Coins are produced by government mints to serve as currency in the country in which they are made. Nickels, dimes, quarters, pennies, and silver dollars are all examples of coinage that have been minted in the United States. Each coin is usually marked with a face value indicating its value as currency.
While most coins contain base metals, and their metal content is not worth a significant amount over their face value, some coins do contain precious metals. Examples of government coins containing gold include the American Gold Eagle, Austrian Philharmonic, South African Krugerrand, and Australian Kangaroo. Such coins are among the most popular ways to invest in physical precious metals.
Below is a full list of coins we have written pages for and included pictures of:
- American Gold Buffalos
- American Gold Eagles
- Australian Gold Kangaroos
- Austrian Gold Philharmonics
- Canadian Gold Maple Leafs
- Chinese Gold Pandas
- South African Gold Krugerrands
Symbolic Face Value
Each of these gold coins is marked with a symbolic face value, and is considered to be legal tender. They could be used in commerce, as with other coins in circulation. However, these gold government coins are intended to be sold to collectors and precious metal investors, and such coins are never actually seen in circulation.
Most gold coins produced by government mints are marked with a symbolic face value, the value of the precious metal they contain is substantially higher than the coin’s symbolic face value. For example, the one ounce American Gold Eagle has a face value of $50 USD, though the value of the gold it contains is much higher than this figure. The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins, similarly, have nominal face values such as $50 CAD for the one-ounce gold coin. Meanwhile, the South African Krugerrand, though considered to be a legal tender coin, is not marked with a symbolic face value, in recognition of the face that its true value is based on the current spot price of gold.
The value of all government coins containing gold is based on the current market value of the gold they contain, not this symbolic face value. Although you could use a one-ounce Gold Eagle to buy $50 worth of groceries, the melt value of the coin is substantially higher than this amount.
Why Government Gold Coins?
There are several advantages to investing in government coins instead of other forms of gold bullion, such as bars and rounds. First, the weight and purity of the gold is guaranteed by the government mint producing the coin. Gold coins that have been certified or graded by a third party may often be traded sight-unseen, as their specifications are highly standardized. In addition, they typically carry a low premium over the price of gold, making them a wise choice for investment purposes.
Finally, as coins, they carry a unique design that is prized by many collectors over the fairly nondescript appearance of other forms of physical gold. For example, the Chinese Panda gold coin features an image of a cuddly panda bear, while the American Gold Eagle features a classic depiction of Lady Liberty. If your interest is in collecting beautiful coins that also happen to have the strong investment potential of gold bullion, then government coins may be the best option for you.