The spot gold price in British Pounds updates live on this chart. It tracks the spot price for gold bullion settled in the UK, which is the global benchmark for valuing gold deals made around the world today.
Where does the live spot gold rate on this chart come from? Today's spot price is the average gold rate being quoted by bullion dealers in the wholesale market. They trade large gold bars for settlement at current values, rather than in the future from now.
By convention, these dealers quote spot prices for gold stored in London – heart of the world's wholesale market. Different locations, such as New York, Singapore or Zurich, are then priced at a premium or discount to that UK spot rate.
Most importantly, each spot-market dealer quotes their own rates to buy gold or sell it, and each deal is done directly with one client at a time, one on one.
So unlike a share price on the stock market, this live, ever-changing gold price is not created by an official exchange or electronic trading system such as the UK's London Stock Exchange or the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). Instead, the spot gold price is in fact a blend of different gold prices quoted by thousands of bullion-bank dealers working around the world.
None of these banks will necessarily deal at the spot gold price you see on the chart above (although they will all herd around it, watching each other's quotes to make sure they stay competitive). There are also many subtly different versions of the UK spot gold price, each one built from a different mix of quoted gold rates and data feeds.
BullionVault's gold price chart, for example, takes data from multiple sources covering hundreds of physical gold dealers worldwide. It also shows you the average mid-point of their spot quotes to buy or to sell gold. So this market-leading chart is only a guide. It doesn't show you an exact price or value for gold. No spot gold chart does.
Starting in Sydney, Australia each morning – and then moving onto Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Mumbai, Zurich, London, New York and finally California's business hours – the world's spot gold market is what's known as "Over The Counter" (OTC).
In this OTC market, each gold buyer and seller works directly with the other, and each individual deal – often still agreed over the telephone – sets a unique gold price and quantity. This is very different to buying and selling equities through a stock-market exchange such as the NYSE in New York.
Electronic trading exchanges show your order to everyone else using that platform, and your deal is cleared by the company running the exchange. This means that it accepts the shares from the seller, and it transfers them to the buyer. The exchange also guarantees to transfer shares to the buyer, and pay money to the seller, even if the other party fails to deliver.
Spot gold trading is different. It sees the buyer and seller first research each other's credit and financial standing, signing an agreement to do business. Each deal is then a private trade between themselves. Nothing is standardized in this spot gold market besides the high quality of the Good Delivery gold bars that change hands. So as a result, the world's gold dealers also lack a single, market-wide spot price.
That's one reason the LBMA Gold Price exists. Formerly known as the ‘Fix’, this benchmark has run daily since 1919, broken only by WWII. It offers a single UK gold value twice a day.
This 'fixing' price is found by gathering together client orders from across the market. Using the current spot gold price as a starting point, different gold values are then tried – higher or lower – looking for the rate where the total current demand to buy gold at this 'fixing' auction meets the supply now for sale.
Private investors like you can now access this gold market direct, buying and selling at the UK gold benchmark through BullionVault. Or trade live at current spot gold prices using our award-winning Order Board online.
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