A. The same vetting rules outlined earlier apply. Check them out. Too often investors make the mistake of believing that the gold firm that sponsors their favorite political commentator is also the best place to make their gold purchases. National media campaigns are expensive and those costs are usually covered in the prices paid by investors for their gold coins. In some instances that mark-up can be twice the gold value. Take care that you are not paying too much for your gold and that you are buying the gold items best suited to meeting your goals.
Foreign governments also mint coins, but they may not be produced to the same standards as U.S. coins and they aren't guaranteed by the U.S. government. The value of foreign bullion coins depends primarily upon the coin's melt value – the basic intrinsic bullion value of a coin if it were melted and sold. A bullion coin's condition – its "grade" – isn't the most relevant factor in determining its price.
These particular buyers are looking to create a hefty fund to hedge inflation. When seeking to establish a substantial fund, bars become an extremely attractive option, as they are the easiest to stack and store. They come in weights as high as 100 troy ounces, making storage relatively easier when compared to other instruments such as rounds and coins. However, providing adequate safety and security to this massive quantity of silver can be a tedious task. Hence, private, offshore storage depositories, offering top-of-the-line security at reasonable prices, are considered a great option for storage.
If you are buying gold coins in the U.S., chances are good that you will see American Gold Eagle coins for sale. These gold coins are produced by the U.S. Mint, and are one of the world’s most popular gold bullion coins. One of the nicest things about American Gold Eagle coins is that they are available in numerous weights such as 1/10th ounce, ¼ ounce, ½ ounce and 1 ounce.
The Chinese Mint is the official sovereign mint of the People’s Republic of China and produces the nation’s official gold bullion coin. Introduced in 1982 with 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz coins in .999 pure gold with the image of a Giant Panda on the reverse. In 1983, the Chinese Mint increased the offering to feature a 1/20 oz coin as well. Designs for the Chinese Gold Panda include:
Bullion coins are minted from precious metal, usually gold or silver, and bought for investment purposes from major banks, coin dealers, brokerage firms, and precious metal dealers. Their value is based on their gold or silver bullion content. Prices fluctuate daily, depending on the price of gold and silver in the world markets. Perhaps the best-known bullion coins are the American Gold Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf, the Australian Gold Nugget, and the South African Krugerrand.
The Krugerrand is the most widely held gold bullion coin, with 46 million troy ounces (1,400 tonnes) in circulation. Other common gold bullion coins include the Australian Gold Nugget (Kangaroo), Austrian Philharmoniker (Philharmonic), Austrian 100 Corona, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, Chinese Gold Panda, Malaysian Kijang Emas, French Napoleon or Louis d'Or, Mexican Gold 50 Peso, British Sovereign, American Gold Eagle, and American Buffalo.
The banking systems are slowly returning to their former strengths after the 2008 Financial Crisis, but one of the big changes was their insurance policies; countries and banks are now holding a lot more gold bullion in reserve as a safe-haven; guaranteeing their capital in the event that problems arise in the future. It's okay to want to invest in things other than gold, but it's sensible to spread your investment and build a portfolio of many different assets.
American Eagles and similar gold coins are collectible because of the precious metals used in the construction. Precious metal content, also called PMC, is a term that tells you the amount found in each coin. These designs can contain a precious metals content of up to one ounce per coin. This amount can include 0.1, 0.25, or 0.5 ounces too. Collectors often prefer designs with more precious metals. These bullion coins have a weight based on troy ounce, which is a measurement that's a little over 31 grams. Even an American Gold Eagle made primarily from gold often contains trace amounts of other metals like silver.
Gold coins are also flat, disk-shaped 0.999+ pure gold pieces. However, most gold coins, unlike gold rounds, carry an official face value (legal tender value) in the country of issue. These investment instruments carry one of the highest premiums over the spot price of gold due to collector demand and official recognition from sovereign governments.
(Reader note: The Better Business Bureau began its Gold Star Certificate program in 2003 and USAGOLD was a recipient of the award every year it has been issued – fifteen straight years without a complaint. The firm has been a member of the Bureau since 1986 and accredited every year since 1991 (the year it began its accreditation program) with an A+ rating. To see USAGOLD's full BBB report, please visit this link. Be sure to read our reviews.)
Over the trailing five year period through March 31, 2018 the standard deviation of gold, using ETF SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEMKT:GLD) as a proxy (more on this gold-owning ETF below), is 16. The annualized return over that span was a loss of around 4%. Putting those two numbers together, there is a reasonable probability that gold will provide a gain of between 12% and a loss of 20% in any given period. That's a pretty big range that dips soundly into negative territory. By comparison, the standard deviation of the S&P 500 Index over the same span was a little under 10 with an average annualized return of about 13%, suggesting the expected range was between a gain of 23% and a gain of 3%. Which one sounds safer to you?
Gold was used in commerce (beside other precious metals) in the Ancient Near East since the Bronze Age, but coins proper originated much later, during the 6th century BC, in Anatolia. The name of king Croesus of Lydia remains associated with the invention (although the Parian Chronicle mentions Pheidon of Argos as a contender). In 546 BC, Croesus was captured by the Persians, who adopted gold as the main metal for their coins. The most valuable of all Persian minted coinage still remains the gold drahms, minted in 1 AD as a gift by the Persian King Vonones Hebrew Bible new testament (Matthew 2.1–23). Ancient Greek coinage contained a number of gold coins issued by the various city states.
Between Nov. 30, 2007, and June 1, 2009, the S&P 500 index fell 36%. The price of gold, on the other hand, rose 25%. Do the quick math and you'll see that gold outperformed stocks by more than 60 percentage points. This was the most recent example of a material and prolonged stock downturn, but it's also a particularly dramatic one because, at the time, there were very real concerns about the viability of the global financial system.
As alluded to above, investors often make the mistake of buying so-called rare coins. These numismatic or semi-numismatic coins are meant for collectors, speculators, and hobbyists rather than people looking to reliably preserve and build wealth. Rare coin buying is exceedingly risky and often buyers pay inordinately high premiums and do not recoup their value. Rare coins are not really a gold investment… they are more akin to artwork. Some collectors buy coins for pleasure, because of their history or beauty, or because they have excess money to tie up in illiquid assets. Gold coins that are priced close to their actual melt value is a more prudent way to invest in precious metals.
APMEX: (OK) 405-595-2100 and press 1 unless you want to be on hold forever. For purchases of one to 19 coins there is a 5% markup; for 20 to 99 coins it’s 4.8%; for 100 or more it’s 4%. You must open a free online account. You’ll pay $25 shipping for orders under $25,000; shipping is free if you buy more. Payment by check or wire transfer is preferred.
Bullion coins appeal to investors who are looking for a physical asset that has stood the test of time as a store of value. Coins minted from precious metals have, of course, been used for thousands of years as a store of wealth and a transactional currency. With paper currencies, however, bullion coins have moved firmly into the realm of investment as opposed to being used simply as currency. In times of financial uncertainty, bullion coins tend to perform well as a safe haven. Even in times of economic stability, bullion coins generally keep their value over time.
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.
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.
When dollars were fully convertible into gold via the gold standard, both were regarded as money. However, most people preferred to carry around paper banknotes rather than the somewhat heavier and less divisible gold coins. If people feared their bank would fail, a bank run might result. This happened in the USA during the Great Depression of the 1930s, leading President Roosevelt to impose a national emergency and issue Executive Order 6102 outlawing the "hoarding" of gold by US citizens. There was only one prosecution under the order, and in that case the order was ruled invalid by federal judge John M. Woolsey, on the technical grounds that the order was signed by the President, not the Secretary of the Treasury as required.
Bars come in various shapes and sizes and are made by different fabricators or mints from all over the world. Silver bars can offer investors a simple and easy way to accumulate varying amounts of silver in its purest form. Common silver bar sizes include 1 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, 1 kilogram and 100 oz. Some of the more common producers of these silver bars are Johnson Matthey, OPM Metals, Engelhard, NTR Metals, Sunshine Mint, SilverTowne and the Royal Canadian Mint.
From gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to gold stocks and buying physical gold, investors now have several different options when it comes to investing in the royal metal. But what exactly is the purpose of gold? And why should investors even bother investing in the gold market? Indeed, these two questions have divided gold investors for the last several decades. One school of thought argues that gold is simply a barbaric relic that no longer holds the monetary qualities of the past. In a modern economic environment, where paper currency is the money of choice, gold's only benefit is the fact that it is a material that is used in jewelry.
That makes rebalancing a portfolio as simple as calling your broker -- for most investors selling gold coins or bars would require pulling them out of storage and taking them a dealer. The problem here is that an ounce of gold is always going to be an ounce of gold. Its value is tied totally to supply and demand. For a purist that's perfect, for most investors however it makes sense to find something that will track gold but provide's a little more upside.
As with any commodity worthy of investment, there has been a lot of change to Gold prices in the last 5 years. Periods of strength in the U.S. economy have led to lower prices from time to time. Comparatively, periods of volatility in the stock market and other sectors have given power to the price of Gold. When investing in Gold, it is essential to watch the market trends closely, going at least 5 years back to research. This will give a broader picture of what to expect, and give you the chance to determine whether you are buying on an upward climb or a downward slide. All investors must keep in mind that Gold prices will change many times over the course of a 5 year period, but doing the research enables wise investing. Even during weeks or months when Gold prices have experienced a rise, watching the trend will help you decide whether to hold onto your Precious Metals or sell them.
Leveraged Investment Scams – Leveraged investments are high-risk investments that can result in the loss of even more money than you originally invested. Typically, in a leveraged investment scam, a telemarketer or website will state that the price of metal is about to skyrocket and that you can make significant profits by making a small down payment for the metal, often as low as 20 percent. According to the marketer, by paying only 20 percent of the purchase price, you can get more metal than if you had to pay 100 percent of the purchase price.
The real problem: Futures contracts are usually bought with only a small fraction of the total contract cost. For example, an investor might only have to put down 20% of the full cost of the gold controlled by the contract. This creates leverage, which increases an investor's potential gains -- and losses. And since contracts have specific end dates, you can't simply hold on to a losing position and hope it rebounds. Futures contracts are a complex and time-consuming way to invest in gold that can materially amplify gains and losses. Although it's good to know that futures contracts exist, they are high-risk and not recommended for beginners.
Some people out there appreciate the true beauty of a beautifully minted gold coin. Take the coins from the famous American Gold Eagle program for example, with obverses featuring Weinman’s beautiful Walking Liberty and the reverses depicting Mercanti’s rendition of a Bald Eagle and a shield, a symbol of American strength and pride. Collectors buy these products for their ‘artistic’ or ‘collectible’ value rather than their melt value. For them, there is no right or wrong; they should pick the products that they consider aesthetically appealing.
However, there's a downside as well. Because a miner is running an operating business, you are also facing the risk that things might not work out as planned. As noted above, mines don't always produce as much gold as expected, workers sometimes go on strike, and, unfortunately, mining is risky and disasters can take place that halt production and cost lives. All in all, gold miners can perform better or worse than gold -- depending on what's going on at the specific miner you're looking at.
Market timing is difficult for any investment. That is one reason many investors look beyond day-to-day price movements and buy physical Gold or Silver as long-term investments. When planning to hold an asset like physical Gold for 3-5 years or more, it is less important to consider the current cost of the metal and more important to examine its historical performance in relation to other investments.
While it is next to impossible to buy Silver at spot, reputable retailers such as APMEX make it easy to get the best price available at a competitive premium over spot. The term spot refers to the current market price for a 1 oz unit of Gold, a rate that continually fluctuates during the day. Investors want to pay as close to the current spot price as possible with small premiums giving the best chance at a good margin when selling later. There are, however, other factors that make a higher premium worth paying, such as a history of appreciation, availability, or reputation of quality from the mint of origin. While all Precious Metals including Gold are sold at a premium, this small additional cost is what pays for expenses such as mining, refining, production, and collectible market value.
Miners begin by finding a place where they believe gold is located in large enough quantities that it can be economically obtained. Then local governments and agencies have to grant the company permission to build and operate a mine. Developing a mine is a dangerous, expensive, and time-consuming process with little to no economic return until the mine is finally operational -- which often takes a decade or more from start to finish.
Like silver bars, silver coins are often 99.9 percent pure. Some coins, such as the Canadian Silver Maple Leaf, for example, can be as high as .9999 percent pure. Silver bullion coins do also carry a face value and, therefore, must be produced by government mints. For example, the American Silver Eagle has a face value of $1 USD. The American Silver Eagle seems to be one of the most popular and most trusted coins in the world.
As there is a finite amount of Silver in the world, Silver’s relative purchasing power tends to remain stable. For example, in 1985, the cost of an ounce of Silver would just about buy two movie tickets. Allowing for some peaks and valleys in the market, today, one ounce of Silver costs slightly less than a pair of movie tickets while the price in dollars has tripled. Silver prices do fluctuate, but they generally move independent of the stock market. If you want a stable investment that can protect your purchasing power long term, consider buying Physical Silver.
Investors may choose to leverage their position by borrowing money against their existing assets and then purchasing or selling gold on account with the loaned funds. Leverage is also an integral part of trading gold derivatives and unhedged gold mining company shares (see gold mining companies). Leverage or derivatives may increase investment gains but also increases the corresponding risk of capital loss if the trend reverses.