Buying Gold at Coin Shops

When it comes to buying gold coins, there are many options. Local coin shops, many of which have been around for decades, are some of the most popular places to purchase coins.

Why Choose a Coin Shop?

There are several advantages of shopping in person. You can see and handle the products before making your purchasing decision. If you are a new investor with lots of questions, visiting a coin shop is often the best way to receive personalized attention and explanations.

Coin dealers who operate local shops are frequently willing to take the time to explain the finer points of gold coin collecting and investing to someone who’s new to gold investing and wants to learn more. This makes local coin shops a great resource, not just for buying or selling, but also for knowledge.

Many gold coin collectors prefer buying locally because of the ability to browse. You don’t have to know exactly what type of coin you’re after to enjoy an afternoon in a coin shop, surrounded by other coin collectors and gold investors. Many prefer the excitement of stopping by your local coin shop to see their gold coins over shopping online – where they must have an idea of what they’re looking for in order to find it – or at a weekend coin show, where they feel rushed through.

Another advantage of coin shops is the immediate gratification. You can walk in with cash and walk out with gold. Unlike when buying online, you won’t need to arrange for a bank wire in order to avoid paying a hefty credit card processing fee. There’s no waiting for your check to clear and for the package to arrive in the mail. Many investors feel more secure buying their gold coins from a local dealer because the gold is transferred directly from the seller’s possession to the buyer’s possession, without the prospect of shipping.


However, coin shops usually have a limited selection of gold coins and bullion on hand. Many coin dealers specialize in rare or historical coins, rather than bullion. In your local Yellow Pages, look for ads that specifically mention gold coins or bullion to find a dealer with a wider selection of these items.

When compared with the internet, their prices tend to be higher, given the additional overhead of running a retail shop. If you are located in a state that taxes precious metal sales, you will have to pay the sales tax at a local shop, while buying online could enable you to avoid the tax. On the other hand, shipping fees and transaction fees associated with online purchases can help to make coin shop pricing more competitive.

Still, if you’re after the absolute lowest price for gold coins, buying online may be better than buying from a local coin shop. If you have a specific coin in mind, do your research to determine the market value of the coin before visiting a coin shop.

Given the currently high prices for gold, many gold dealers have entered the market in recent years. How can you be sure you are dealing with a reputable coin shop? Ask whether the dealer is a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) or Professional Numismatists’ Guild (PNG). Find a dealer through a coin club or show held in your area. Ask other coin collectors or gold investors who they buy from. Only deal with reputable sellers who clearly outline their return policies and business procedures.