Two Types of Gold Coins

There are many types of gold coins from which to choose. Gold coins can be categorized into two broad types: numismatic gold coins and gold bullion coins.

Gold Bullion Coins

Gold bullion coins are coins that were minted and are accumulated by investors strictly for their gold value. They have no collector value at all and they are not of interest to collectors.

Numismatic Gold Coins

Numismatic gold coins are generally U.S. gold coins that were minted between 1795 and 1933. Surviving gold coins from this period are of great interest to both collectors and investors today.

The most common form of gold coin ownership in the United States are gold bullion coins. There are several prominent types of gold bullion coins common throughout the world.

US Bullion

The most widely owned gold bullion coin in the U.S.A. is the American Eagle gold bullion coin. The Gold American Eagle has been around since 1986 and millions are produced each and every year for gold buyers.

The U.S. Mint also produces a second gold bullion coin which was unveiled in 2006: the American Buffalo gold bullion coin. The Gold Buffalo was modeled after the famous Buffalo nickel which was popular in the first half of the 20th century. The Gold Buffalo differs from the Gold Eagle in its design and, more importantly, its precious metal purity.

While both the Gold Eagle and the Gold Buffalo contain the same amount of gold, the Gold Buffalo has a more pure overall content. The Gold Eagle includes alloys to harden the coin against wear and tear.

In addition to the U.S. gold bullion coins, some foreign mints also produce gold bullion coins.

The most famous gold bullion coin is the original gold bullion coin: South Africa’s Krugerrand. The Krugerrand was first produced way back in 1967, long before any other gold bullion coin came on the scene. Until the advent of the Gold American Eagle in 1986, the Krugerrand was by far the most popular and widely-owned gold bullion coin in the world. In fact, for many years, the name Krugerrand was synonymous with gold coin the way "Kleenex" became synonymous with tissue and Xerox with photocopies.

The second gold bullion coin to arrive on the scene in the late 1970s was the Gold Canadian Maple Leaf, produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.

Red China even produced a popular gold coin, the Chinese Panda.

Eventually both Austria and Australia got into the gold coin business with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Kangaroo respectively.

The other broad category of gold coins is numismatic gold coins. Numismatic gold coins are coins which have collector value and interest as well as gold content.

US Numismatics

For the most part, this category of coins is made up of surviving specimens from gold coins minted by the U.S. Mint between 1795, when the Mint began producing gold coins for circulation, and 1933, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the end of the minting of gold coinage and confiscated privately held gold.

These coins are scarce because of the fact that the overwhelming majority were melted down when FDR ordered them turned in to the Treasury department in 1933.

Today, some of the gold coins which are popular among collectors and investors today range from the Gold Dollar first minted in 1849 to the $20 Double Eagle, which was minted all the way up until 1933.

Today, numismatic gold coins are of interest and value to collectors and investors alike. In addition to their gold content, their scarcity gives them added profit potential. Their fascinating stories and beautiful designs make them among the most treasured collectibles in the world.