False Claims – Unscrupulous sellers often overprice their coins, lie about the bullion content, or try to pass off ordinary bullion coins as rare collectible coins. Some fraudulent dealers may even try to sell coins that aren't bullion coins at all. Others may try to sell bullion pieces with the same design as coins from the U.S. Mint, but in different sizes. Indeed, private mints issue coins that look like bullion coins minted by foreign governments, but may have little or no gold content. Your best defense is to study the market and choose your dealer carefully.
Gold bullion coins usually come in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 and 1/20 oz. sizes. Most countries have one design that remains constant each year; others (such as the Chinese Panda coins) have variations each year, and in most cases each coin is dated. A 1/10 oz bullion coin is about the same size as a U.S. dime. A 1 oz. gold bullion coin is about the size of a U.S. half dollar.
Instead of buying gold itself, investors can buy the companies that produce the gold as shares in gold mining companies. If the gold price rises, the profits of the gold mining company could be expected to rise and the worth of the company will rise and presumably the share price will also rise. However, there are many factors to take into account and it is not always the case that a share price will rise when the gold price increases. Mines are commercial enterprises and subject to problems such as flooding, subsidence and structural failure, as well as mismanagement, negative publicity, nationalization, theft and corruption. Such factors can lower the share prices of mining companies.
Coins, bullion, and bars. If you're looking to own physical gold for its investment value, then coins, bullion, and bars are the best option. However, there are markups to consider here, as well. It costs money to take raw gold and turn it into a coin, and that's often passed on to the end customer. Also, most coin dealers will add a markup to their prices to compensate them for acting as middlemen. Think of it like a commission for a stock trade; coin dealers have to make a living, too. Perhaps the best option for most investors is to buy gold bullion directly from the U.S. Mint, so you know you are dealing with a reputable dealer.
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.