Disclaimer: Some or all of the companies listed on this page my provide compensation to us. This is how we maintain our free service for consumers that visit us. Compensation & hard research determine where and how companies appear below.
The more time passes, the more the importance of precious metals becomes clear. Gold and silver have been precious commodities for thousands of years across multiple cultures and continents. They also perform very specifically in relation to inflation and the stock market. When people are stressed about economic turbulence, they turn toward tangible assets like gold.
But the precious metals industry is also known for having dishonest members. If you buy physical gold, you want to make sure that the company has a strong sense of integrity. They should have reasonable prices, helpful information, and a commitment to customer service.
If you're a beginning investor who wants to buy physical gold, these are our top picks. All of these companies offer both cash purchases and gold IRA services. So if you want to convert a small portion of your retirement into silver and gold, you can.
Best Places To Buy Physical Gold - Our Recommendation
Goldco is one of the largest and most successful precious metals firms in the US, serving people in every state. While they mainly focus on precious metals IRAs, they also have products available to buy with cash. Not all of their inventory is IRA-eligible, but the vast majority is.
Goldco has been operating since 2006 and has earned an incredible amount of respect. The company is given top marks by the BCA and BBB, as well as accredited by both. All across third party websites and consumer watchdogs, there are positive reviews from satisfied customers. In fact, Goldco does everything possible to respond to negative feedback and solve issues for the customer.
If you use Goldco's IRA services, you will be treated to the smoothest setup in the industry. In addition to doing the paperwork with you, your representative will talk to everyone else on your behalf. That means that you never need to reach out to your custodian, your depository, or any other involved parties. The only person you have to talk to is your dedicated rep.
The application to get started is available online and can be filled out within about five minutes. From there, a company rep will call you and talk to you about your needs. You'll determine whether an IRA is right for you, what steps you need to take, and what products would be best to purchase once the account is funded.
Goldco also has an incredibly straightforward fee structure. You need to have at least $15,000 to invest if you're opening an IRA, and some sources suggest that $25,000 is better. You'll pay $50 for the setup assistance and a wire transfer fee of $30, for a total of $80 up front. Then you'll pay $80 annually to your custodian for maintenance, plus $100 for storage. Segregated storage will cost more.
These are some of the lowest fees in the entire industry. Since they're not percentage-based, you never need to worry that you're losing more money as you earn more. You always know exactly how much you're going to spend.
Pros & Cons of Goldco
#2. Augusta Precious Metals
Augusta Precious Metals is another one of the top gold dealers in the industry. They're the only gold IRA company that can rival Goldco in terms of customer service and resources. But they have a hefty entrance fee of $50,000 that can be offputting for some customers. If you don't intend to convert your entire retirement into gold, you might not have that kind of money to spend.
Augusta's unerring focus on education helps to set the company apart. Not only do they have a huge number of online resources, but they even host regular webinars. You can attend these sessions to work one-on-one with a trained economist, asking whatever questions you have. Whether it's about your own retirement, the global economy, the precious metals industry, the future, or something else, there's no question too niche.
That's actually another part of what makes Augusta so unique. The company is divided into five specialized teams. Each team is in charge of a separate part of the IRA and purchase process. So every person knows all the ins, outs, and weird secrets about their specific niche. If you ask a question and your representative doesn't know the answer, someone else in the company will.
Once you do make a purchase, Augusta offers a lifetime of support. It doesn't matter if you never purchase more precious metals from them again. You'll be given an account where you can see your holdings and their value over time. This dashboard also makes it easy to contact your account representative or to ask questions of the company's analysts.
You'll even get ongoing insights about the economy emailed to you. If one of the company's experts believes that something important is happening globally, you'll be informed so you can decide whether to take action.
Pros & Cons of Augusta Precious Metals
#3. American Hartford Gold
American Hartford Gold is another company that's mainly built around precious metals IRAs. But some of their inventory can only be bought with cash, since it doesn't adhere to the IRS purity standards for IRA gold. Most of their IRA-eligible coins are a few years old, rather than being the latest minted option.
That's because American Hartford Gold fills a unique niche in this industry. They work with people who want to invest in IRA gold on a shoestring budget. There aren't any extra fees imposed to get your account set up, and there's no minimum to invest, either. You can put as much or as little as you want into your account.
All of the other companies on this list have minimum investment thresholds for IRAs, though the minimums for cash purchases are different. American Hartford Gold is the only one that doesn't have any minimums or expectations. They connect you to high quality bullion at affordable prices, and when you're ready to liquidate, they buy it back from you.
The company also runs promotions for new investors. These can vary depending on the day, but sometimes they involve waiving annual fees for several years. There are sometimes promotions where you can get a certain amount back in pure silver if you make a qualified purchase.
American Hartford Gold also has a price match guarantee. If you can find the same product at a lower price and get that offer in writing, then American Hartford Gold will match it. Keep in mind that it must be the same coin, year, and quality. Since most of AHG's products are a little older, there aren't many competing prices on the market.
This is definitely the company to use if you want to buy physical gold, but you're concerned about the overall cost.
Pros & Cons of American Hartford Gold
#4. Birch Gold Group
Birch Gold Group has a great track record, with top ratings across multiple review websites. Hundreds of customers have written about how pleased they are by the services. They say that the staff pay attention and are patient when it comes to answering questions.
When you look at the company's inventory, you will find one of the most diverse options on the list. There is a full scope of not just gold and silver, but also palladium and platinum. While the palladium and platinum options are more limited, every type of metal comes in various weights.
Like with Goldco, signing up for an IRA with Birch Gold Group costs $50 plus a $30 fee for the transfer. So you're paying $80 in total. Also like Goldco, the custodian maintenance costs $80 yearly, while the storage costs $100 yearly. This includes the price of insurance on everything in your vault.
If you spend at least $50,000 when getting started, Birch Gold Group will cover your entire first year of fees. There's a minimum of $10,000 to use the IRA services.
Birch Gold works with Brinks Global Services and the Delaware Depository to store your items. If you invest in an IRA, you will need to use one of these depositories. If you make a cash purchase, you can have it delivered wherever you want. But opening a vault is a good idea because of the security, insurance, and third party audits.
Birch Gold Group has been endorsed by several commentators and influencers, the most prominent of whom is Ben Shapiro. They also have an A+ BBB rating and 4.9 stars on Trustpilot, averaging several hundred reviews. Essentially, every customer that's worked with Birch Gold has had great things to say about it. Their services are basic, but their inventory is massive.
Pros & Cons of Birch Gold Group
#5. Noble Gold
Noble Gold is a company that focuses on precious metals as security. The idea is that because precious metals are tangible, decentralized assets, they fill a niche that other assets can't. Not only are gold and silver an important hedge against inflation in retirement, but they're also vital for emergency planning.
Noble Gold has created a series of products called Royal Survival Packs. You invest a certain dollar amount, and the company will send you a pack of hand-picked bullion that's easy to liquidate during an emergency. At the upper tiers, the bullion should be enough to cover a family for months or to finance an escape from a volatile situation.
Another part of this service is the Ambassador pack. This functions differently from any of the other tiers. Instead of having a package shipped to you, you will have the metals stored in a depository in the US. This option is built for international consumers who want to stow untraceable wealth in the US. Maybe you have emergency plans to come to the US if need be.
In addition to all this, Noble Gold does offer the traditional IRA services. Their approach might not be as streamlined as some others on the list, but it is still extremely solid. A representative will help you with your application and with communicating with your custodian. There are also tons of depositories available through Noble Gold, many of them situated in international areas.
Noble Gold only endorses segregated storage for your gold. Non-segregated is still heavily audited and secure, but the company leaders don't believe that you should take that risk. All of the storage options available through the company are segregated vaults. Some are located throughout different regions of the US, and others are located as far away as Singapore and the Philippines.
Pros & Cons of Noble Gold
The right gold company for you will depend a lot on your needs. It depends on whether you're looking for an IRA, numismatics, investment grade bullion, or something else entirely.
Our top pick overall is Goldco. They're an industry leader for a reason, boasting an excellent reputation and best-in-class customer service. If you're specifically looking for an IRA, they're the most ideal choice hands down. They handle all of the paperwork and communication on your behalf, and they're less expensive than Augusta.
If you're more interested in survival and disaster planning, you might gravitate toward Noble Gold. People who want an in-depth look at the industry and economy will appreciate Augusta Precious Metals's educational offerings. Birch Gold is ideal for anyone seeking a lowkey investment. American Hartford Gold is designed for people who want to invest in gold on a budget, as it has no minimums or extra fees to open an IRA or make cash purchases.