One of the rarest materials on earth is gold, which is no wonder why gold bullion coins are so popular with investors throughout the globe. Gold coins are one of the longest-standing forms of currency and have been around for centuries.
Coins, unlike bars, have a fabled history – each series is linked with an interesting backstory that usually arouses collectors’ interest. It is these historic connotations that make gold coins a valuable choice of investment.
Gold coins, just like other precious metals such as silver, also hold their value against both inflation and unpredictable crashes of the stock market. In case of an economic crisis, the people that invested in the stock market usually suffer financial losses, but those that own gold don’t face the same risk since it is a hard asset that cannot simply vanish.
Due to its staying power, investors that want to protect themselves against financial disaster consider gold a safe option. Furthermore, it can be passed down through generations since it maintains its value and can potentially offer healthy returns over the long term.
The Prices of Gold Coins Explained
Gold can be traded either in bars or bullion coins. Gold bullion coins tend to be more expensive since they are regarded as more valuable. This is because of their heritage, mintage, along with the fact that many have been used previously as currency and become novelty items since they aren’t in circulation any longer.
Numerous gold bullion coins have also been created to mark special one-off events, such as the 50 oz Krugerrand, which makes them even more precious. If kept in good condition, gold coins have a high resale value and liquidity.
The price of gold is largely determined by supply and demand. Gold has limited availability unlike paper money and its demand outweighs supply, which makes it a highly sought-after metal that maintains value through financial hardship. Today, it is also used in medical devices and the manufacture of electronics as well as jewelry and investment and there’s no sign that the demand for gold is slowing down any time soon.
The ever-increasing popularity of gold is one of the key reasons why it tends to be more expensive than other materials. Still, gold is a safe investment in tough economic times and it usually increases in price when the economy is suffering and falls once the economy is in a stable position.
Understanding Gold Coins
The price of precious metals such as gold has been known to increase at astounding rates, which is why people are increasingly looking at silver, gold, and platinum coins as investments. Numerous reputable and honest coin dealers are available to help you buy these bullion coins at fair market prices. However, there are still those that want to defraud the uninformed and sell them overpriced coins.
Before investing in any of the precious metal coins or bullions, it is important to do proper research and obtain your knowledge from somewhere or somebody other than the person who’s trying to sell you the coins.
Understanding Bullion Vs. Collector Coins
Investors need to know the difference between bullion coins that usually fluctuate in value depending on the current price of silver, gold, and platinum, and “rare coins” that may carry a significant collector premium depending on the current market demand and historical supply.
Some of the U.S. silver and gold coins could already be available in circulation for a modest premium over their bullion content. However, the same coins in pristine condition may have a considerably higher value. The numismatic premium may be more than thousands of dollars above the melt value of the coin. The market for high-quality accurately graded rare coins has always been strong.
The Sizing of Coins
One of the first things that will probably capture your attention about gold coins is their various sizes. Like bullion, which are bars of gold, gold coins come in various ounce and partial ounce sizes.
The ½ oz., ¼ oz., and 1/10 oz. coins usually run more expensive compared to their single-ounce counterparts. Simply put, purchasing a one-ounce coin is generally cheaper than four ¼ oz., two ½ oz., etc.
The reason for this is mostly due to the extra costs of minting, insuring, packaging, etc., but there are still benefits to investing in smaller denomination coins, depending on what your needs might be.
For instance, smaller denomination gold coins can be easier to store as a failsafe when traveling or in a bug-out bag. Furthermore, if the time comes that you want to trade your gold for other items, it will probably be much easier to trade your ¼ oz. or 1/10 oz. coin as opposed to a full one-ounce coin.
The smaller denomination coins may also trade at a higher price or comparable higher premium as when it was bought when you trade at pawn shops or other similar locations.
The Most Popular Coins
1. Gold American Eagle
The Gold American Eagle is a perfect expression of the American spirit and is based on Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ famous design and is instantly recognizable worldwide. On one side, it bears a depiction of Lady Liberty who is striding in front of the sun with American bald eagles nesting on the other side. It is available in several fractional sizes to match any budget. The Gold American Eagle enjoys unmatched recognition and ease of liquidity.
2. American Gold Buffalo
The American Gold Buffalo is a lovely coin that enjoys massive popularity mostly because its artwork is a rendition of James Earle Fraser’s famous 1913 Buffalo Nickel. The obverse bears the magnificent portrait of a Native American chief, while the reverse depicts a glorious Black Diamond-inspired American buffalo. Black Diamond was the American bison that lived in the Central Park Zoo in New York in the 1910s. The instant recognizability and .9999 fineness of the American Gold Buffalo make it a great choice for any person looking to buy gold.
3. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf boasts both innovative security features and iconic beauty and it enjoys massive popularity and recognition internationally. It is made of .9999 fine Gold and adorned with a maple leaf design. You can get it in fractional sizes, which provides an accessible entry point into gold investing if you have a modest budget.
4. British Gold Britannia
British Gold Britannia coins have increased their fineness steadily and the coins issued in 2013 and beyond have .9999 gold fineness. That, combined with the recognizability of Britannia and the vast respect that The Royal Mint commands, makes the British Gold Britannia an excellent value with excellent liquidity potential. Britannia has been depicted on coins for centuries and will probably keep being a prominent figure in the portfolios of gold investors.
5. South African Gold Krugerrand
The Krugerrand is the first gold bullion coin in the world and a perennial favorite outside of the U.S. and is regarded as an increasingly affordable gold coin. It is instantly recognizable thanks to the depiction of the springbok antelope and its unique color.
While some buyers feel that it isn’t as detailed as the other, more elaborate gold coin reliefs, this simple design has been in existence since 1967 and has proven staying power in the investment market. A higher number of Krugerrand gold coins have been bought than all the other 1-ounce gold coins available on the market.
The Krugerrand contains .9167 fine gold and an alloy of 8.33 percent copper to bolster the durability of gold. It is recommended as a great investment item for both experienced and new buyers and is generally liquid on the open markets worldwide.
What Is the Difference Between Gold Bars and Gold Coins?
Put simply, gold is a lump of metal. It is typically minted into a cuboid shape, with the purity and weight of the equivalent gold content inscribed on its surface. It is a great option for investors that want gold for its inherent value as opposed to the fact it is minted in a particular way or takes a particular form.
However, a gold coin has a certain premium value associated with the fact that it is also legal tender in many cases, as well as the traditional and historical value of coinage held in very high esteem by many people. Indeed, many of the gold coins still traded today were once circulating currency.
Gold Coins vs. Gold Bars: When Is It Better to Choose Coins
Gold coins are ideal for investors that appreciate their historical value. If you would like your gold to be something beyond financial investment, probably even start your gold collection, then coins are for you.
There’s additional economic value to the historic value of gold coins that specialized investors or coin collectors are willing to pay a premium for. Gold coins are minted in continuing annual series, which means that they usually increase in value over time since collectors that want to ‘complete’ their collection pay increasingly more for the older coins. Examples of these are the gold Britannia coin and the British gold Sovereign coin since new, annual versions of the coin are minted each year.
It is usually more difficult to quantify the value of gold coins against the live gold spot price. The value of the coins will rise and fall with the price of gold. However, there’s additional value to be found in their increased levels of a rarity if you are selling to coin collectors or investors that want to complete a series or find a particular year that’s of importance to them.
This value will likely increase with time as it becomes harder to find coins from older years. The additional, numismatic value is hard to quantify and will likely vary over time as the tastes and targets of collectors change.
First-Time Investors and Small Investors
First-time and small investors should look into coins for their first gold purchase since they are a great option for smaller monetary investments. A 1-ounce gold coin that costs about $2,000 is a popular starting point for many novice investors. Gold coins that are traditionally popular include the Krugerrand coins that usually attract lower market premiums, which make them ideal for first-time and smaller investors.
British gold coins, specifically gold sovereigns and half sovereigns, provide a more cost sensitiveo way of buying gold in smaller units.
If you want to allocate larger sums of your investment portfolio in gold coins, the decision is usually less complicated since it is always important to get the best value for money to maximize the return on your investment.
It is also recommended that high net-worth hold a diversified collection gold coins as well as bars, with particular allocation to British coins. Buying sovereigns usually demands a slightly higher premium, but for high net-worth individuals that want the potential for higher upside profits from their investments, sovereigns offer the best value. For the best value sovereigns, investors are advised to study the market for lower priced mixed-year gold sovereigns rather than the specific year sovereigns that command a higher premium.
Is It Advisable to Invest in Gold Coins?
You should aim to choose the coins that offer the best return for the risk your take on with your investment, thus obtaining the most amount of gold value for dollars spent. The best way to buy gold will ultimately depend on your specific situation. It is all about personal circumstances and preferences, considering all the information discussed above with specific reference to flexibility and premiums.