When you’re looking into gold investment possibilities, you might be wondering what the difference is between actual and ‘paper gold.’ Gold has become a wonderful investment option due to the modern paper fiat currency economic system. Gold is always money, regardless of the time or place.

Originally, gold was solely owned by the wealthy. During the Great Depression, certain countries, including the United States, made it illegal for ordinary citizens to own gold. Governments have typically kept a tight grip on the gold price.

Gold has become a more appealing investment alternative for more individuals as the middle class has grown, as have stock exchanges and the Internet. The difference between paper gold (a stock or ETF certificate) and physical gold must be understood by the savvy investor (coins and bars.) Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Gold’s Value is Well-Recognized

With the Spanish looking for Aztec gold and the California Gold Rush, gold has been the standard for a long time. A small piece of gold can be worth a lot of money due to its beauty and durability.

Nearly 2,700 years ago, the first gold currency was created in Lydia as a means for merchants to exchange products. Gold coins have been used to facilitate international trade since then. As a symbol of their prosperity, banks around the world keep gold bullion bars in their vaults.

Gold numismatic coins, bullion, and gold bars are available to investors. At one time, numismatics were accepted as legal money for the purchase of goods and services. Gold bullion coins typically have a higher fineness of gold, such as.999 or.9999. Coins are well-known and well-liked. Gold bullion bars can also be purchased by banks and investors. Individuals can also buy bullion coins and bars as part of an IRA, according to the IRS (Roth or Traditional).

Advantages of Physical Gold

For industrial reasons, jewelry, and coinage, gold is always valuable. You have a form of cash when you have a tangible gold coin or bar. Physical gold can be remelted or sold to a local jeweler at any time. Physical gold offers protection against systemic failure. Physical gold, unlike paper currencies, equities, bonds, and mutual funds, cannot lose value.

Disadvantages of Physical Gold

The primary disadvantage of physical gold is the storage fee required for a secure vault to hold your metals.

What is Paper Gold?

Ownership of a “option” to buy actual gold, ownership in a gold mining firm, or ownership of a “option” to profit from a price movement of gold in an Exchange-Traded Fund are all examples of paper gold (ETF). The ownership or possession of the underlying actual gold is rarely the case.

Let’s pretend that your friend is unable to pay his half of the restaurant bill. You give him the money, but you make him sign a “IOU” on a piece of paper. It’s a loan, after all. Because it is a promissory note or a “promise to pay,” paper gold is similar. It isn’t the money itself.

When you buy a gold mining stock, you get the right to receive the company’s dividends. The Gold SPDR is an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that allows you to profit from rising gold prices.

Advantages of Paper Gold

Because you can profit by buying calls and puts on paper gold assets, they can increase far faster than physical gold. The majority of the world’s money is in the form of paper or electronic assets. These can represent significant sums of money.

Disadvantages of Paper Gold

It could take a decade for a gold mine to become operational. Profits are expected from gold mining equities as the price of gold rises. They will not invest in new mines if gold remains flat because it is not profitable.

A gold ETF’s value must be in line with the price of gold. As a result, it may participate in activities such as selling actual gold when the price falls and buying physical gold when the price rises. The value of a gold price fluctuation can be diluted as a result of this.

The final disadvantage is that you do not possess the physical gold when you use paper gold. You can create as much paper gold as you want, but it has no value unless it is backed up with genuine gold. Paper gold is also subject to “counterparty risk.”

What is Counterparty Risk?

A debtor’s failure to repay a loan is always a possibility. The counterparty risk of not receiving your fair market value back with paper gold exists. What happens if the person who owns your asset declares bankruptcy? “The risk to each party of a contract that the counterparty will not live up to its contractual obligations,” according to the definition of counterparty risk.