Gold News


The thinking behind BullionVault

Safe, easy and low cost gold

It used to be very difficult for private individuals to find a secure, accessible and cost effective way of buying, storing, and later selling gold.

The big problem was that the narrow trading spreads of the professional bullion markets required settlement in 'Good Delivery Bars', so if you couldn't make delivery in these bars you were excluded from enjoying professional market prices.

These bars are both very large (usually 400 troy ounces [12.4kg]) and must have been kept continuously in recognized bullion vaults from the date of their original manufacture. So just having enough money to buy a bar or two was only half the problem solved. You needed a relationship with a formally recognised bullion vault, and generally they are not accessible to retail customers. The entry level was typically 15 - 20 big bars.

So the only route for retail buyers used to be small bars without the good delivery status, and this meant high dealing costs. Retail trading spreads were typically 4-6%, which compared to about 0.4% for main market gold.

BullionVault resolves this problem. It lets you buy a small part of the high-quality big bars in a way which eliminates the loss of value associated with buying small bars. The saving is substantial. It also guarantees your gold has never been tampered with.

As much (or as little) as you want

On BullionVault you buy whatever quantity of gold you like. Trading is in multiples of 1 gram, instead of the 12,500 grams of a normal good delivery bar. You choose your preferred ViaMat vault from London, New York or Zurich.

When you choose to sell you can find gold buyers at BullionVault, and whereas before they probably would have thought you an untrustworthy seller, now, with your gold having stayed in good delivery bar form within BullionVault, your gold's quality is guaranteed. So as a seller you'll benefit by having gold of professional market status which can be offered directly to new buyers on a publicly accessible order board. And both you and your buyer will save again, because neither of you pay shipping charges.

Cut out the middleman

But the biggest advantage of all is that you can cut out the middleman. BullionVault is an open marketplace in which private buyers can meet private sellers directly - without going through a trader. The buyer is assured that the gold is sound, and the seller is assured that the money will be paid. Their trade settles instantly, at the point of trade and because there is no middleman both get a better price.

Many BullionVault users never pay a trading spread. Many more routinely post prices inside the quote, narrowing the spread for everyone.

Other safety measures

There are other important things for you to find out about BullionVault to assure you of your safety. Rather than explain them all here in this brief introduction I'll refer you to the BullionVault "Help" service. You will see a button for this on the home page at

There's an entire section dedicated to your safety. Pay particular attention to :-

  • The included insurance
  • The Burglar ALarm
  • The single exit route for your money (to your linked bank account)
  • The multiple storage locations, and the ability to switch storage location in time of crisis

A better way to buy gold

Our objective is to make gold more secure, more competitive and more accessible: allowing private buyers to get themselves some bullion protection from what looks like an increasingly uncertain future. As well as comprehensive help our site has detailed answers to your queries on our 'Frequently Asked Questions' [FAQ] page, and just by reading what our customers say you will get a good feel for the service.

We also give you a free gram of Zurich vaulted gold so that you can experiment with dealing on our public order board. You can build your experience of how it all works before you fund your account, and entirely at our risk.

Paul Tustain is the founder and chairman of BullionVault.

See the full archive of Paul Tustain articles.

Please Note: All articles published here are to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it. Please review our Terms & Conditions for accessing Gold News.

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