Figuring Out Modern Gold Coin Prices

Do you have questions about gold coin prices?  Yes, it can be confusing at first, given the many listed prices you will come across, as well as unscrupulous dealers who try to confuse the issue.  Here’s the most basic way to look at it: gold is an investment commodity, and has nothing to do with currency.

This foundation, and all we currently understand about gold, resulted from the Nixon administration’s act (“Nixon Shock”) of ending the “gold standard,” as in direct conversion of gold metal into U.S. currency.  Now, we associate gold price according to speculation from the stock market, from supply and demand factors from the mining industry, and most often from the London gold fixing meeting of representatives. 

In short, the price of gold fluctuates daily, though it is considered a less volatile metal than silver.  Gold actually increases in value during recession, since investors tend to panic at bad news and start buying up precious metals to protect their assets from inflation and worse yet, economic collapse.  (You may be witnessing this for the first time in the modern era with the euro, though many of us also remember the peso crash.)

However, gold is sometimes odd in its movements; for example, when the U.S. dollar increases in value, gold often falls in price.  When there are international issues (most recently India’s economic trouble, or China’s lessening their supply due to fraud issues), gold price can also suffer.

When it comes to gold coin prices, understand the major differences.  When you buy pure gold (or at least 90% gold metal) you are paying for the commodity, and that is going to cost you upwards of $1,500 per troy ounce.  Some coins are one troy ounce exactly and some coins are fractions of a troy ounce.  If you buy a collector’s coin made of mostly pure gold, you will pay slightly more, as the proof or uncirculated editions are designed differently than regular bullion gold.  Gold bars are also less expensive than gold coinage, which have the potential to appreciate over time. 

Lastly, consider that gold coin prices also include a commission paid to the coin dealer.  Before buying gold coins “as is”, it is recommended you research the coins advertised and make sure the dealer is charging market price for the coins, and that everything makes sense in terms of metals as well as numismatics (namely, that coins are rare due to market popularity, history and rarity). 

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