Buying Gold Bullion Coins

canadian coin

Buying Gold Bullion Coins

Gold bullion coins are increasingly being turned to by both investors and ordinary families as way of preserving their money in these financially turbulent times. They feel better if some of their savings are in the form of gold, rather than cash, bonds or other paper promises. They also want to actually have their wealth in their hand - really in their possession.

So, what are gold bullion coins? How much do they cost? And, where can you get them from?

A century ago, gold coins were used as standard currency in many countries, and were in general circulation. As an example, the USA used to use quarter eagles, half eagles, eagles and double eagles. These are now sought after by collectors, having last been issued in the 1930s. After a gap of thirty or forty years, countries began to issue gold coins again, but not for circulation, since gold had simply become too valuable.

When people talk about gold bullion coins, they mean the modern gold coins issued by governments in one ounce, or fractions of one ounce weights, which are not for general circulation, but for collecting or investment. They represent an accessible and relatively inexpensive way (when compared to the larger and heavier gold bullion bars) for ‘normal’ people to buy and own gold.

In the USA, gold bullion coins are called American Gold Eagles. In Canada, they are called Canadian Gold Maple Leafs. In South Africa, the coins are called Krugerrands. In China, they issue Gold Pandas. The names are derived from the designs they carry.

All the governments that issue these gold bullion coins use the same gold weighting scale, with them being available in the following values: one ounce, half an ounce, a quarter of an ounce, and a tenth of an ounce. The bullion coins can be either pure gold, or they may have a small percentage of silver or copper added to them to make more durable. Those which do have some other metal added to the gold are just as valuable as the pure gold ones though, as as they always have an ‘actual gold weight’ of one ounce of gold, or of one of the previously stated fractions.

The coins usually have the year of issue and the ‘value’ on them; for example, the one-ounce American Gold Eagle has a face value of . However, the value stated on them is not what they are actually worth, they are in fact worth much more than that. The actual value of a particular coin is dependent on the current value of gold on the general market, plus a ‘premium’, which is determined by the dealer or store that you buy it from.

So, where do you get these gold bullion coins? While you can still go to a dealer or a local coin store, the Internet has made a huge difference to the general availability of these coins, since you can view a huge selection of them anytime on online auction sites. In addition, many online-only coin stores exist which offer bullion coins of all types and weights at very fair prices.

The Charlton Standard catalogue of Canadian Coins 49th Edition 1995

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