Help: FAQs, overviews and step by step guides

Buy gold, silver and platinum

BullionVault offers different ways to buy (and sell) bullion.

  • You can buy and sell through our live markets. This is the most popular way to buy and sell through BullionVault, letting you trade with other users in open competition, setting your own price for bullion already secured inside the vault. The rest of this page describes how to do this.
  • Or you can place an order at the Daily Price set at the global benchmark prices used in the professional wholesale markets and published on the London Bullion Market Association’s website. This provides a simple way to buy for people who want the reassurance of receiving an industry-recognized price.
  • Thirdly, regular savers who want to build up gold holdings but do not want to manage their gold purchases actively may prefer our Regular Gold Investment Plan.

There are four mechanisms for buying bullion on BullionVault’s markets.

  1. Investing your money balance in gold, silver or platinum
  2. Grabbing an opportunity from the Order Board screen
  3. Grabbing an opportunity from the Market Spread screen
  4. Using the Market Depth screen

Or try to trade at a better price by patiently offering attractive prices to others

Investing your money balance in gold, silver or platinum

This is a simple way to use all your available cash to buy bullion on BullionVault’s markets.

How to use your cash balance to buy gold,silver or platinum

Step 1. Make sure you are logged in. Press ACCOUNT and then click the BALANCE sub-menu option.
Step 2.

You will see your available cash balance Currency. Click on the 'Buy at best price' drop down list, and click the vault you want to own your bullion in.

The order panel will be loaded assuming the use of all of the available balance of the currency you selected.

In a market where other people are currently quoting prices the price and the approximate order value will be set for you at reasonable values. If these are not loaded there is no current price quoted by sellers, and you will need to decide your price.

No cash available? You cannot proceed yet. Check out how to fund your account, or if you need to cancel previous orders to release their reserved cash go to HISTORY >ORDERS select an open buy order and from the order panel and KILL ORDER.

Step 3. Adjust your Price and/or the Quantity as required.
Step 4. When you're happy with your order press the BUY/BID button, and CONFIRM, as for a normal order entry. Then look below for what happens next.

Grabbing an opportunity from the Order Board

The order board lets you watch and grab available opportunities as they arise. To do this you'll need both quick reactions and available resources. You'll need available currency when you wish to buy, and available gold in any vault you wish to sell from. Otherwise your patience will only be rewarded with an 'insufficient funds' error when your order is submitted!

How to use the order board to trade

Step 1. Make sure you are logged in. Press BUY/SELL to get to the order board.
Step 2. Use the Edit markets button to control which vaults and currencies you see and so focus on the markets you're interested in.
Step 3. You might also choose to get a live price chart monitor running. Lots of bullion prices from all over the world are fed into BullionVault's real-time price charts. These can give you a sniff of a potentially rising market and may offer a pattern which you think indicates a buying signal.
Step 4. Now watch. Your order board screen will refresh itself every few seconds.
Step 5. Spotted an opportunity? The race is on! Click a gold brick to buy gold (or a silver brick to buy silver, a blue one to buy platinum or a green one to sell for cash), and the system will load what you've clicked straight into the order panel. Then press the BUY/BID (or SELL/OFFER) button, check and CONFIRM. Then look below for what happens next.

Grabbing an opportunity from the Market Spread screen

Here's another way for the predatory trader to get to work. You might see the US Dollar price rising in Zurich and falling in London. It might be something fundamental, but then again it might just be a buyer bidding up for Zurich gold, and no local seller, while a seller is offering cheap bullion in London, with no local buyer. That's an opportunity for those with the courage and resources to take a quick profit by selling into Switzerland and buying from London. Take care though! You are now moving into areas of trader's risk. It's possible that you'll only get one side of your trade done.

The Market Spread helps show this type of opportunity and gives you the opportunity to respond quickly.

How to use the market spread to trade

Step 1. Make sure you are logged in. Press BUY/SELL to get to the order board. Market spreads is an option in the Views dropdown menu.
Step 2. Make sure your preferred currency is selected.
Step 3. Now watch. Your market spread screen will refresh itself every few seconds, or when you press the refresh button. What you will notice is that there are often different prices in different places. This is usual in bullion markets, because the cost of delivery in each location is different. What you are looking out for is things which get unusually out of line. Maybe the spread is too narrow, or a given location is looking too cheap. That's your chance.
Step 4. You can fill out your order by just clicking on the bar which you think is out of line. Then press the BUY/BID (or SELL/OFFER) button, check and CONFIRM. Then look below for what happens next.

Using the Market Depth screen

Some people use the market depth screen as an indicator of future price movements.

Get there by pressing BUY/SELL to get to the order board and then clicking Market depth in the Views dropdown menu.

A deeper market is one in which you can buy or sell more bullion. The longer the yellow lines the more gold there is about hoping to be bought. The longer the green lines the more cash there is about, chasing gold. (For silver markets dark grey lines indicate the amount of silver to be bought, and for platinum light blue lines.)

The most competitive prices are only available for a limited quantity of gold (or silver, or platinum), next to the middle grey line on the screen. As the terms improve for your prospective counterparties the quantity of bullion you can trade (the depth) increases too. In other words if you'll pay a bit more you can buy more bullion and if you'll accept a bit less you can sell more of your bullion.

Pay particular attention to the cumulative and logarithmic scales of this graphic.

  • The cumulative figure means that for each new price - away from the central grey strip - the depth includes all more competitively priced gold.
  • The logarithmic scale means that each additional increment on the horizontal scale multiplies the market depth by 10. This allows the screen to show scales from a few grams to 100 kilograms.

This view can be a useful indicator of likely future price moves. The current price is what you can trade at now, but if this chart is predominantly gold it shows lots of gold being offered, and not much cash being offered. The market is awash with gold at the current price. The chances are that the green (cash) being offered by buyers will run out before the orange (bullion) being offered by sellers, indicating a likely price fall. Conversely if the graphic is predominantly green - indicating the market is awash with cash - the suggestion is that the price will rise. You must decide.

How to use the market depth to trade

Step 1. Make sure you are logged in. Press BUY/SELL to get to the order board and then click the Market depth option in the Views dropdown menu.
Step 2. You have to choose one currency and one vault. You do this from the drop down boxes at the upper left of your screen. You also need to specify a price interval and number of rows - which defines the sensitivity of the graphic. For US Dollars 20 is often a sensible price interval, and 16 is a good number of rows.
Step 3. You might also choose to get a live price chart monitor running. Lots of bullion prices from all over the world are fed into BullionVault's real-time price charts. These can give you a sniff of a potentially rising market and may offer a pattern which you think indicates a buying signal.
Step 4. Now watch. Your order board screen will refresh itself every few seconds, or when you press the refresh button.
Step 5. Spotted an opportunity? The race is on! Click the gold/silver/blue line (or the green one), and the system will load what you've clicked straight into the order panel. Then press the BUY/BID (or SELL/OFFER) button, check and CONFIRM. Then look below for what happens next.

What happens next?

  • You will probably receive a response in the order panel saying either 'Your order has been matched' or 'Your order is now open'. Other messages are possible, but less likely.
  • A part matched order will tell you 'Your order is now open' and the order panel will show what percentage of your order has been matched.
  • We send you an email for each execution. There might be quite a lot of these, because if your order is large there may be lots of smaller orders matching with you. These emails are supposed to be a courtesy, but can be annoying if you get too many. We also send a single contract - again by email - when your order is completed or cancelled. You will only get one contract per order you place, and it will be for the whole amount you traded as a result of your order.
  • If your order is to be posted on the order board you may see any unexecuted part of your order come up as a new bid on the green side of the order boards. Remember, as a buyer you're advertising to sellers.
  • Also remember there are bots out there. It's quite possible that someone's computer is bidding too, and when it sees you beating it on price it starts to compete with you to bid higher. Don't be too surprised if you're not the best bid for long.
  • As usual you can monitor the success of your order from the HISTORY > ORDERS screens. Sometimes it's best to monitor what's happening on the ORDER BOARD itself, because you'll see if anyone is bidding up against you.
  • If you decide you want to push the purchase through you'll need to withdraw your bid by killing it from the HISTORY > ORDERS screens and replacing it with one at a higher price.