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Pure Gold Coin for Investors and Collectors

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prBuffalo24K.jpgI heard about this on the Marketplace Morning Report this morning, and I’m interested.

The U.S. Mint will produce the first pure (.9999) gold coin for investors and collectors. The face value of the coin will be $50 and it will consist of 24-karat gold.

The “bullion” version of the coin will be for created investors. The Mint will only sell these coins to authorized dealers (for the market value of the gold plus a small mark-up) who will in turn sell the coins to the “secondary market” (ie., us ordinary people). If you are interested, you can find the authorized gold dealers here and the coins go on sale tomorrow, June 22.

The Mint will produce only 200,000 “proof” coins, and they will also be available beginning June 22 from the Mint’s website for $800 each. So what’s the difference between “proof” (for collectors) and “bullion” (for investors)?

Collectible coins are issued in premium quality (Proofs are most desirable) by government mints in limited quantities, and sold at premium prices… On the other hand, bullion coins are issued in large numbers by government mints in Uncirculated quality, and sold at small premiums over the gold value.

Updated February 7, 2012 and originally published June 21, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

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This does sound like a great idea, but with the price of these coins being closely tied to the market price of gold I’m not sure now is a good time. Rememeber the #1 rule of investing is to buy low and sell high.

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avatar James J Orr

Your comments on proof coins vs. uncirculated (what you called bullion) are misleading. Proof is a process used to manufacture coins. It has nothing to do with scarcity. In the last 15 years, the mint has made almost 3 times more proof commemorative coins as uncirculated, leading to the uncirculated variety being more in demand among collectors, and more valuable than proofs. In the bullion market, you can buy proofs, or uncirculated coins (also known as “business strikes”) and have the same amount of metal either way. In most cases, both varieties will sell at about the same amount.

Proof coins are made by polishing the dies making the coin to give them a mirror finish in the fields, and by using multiple blows of the coin press on the coin blank. Uncirculated coins are made from standard dies with only one blow of the press. This the only difference in the two, and is independent from mintage figures. Mintage is based on authorizing legislation, collector demand, and coin program objectives. The legislation specifies that “Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of the Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005, the
Secretary shall commence striking and issuing for sale such number of $50 gold bullion and proof coins as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate, in such quantities, as the
Secretary, in the Secretary’s discretion, may prescribe.” So we do not know which will be scarcer until the mint release mintage figures.

Anyone can purchase either variety of gold bullion from local coin dealers for a small markup. Even though the mint would like you to believe that collectors will only buy proofs, history has shown that collectors usually buy what they feel is a good investment, and will buy a scarcer variety over a more common one.

-Jim in cincinnati

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avatar Nirav

I bought a dozen of these coins at an average cost of of $625.

I also bought 1 proof coin at $800. This coin currently sells for $1000 while the others track gold.

not a bad 25% rise in 2 years!

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avatar Jim

I don’t get it. Please forgive my ignorance but if the coin cost $800.00 then why isn’t its face value placed at 800 dollars. Why would some one give $800.00 for $50.00?

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