The next best thing to owning physical gold is buying an investment that counts physical gold as its primary asset. The easiest examples of this are ETFs like aforementioned SPDR Gold Shares. This particular ETF has an expense ratio of 0.40% and tracks gold prices pretty closely over time. It's probably the next best thing to physically owning gold, but unlike physical gold it can be easily traded.
Find a source that sells gold bullion. Often dealers, brokerage houses and banks will sell both coins and bars. When assessing a dealer, see how long they've been in business, whether they're certified with an industry or government body and in what investment activities they specialize. In the United States the national mint provides a list of authorized sellers that you can check. 
Jack Hunt (NY): 800-877-7424. Minimum purchase of five ounces. Payment must be sent upfront, then the company ships. Coins offered: one-ounce Gold Eagle coins minted in 2011 or past years. The company recently charged 4% over the spot price. With the purchase of 100 coins or more, you get a discount. For example, the markup would be reduced to 3.9% for 100 coins. With an order of 20 or more coins, there’s no shipping fee; for fewer than 20, there’s a $25 flat fee.
DGSE.com allows customers of Dallas Gold and Silver the opportunity to view what products are currently available for purchase, physically make those purchases and have them delivered. The website also offers an up to date ticker of market precious metal prices. Customers can be up to the minute aware of what gold, silver and other precious metals are worth.
During the Middle Ages gold coins continued to be struck, and these are scarce, too. With the discovery of the New World this all changed. The amount of gold flowing out of the mines was enormous, and the Spanish who controlled much of it, used it to strike one of the most fabled coins of all times: The Gold Doubloon. Pirates killed for it, hurricanes sunk them by the chest full, and captain Ahab nailed one to the mast of the Pequod, to be claimed by the first sailor who spotted Moby Dick.
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.
The most obvious answer is to run out and buy some gold coins, bars, or jewelry. This isn't the best option for investors. For example, there's a huge markup on jewelry, which makes it a very bad investment choice. But there's also likely to be a markup on coins and bars that gets put into the price quoted from dealers. After all, they have to make a living and be compensated for acting as the intermediary between buyers and sellers.
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.
Following the advent of gold as money, its importance continued to grow throughout Europe and the U.K., with relics from the Greek and Roman empires prominently displayed in museums around the world, and Great Britain developing its own metals-based currency in 1066. The British pound (symbolizing a pound of sterling silver), shillings and pence were all based on the amount of gold (or silver) that it represented. Eventually, gold symbolized wealth throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.
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.
Good question. There are thousands of dealers in the country, but there is no federal regulation and little state regulation. The U.S. Mint has a list of national dealers and dealers by state that it checks but doesn’t vouch for. White says that the Mint checks those dealers against the Better Business Bureau list for complaints, as well as online to see whether there is “any negative information about the firm and to get a feel for how the company conducts and promotes itself.”
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.
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 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.
Whether you choose to have your metal delivered to your home, or to keep it stored with your depository custodian's vault, it is up to you. By storing it at a depository vault, you gain the comfort and satisfaction of knowing that your investment is safely guarded according to depository industry standards. Stored metal provides you with the benefit of being able to liquidate your investment quicker. You may direct Monex to ship you your metal, at any time.
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.
South Africa introduced the Krugerrand in 1967 to cater to this market; this was the reason for its convenient and memorable gold content – exactly one troy ounce. It was the first modern, low-premium (i.e. priced only slightly above the bullion value of the gold) gold bullion coin. Bullion coins are also produced in fractions of an ounce – typically half ounce, quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce. Bullion coins sometimes carry a face value as legal tender. The face value is minted on the coin, and it is done so in order to bestow legal tender status on a coin, which generally makes it easier to import or export across national borders, as well as subject to laws against counterfeiting. However, their real value is measured as dictated by their troy weight, the current market price of the precious metal contained, and the prevailing premium that market wishes to pay for those particular bullion coins. The face value is always significantly less than the bullion value of the coin. Legal tender bullion coins are a separate entity to bullion gold. One enjoys legal tender status, the latter is merely a raw commodity. Gold has an international currency code of XAU under ISO 4217. ISO 4217 includes codes not only for currencies, but also for precious metals (gold, silver, palladium and platinum; by definition expressed per one troy ounce.
The grading standards are different in different countries. The main standards applied outside the United States are presented in the following table. Coin grading is not an exact science. It is a subjective exercise and depends on the qualification and the experience of the appraiser. Industry leaders were extremely concerned that without a standardized grading system, the rare coin industry could face enormous problems. Therefore, on February 3, 1986, the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) was formed and in 1987 the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Both associations have the same goal of grading coins. Other prominent grading organizations are the American Numismatic Association Certification Service (ANACS) and the Independent Coin Graders. The grading is usually done by three independent appraisers. A grading finalizer assigns the final grade of the coin and thereafter the coin is sonically sealed in a protective, inert plastic holder known as "slab". Other associations followed and are at present active. This third-party appraisal of a coin's physical condition, backed by a guarantee, and a national network of reputable coin dealers provided an extremely reliable form of protection for rare coin consumers who could then participate in the coin market with greater confidence.
A Silver coin can come in a variety of sizes from 1/25 oz to 1 kilo, and every size in between. There are mints and refiners all over the world that create the best unique and valuable Silver coins. Whether you are a beginning or experienced collector, you will find a coin that fits your interests. The most common purchases are 1 ounce Silver coins, often bought by investors and Silver collectors alike. Some of our most popular Silver coins include:
These coins commemorate the famed Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Musikverein Concert Hall where the musicians play. The Gold Vienna Philharmonic are widely-traded throughout Europe and around the world. Investors everywhere desire these lovely coins because they are unique in design, extraordinarily well made and carry the Austrian Mint's reputation for confidence and trust.