Gold coins would probably be your best bet if your objective is to
play the market and you want to hold the actual metal in your hands.
Getting 24k grain back is a great option if you can use it to make
jewelry, but not so great if you want to hold it and be able to cash
it out quickly. When sending 24k grain in to a refiner for a cash
settlement, they have to handle it just like it’s karated scrap. They
aren’t going to pay you until they have assayed it and know exactly
what they’re buying. You might be able to sell 24k grain to a
manufacturing jeweler or trade shop, but they will want a
significantly better price than market. If they don’t know you, they
will likely be suspicious and will only buy it far below market value
(if at all). Coins on the other hand are always convertible, costing
slightly above market, but selling for somewhat less than market. In
any event, you will still have to find a willing buyer, and at a
perceived market peak, that may be difficult. Also, the more times
your gold changes hands and/or form, the more it’s going to cost you.
Another (and possibly better) way to play the market if you are
betting that gold hasn’t peaked yet is to refine your scrap for a
cash settlement and purchase shares in a gold stock (check out the
Dillon Gage and Kitco websites for ideas). If you have a brokerage
account you can sell it in seconds, although it will still cost you
the transaction fees and you’ll have to wait a week or so for a
As a rule of thumb, the faster you want or need to sell gold (or
anything else for that matter), the less you’re going get for it.
Just like everything else in life, there’s no free lunch.