Lowest bid-ask spread precious metal products sold at Tavex | Joachim De Zutter
Based on the buy and sell prices found on the products search page on the tavex.bg website, I made a selection of the products with lowest bid-ask spreads during the week of 22nd of April 2013 until 26th of April 2013, categorized by spread and weight:

Spread \ Weight 3.442 g 5.806 g 6.056 g 7.166 g 10 g 20 g 1 oz 37.5 g 50 g 2 oz 100 g 250 g 1 kg
between 5% and 6%   Hungarian Franz Joseph I 5.806 g       USA Buffalo 1 oz            
between 6% and 7%   Italian Umberto I 5.806 g   German Wilhelm II 7.166 g     Australian Nugget 1 oz Gold Bar Valcambi 50 g Gold Bar Valcambi 100 g Cast gold bar 250 g Cast gold bar 1 kg
    Italian Victor Emmanuel II 5.806 g       Austrian Philharmoniker 1 oz Fortuna gold bar 50 g   Fortuna gold bar 100 g    
    French Ceres 5.806 g         China Panda 2013 1 oz Gold Bar Australian Kangaroo 50 g Gold Bar Australian Kangaroo 100 g    
    French Genius (also Angel) 5.806 g       China Panda 2012 1 oz     Cast gold bar 100 g    
    Tunisia 5.806 g         China Panda 2011 1 oz          
    Hungarian Franz Joseph I 5.806 g       China Panda 2010 1 oz          
    Belgian Leopold II 5.806 g         China Panda 2009 1 oz          
              China Panda 2008 1 oz          
              Canadian Maple Leaf 1 oz          
              South African Krugerrand 1 oz          
              USA Eagle 1 oz            
              USA Buffalo 1 oz            
between 7% and 8% Austrian Ducat 3.442 g Belgian Leopold II 5.806 g Netherlands Guilder 6.056 g German Wilhelm II 7.166 g Gold Bar Valcambi 10 g Gold Bar Valcambi 20 g Gold Bar 1 oz Mexican 50 pesos 37.5 g Australian Nugget 2 oz    
    French Marianne and Rooster 5.806 g   Fortuna gold bar 10 g Fortuna gold bar 20g Australian Lunar 1996 - Mouse 1 oz   Australian Lunar 2013 - Snake 2 oz    
    French Napoleon III (no Laurel) 5.806 g   Gold Bar Australian Kangaroo 10 g Gold Bar Australian Kangaroo 20 g South African Krugerrand 1 oz   Australian Lunar 2011 - Rabbit 2 oz    
    French Napoleon III (Laurel) 5.806 g                    
    Swiss Vreneli 5.806 g                      
    Italian Umberto I 5.806 g                      
    Italian Victor Emmanuel II 5.806 g                    
    USA Double Eagle - 20 USD 0.9675 oz                    

Note that any product may appear in more than one spread range, for example the Hungarian Franz Joseph I coin had a spread between 5% and 6% and a spread between 6% and 7% during the week of 22nd Of April 2013 until 26th of April 2013. There were no products with spreads lower than 5%. Among the investment bars and coins sold at monetti.bg I could not find any products in stock with spreads lower than 8% so I don't plan to buy gold from that dealer. According to the prices on their GoldShop website, Fibank was selling 1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins at 30% higher prices than they were being sold at Tavex (3080 BGN versus 2358 BGN), so I don't plan to buy gold from Fibank either.
According to their actual pricelist, Piraeus bank was selling 1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins at 19% higher prices than they were being sold at Tavex (2760 BGN versus 2319 BGN), so I also don't plan to buy gold from Piraeus bank.

At http://www.yazon.free.bg/page5.html, I could find coins sold at Tavex but with slightly lower sale prices and bid-ask spreads.

The live gold coin prices shown at the USAGOLD website in USD for 1 oz Canadian Maple Leaf, USA Buffalo and USA Eagle coins are lower than the live prices shown on the tavex.bg website converted from BGN to USD. The USAGOLD prices are based on the New York gold quotation and for orders of five ounces or more.

To compare the rationale for buying physical bullion gold from Tavex versus investing in a gold ETF (PHAU) we consider the following scenarios:

For 106,53 EUR buy 1 PHAU ETF at the start of 22/04/2013 and selling at the end of 26/04/2013 (assuming 21 EUR total transaction fees) : 16,38% loss
At 129,59 EUR buy 1 Austrian Ducat 3.442 g coin at the start of 22/04/2013 and selling at the end of 26/04/2013 : 2,76% loss
For 213,06 EUR buy 2 PHAU ETFs at the start of 22/04/2013 and selling both at the end of 26/04/2013 (assuming 21 EUR total transaction fees) : 6,52% loss
At 216,33 EUR buy 1 Hungarian Franz Joseph I 5.806 g coin at the start of 22/04/2013 and selling at the end of 26/04/2013 : 1,65% loss
For 319,59 EUR buy 3 PHAU ETFs at the start of 22/04/2013 and selling all 3 at the end of 26/04/2013 (assuming 21 EUR total transaction fees) : 3,23% loss
For 426,12 EUR buy 4 PHAU ETFs at the start of 22/04/2013 and selling all 4 at the end of 26/04/2013 (assuming 21 EUR total transaction fees) : 1,59% loss
For 523,65 EUR buy 5 PHAU ETFs at the start of 22/04/2013 and selling all 5 at the end of 26/04/2013 (assuming 21 EUR total transaction fees) : 0,61% loss
...

Overview of the yearly return of gold in widely used currencies:

[Image: gold-price-performance.png]

Kitco: 24 hour live gold spot price chart
Kitco: 24 hour live silver spot price chart

Evolution of the gold price (London PM fixing price in USD) versus the S&P500 since 1950 (until 27th of September 2013) :



Arguments in favor of buying gold:
Peak gold

Arguments against buying gold:
Warren Buffett: "A productive asset will outperform a non-productive asset over time." (See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpFVJMv5J3E)