Many different gold coins and bars are available, and it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference which you buy as long as you buy bullion products. Avoid the numismatic/collectible coins advertised on radio and television.
Most investors prefer buying gold bullion coins over gold bars because coins come in tubes and are easier to handle. 1-oz. bars, on the other hand, are individually packaged, are not as easy to handle and count, and require more room for storage.
However, gold 10-oz. and kilo (32.15 oz.) bars are suitable for investors putting sizeable funds into gold.
Another reason bullion coins are preferred is that they are produced by government mints. The best known being Gold Eagles by the US Mint; Krugerrands by the South African Mint; Gold Maple Leafs by the Royal Canadian Mint; Kangaroos by Australia’s Perth Mint and Philharmonics by the Austrian Mint.
It is odd that people buy gold because of their government’s excessive issuance of paper money and debt, yet they prefer government-minted coins over privately-minted bars. So, the real reason that coins are preferred over bars may be because of their ease of handling.
As noted, we recommend bullion products, not the numismatic/collectible coins that are promoted by telemarketers that advertise heavily on radio and television. Be warned that telemarketers tack on markups of 20% to 30%, sometimes even 50% (depending on what they think they can get).
The thing to remember is that you want to buy your gold as close to the “spot price” of gold as possible because at times all gold liquidates at the same price, regardless of its form, even jewelry.
1-oz. Gold Eagles, the best-selling gold bullion coins in the world, carry premiums (their markup over spot) of 4.3% to 5%. Krugerrands, nearly as popular as Gold Eagles, can usually be bought at 1% lower premiums than GEs. The RCM’s Gold Maple Leafs, the Perth Mint’s Kangaroos and Austria’s Philharmonics are well known but are not as popular as Gold Eagles and Krugerrands. These coins’ premiums fluctuate between the premiums on Gold Eagles and Krugerrands.