What is the COMEX?

COMEX The COMEX is the principal market in which precious metals contracts are traded. The COMEX is administered by the CME Group, which oversees around 3 billion options and future, making it the largest derivatives market in the world.

The COMEX was formerly known as the Commodity Exchange Inc. but changed its name after merging with the New York Mercantile exchange in 1994. The exchange is used for the trade of contracts related to the sale of gold and other commodities to be realised at a certain point in the future and will change hands between traders as the price of the commodity fluctuates.

Although the value of gold contracts traded on the COMEX will reflect the price of gold bullion, the COMEX does not govern the over-the-counter trade of physical gold bullion.

Although futures and options contracts do technically enable their holders to take possession of physical bullion on the specified date, the COMEX is rarely used to this end. Investors who want to physically own their gold, and benefit from the security associated with it, will typically purchase bullion bars and coins for immediate delivery directly from bullion dealers such as BullionByPost.

As well as being a more common method of investing in physical bullion, it is also far safer. The vast majority of gold traded on the COMEX is paper, rather than physical, gold and the amount of trades taking place on the exchange are not reflected by the exchange's physical holdings. Should traders one day lose confidence and choose to take delivery of their bullion there would be extreme difficulty trying to meet the demand and many investors would lose out. When looking for the security that we associate with bullion, the slightly higher premiums on allocated, physical gold bars and coins are a small price to pay for the additional peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that your investment is a tangible asset that lies in your safe hands.