you can also invest in gold online through gold futures, certifications, or even precious metal-backed stable coins.
  • Make sure the gold bars you buy feature the weight, purity level, and manufacturer’s name on it. Always seek out gold bars that have 99.5% purity or more.
  • Contact your area’s Better Business Bureau to learn about a dealer or mint’s reputation. Another tip is to Google, “Is (insert name of company) a scam?”
  • Make sure all fees and costs are transparent to you, the investor. With so many online options for buying gold today, you only have to spend a little time to be a savvy comparative gold shopper.

Buying gold online in today’s digital age has opened up gold investing to millions of people. While they may still be able to buy gold through a pawn shop or at an ATM in Las Vegas, buying online is becoming more comfortable and thus the go-to option for investors like you.