Bars of gold have been a standard and time-tested method of accumulating and measuring wealth, but there is not a single standard gold bar. Gold bars come in a variety of weights.
The most common weight used for bars of gold is 1 kg, or 35.2 ounces. One kg gold bars usually are not seen in the brick form, but rather in a flatter bar form, resembling the shape of a chocolate bar. Investors and others seeking to accumulate wealth prefer this form of gold bar because its compact shape allows much wealth to be stored in a tight space.
Chinese Gold Bars
Chinese gold bars, or tael bars, are found in weights up to 12 ounces. These gold bars are found and traded predominantly in Singapore, Taiwan and other Chinese-speaking countries. Unlike European gold bars, tael bars have much different shapes than a rectangular bar. The most common shapes include a doughnut-like shape, with a hole in the middle of an otherwise circular bar, a boat-shaped bar and a biscuit-shaped bar.
Manufacturing of Gold Bars
Gold bars can be produced by two methods: casting and minting. A cast gold bar is made when melted gold is poured into a mold to achieve the desired shape and weight. A minted gold bar is made when the bar is cut from a larger sheet of gold to a size that depends on the desired weight. Every gold bar produced also bears the seal of its manufacturer, which is imprinted by a press.
Indian Gold Bars
The tola bar, or the Indian gold bar, normally weighs 3.75 oz. However, the tola gold bars are not manufactured in India, but in Europe. The name merely refers to the Indian unit of weight that the gold bars use. Smugglers like tola bars because unlike other forms of gold bars, tola bars do not bear any sort of serial number or stamp indicating its manufacturer. More conventional uses of tola bars include marriage necklaces in Pakistan.
Pakistani Gold Bars
The types of gold bars cast in Pakistan do not have a single standard weight. Rather than being made by large manufacturers, these bars of gold are cast by small backyard manufacturers. Even though its location of production seems rather hazy, the purity of the gold found in these bars is about 99.9 percent. The method of production of Pakistani gold bars, or tezabi bars, has remained the same since the 7th century B.C.