What is the “spot gold price”, and what does it mean?
The spot gold price refers to the price of gold for immediate delivery. In other words, if you walk into a bullion dealer off the street and take out your wallet, the spot gold price is close to what you’ll pay for a gold coin or bar.
You’ll pay a little more than the spot price, because manufacturing and distribution costs are added to the cost of the coin or bar, plus a small commission for the dealer.
The spot gold market is active and trading for almost 24 hours a day. (Unlike the New York Stock Exchange, for example, which closes overnight.)
This may seem a little weird at first. How can gold be traded and priced around the clock?
It’s because of the time differences between major trading centers around the world.
There is almost always a location somewhere in the world that is actively taking orders for gold, including New York, London, Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Zurich.
This in itself is interesting, as it illustrates just how much gold is a global asset, with a common value anywhere in the world.
When you are buying gold to own it, the spot price is the price to watch for. Another gold chart you might see is titled “gold futures”. The futures price will concern you if you are buying gold shares, but not if you are buying physical gold coins or bars.
For coins and bars you are interested in the price right now, and that is the spot gold price.