The Hard Assets Alliance was created in 2012 by a group of trusted independent financial researchers who believe that every investor should hold physical precious metals for both capital preservation and capital gains. With more than 35 years in the investment world, the Alliance founders are uniquely positioned to facilitate the needs of the average investor.
Gold coin weight is not entirely standardized, so each one must be looked at individually. While many bullion coins produced today are designed to weight one troy ounce, you will still find new Gold coins struck in a variety of different sizes. You must also consider that some Gold coins are made with a combination of metals, so overall weight cannot be used to determine actual Gold content.
First minted in 1967, the Krugerrand is a South African coin. The South African Mint produced it to help market gold from South Africa. It was also used as a form of legal tender and as gold bullion. By 1980, it accounted for 90 percent of the gold coin market around the world. Paul Kruger, the President of the South African Republic from 1883 to 1900, is featured on the obverse. The South African unit of currency, or “rand,” is shown on the reverse of the coin.
Borrowing money (also known as buying on margin) to make a bigger investment in gold is a risky game. Say, for example, you invest $4,000 and then leverage your investment five-to-one, so that you control $20,000 worth of gold coins or bars in an account set up by a dealer or brokerage firm. To start, the price of gold is volatile, and if the price dips far enough (below the minimum margin requirement), you’ll have to kick in more money to keep your account, or you’ll have to sell some or all of your investment. Also, the salesman’s commission is based on the total amount of the purchase. So he’ll get, say, 5% of the $20,000, or $1,000. Although 5% is a fair commission, it’s 25% of your $4,000 equity stake. On top of that, you’re paying interest on the money borrowed.
Goldline International, a major dealer, has come under fire by U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) for the high markups it charges on such coins. For example, Goldline and some other dealers push a French gold coin, the 20-franc “Rooster.” Weiner says Goldline charges 69% more than the melt value of the Rooster, which has no numismatic value.
A. Gold's baseline, essential quality is its role as the only primary asset that is not someone else's liability. That separates gold from the majority of capital assets which in fact do rely on another's ability to pay, like bonds and bank savings, or the performance of the management, or some other delimiting factor, as is the case with stocks. The first chapter of my book, The ABCs of Gold Investing, ends with this: "No matter what happens in this country, with the dollar, with the stock and bond markets, the gold owner will find a friend in the yellow metal -- something to rely upon when the chips are down. In gold, investors will find a vehicle to protect their wealth. Gold is bedrock."
That said, bullion coins usually command a premium over the melt value in the actual marketplace. On newly minted bullion coins, the premium charged over market value can be attributed to the relative liquidity and small size of bullion coins compared to bullion as well as the costs involved in manufacturing and distributing them. In secondary trading, however, additional premiums can develop specific to the coins. This is due to the numismatic value rather than the melt value. Numismatic value refers to the higher value that is commanded due to the relative rarity or particular beauty of a specific edition of a bullion coin. Unlike the melt value, discerning the numismatic value is more art than math.
Gold stocks are typically more appealing to growth investors than to income investors. Gold stocks generally rise and fall with the price of gold, but there are well-managed mining companies that are profitable even when the price of gold is down. Increases in the price of gold are often magnified in gold stock prices. A relatively small increase in the price of gold can lead to significant gains in the best gold stocks and owners of gold stocks typically obtain a much higher return on investment (ROI) than owners of physical gold.
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.
A. Over the past few years, as concern about a financial and economic breakdown spread, there were periods of gold coin bottlenecks and actual shortages. In 2008-2009 at the height of the financial crisis, demand was so great that the national mints could not keep up with it. The flow of historic gold coins from Europe was also insufficient to meet accelerating demand both there and in the United States. Premiums shot-up on all gold and silver coins and a scramble developed for what was available. There is an old saying that the best time to buy gold is when everything is quiet. I would underline that sentiment.
The American Gold Eagle is among the most sought-after for collectors. These gold coins feature the image of an American eagle on one side. Gold Eagles aren't the only options out there for gold collectors though. The American buffalo features a design that incorporates a buffalo in gold. Some collectors also like collecting international gold coins. Both Canada and South Africa make these designs. Canadian bullion has the country's iconic maple leaf on one side.
Gold coins are more aesthetically pleasing, containing amazing designs such as the bald eagles on a Gold American Eagle or the American Bison on the American Buffalo Gold Coin. Though gold bullion does not contain such striking imagery, solid pure gold ingots are extremely beautiful to hold and an incredible precious metal to own. Ten ounces of pure gold bullion and ten one-ounce coins have the same intrinsic value, but investment grade gold coins trade at a premium while having the advantages of their smaller format and improved authenticity features. Gold bullion is often selected more for larger commercial investments, gold bullion coins increase in value similarly according to their like intrinsic value. Coins, which are truly rare and historically significant, vary in price according to numismatic collector supply and demand and typically not relative to their intrinsic metal value.
In order to fully understand the purpose of gold, one must look back to the start of the gold market. While gold's history began in 3000 B.C, when the ancient Egyptians started forming jewelry, it wasn't until 560 B.C. that gold started to act as a currency. At that time, merchants wanted to create a standardized and easily transferable form of money that would simplify trade. The creation of a gold coin stamped with a seal seemed to be the answer, as gold jewelry was already widely accepted and recognized throughout various corners of the earth.
Krugerands became politically controversial during the 1970s and 1980s because of the association with an apartheid government. As a result, production of the coins varied, with levels of production increasing since 1998. The Krugerrand weighs 1.0909 troy ounces and is made from 91.67 percent pure gold (22 karats). As a result, the coin has one troy ounce of gold with the remaining weight in copper. Three sizes have been available since 1980 including ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz. Proof Krugerands are also available for collectors. They differ from bullion coins because the proofs have 220 serrations on the coin's edge, rather than 160.
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.
A. Gold owners are a group of people I have come to know very well in my 40+ years in the business. Contrary to the less than flattering picture sometimes painted by the mainstream press, the people we have helped become gold owners are among those we rely upon most in our daily lives -- our physicians and dentists, nurses and teachers, plumbers, carpenters and building contractors, business owners, attorneys, engineers and university professors (to name a few.) In other words, gold ownership is pretty much a Main Street endeavor. A recent Gallup poll found that 34% of American investors rated gold the best investment "regardless of gender, age, income or party ID. . ." In that survey, investors rated gold higher than stocks, bonds, real estate and bank savings.
(Reader Note: USAGOLD offers an Online Order Desk as a subsidiary service for our clientele. Here you can choose from a full assortment of established investment items including modern gold and silver bullion coins and bullion bars, historic fractional gold coins and historic U.S. gold coins. At our Online Order Desk, you can order confidently any time day or night and on weekends at very competitive rates.)
The timing on your gold purchase is a bit more complicated, since you will pay more for gold and gold-related stocks when gold prices are high. That doesn't diminish the diversification benefit over the long term, but high gold prices can mean lackluster returns over the near term. Trying to time your entry point, however, leads to market timing judgment calls that are best avoided by most, if not all, investors.
The name or series of a bar, round, or coin plays a significant role in the demand for the product. To retain the freedom to invest in or divest out of a particular instrument, as and when the investor wants, it is advisable to stick to famous product names and series like the American Silver Eagles or Canadian Maple Leafs. Hence, at any given time you will be assured of scores of both active buyers and sellers in the market.
Gold coins then had a very long period as a primary form of money, only falling into disuse in the early 20th century. Most of the world stopped making gold coins as currency by 1933, as countries switched from the gold standard due to hoarding during the worldwide economic crisis of the Great Depression. In the United States, 1933's Executive Order 6102 forbade the hoarding of gold and was followed by a devaluation of the dollar relative to gold, although the United States did not completely uncouple the dollar from the value of gold until 1971.
Bullion coins are coins made from precious metals with a defined weight and content that are generally used for investment purposes. Bullion itself is the term for bulk precious metal that is cast as bars with a specified weight. Bullion coins are basically a smaller, more affordable version of bullion. Bullion are typically minted in weights that are fractions of one troy ounce to fit a variety of budgets. Bullion coins are usually made from gold and silver, but they are also be available in platinum and palladium. Many countries have their own official bullion coins, such as the American Eagle series of coins available from the United States Mint, and the Canadian Maple Leaf series offered by the Royal Canadian Mint.
Coins in a mint sealed monster box. Date of the mint box is fulfilled on a availability in the warehouse. Each coin is. 999 pure silver, making this one of the finest silver coins ever minted. The obverse side of this large coin features a design based on the earlier “Walking Liberty” coin, while the reverse side features an image of a bald eagle holding a shield beneath 13 stars.
Without question, the South African Gold Krugerrand is the most widely known gold coin in the world. The first bullion coin introduced for private investment, the Gold Krugerrand arrived from the South African Mint in 1967. For more than a decade, the Krugerrand was the only gold coin available to private buyers and has survived a Western economic boycott and the end of apartheid to remain a worldwide symbol of South African gold. The Gold Krugerrand features the following designs:
Given the fact that gold no longer backs the U.S. dollar (or other worldwide currencies for that matter), why is it still important today? The simple answer is that while gold is no longer in the forefront of everyday transactions, it is still important to the global economy. To validate this point, there is no need to look further than the balance sheets of central banks and other financial organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund. Presently, these organizations are responsible for holding approximately one-fifth of the world's supply of above-ground gold. In addition, several central banks have added to their present gold reserves, reflecting concerns about the long-term global economy.
Gold has been used throughout history as money and has been a relative standard for currency equivalents specific to economic regions or countries, until recent times. Many European countries implemented gold standards in the latter part of the 19th century until these were temporarily suspended in the financial crises involving World War I. After World War II, the Bretton Woods system pegged the United States dollar to gold at a rate of US$35 per troy ounce. The system existed until the 1971 Nixon Shock, when the US unilaterally suspended the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold and made the transition to a fiat currency system. The last major currency to be divorced from gold was the Swiss Franc in 2000.
Since 1919 the most common benchmark for the price of gold has been the London gold fixing, a twice-daily telephone meeting of representatives from five bullion-trading firms of the London bullion market. Furthermore, gold is traded continuously throughout the world based on the intra-day spot price, derived from over-the-counter gold-trading markets around the world (code "XAU"). The following table sets out the gold price versus various assets and key statistics at five-year intervals.