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Best Gold Coins to Buy (for Investors)

Gold coins.

Gold coins are the ideal investment no matter what financial level you’re starting at. A single round can be purchased for as little as $25, meaning everyone can get their start in the world of precious metals investing. Gold bullion bars are a big commitment and are probably too expensive for the beginner investor. Gold coins, on the other hand, are cheap, convenient, and easy to build a collection. With so many different mints around the world producing gold bullion coins, investors today have a variety of choices. 

In this article, we’ll tell you all about each of the most popular gold bullion coins you could buy. There are many reasons to buy gold, but as a starting point, small valuable minted coins are the perfect entry point for investors. When it comes to gold, the most popular coin is the best choice as these coins are easier to buy and sell. It’s better to stay away from less-well-known coins from smaller mints, as the market for these coins is much smaller. Selling off investment coins from less known mints could prove difficult. Read on to find out about all of the best gold coins to buy for investment.

Gold American Eagle

The Gold American Eagle, with a face value of 50 US Dollars, is one of the single most prolific gold coins today. However, the price of this gold coin is more than $2000, because it contains exactly one ounce of pure gold. It was originally minted in 1986 and the design has remained unchanged since. The obverse of the American Gold Eagle features lady liberty confidently standing through rays of the sun, against the backdrop of the Capitol building. This face, adapted from Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ famous design also features the year of mintage. 

The American Eagle’s reverse was specially designed by Miley Busiek back when this gold coin was released.  This side depicts a family of bald eagles in intricate detail. A male eagle in flight approaches a female and her young, gripping an olive branch in his claws. While this iconic design has been exceedingly popular with numismatics and investors alike for decades, the Gold American Eagle is scheduled for a redesign in 2021. This will introduce improved counterfeiting measures, which is another benefit to safeguard investors. 

Although it contains one whole ounce of gold, the yellow metal only makes up 61.67% of the Gold Eagle coin. This bullion coin also contains 3% silver and 5.3% copper, alloyed with soft gold for better durability. The purity of this gold coin’s content is 22 karats. This fact, in addition to its weight and content, is backed-up and guaranteed in full by the US Government. 

The reliability of this source of gold, alongside the attractive design and widespread availability, has made the Gold American Eagle a long-time favorite for every kind of buyer. Investors and coin collectors alike prefer coins that are easier to buy, sell, and trade. The Gold Eagle’s stand- out popularity makes it ideal. This gold bullion coin is recognizable globally and carries the proud symbol of the American spirit. 

Investors have a few options when buying Gold American Eagle coins. Collectors might be satisfied with a single round, but buying more coins means a better spot price. You could also purchase a collectible case like this 4-Piece American Eagle Set with Box. This fantastic collection features all four sizes of the gold American Eagle in perfect proof condition.  Sizes range from one-tenth ounce, one-quarter ounce, one-half ounce, and 1 ounce of fine gold. The set comes in a velvet-lined case, complete with a certificate of authenticity.

A Gold Canadian Maple Leaf coin.

The Gold Canadian Maple Leaf is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint from gold mined exclusively in Canada

 

Gold Canadian Maple Leaf

The Royal Canadian Mint was the first in the world to produce a coin with the purity that the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf boasts. At .9999 purity, this coin amounts to one ounce of 24 karat gold. Since 1979, the Canadian Mint has produced supreme quality gold Maple Leaf coins, and they’ve been a popular choice for their sure purity. This Sovereign coin is backed by the Canadian government and has only recently been rivaled in purity by other nations. 

A detailed design adorns each side of the Maple Leaf. On the obverse, the same right-facing profile of the queen found on coins all across the world is displayed with the year of mintage and face value (50 Canadian Dollars). The reverse features a single maple leaf, with a new micro-engraved maple leaf privy mark which can be viewed under magnification. These intricate microscopic design additions add an extra layer of security to Canadian Maple Leaf coins. 

Using the newest technology, the Canadian Mint has managed to produce one of the most secure gold investments available. They use Bullion DNA (Digital Non-destructive Activation) to scan gold and silver Maple Leaf coins, detecting their authenticity. These impressive anti-counterfeiting measures make the Canadian Maple Leaf an easy choice, giving investors more confidence and in turn boosting popularity. 

The Maple Leaf is considered by many as the world’s purest gold coin, especially considering the special edition released on the coin’s 25th anniversary. In 2004, the Royal Canadian Mint produced a 24 karat Maple Leaf with .99999 purity. If you’re looking to buy gold in as pure and high quality a form as possible, the Canadian Maple Leaf is one of your very best options.

Australian Kangaroo 

The Australian Kangaroo was originally called the gold nugget, featuring a small piece of gold as the design. In 1989, Perth Mint changed the name and design to the much more recognizable Australian Kangaroo, and the design has remained so ever since. The Gold Kangaroo is available in several sizes including one troy ounce, one-quarter troy ounce, and a huge one-kilo gold coin. You can buy proof mint versions, or an especially attractive High Relief Australian Gold Kangaroo is also available. 

This gold coin is .9999 purity, made from the finest precious metal alloyed with stronger substances to make it more durable. One face of the coin features a well-known portrait of Queen Elizabeth’s profile, which graces one side of this coin. On the reverse, artwork displays Australia’s most famous animal; the kangaroo. The design changes on an annual basis, each year brings a new mintage of Australia’s Gold Kangaroo Coin. Previous designs include a mother and her joeys, and even a pair of boxing kangaroos.  Each year brings a new fascinating design to choose from. 

In 2019, Australia’s Mint added new counterfeiting measures to the Gold Kangaroo. Now, a tiny laser-engraved “A” is concealed in the coin, visible only under magnification. This makes these gold coins much harder to forge and offers an extra layer of security to buyers. Guaranteed by the Australian Government, Kangaroo bullion coins have been an excellent investment for decades and remain one of the best gold coins to buy globally. You'll also want to have a look at the Gold Australian Saltwater Croc!

Austrian Philharmonic

The Austrian Philharmonic Gold Coin (or Vienna Philharmonic) is one of the most attractively minted coins available. Its design is a favorite across all kinds of buyers from investors,  collectors, and ardent classical music fans. First produced in 1989, the Gold Philharmonic was the first European one-ounce gold coin. The Austrian Mint found incredible success with this intricate gold coin. It became the best-selling coin on the European continent by 1990. 

Unlike the changing designs of the Australian Kangaroo, the mintage of the Philharmonic remains unchanged. Only the date imprinted on the coin differs from year to year, with the rationale of why change such a stunning and beloved iconic design? As well as gold, you can buy this bullion coin in silver and platinum to complete your precious metals collection. The one-ounce Australian Gold Philharmonic has a face value of 100 Euros and is composed of 99.99% pure gold. 

For the 15th anniversary of this pioneer in European gold coins, the Austrian Mint created a very special new version. They produced only 15 coins in total, each containing 1000 ounces of gold with a face value of 100 thousand Euros. This “Big Phil” coin was one of the largest and heaviest coins ever made until the Royal Canadian Mint brought out a 100kg version of the Gold Maple Leaf.

South African Krugerrand

The South African Krugerrand is famous for being the first one-ounce gold coin to be mass-produced. After its release in 1967, it became popular and well-known throughout the world. The coin takes its name from South Africa’s first president, Kruger combined with the location of its mintage: the Rand Refinery. Kruger was responsible for much of South Africa’s success in the gold industry, and the Krugerrand plays a big part in the country's history. 

President Kruger was in power throughout the Witwatersrand Gold Rush that coincided with the discovery of a gold deposit which would turn out to be the largest in the world. He also oversaw some of the deepest and most prolific gold mines in South Africa’s history. For a time, the Kugerrand’s success reflected this. At its height, the Krugerrand gold coin made up a huge 90% of the global gold coin exchange, but it wasn’t meant to last. 

In the 1970s and 80s, the Krugerrand became illegal to import in the US. Previously, the United States had formed a huge part of South Africa’s gold market.  Apartheid laws in the country meant trade was no longer an option. These restrictions harmed the success of South Africa’s premier gold coin, as other global mints took advantage of the gap in the economy. 

The Krugerrand is one of few gold coins which doesn’t have a face value. Their value is simply redeemable at South Africa’s central bank for the melt value of the gold. On one face, a portrait of Paul Kruger is displayed beside the country’s name. The reverse shows a springbok, South Africa’s national animal, gracefully leaping across the face. This gold coin composition is 91.67% pure gold, alloyed with 8.33% copper for durability. This copper alloying gives the South African Krugerrand a distinctive darker color.

American Buffalo

While the Gold American Eagle was incredibly successful, the U.S. Mint needed a coin to rival the purity of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf or the Austrian Philharmonic. The United States Government released its own 24 karat gold coin in 2006; the American Gold Buffalo. This bullion coin can only be minted using gold mined from US soil, making it one of the most patriotic investments you can make. 

The Gold Buffalo still remains the second choice to the more popular American Eagle, but it’s still a highly successful coin. This bullion round is the highest quality of gold on offer by the U.S. Mint. However, it’s softer nature means you need to take more care when handling an American Gold Buffalo, as it is much easier to scratch or damage than the Eagle. 

This gold coin features the classic James Earle Fraser design for the Buffalo nickel, commissioned in the 1900s by President Franklin Roosevelt. On the reverse of a coin, we see the profile of a buffalo gazing westward, as well as the face value of $50 stamped on the coin. The opposite side features a portrait of a Native American Chieftain complete with two feathers.

British Britannia

Containing one troy ounce of gold, and with a face value of 100 Pounds Sterling, the British Britannia coins are ironically English. The Royal Mint has been issuing Gold Britannia coins since 1987, with various depictions of the same design. This British bullion coin proudly displays the image of Britannia, a female personification of the United Kingdom. The opposite face features the Queen, of course, in her classic side-profile portrait. 

Until 2012, Gold Britannia’s were 22 karats, or 91.7% gold. However, the purity of the gold used in minting was improved and now these gold rounds are .9999 fineness, alloyed with copper and silver to create a 24 karat coin. These British coins are an incredibly popular investment due to their tax-free status, they offer a fantastic opportunity to own some of the purest gold. 

Gold Brittania’s are some of the most detailed and beautiful coins available. Their changing but always stunning designs, intricate counterfeiting measures, and reliable source at the Royal Mint definitely make this bullion round one of the best gold coins to buy for investors. They can be bought in a variety of proofs, in uncirculated condition.

Stacks of gold coins.

The U.S. holds a majority of its gold reserves in Kentucky.

 

What to Consider When Buying Gold Coins 

When choosing a gold coin to buy, there are a number of different aspects to consider. Always ensure you take every item into account before making a decision, as buying gold represents a substantial investment. If you’ve decided you want to own gold, you’ve probably read about how ETFs and the stock market are becoming more unreliable. Physical gold is a much better option than digital metal such as owning mining stocks, but within this realm, there are plenty of options. 

Gold bars offer a much larger investment than coins, however, they’re too expensive for most people starting out. Gold coins are perfectly valued, affordable enough for any investor while offering good wealth protection in a conveniently sized package. When picking out a coin, the first element you need to decide on is purity. All the best gold coins to buy are either 22 or 24 karats, but this small alteration makes a big difference.

Which Gold Coins are the Best To Buy?

Every coin on this list is guaranteed to be a solid and worthwhile investment. That’s because every option has high purity, great value, and is popular around the world. The latter is a vital element as it has a huge effect on the ease of buying and selling your gold coins. The more prolific a specific mintage is, the easier it is to find buyers and profit from your investment. 

Our favorite gold coin remains the American Gold Eagle, as the classics are hard to beat. This popular design has remained unchanged since 1986 and is still one of the most traded gold coins around the world. Proudly displaying patriotic American emblems, this coin features lady liberty on one side and a family of bald eagles on the reverse. If a single investment could represent the greatness of American opportunity, it would be the Gold American Eagle bullion coin.

 

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All articles are provided as a third party analysis and do not necessarily reflect the explicit views of GSI Exchange and should not be construed as financial advice.

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