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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.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|