How to Buy Gold Coins

By Kent Ninomiya

Gold Coins have been a favorite collectible for centuries. They contain one of the most precious elements on Earth and are beautiful to behold. Gold coins also convey history and art. Many people buy gold coins for both a financial investment and aesthetic pleasure. However, not all gold coins are created equal. Some have greater value for their gold while others are more valuable for their quality or rarity.

Understand what makes a gold coin valuable. The gold in it has value that varies depending on the current price of gold. The quality of the coin is also important. The less wear and handling on a coin, the more it is worth. Rarity is also a vital factor. The fewer gold coins there are like it in circulation, the more it is worth.

Decide whether you want to buy gold coins or gold coin bullion. Legal tender gold coins were minted as legal tender by governments around the world. Most were minted before the 1930's when the United States went off the gold standard. They have a stated value on them but are always worth much more because of the gold in them. Gold bullion can also be made to look like a coin but it is not legal tender. Bullion is made for the gold content although it is often cast with beautiful coin-like artwork. The main difference for the buyer is whether they want a coin that is gold or gold in the shape of a coin.

Choose your denomination if you want a legal tender gold coin. Most coin dealers consider the standard size for gold coins to be one ounce. This is approximately equivalent to a U.S. $20 gold coin and is about the size of a half dollar coin. You can buy smaller denominations. The United States also minted gold coins in $10, $5, $3 and $1 denominations. There are also foreign coins like the British Sovereign (about a quarter ounce of gold) and French 20 Franc (about a fifth of an ounce of gold) that are very popular.

Buy gold bullion in one ounce rounds. Nearly all investors in gold bullion coins buy them in one ounce increments. They are the easiest to buy and sell. One ounce gold bullion coins are issued by government mints around the world. The best ones to own are the most popular. They include the American Eagle, the South African Krugerrand and the Austrian Philharmonic.

Search the Internet for the current price of gold. Gold prices change daily and gold dealers base their prices on the daily rate. You need to know the current price of gold so you wont get cheated. Gold prices are stated as dollars per ounce.

Find a reputable gold coin dealer. Be sure they are establish and have a good reputation. Ask for recommendations and search the Internet for reviews.

Base your purchases on the current price of gold. If you are buying gold bullion coins expect to pay a small percentage more than the current price for gold. Make sure the bullion coins are in perfect condition with absolutely no sign of wear. Legal tender gold coins can vary in price depending on rarity and condition. Consult coins books and the Internet to determine a fair price. Pay close attention to the date and mint mark on the coin. This is was distinguishes one coin from another. Understand that the current price of gold will make this price rise and fall.

Turn to the Internet. You can also buy gold coins yourself over the Internet on auction sites like eBay. Understand the risks of buying on Internet auction sites. You are sending your money to a stranger hoping they will mail you gold coins. Be sure you are dealing with a reputable seller and insure all shipments.

About the Author

Kent Ninomiya is a veteran journalist with over 23 years experience as a television news anchor, reporter and managing editor. He traveled to more than 100 countries on all seven continents, including Antarctica. Ninomiya holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences with emphasis in history, political science and mass communications from the University of California at Berkeley.