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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.
* 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.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|