How to Invest in Gold in Germany

How to Invest in Gold in Germany
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In Germany, there are many ways for investors to buy gold. While licensed brokerage firms and banks offer a variety of shares from gold investment funds and gold mining companies as well as gold certificates proving bullion ownership, many coin shops, jewelers, pawnshops and precious metal traders sell gold in various forms, such as coins, bars or jewelry. Nearly all forms of gold investment require the buyer to pay a fee, either for storage or for a transaction. In Germany, gold is traded in Euros. The price is determined by the London Precious Metal Exchange and always given per ounce.

Gold Investments in Germany

Weigh gold coins, bullion, bars or gold jewelry if you want to buy from a coin shop, jewelry store, pawnshop or bank. Gold offered for sale in these brick-and-mortar outlets is presented to the buyer on a counter. If you do not trust the seller´s scale, you may bring your own and compare.

Pour a few drops from an acid test kit on the piece of gold you want to buy in order to determine the gold´s purity, which is measured in karat. Scratch the moist spot with granite rock from the test kit. The spot will briefly change colors, ranging from bright yellow to green. All test kits have a color scale printed on the inside of the lid, listing which color corresponds with the correct karat number. You may purchase and use a gold test kit sold at drug stores, or use the one supplied by the jewelry store, coin shop or bank. If you agree with the seller´s weight and purity measurements, the final price is calculated from the actual price of gold at the London Precious Metal Exchange at the time of contract, which is when both parties agree to use the Euro amount per ounce at the same time.

All over-the-counter gold sales in Germany must be registered, and both parties must present a government-issued photo ID and a business license number. This information is entered into a written sales contract. Almost all shops, stores and banks have contract forms in stock. The transaction is reported to the government by way of handing a copy of the sales contract to the Ministry of Economics. Sales of gold are not subject to VAT (Value Added Taxes) or any other taxes.

Call your licensed brokerage firm or bank to buy into gold investment funds or stocks from gold mining operations. You can also buy bullion by purchasing certificates proving ownership of a certain amount of gold. The advantage of this method is obvious: no storage costs or risks are involved.


  • Bear in mind that all gold investments will cost the investor money. Coins usually command a 10 percent mint fee, covering the costs for creating designs and operating a mint. Gold jewelry may have to be melted to obtain clean gold, often other metals or even diamonds are worked into the pieces. Coins, bars, jewelry or all other forms of solid gold need to be stored in a safe place, such as rented safe-deposit boxes. Brokerage firms and banks charge transaction fees for buying and selling gold, usually 10 percent of the traded sum.


  • Beware of fly-by-night gold traders operating from makeshift counters set up in bars or pubs. They often do not carry a proper business license, use rigged scales and offer rock-bottom prices. Still, they are found in many German nightclubs or bars, prying on sellers who got a little light-headed due to their consumption of alcoholic beverages and might be in need of some quick cash.