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Which Gold Coins are the Best to Buy?


Andrew from Vermont is asking which gold coins are the best to buy. He has a budget of $20,000 and will be self-storing.

Alison MacdonaldBullion.Directory’s Ask Ally Service
By Alison Macdonald
Commercial Editor at Bullion.Directory

Which gold coins you buy are always going to be a personal preference, especially if you’re looking at the Bullion end of the market (as opposed to collectibles.)

With my sensible hat on I’d say one 1oz gold coin is pretty much the same as any other 1oz gold coin, but then something like gold is about more than mere sense.

With a budget of $20,000 at current market prices, that will get you between 19 and 20 1oz gold bullion coins.

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Image: Augusta Precious Metals
When it comes to gold coins, it’s a bit like picking your favorite chocolate from the box – they’re all gold, but each has its own charm. Provided your choice is popular it’s always going to be able to be sold rapidly and at close to it’s full market price – and the following choices are definitely popular, making up the bulk of US bullion coin investor’s portfolios.

First, let’s talk about the American Eagles. These beauties are top of nearly all US buyer’s lists and are the classic rock of gold coins – dependable, widely recognized, and with a hint of American swagger. Not the purest, mind you, sitting at 22 karats, but despite being less pure than US tax laws usually require for making tax savings, or for use in a gold IRA, these guys get a free pass and are exempt from these rules because why would America not support their own home-grown coin?

They can be hard to find at times due to ongoing production issues at the US mint, and this can mean premiums are sometimes higher than they should be – but so too are resale premiums. If you’re a patriot and you want to buy American I’m always going to say Eagles should be your first choice.

Then there’s the Canadian Maple Leaf – the high achiever of the bunch with its 99.99% gold purity. It’s like the A-student that also wins at sports. A solid choice if purity is where you’re at. Most 24k coins are 99.9% or ‘three nines’ pure, but Canada puts an extra 9 in there. An extra 0.09%. Thanks to this bonus 9, gold maples are almost as popular as the eagle, meaning these Canadian coins are easy to buy and sell – and world-wide are one of the most popular investment-grade bullion coins available.

Let’s not forget the Australian Kangaroos, the artistic ones of the lot. Their design changes yearly, making them a hit for those who like a bit of variety in their stack – a numismatic-lite choice if you will.

Next from my home country we have British Gold Britannia coins – these are in theory your reliable, old friend – however quality control at the Royal Mint can be patchy, meaning that many ship in a semi pre-owned style complete with dings and scratches. Recent versions have added security features, which while commendable, I’d still rather buy my uncirculated coins blemish free. They’re steeped in history, from the oldest continuously producing mint in the world, and let’s face it, who doesn’t love a bit of British charm? Also they can be had for cheap in the US versus UK. Makes no sense, but hey.

I can’t overlook South African Krugerrands – the granddads of gold bullion coins. They’ve been around the block and have the street cred to prove it. They’ve seen some things and helped do some stuff most people would frown at, but then so have the dollars in your pocket. Krugerrands are not quite as popular in the US as other bullion coins, thanks to their 22k alloy being below those previously mentioned tax-break purity levels, so that holds them back a little. If you like a bit of history and don’t mind large chunks of that history, they make a good buy.

Austrian Philharmonics are classy, sophisticated, and always on point. If you’re looking for European flair in your gold, and fancy yourself as being a bit fancy, these are your go-to. I’ve seen these at very low premiums in US e-commerce stores, which surprises me as in Europe they can carry quite a hike over spot.

And lastly, the Chinese Pandas. These are normally collectors’ darlings – changing designs every year and some of them can be just cute as a button. They’re not just gold coins; they’re little pieces of art. Unfortunately given that China and the US seem to be involved in some pre-war posturing, it’s having an impact on their overall popularity.

When picking your gold coins, think about what you want from your investment. Are you in it for the long haul, do you just want to buy metals at as close to spot as is humanly possible (in which case buy bullion bars) or are looking for something with a bit of flair? Remember, it’s not just about the gold; it’s about what tickles your fancy.

Do beware that once you start to head down the collectibles route, the investment can turn to a hobby and then an expensive hobby fast.

And, Andrew, always keep in mind – gold is more than just an investment; it’s a journey. So whether you’re going for the solid classics or the artsy types, make sure to enjoy the ride.

If in doubt, why not a bit of everything? After all, variety is the spice of life, especially in the world of gold coins. Happy investing!

Alison author Alison Macdonald

Ask Ally, is your direct line to gold investment wisdom. Alison “Ally” Macdonald, with her extensive experience and sharp tongue, cuts through clutter to offer honest, insider takes on your gold investment questions.

Need insights or industry secrets? Ally’s ready to deliver, combining professional expertise with a smattering of Glasgow patter. Get ready for straightforward, expert guidance from a one-time gold shill turned good guy. Ask Ally Today

The responses provided by ‘Ask Ally’ are strictly for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Alison Macdonald’s insights and opinions are based on her personal experience and knowledge of the gold industry and should not be taken as professional financial guidance. Before making any investment decisions, we strongly recommend consulting with a qualified financial advisor. Bullion.Directory and Alison Macdonald are not liable for any financial actions taken based on the information provided in this service.

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