If you are looking for an opportunity to provide an investment as a gift or to add to your own investment portfolio, gold coins may be something to consider. Many people like to invest in gold coins because they are a tangible asset (meaning you actually hold them in your hand) and they provide diversity to overall investing objectives (In times of economic inflation, gold coins increase in value).
Types of gold coins to consider -- gold bullion coins and rare gold coins
The value of gold bullion coins is determined by its weight. This value changes every day based on the prevailing value of gold in the precious metals market -- so the value of a gold coin is subject to change daily as well. For example, lets say you have a gold coin that weighs 1 ounce. If the value of gold in precious metals markets is $500 an ounce, then your coin is worth about $500. The price of a gold coin is likely to include a moderate sales charge by the dealer who is selling the gold coin. The value of a rare gold coin is based on how much it weighs, and its value to individual collectors. If a particular gold coin is greatly sought after by a collector, its value will be even more -- depending how much the collector is willing to pay for it.
Where can I buy gold coins?
Gold coins can be purchased from precious metals firms, coin dealers as well as individual investors. Whomever you decide to buy rare gold coins from, the coins should be accompanied with some type of authenticity documentation from an independent coin grading service. Such documentation helps a would be buyer from buying fake / counterfeit gold coins. Two well known such grading firms are the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) and the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) If you are comparing comparable coins between dealers, make sure that each coin you are considering is graded by the same service.
Do you need thousands of dollars to invest in gold coins?
No. While there are gold coins worth several thousands of dollars, gold coins can be purchased for under $100. The exact price depends on the prevailing market value of gold and the weight of the coin. For example, if gold is currently worth $500 an ounce, you can purchase a 1/10 ounce coin for $50-$70, depending on sales markups by individual dealers.
Where can I spend a gold coin?
The U.S. Mint does produce gold dollar coins that are an accepted form of currency at many stores and restaurants. These coins are worth their face value -- so a $1 gold dollar coin could be used to make a $1 purchase. However, rare gold coins and gold bullion coins are worth far more, and are intended to be used as an investment, and not for making daily purchases.