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What Is Bullion?

Author: Ian Davis - Bullion Manager

Published: 19 Apr 2018

Last Updated: 9 Jul 2020


Many websites offer a definition of bullion, and we will start with the Oxford English dictionary.

What Is Bullion?

Oxford English Dictionary 

Gold or silver in large amounts or in the form of bars.


Bullion is gold, silver, or other precious metals in the form of bars, ingots, or specialized coins. Typically, bullion is used for trade on a market. The word "bullion" comes from the French word bouillon, which meant "boiling", and was the term for the activity of a melting house.


Bullion is gold and silver that is officially recognized as being at least 99.5% pure and is in the form of bars or ingots. To create bullion, gold first must be discovered by mining companies and removed from the earth in the form of gold ore, a combination of gold and mineralized rock. The gold is then extracted from the ore with the use of chemicals or extreme heat. The resulting pure bullion is also called "parted bullion." Bullion that contains more than one type of metal is called "unparted bullion."

Chards Coin and Bullion Dealer

The Chards Definition of Bullion

Bullion is a term used to describe precious metals such as gold and silver which are bought and sold at or close to the value of its metal content (intrinsic value). Bullion can be bought and sold as both coins and bars. Investing in bullion, as opposed to buying coins for their numismatic interest or its collectable value, is the safest and cheapest way to invest in gold. 

Gold and Silver Bullion Coins

A lot can change in the course of business and a lifetime. Learn more about the past 50 years of the bullion market in our intriguing blog. We discuss the changes we have observed in over 50 years of trading. It might just help with some of your investment decisions. 

Further Reading

You may wish to view all of our articles on our gold guide.

You may wish to view all of our articles on our silver guide.

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