When it comes to investing in physical gold, there are numerous choices available. Investors can go with gold bullion bars, bullion coins, collectibles and more. Although gold coins may have slightly higher premiums than gold bullion bars, the coins also carry a face value and are considered good, legal tender. Investors do not buy gold coins for their face value, however, they buy them for their gold content or collectibility. Gold coins offer investors a way to invest in gold that is simple, convenient and efficient.
Gold coins are small and can therefore be stored in a home safe, a bank safe deposit box or in the depository of your choice. Gold coin offerings have expanded greatly over the years, and now come in numerous weights. Smaller weight gold coins may be relatively more affordable and might be a good choice for smaller investors and those on a tight budget. In addition, certain gold coins may be eligible for purchase in an IRA account. Of course, you should check with your tax professional about rules and eligibility before purchasing gold coins for an IRA account.
Gold coins are minted by numerous government mints and come in numerous sizes and with many different designs. Highlighted below are some of the most popular gold coins on the market today:
Most Popular Gold Coins to Own
American Gold Eagle
The American Gold Eagle coin is one of the most popular gold coins in the world. It is produced by the U.S. Mint and carries a face value of $50. The coin is 22 karat gold, and therefore has a purity of 91.67%. The coin contains one full troy ounce of gold. These coins feature the famous Augustus Saint-Gaudens Lady Liberty image.
South African Krugerrand
The South African Gold Krugerrand is another very popular coin produced by the South African Mint. The first gold bullion coin available to the public for investment purposes, it used to be the most popular gold bullion coin in the world until South Africa’s apartheid policies made many nations prohibit its importation for a period of time. It is now widely available at many online dealers.
The Philharmonic gold bullion coin is a favorite among investors and collectors. This coin features stunning details of the Austrian Philharmonic Orchestra, from the building they play to the instruments used as part of the orchestra. The coin is made of 24-carat gold for a total purity of .9999.
The Chinese panda gold coin is an iconic symbol of Chinese culture. This gold coin is valued for its gold bullion content, made with .999 pure gold. The Panda is another favorite sovereign coin among investors and collectors and makes an excellent addition to any coin or gold portfolio.
The American Buffalo
The American Buffalo gold coin is another highly symbolic gold bullion coin. The bison depicted on the coin is very American and is considered a symbol of what America stands for such as freedom and opportunity. The coin is available in both bullion and proof finishes.
The Australian Kangaroo gold coin represents the country of Australia. What better to symbolize Australia than the kangaroo? Made from pure .9999 fine gold, this coin is recognized all over the world for its beauty, detail, and overall quality. It is perhaps the top-selling coin from the Perth Mint and is also considered good, legal tender in Australia.
Canadian Maple Leaf
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf features the iconic Canadian maple leaf design and is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin is minted with .9999 pure gold, making it one of the purest gold coins on the market today. The coin has a $50 CAD face value.
British Gold Britannia
The British Britannia gold coin is one of the most sought-after gold bullion coin series in the world. Introduced in 1987 by the English Royal Mint, this series has stood the test of time and is considered to be one of the most beautiful gold coins available today. They also carry a face value guaranteed by the Government of Britain and are available in several weights.
The Mexican Libertad gold coin is a stunning gold bullion coin that may have some collectible value as well based on the coin’s condition, mint year, and other factors. These coins are part of an annual limited release, and their smaller mintage numbers may make them more desirable for collectors or serious investors. The Gold Libertad was first struck in 1981 and now serves as the official gold bullion coin of Mexico.
Top Dealers For Buying Gold Coins Online
There are many different precious metals dealers you can buy from these days. Many dealers are now completely online and able to offer a wider product selection at lower prices compared to physical coin and bullion shops. If you have decided to buy gold coins from an online dealer, the next step is choosing which dealer to give your business to. Below we will outline some of the most highly respected online bullion dealers:
This online metals dealer is likely the largest of the bunch. Having been in business for over a decade now, JMB is widely known for its wide product selection and highly competitive prices. This dealer also features other specials, including free shipping on orders over $199 and an excellent buyback program should you ever decide to sell your metals back to them. This dealer can also assist you with setting up a gold or silver IRA account.
This is another sizable dealer that has been in business for some years now. Provident also features a wide selection of gold coins for sale and will also happily buy your gold coins back should you ever decide to sell. They too offer free shipping on orders exceeding $199 and have a five-star rating on over 40,000 customer reviews.
BGASC is another dealer that offers value on gold coins. This dealer has a good selection of gold coins to choose from and sells both bullion as well as proof version coinage. BGASC prides itself on quick shipping and low prices, with most orders being shipped the day after cleared payment. You can order online from them 24/7 and they also offer an IRA account option.
Other Ways To Buy Gold Coins
In addition to online precious metals dealers, there are other places you can buy gold coins as well. Local dealers commonly referred to as coin or bullion shops may also feature a good selection of gold coins to choose from. Local coin dealers will seldom have deep selections that compete with online dealers, however, they may have lower pricing on a more limited selection.
Coin shows are another place where gold coins can be purchased. These shows often feature several different types of coins and may charge much higher over spot for their gold content. Coin shows may also look to push “collectible” or numismatic coins on the public for which they can charge exorbitant fees.
TV dealers are another way to get gold coins. These dealers, like coin shows, may try to push numismatic coins or sell coins for higher premiums based on their collective value. These values are usually non-existent, however, and are simply a way for the dealer to make more money and for the buyer to lose more money.
Finding the Best Prices on Gold Coins
Ffinding the best deal on gold coins is something that is desired by all coin buyers. Gold coins, even of the same type and weight, can vary in value significantly from dealer to dealer. The best way to go about finding the best deal and best overall value are to shop around. Online precious metals dealers, for example, show their prices in easy-to-read formats. They also then add the cost of shipping and insurance and let you know exactly how much you’ll spend to get the coins you desire. Comparing online precious metals dealers has never been easier. Taking a few minutes to do so can save you a ton on your gold coins.
When comparing online dealers, make sure to also factor in any additional costs such as shipping and insurance. These costs can add a lot to a transaction and must be carefully considered before purchase. An educated customer is a good customer, as the saying goes, so make sure to educate yourself on dealer offerings, bulk discounts, and all aspects of buying gold coins online.
What % Of A Gold Coin Is Actual Gold?
The amount of gold contained within a coin depends on the coin’s purity and other factors. Most gold coins minted since 1800 have been of 22-carat gold, making the coin itself 90-92% gold. Many modern-day gold coins, however, are minted using pure gold or 24 carats. This makes each coin contain more gold than a lower-carat coin of similar weight and size. Some gold coins, such as the American Gold Eagle or the South African Krugerrand, are allotted coins and they contain 91.7% gold by weight. The rest of the coin’s weight is composed of an alloy.
What is the Safest Gold Coin to Buy?
The term “safety” should be used very carefully in the world of coin or general investing. At the end of the day, no coin is guaranteed to not lose value or see its value fluctuate. That being said, there may be some gold coin choices that are far better than others if you are worried about them losing value. One of the most important aspects of buying gold coins that are “safe” is to only purchase coins that have liquidity. Avoiding illiquid coins can keep you out of trouble if you need to sell in a hurry. Liquid coins are the coins that are most well-known and therefore always have a good market for them.
If you want to stick with highly recognized gold coins, you need to stick with the basics. These include coins such as American Eagle gold coins, Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins, and South African Krugerrand gold coins.
Buying Gold Coins Versus Buying Gold Bars
Many investors struggle with the decision of whether to buy gold coins or gold bars. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Gold coins, for example, may have higher premiums per ounce compared to gold bars. Coins typically have far more design work and detail on them, however, and oftentimes are also good, legal tender and carry a face value. Gold bars are usually simpler in design, are not good legal tender, and are made for stackers who want to acquire and hold as many total ounces of gold while paying as little premium as possible.
At the end of the day, both gold bullion coins and bars contain gold. Which you decide to buy may depend on your investment objectives, storage setup, and other factors.
How to Avoid Buying Fake Gold Coins
One of the scariest scenarios imaginable for a gold buyer is the unknowing purchase of fake gold coins or bars. Lookalike fake gold coins are produced today in many styles and qualities, and often look no different than comparable real gold coins. As metals prices have risen in recent years, so too has the amount of fraudulent coinage being sold. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to protect yourself.
Only buy from reputable dealers
This may sound like common sense, but oftentimes in their quest to get the best deal, investors will agree to buy from dealers that are not known or recognized. Buying from such dealers may not always involve fraud, but it certainly may increase the chances of a fraudulent sale taking place.
Avoid buying gold coins from pawn shops. Even professional coin dealers and pawn shop owners are not infallible in buying fake gold coins, and they may do so without even knowing it. Do not become the next person in the line of the scam-avoid buying gold coins from pawners and only deal with recognized and well-known professional dealers.
Buy certified gold coins
Another way to avoid buying fake gold coins is to buy only certified coins. These coins come in a slab from the authenticator, and you can easily call the authenticator with the coin number on the slab to verify it was certified. These coins may cost more in premiums, but they may be well worth the cost if you are concerned about buying fakes.
Of course, common sense also goes a long way. If someone is trying to sell you a coin for well under market value, that should raise some red flags. If they push you to buy in a hurry, that should also raise awareness.