Gold Bullion Tips

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Can you give me some background on the Libertad bullion coin?

The Mexican Libertad Bullion Coins

The Mexican Mint is the oldest mint in North America and was established in 1535 in Mexico City. In 1981, the Mexican Mint produced a series of bullion coins called the Libertad, which means Liberty. The gold coins released during 1981 and 1982 were to compete with the bullion coins from Canada and South Africa. The reverse side of the coin bears an image of the Winged Angel of Victory. The obverse side carries a seal of Mexico and an eagle holding a snake in its beak while resting on a cactus. Today, the Libertad coin is not only an investment piece, but a coin which provides a range of sizes, values, and subtleties in design differences for the collector.

   
What are some popular gold bullion coins I can collect?

Popular Gold Bullion Coins

While you've never been one to follow the crowd, you know that popular coins can be valuable thanks to the law of supply and demand. You're still not giving up your mukluks when everyone else wears Prada heels, but you'll consider buying popular gold bullion coins.

Which popular coins are a good investment? Our recommendations:

1) US Gold Coin: $10 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle (Extremely or Extra Fine)
2) US Gold Coin: $10 Liberty (Brilliant Uncirculated)
3) US Gold Coin: $5 Liberty Half-Eagle Without or With "In God We Trust" Motto (Brilliant Uncirculated)
4) Commemorative US Gold Coins: $5 1988 Olympic Uncirculated
5) Commemorative US Gold Coins: $5 1986 Statue of Liberty
6) US Gold Coins --Sacagawea Dollars
7) British Sovereign Gold Coin -- King Edward 1902-1910 (used in Operation Iraqi Freedom)
8) Canadian Maple Leaf
9) French 29 Franc Angels "Good Luck Coins" -- 1871-1898 Almost Uncirculated
10) Australian Lunar Gold Coins -- 2005 1 oz. Gold Rooster and 2004 1 oz. Gold Monkey

While the crowd may stare at your mukluks, they'll also line up to eyeball your collectors' gold bullion coins.

   
What should I know when selling gold bullion coins?

Selling Your Gold Coins

You're in the money, the skies are sunny, you're selling your gold coins. But before you hang your shingle or throw a Web site together, you should know selling gold can be a delicate business. Some coin collecting tips before you approach a dealer or other buyer:

o Review the price history of any gold coin you purchase. That way, you'll avoid price markup.
o Check the blue book gold coin values and decide how much you're willing to accept for your Brilliant Uncirculated, Extremely Fine or Good US Gold Coin commemorative.
o Remember to multiply the troy ounce value of any gold coin, including old or rare gold coins, by current gold prices and the face value of the gold coin.
o Buy a selection of genuinely rare gold coins to alternate with the more popular gold coins.
o Join a gold coin and rare coin network. Monitor what prices sellers are offering and what buyers indicate they're willing to pay.
o Remember that gold coins are a solid investment and that gold coin values seem safer (although they may not be!) to buyers than stocks and bonds.
o Check the condition of your coins. Don't be afraid to discount them, but not so much that the buyer thinks you're trying to pull a fast one with that Liberty Head US gold coin.
o Get price quotes from several different dealers before deciding where to sell your gold bullion coins.
o Don't call prospects during dinner or you risk being branded as a telemarketer. Many gold coin scams involve telemarketing fraud.

While you probably won't quite your day job, selling gold coins can be a great way to earn extra cash while havign fun with your coin hobby.

   
What can you tell me about the Chinese bullion coin?

The Ever Evolving Panda Coin

China's Gold Bullion Coin, the Panda Coin, made its debut in 1982. China's Panda Coin program is a pioneer in the bullion coin market on two counts; they are the first to offer annual design changes and the first to make gold bullion coins in 1/20 oz. and 1 gram sizes. The Panda Coin comes in several sizes, including a 1 oz., 1/2 oz., 1/4 oz., 1/10 oz., 1/20 oz., and a 1-gram version. Over the years, the design detail of the Panda coin has increased, showing a variety of panda scenes. China has also issued additional Panda Coins as an offshoot to the standard issue sizes. For instance, large Proof Panda pieces with different designs from the standard issue coins have come out several times. The program extension gold issue coins include a 1984 12 oz. coin, a 1987 5 oz. coin, and a 1997 kilogram coin.

   
Can you tell me about the American Eagle Bullion Coin?

American Eagle Bullion Coin

Launched in 1986, the American Eagle Bullion Program began with the sale of gold and silver bullion coins. The American Eagle Bullion Coin, the official gold bullion coin of the United States, is available in several weights including 1/10 oz., 1/4 oz., 1/2 oz., and 1 oz. All of the gold used to create this piece comes from US mined gold. On the obverse, is a striking full-length image of Lady Liberty, originally designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Dressed in a flowing garb, Lady Liberty holds a torch in her right hand and an olive branch on her left hand. The reverse side features a male eagle with an olive branch, soaring over a female eagle and their hatchlings. The design, created by sculptor Miley Busiek, represents family unity and tradition.

   
Can I use golden dollars as regular money?

Everyday Gold Bullion

That cashier at Starbucks always looks so grumpy. What would she do if you tossed her a Sacagawea Gold Dollar gold coin?

Perhaps she's an environmentalist/feminist who's happy Sacagawea is being recognized. She might even put some extra foam in your latte. But should you buy lattes with a US gold coin? It's probably easier than buying with a Mexican peso or South African Krugerrand, especially since your foam-making Starbucks coffee jockey might feel that not enough has been done to promote racial equality since the end of apartheid.

Do you truly want to spend your gold bullion coins? You might if the price of gold drops, but like stocks, you can hold on to coins. Plus, Sacagawea Dollars and American Gold Eagle gold coins are popular, meaining they're collectible.

Keep proof gold coins intact, since they were never intended for circulation. Think twice before putting that Almost Uncirculated coin toward the purchase of a CD (and we don't mean Certificate of Deposit.) On the other hand, many circulated US gold coins become so common they lose their collectors' value, so you can safely pass them on.

You have been trying to make that cashier smile for months. Throwing gold bullion coins her way may just make your day.

   
Are world gold coins more valuable than US gold coins?

World Gold Coin Values

It's America versus the world, so the media says, and certainly all nations compete for the gold in the Olympics and World Cup Soccer. But what's better for you to collect, a US gold coin or an Australian gold coin?

Whether you're in Prague, Pittsburgh or Pyongyang, collecting foreign gold bullion coins can be a great investment assuming your country isn't in a depression or recession. However, exchange rates may dampen your enthusiasm for foreign gold coin values.

Some other tips for investing in foreign gold coins:

1. Gold bullion coins such as the Australian Lunar series are limited, so if you're after the 2001 Snake, be prepared to pay a high price in USD or AUS. A 1/20 troy ounce of gold had a circulation of 100,000, whereas there were only 30,000 one-ounce gold coins minted in 2001. A one-ounce Snake gold coin can retail for $509.50 USD. Currently, one American dollar is equivalent to $1.3 AUS. For a coin valued at $500.00 USD or $653 AUS, Japanese collectors might pay 54,000 yen. Don't forget to factor in the troy ounce and the face value of gold coins.
2. If you're living in another country, it's probably best to buy coins from a dealer in your own nation, unless the exchange rate is favorable or if you're using Australian dollars, for example. The same goes for selling coins. Unless collectors know the exchange rate or gold coin values, you could be suspected of passing off inferior merchandise.
3. If you're not concerned about the year of issue, some dealers take the gold coin values guesswork out of buying and sell you gold coin issues of their choosing. This may be because some gold coins are difficult to come by, especially in the global market.
4. You can collect both modern world gold coins and every US gold coin issued. They're in demand and excellent investments.
5. When dithering over that Mexican peso or US Capped Bust gold dollar, check both the world price guides and, if necessary, weight the coins against each other. It may be better to have a Mexican peso in Almost Uncirculated or Extremely Fine condition than a Capped Bust gold coin graded Good. And it might be better to have commonly issued gold coins that everyone wants rather than rarities.

Remember, international diplomats all aspire to friendship. Respect the customs and bargaining rules if you're buying from foreign dealers. Remember not to insult honor if you're trading with a Japanese numismatist, but in other countries such as the Middle East, haggling over prices is common. While one school of thought holds that you shouldn't invest in overseas gold coins, there's nothing wrong with broadening your coin collecting horizons.

   
What were the first bullion coins?

The First Bullion Coins

Bullion coins are best known throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. However, you can find some earlier examples such as the Middle Eastern silver shekel of Tyre from 126 B.C. through 69 A.D. The Spanish Eight Reale, used throughout the world as well as the United States from the 1800's until 1857, is another early bullion coin.

The first bullion coins of the United States were the silver Trade Dollars, which came out in 1873 through 1876. These first US bullion coins were a response to China's preference for trading with the Eight Reales. More recently, the South African Krugerrand came out in 1967. These gold coins were the first bullion coins of modern day times. The South African Krugerrand had no other competitor on the market which was similar and soon became the most popular gold bullion coin available.

   
Can you tell me what are bullion coins?

Gold Bullion Coins

Gold bullion coins are created for exchanging precious metal units and are not typically used for commerce. The US Mint determines the value of gold bullion by the weight of the precious metal. In the United States and other parts of the world, people seeking a way to protect against currency inflation do so by purchasing gold bullion coins. Typical gold bullion weights include 1/20 oz., 1/10 oz., 1/4 oz., 1/2 oz., and 1 oz. sizes. A one oz. gold bullion coin is the equivalent to the size of a U.S. half dollar while a 1/10 oz. gold bullion coin equals the size of a U.S. dime.

   
Should I buy gold bullion or gold bullion coins?

Gold Bullion and Gold Bullion Coins

Gold bullion. The very name evokes images of Fort Knox, Switzerland, bars that, unlike paper money, endure. But you shouldn't rush to collect pure gold bullion or even invest in gold bullion sight unseen with only a piece of paper as your proof. While gold won't cost you your pension plan and 401k like Worldcom, some coin collectors feel better buying gold coins that they can see and touch rather than stock certificates.

If you buy a piece of Credit Suisse gold bullion, one ounce fine gold, you also have a tangible investment. So do you choose gold bullion or gold bullion coins? Here's a good-as-gold guide.

GOLD BULLION

* Subject to gold price fluctuations
* Endures better than paper money
* Usually is made up of .9999 pure gold
* Available through banks and coin dealers
* Appreciate in value
* Supply is subject to mining and governmental controls

GOLD BULLION COINS

* Prices fluctuate, but gold coin values aren't tied to major world and US indices
* Earlier gold coins are less common and available than gold bullion, such as a pre-1933 US gold coin
* Later gold coins are subject to government confiscation, pre-1933 gold bullion coins such as the Double Eagle aren't
* Attractive and beautiful to collectors
* Special historic appeal gold coins, such as Cvil War coins and coins from famous shipwrecks, are easier to resell
* While US coins aren't pure gold due to minting demands (copper is required to make the coin card), they remain highly valuable, especially the one troy ounce gold coins, which weigh 1.0909 troy ounces.

The choice of gold bullion over gold bullion coins is up to you. Bear in mind, though, that gold coins can be conversation pieces and will give you nostalgic or aesthetic enjoyment, something that a bar of gold or piece of paper can never do.

   
What are spot gold prices and how do they affect a coin's value?

Spot Prices and Gold Coin Values

So, you're into collecting gold bullion coins. A gold coin dealer says you have to pay the spot price. Does that mean on the spot? Are you being pressured into buying gold bullion coins? Not likely.

The spot price is the price for spot delivery which in the gold market is two days from the trade date or value date (the date you buy the gold coin). That's probably as clear as a gold coin that's been cleaned. How about this: The spot price is the immediate settlement price. A delayed spot price means you pay a deposit of perhaps $30.

If you're using an online dealer or ordering by phone, you call the dealer for the balance. Since gold prices fluctuate, some dealers won't quote you a full price in the catalog or online. Many dealers quote prices in real-time. Remember that dealers multipy gold prices by the troy ounce of the gold coin to arrive at gold coin values.

The actual price you'll pay, above the value if the dealer wants to make a profit, is, for example, the gold spot price divided by 4 + $12.00. The prices vary because the price of gold varies, while the blue book gold coin values may be fixed.

Just know that your dealer isn't trying to pressure you. If you feel put on the spot, ask to see the spot value of gold that day, which determines how much the coin is worth. Better yet, download a real-time updated chair to your PDA or Blackberry.

So if you can afford the trade, go ahead, buy that American Gold Eagle on the spot.

   
How do I determine the value of a gold British sovereign?

Gold British Sovereign Values

God Save the Queen, even after the hijinks of the Royal Family, many people still want to collect British gold. Say you have a King Edward VIII sovereign, the equivalent of a pound today, that was never circulated because he abidcated. You've already sold your commemorative Prince Charles/Princess Diana coin and want to buy a King Edward VIII coin (hey, he abdicated for love.)

Gold coin values for a King Edward VIII sovereign are easier to figure out than the royal scandals. Simply multiply the current price of gold by the troy ounce. British Sovereign gold coins contain .2354 troy ounce, so let's say you have a one-ounce King Edward VIII gold coin. Say the current value of gold is $442.80, so $442.80 times .2354 times the face value of the coin, one British Pound equivalent to $1.84 USD, equals $191.80 USD. That's what you get for throwing a throne away for love.

But what about Charles and Camilla? The commemorative gold medal can retail for 745 British Pounds. God Save the Queen!

   
How rare are gold bullion coins and what are they worth?

Gold Bullion Rare Coin

"All that glitters isn't gold," so Shakespeare wrote. A world gold coin or US gold coin is attractive, particularly the Canadian Maple Leaf, but gold coin values vary.

As we've mentioned before, the Maple Leaf, Australian Lunar gold coins, and American Golden Eagle's are valuable, but these days they're common issue in US and world banks. You shouldn't behave like a lottery winner ("I'm not going to quit my day job, honest") just because you acquire gold bullion coins. Gold bullion coins aren't rare these days.

However, buying a pre-1933 Double Eagle (.9675 pure gold) gold coin with a face value of $20 and priced at $600 is worthwhile--the estimated value is $300-$400 (it can skyrocket to the thousands), and these gold coin values appreciate.

Even modern gold coins such as the Canadian Maple Leaf with .9999 pure gold, the most in the world, can be a worthy investment. The popularity of the Maple Leaf gold bullion coins increases the value.

Always have any gold coin authenticated and appraised to make sure (1) whether it's genuine and (2) what the gold content is, since that will determine its worth. Check gold prices, since gold coin values are tied to the valuation of the metal.

Above all, remember if that Coronet Double Eagle minted in Carson City in 1876 is genuine, given Coronet prices ($2,000 and up), all that glisters really is gold.

   
Can you give me some background on the Kangaroo bullion coins?

Kangaroo Bullion Coins From Down Under

Australia's Kangaroo bullion coins came out in 1990 and replaced the original Gold Nuggets gold bullion coins, which launched in 1986. Kangaroo species that have appeared on the coin include the red kangaroo (1990), the grey kangaroo (1991), and the whiptail wallaby (1994). Scenes from Kangaroo bullion coins have included a singular leaping kangaroo as well as the image of a mother kangaroo and joey together on the same coin. Coin sizes include a 1 oz., 1/2 oz., 1/4 oz., 1/10 oz. and 1/20 oz. bullion coin. During 1991, Australia began to release large sized bullion coins with the Red Kangaroo design - a 2 oz. version and a 10 oz. version.

   
What are the current prices for some of the gold bullion coins?

2006 Prices For Gold Bullion Coins

US Bullion coins come in silver, gold, and more recently, platinum coins. The 2005 price per ounce for gold bullion coins according to Fell's Official Know It All Guide To Coins is $425 per ounce. The US official gold bullion coin is the American Eagle and comes in four denominations: $5 (1/10 oz.), $10 (1/4 oz.), $25 (1/2 oz.), and $50 (1 oz.). To get an idea of prices for various American Eagle gold bullion coins, look at our list below:

1986 MS65 (1/10 oz.) - $45
1986 MS65 (1 oz.) - $450
1995 10th Anniversary Set $5,800
2005 MS65 (1/10 oz.) - $55
2005 MS65 (1 oz.) - $450

   
Can you give me some examples of gold bullion coins from around the world?

Bullion Coins From Around The World

People from countries around the world purchase gold bullion coins as a means to use gold as a physical investment. The bullion coins are used as a means of storing value. If you're interested in coins from around the world, you'll find many countries issue one design for a given year, though some countries have variations. Bullion coins from around the world use the international currency code defined by the International Organization for Standardization, which establishes exchange rates. For some examples of designs you can choose from, take a look at our list below:

Australian Gold Nugget – The Australian Gold Nugget depicting the kangaroo was first released in 1986.

Canadian Gold Maple Leaf – First released in 1979, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is pure 24 karat gold.

South African Krugerrand – This coin shows Paul Kruger, President during the South African Republic (1883-1902) on the obverse and a sprinkbok, South Africa's national animal on the reverse.

Austrian Philharmonic – These 1 oz. 24 karat pieces depict the Vienna Golden Hall organ and instruments on the reverse.

   
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