In 2007 the Royal Canadian Mint produced a 100 kilograms (220 lb) gold coin with a face value of $1,000,000, though the gold content was worth over $2 million at the time. It measures 50 centimetres (20 in) in diameter and is 3 centimetres (1.2 in) thick. It was intended as a one-off to promote a new line of Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins, but after several interested buyers came forward the mint announced it would manufacture them as ordered and sell them for between $2.5 million and $3 million. As of May 3, 2007, there were five orders. One of these coins has been stolen when it was on exhibition at the Bode Museum in Berlin.
Many types of gold "accounts" are available. Different accounts impose varying types of intermediation between the client and their gold. One of the most important differences between accounts is whether the gold is held on an allocated (fully reserved) or unallocated (pooled) basis. Unallocated gold accounts are a form of fractional reserve banking and do not guarantee an equal exchange for metal in the event of a run on the issuer's gold on deposit. Another major difference is the strength of the account holder's claim on the gold, in the event that the account administrator faces gold-denominated liabilities (due to a short or naked short position in gold for example), asset forfeiture, or bankruptcy.
Gold shows typically deal more in numismatic, or collector coins, which have high markups, are illiquid, and are valued based more on rarity or historical significance than gold content. If a dealer does have any bullion, it is likely to be a limited selection. While numismatics can be a good investment, it takes a tremendous amount of research to avoid being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous dealer.
Gold coins price is based on the weight of the precious metal and the scarcity of the coin itself. The scarcity arises from the fact that once a mintage of a coin is done for a specific year there will never be another coin of that year produced. Minted coins also offer the guarantee that comes from a reputable mint like the U.S. Mint. Gold coins are generally legal tender in the country that the coin was minted.
The Mexican Mint issues the official gold bullion for the nation of Mexico. Backed by the federal government and Banco de Mexico, the nation’s central bank, the Mexican Gold Libertad coin debuted in 1981 and has been available annually since 1991. The coin series includes 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz options. The Gold Libertads feature the following designs:
The most traditional way of investing in gold is by buying bullion gold bars. In some countries, like Canada, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, these can easily be bought or sold at the major banks. Alternatively, there are bullion dealers that provide the same service. Bars are available in various sizes. For example, in Europe, Good Delivery bars are approximately 400 troy ounces (12 kg). 1 kilogram (32 ozt) are also popular, although many other weights exist, such as the 10oz, 1oz, 10 g, 100 g, 1 kg, 1 Tael, and 1 Tola.
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf: First issued in 1988, the Silver Maple Leaf is Canada's official bullion coinage in silver and contains 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure silver. It was the world's first .9999 pure silver bullion coin and remains one of the few issued with this purity level. On the obverse is an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, while the reverse features the sugar maple leaf design used on all Canadian Maple Leaf coinage.
American Gold Eagles are widely considered the official Gold coin of the United States. These beautiful coins feature Lady Liberty standing tall, a symbol of democracy and freedom. The heraldic eagle clutching an olive branch rounds out the images that are an important part of the history of the United States. These coins come in four sizes, providing investors a unique opportunity to diversify their portfolio.
The list of metal refineries the U.S. Gold Bureau offers products from is staggering. Regardless of what your favorite mint is, you should be able to find multiple different sized gold bars from them on our site; plus our catalog is expanding all the time. Find bars distributed by ITB or International Trade Bullion, a company from the Southwest United States. ITB works hand-in-hand with the U.S. Gold Bureau to provide thoroughly refined metals using modern quality control and advanced refining methods. We also offer bars from a number of international mints such as the Australia's Perth Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint.
Broadly speaking, physical gold can be purchased in the following forms: gold bars, gold coins, and gold rounds. However, unlike silver, gold isn’t available in ‘junk’ form as the United States confiscated all gold currency in the 1930s. Hence, not only are older gold coins relatively rare, they also command higher premiums – making them a poor investment choice for those looking to build a precious metals portfolio.