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When it comes to buying silver and gold bars, you may notice some are stamped with the word “Comex-approved.” This designation is important for precious metals investors to understand.

Comex sets standards for gold and silver quality, meeting specifications that ensure your bars are legitimate and investment-grade.

In this article, we’ll explain what Comex approval entails and why it matters for commodity metals investors.


What is the Comex Exchange?

Comex stands for the Commodity Exchange Inc., part of the CME Group, which also operates the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and other global markets.

Comex operates as a commodity futures exchange where traders can buy and sell futures contracts for commodities such as precious metals, oil, and natural gas.

This includes metals futures trading, including gold, silver, platinum, and copper. The exchange is primarily known for its gold and silver futures trading volumes.

For physical commodities like gold and silver bars, Comex also lists approved brands and refineries whose products meet the exchange’s quality standards. Comex has strict requirements that bullion must satisfy before being considered “Comex-approved.”


Requirements for Comex Approval

To receive Comex approval, silver and gold bars must be produced by an approved refiner. The Comex exchange maintains a worldwide searchable directory of approved gold and silver refiners.

Some of the top Comex-approved refiners include PAMP, Johnson Matthey, Asahi, and Metalor.

Bars must also meet gold or silver purity requirements, weight, and bar markings. Here are the key specifications:

Gold Bars:

  • Minimum 9950 fineness (99.5% pure gold)
  • Weights between 1 troy ounce and 400 troy ounces
  • Serial number and refiner marks

Silver Bars:

  • Minimum 999 fineness (99.9% pure silver)
  • Weights between 1000 troy ounces and 100 troy ounces
  • Serial number and refiner marks

Buyers can easily confirm the authenticity of their Comex-approved bullion through the comprehensive specifications provided. Ongoing inspections of approved refineries by Comex are conducted to ensure consistent adherence to standards.

Additionally, each bar undergoes individual inspection before being traded on the commodities exchange.


This article may pique your interest: Silver Prices - An Investor’s Guide


Benefits of Purchasing Comex-Approved Bars

Now that you understand what Comex is and its requirements, let’s discuss the potential benefits of buying Comex-approved products for precious metals investors:

1. Guaranteed Quality

Comex approval ensures that bars meet high purity, weight, and manufacturing standards. The detailed marking requirements make it easy for investors to authenticate their bars. Thus, you can have confidence that you are purchasing legitimate, investment-grade bullion.

2. Ease of Resale


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Due to their trusted branding, Comex-approved silver and gold bars are readily accepted in the resale market. Major precious metals dealers recognize Comex refiner marks, which helps when reselling or trading in your bars. This makes Comex bars more liquid than other branded or custom-poured silver and gold.

3. Narrow Bid/Ask Spreads

Because they are highly tradable, Comex bars typically have narrower bid/ask spreads than non-standard products. This can result in lower trading costs for investors. Dealers are willing to pay higher buy prices and sell at lower premiums because they can easily resell Comex bars.

4. Transparency in Pricing

Comex gold and silver futures serve as global pricing benchmarks for spot bullion. Buying Comex bars provides direct exposure to this transparent futures pricing. Investors can track the value of their bars using the live futures spot prices.

5. Secure Storage and Transport

Vaults, transport carriers, and institutions worldwide universally recognize Comex-approved bars. Their trusted branding allows secure and insured storage in reputable wealth storage facilities. The bars are also acceptable for precious metals IRAs and other tax-advantaged accounts.

6. Avoid Counterfeits or Impurities


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Unfortunately, counterfeit and impure precious metals products are common in the industry. The Comex mark gives investors assurance they are getting authenticated, investment-grade bullion. Comex refiners stake their reputations on producing the highest quality bars.


For these reasons, many investors seek out Comex-approved silver and gold bars. The approval signifies quality and transparency.


What Types of Comex Bars Are Available?

Now let’s take a look at some of the specific Comex-approved gold and silver bars investors can purchase:

Popular Comex gold bars include:

  • 1 oz gold bars - The most common size, often stamped with .9999 fineness. Major brands like PAMP Suisse and Valcambi frequently have 1 oz bars on the approved list.
  • 10 oz gold bars - Larger bars offer lower premiums per ounce. Comex-approved brands for 10 oz include Johnson Matthey, Asahi, and Metalor.
  • 1 kg (32.15 oz) gold bars - These 1-kilo bars are convenient for large investors or institutions trading on Comex. Popular approved brands include PAMP and RMC.
  • 400 oz (12.4 kg) “Good Delivery” gold bars - These large “London Good Delivery” gold bars meet international trading standards. Only a handful of elite refiners have 400 oz bars approved by Comex.


Take a look at this article: How Do You Trade Gold CFDs?

For Comex silver, standard bar options include:

  • 100 oz silver bars - The most popular size for investment silver, often stamped .9999 fine. 100 oz bars from PAMP, Asahi, and Johnson Matthey frequently meet Comex approval.
  • 1000 oz (32.15 kg) “Good Delivery” silver bars - These large silver bars conform to international precious metals delivery standards. Only a few refiners, like PAMP Suisse, have their 1000 oz bars approved.
  • 5 oz, 10 oz, or 1 kg silver bars - Smaller silver bars typically have lower Comex availability, but some brands like Valcambi or Metalor offer approved 5-10 oz bars.
  • Shot or grains - Silver shot and grain products primarily used in manufacturing can also carry the Comex mark.

As you can see, the 1 oz, 10 oz, and kilo sizes are most common for gold bars, while 100 oz and 1000 oz options are readily available for Comex silver.

Keep in mind that bar availability fluctuates dynamically based on refiner inventory and Comex inspections. Talk to your dealer to understand the current Comex bar selection.


This article may pique your interest: How Do Commodity CFD Markets Work?


To Recap

Comex-approved silver and gold bars must come from an approved refiner and meet the exchange’s purity, weight, and marking requirements.

Buying Comex bars gives investors confidence they are getting high-quality, trusted bullion that is easy to resell and transport.

While non-approved bars or custom pours may have unique designs, Comex products offer liquidity and transparency backed by an approved listing.

Hopefully, this guide gives you clarity around Comex standards and what to look for when buying investment-grade gold and silver.


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“When considering “CFDs” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be considered investment advice.”

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