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Best Gold Dealers

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    Many investors buy gold to diversify their portfolios and secure their investments in unpredictable markets.

    “Gold has been thought of as a store of value for thousands of years, and people still place a lot of value on it today,” said Drew Rathgeber, owner of ProGoldTrader, a gold trading firm in Berlin, Maryland. “Gold's value tends to be more stable over time than the value of other assets like stocks and bonds, which can change a lot.”

    Buying gold online is possible for new and experienced investors alike, but it is important to vet your gold dealer first. Our team compared 25 online gold dealers to find the safest and best companies for you.

    Whether you are investing in gold to boost your retirement portfolio or just love the idea of collecting rare gold coins, the right dealer will ensure you pay the latest market price. Our picks for the best gold dealers are based on customer reviews, selection and online shopping experience, among other factors. Read our full methodology to learn how we picked companies.

    Our editor's top picks

    Note that our picks may be Authorized Partners who compensate us. This does not affect our recommendations or evaluations but may impact the order in which companies appear.

    Gold and other precious metals are an investment and carry risk. Consumers should be alert to claims that customers can make a lot of money in these or any investment with little risk. As with any investment, you can lose money and past performance is not a guarantee of future performance results. Consumers should also obtain a clear understanding of the fees associated with any investment before agreeing to invest.

    Why trust ConsumerAffairs?
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    More details about our top 5 gold dealer picks

    Best for retirement options

    Lear Capital

    Precious metal options
    Gold, silver and platinum
    Years in business
    Headquarters location
    Los Angeles, CA

    Lear Capital, with over two decades of experience in the industry, is our top choice for retirement options due to its diverse offerings and excellent customer service.

    Investors can diversify their portfolios by investing in both precious metals and gold IRAs. Investors can also find free retirement educational resources and a coin encyclopedia on the site.

    Lear Capital says it has served over 200,000 clients, offers real-time pricing for precious metals and will help you roll over your traditional IRA to a gold IRA.

    Reviewers praise Lear Capital for prioritizing their needs and creating a seamless experience. Many customers recommend Lear Capital to their friends and family.

    Michael from Texas said: “Lear walked me through the whole process. From start to finish. I had a ton of questions, and they were patient and knowledgeable. They did most of the leg work with my former 401K servicer and made the process hassle-free.”

    Lear Capital buys and sells physical gold, silver and platinum bars and coins. You can also purchase precious metals to add to your gold IRA and roll over your traditional IRA into a gold IRA.

    Best for fee transparency

    Oxford Gold Group

    Precious metal options
    Gold, silver, platinum and palladium
    Years in business
    Headquarters location
    Los Angeles, CA

    As a precious metals investment firm, Oxford Gold Group offers both bullion and gold IRA options.

    We recommend Oxford Gold Group because it provides a detailed breakdown of its fees upfront, and there are no hidden charges or surprising costs later down the line. We also appreciate that it explains the pricing methods in detail in its FAQ section.

    The common sentiment among reviewers was that representatives are patient and thorough and do not pressure customers into making hasty decisions.

    Texas reviewer Omid admitted not being well versed in buying gold but said, “They were more concerned with educating me and helping to understand the best way to invest and were super transparent about everything.”

    One of Oxford Gold Group’s primary offerings is the buying and selling of gold and silver bullion. The company also offers a range of gold, silver, platinum and palladium bars and coins, all of which are approved for IRA investment.

    It specializes in converting existing IRAs or eligible 401(k)s into gold or other precious metal IRAs.

    Best for IRA-approved coins
    Precious metal options
    Gold, silver, platinum and palladium
    Years in business
    Headquarters location
    Los Angeles, CA

    We recommend Orion Metal Exchange because it offers gold, silver, platinum and palladium coins for both personal purchase or to add to your precious metals IRA.

    The company stands out from the competition by offering live online product purchase pricing. This feature allows customers to see the real-time costs of their investments, ensuring full transparency in every transaction.

    Additionally, Orion Metal Exchange has a dedicated in-house IRA department to help guide buyers through these trickier purchases and rollovers.

    Customers appreciated the knowledge and helpfulness of the staff. Many praised the company for its professionalism, honesty and the lack of pressure to make purchases.

    Bernie from Wisconsin said: “I researched the other metal firms and found Orion to be reputable, responsive and professional. … I’m nearing retirement and moving a good percentage of my losing 401k into an Orion IRA has added a good comfort level seeing that my Orion IRA has held my asset value.”

    In addition to buying and selling, Orion Metal Exchange provides secure storage services for bullion bars, bullion coins and numismatic coins.

    Another unique offering from Orion Metal Exchange is its dedicated in-house IRA department, which helps investors open and manage gold IRAs.

    Best for gold coin options
    Precious metal options
    Gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rare coins
    Years in business
    Headquarters location
    Pasadena, CA

    Noble Gold Investments stands out as the best for gold coin options due to its extensive variety and flexibility in investment products.

    You can purchase both IRA-approved physical gold bars and gold coins for home delivery or for secured storage for your gold IRA. Noble Gold Investments also offers rare coins that many gold dealers don’t carry.

    A common praise from reviewers about Noble Gold Investments was how thorough the company is throughout the gold purchasing process.

    “As a first-time buyer, I appreciated Noble Gold's patience, professionalism, and kindness in guiding me through the process,” said Brian from Maryland. “Before signing on the proverbial dotted line, I fully understood the type of metal I was purchasing, how it would be stored, and the costs not only of buying and storage, but also of selling.”

    Noble Gold Investments caters to individuals looking to diversify their investment portfolios with gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

    One of the key services offered by Noble Gold Investments is the provision of gold IRAs. Additionally, it offers the option to buy physical gold and silver for home storage.

    Best for quick setup
    Precious metal options
    Gold and silver
    Years in business
    Headquarters location
    Seal Beach, CA

    Patriot Gold Group excels at guiding customers through the entire investment process — both for personal precious metal purchases and IRA-approved purchases and rollovers. Its easy enrollment process can be done within 24 hours. Plus, qualified IRA accounts will not have any fees for the life of the account.

    The company is praised for its clear explanations, prompt responses and assistance throughout the process of purchasing precious metals and setting up IRAs.

    David from Massachusetts said, “This was my first time dealing with [buying] coins and I was very pleased with the communication and how fast the process was.”

    Patriot Gold Group offers both gold and silver coins and bars with free shipping options. It also specializes in precious metal IRAs and IRA-approved products.

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      Gold dealers buyer’s guide

      “Gold is often seen as a way to protect yourself from inflation, which is when the prices of goods and services go up over time,” said Rathgeber of ProGoldTrader. “The price of gold usually goes up when the value of the dollar goes down. This can help protect the value of your U.S. dollar holdings.”

      He says that not only is gold thought of as a safe-haven asset, but it can give your portfolio some stability when the economy or markets are unstable.

      In this guide, you will learn how to find a reputable gold dealer and what to consider before purchasing gold and other precious metals.

      How to find reputable gold dealers online

      When comparing online gold dealers, look for ones with a clear refund and return policy. Most give you a window of at least three days to express dissatisfaction. Pay attention to whether there is a restocking fee and, if so, how much.

      Always make sure the dealer isn’t on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s RED List (Registration Deficient List) before you make a purchase.

      Other things to look for to ensure you find a reputable company include:

      • Established transaction history: One of the ways to determine whether you can trust a dealer is by looking at its transactions and customer reviews. Companies that have moved billions’ worth of metals have built up trust and good reputations. However, some customer reviews may be fabricated or otherwise dishonest, so make sure you don’t solely rely on those when deciding which company to use.
      • Physical headquarters: Even if you complete the whole transaction over the phone or on a computer, confirm that the online dealer has a physical headquarters listed somewhere. This makes it easier to contact the company if you have any issues. Avoid dealers who only list a P.O. Box.
      • Transparent pricing: Clear pricing on a company’s website is a plus, but this can be difficult to find (you might need to call a representative to get the most accurate and up-to-date prices). Companies that do not offer quick and transparent bid-ask prices can cause unfavorable delays that might result in a different price than you expected.
      • Risk disclosures: Any investment comes with some risk. The best gold dealers are upfront about the potential risks and realities of investing in precious metals, so look for a disclosure page that gives you the facts.
      • Payment options: Online gold dealers commonly accept payments by credit card, check, money order, wire transfer, PayPal and Bitcoin. Be sure that your dealer accepts your preferred payment method.

      » MORE: How to buy gold

      Gold dealer scams to avoid

      As with any industry, you'll want to be on the lookout for scams when comparing gold dealers. The most common scam is selling fake gold, especially for purchases online or over the phone. Avoid this by purchasing gold only from established dealers.

      Other scams might include:

      • Partial delivery: Some people purchase gold only to receive a portion of what they ordered. The scammer may disappear entirely or claim an order error and promise to deliver the rest, possibly for an additional shipping charge. Scammers know that trust is earned. Don't let your guard down because you receive what you expect the first time.
      • Unwarranted pricing: It is not uncommon for gold dealers to sell a piece for whatever someone will pay for it. The sales prices of the same coin can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars from one dealer to the next. Protect yourself by being knowledgeable about what you’re buying and whom you’re working with.

      » MORE: What is a good investment?

      What to know about buying gold online

      Online gold dealers typically sell bars or rounds that range from as small as one-tenth of an ounce to a kilogram. The standard quality of gold fineness is .999, or 99.9% pure. Gold in its purest form is too soft to handle, so an alloy like copper is added to keep the shape of the gold bar or round intact.

      Gold is a commodity
      Any basic good used in commerce is a commodity. Historically, gold and other precious metals (such as silver and palladium) have functioned as both currency and commodity.

      Gold is different from other commodities in that it can also have sentimental or collectible value, which makes pricing somewhat subjective. Gold is more valuable than copper, tin or lead because of its rarity, malleability and resistance to corrosion.

      Types of gold investments
      In addition to bullion and coins, some of the most popular gold investments include mining stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). With all gold investments, the ultimate goal is to see the value of the metals increase over time and earn a net profit .
      • Physical gold: Bullion can be purchased in the form of bars, ingots or coins made of gold. The U.S. Mint produces numismatic coins for collectors and proof coins for investors (in addition to circulating coins for commerce). Jewelry is another way to invest in gold — unique gold jewelry is often worth more than the value of the metal’s weight.
      • Mining stocks: Mining stocks are a way to invest in companies that source gold through mines. With mining stocks, the value of your investment is tied to the companies, as well as the value of gold. Raw gold is sourced from mines all over the world, including South Africa, Russia, China, Australia and parts of the United States.
      • Gold ETFs or mutual funds: Exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are traded on exchanges. Gold ETFs are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, SIX Swiss Exchange, London Stock Exchange, Bombay Stock Exchange and Euronext. Gold ETFs track the value of the physical gold behind them. Gold mutual funds are issued with ETFs as their underlying asset. For example, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) is a popular gold fund. For more, compare physical gold vs. ETFs .
      • Individual retirement accounts: Gold and silver can be included as an option for retirement planning. If you're interested in IRA options for investing in gold or silver, read more about gold IRAs .
      Cost of buying gold
      The spot price refers to the market price at which gold is bought and sold at any given time. In other words, it’s what you’d pay “on the spot.” The spot price of gold changes daily based on market fluctuations.

      When you buy gold, dealers charge a premium above the spot price (“premium over spot”). Prices fluctuate constantly, but you shouldn't pay more than a 5% or 6% markup above the spot on average. Dealers and brokers may also charge a range of fees, including commissions, transaction fees and shipping fees.

      • Transaction fees: Charging customers a transaction fee is standard in the industry. If price is your primary consideration, look for gold and silver dealers with the lowest possible transaction fee.
      • Shipping fees: Find out what the shipping costs are for your gold dealer before placing an order. Some dealers offer free shipping with a minimum purchase requirement. Shipping fees can make the cost of purchasing physical bullion more expensive.
      • Additional fees: Some companies charge an ongoing management fee, similar to what brokerages charge for investment portfolios. This fee is related to the storage and security of the bullion.

      Buying gold pros and cons

      Unlike paper money that can be overprinted and devalued, gold and other precious metals are tangible assets with naturally limited supplies. This helps keep the market value of gold stable, which makes it an attractive investment option for many people.

      Most people buy gold because it has historically held its value, which can protect against inflation. Precious metals may act as a hedge for storing wealth in times of economic and political uncertainty.

      Gold might be a pretty way to invest, but it’s not guaranteed to keep its value. Opponents of gold also don’t like that it isn’t a cash-generating asset. Compared with stocks, the long-term returns are relatively low.


      • Historically valuable
      • Portfolio diversification
      • Potential hedge against stock market


      • No dividend revenue
      • Relatively low long-term returns
      • Taxed as a collectible


      Are gold purchases reported to the IRS?

      All gold dealers must report gold and precious metal sales to the IRS. Some dealers are not obligated to report the sale of specific coins, though. The IRS uses Form 1099-B for certain bullion sales.

      Can you store gold in your home?

      Yes, you can store gold in your home. However, it's important to consider the risks, including theft and damage. If you choose to store gold at home, invest in a high-quality safe and consider adding the gold to your homeowner's insurance policy.

      Is it safe to buy gold online?

      Yes, it's generally safe to buy gold online, provided you choose a reputable dealer. Look for dealers that have been in business for several years and have positive reviews. Additionally, make sure any online platform you use has secure payment options.

      Where to find gold near me?

      The easiest way to find gold near you is to search for reputable gold dealers in your area. Alternatively, you can purchase gold online from trusted dealers like the ones listed in this guide.


      To make our selection for the top gold dealer companies, we analyzed over 3,000 customer reviews and overall ratings from ConsumerAffairs readers who have used an online gold dealer in the past three years.

      Customer ratings weighed these picks heavily, and we eliminated any company that had less than 50 reviews or lower than a four-star average rating in the past three years. Some other factors we considered include the following:

      • Fees and fee transparency: Since many gold dealers require potential clients to call in for the current prices, we relied on reviews to determine if customers thought the pricing was fair or unreasonable.
      • Availability: All of our top picks are based in California but serve customers across the U.S. A few picks also have international services.
      • Customer service: We considered the top-rated companies that had the most positive customer service ratings. While many gold dealers do not allow full online purchases, all of our top picks were praised by reviewers for the ease of purchase over phone or email.

      Article sources
      ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
      1. Goldhub, “Gold prices.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2021.
      2. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, “Customer Advisory: Beware of Gold and Silver Schemes Designed to Drain Your Retirement Savings.” Accessed Dec. 14, 2021.

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