Buying and Owning Gold

What’s the best form of gold bullion to own ?

In this country, we like the gold Eagle from the U.S. Mint. This is far and away the most popular bullion coin, and it has the best resale value of any bullion coin traded in America. In the long run, it probably doesn’t matter which form of tradeable gold you buy, but we give the edge to the gold Eagle.

How should I decide which gold bullion is the best for me ?

Basically, this website presents the major varieties of bullion gold, and we have tried to go into some detail about each one. Different gold buyers are attracted to different forms of bullion, and your decision will be based on what appeals to you. You may even wish to own some of different types of bullion coins – there’s no need to put all your eggs in one basket! However, if you have no strong preference, we recommend the U.S. gold Eagle as a beautiful coin with wide acceptance and a strong buy-back price.

Is one certain size better to own than others ? Which is best? Why?

The most frequently traded size is the one ounce, and that is the size with the smallest percentage difference between the buy and sell prices. For that reason, the one ounce is the most practical of all the sizes. Most gold packages we sell are predominantly one ounce coins, with the smaller, ‘fractional’ sizes making up a smaller part of the portfolio.

Shouldn’t I buy pure gold instead of ‘impure’ gold ?

It would seem that way, at first glance. And many people only buy ‘pure’ (99.9% or finer) gold. But, remember, those coins which are 90% or 91.7% pure gold were made by starting with the full weight of gold. By alloying it slightly with copper or silver, the soft gold is toughened to withstand wear and handling better than ‘pure’ gold. Whether you buy pure or alloyed gold is your own preference, but for thousands of years gold coins have contained an alloy to make them harder.

Can I buy gold at spot ?

Yes, you can buy a current contract of gold at the ‘spot’ price, plus whatever fees and commissions the trade costs you. This entitles you to a ‘contract’ amount, usually 32.15 ounces (kilogram), 100 ounces, or 400 ounces of gold. It also obligates you to immediately pay for it in full, and arrange delivery or storage of your purchase. Further complicating things, the gold will be in the form of a bar that is not necessarily the exact size you contracted for. Sound complicated?

It is. The ‘spot’ price of gold is a trading price, before expenses, and taking delivery of tradable forms of gold involves refining, weighing, insuring, and shipping the gold safely to you or your designated storage.

Yes, you can buy gold at the spot price. But usually not in a convenient or tradable form.

How should I store gold coins ?

No special care is needed with gold – gold will not tarnish or corrode no matter how you store it. We do recommend keeping the coins in their original mint tubes or packaging just as you receive them from us. Gold is soft, and your Mint-fresh coins can be scratched or marred by rough handling. This won’t effect their gold value, of course, but bullion coins can lose some of their resale value if not kept in perfect Mint condition.

Where do other people store gold coins ?

Traditionally, gold owners have used their bank safe deposit boxes for secure storage of gold. Although bank vaults offer virtually absolute protection, you can also buy insurance on their contents as a rider on your homeowners policy at a surprisingly low cost. Some people prefer to keep at least some of their gold closer to home, often protected in a floor safe, or kept well concealed. This is a matter of personal preference, and where you store your gold is a private decision. ONE WARNING: We feel strongly that ordinary, aboveground home safes are a big mistake. They advertise the presence of valuables, and the ones weighing a few hundred pounds can be taken out of your home as easily as your refrigerator was brought in.

Who buys gold, anyway ?

Investors, central banks, jewelry manufacturers and speculators are the largest buyers. But also individuals who just like gold in its different forms, and those who hold gold as an insurance policy. People with substantial assets to protect, and/or family obligations to consider, often own gold.

Does gold tarnish ?

No, gold does not tarnish or corrode. Your gold coins will retain their color and brightness, literally forever.

Can I clean gold coins ?

It’s not necessary, as gold doesn’t tarnish, and cleaning or polishing them will take away their original Mint finish and hurt their resale value.
Is gold easy to sell ?

Yes. Gold is easy to sell anywhere in the world, at any time. The volume of world gold trading runs into the Billions of dollars every day, in a 24-hour circle from London to New York to Chicago to Australia to Japan to India to Turkey to Paris and back to London.

If the price of gold rises substantially, where can I sell it ?

Almost anywhere. Of course, we are in the business of buying and selling gold, and hope that you will allow us a chance to bid, should you or yours ever decide to sell some of your gold. But in fact, there are hundreds of dealers in the United States, and thousands in the world, who buy gold every day.

Why is there a face value on the coins ?

Most bullion coins have a nominal face value, which makes them legal tender in the country that they are struck. This status as legal tender, rather than mere bullion, makes them easier to carry across national borders with incurring tariffs and taxes. The face value on the coin is a ‘nominal’ face value, and the various mints do not issue them at that price, nor do they ever trade at that value. But that value does confer an important legal tender status to the coins.