Share this page:
Welcome to coinandbullionpages.com - the site that specializes in information about gold coins of the world both ancient and modern.
A page is dedicated to each coin type for easy access to the information you want.
All articles on this site are 100% original, "hand written" and professionally researched - mostly from online sources, coin catalogues and old books about gold coins.
Collecting Gold Coins
Gold has always been associated with wealth and power. To this day it is a highly sought-after commodity that retains some currency functions (in the sense that it is highly liquid and tradeable worldwide.) Gold is also an item revered by collectors and aficionados worldwide.
As the interest in gold has always been both financial and aesthetic, those who collect different kinds of currency (numismatists) usually have the best of both worlds: Collecting gold coins is a hobby usually undertaken for both the thrill of the hunt as well as for the financial investment that automatically comes with possessing something that has a high salability, value, and demand. Collecting gold coins can be a hobby, a form of investment, a historical study and a way to pass on something of value to future generations.
There are basically two kinds of gold coin collectors – those who collect historical (numismatic) gold coins, and those who collect modern (bullion) gold coins, with of course a few people who collect both.
People who collect old gold coins may choose to focus on a specific country of origin - usually collecting those of their own country as these have greater significance for them. Some people may focus on a specific time period or ancient civilisation that they have interest in - developing an expertise for example in old Roman gold coins or old Chinese gold currency while leaving all the other gold coins to others.
In modern times, numismatic coins are often graded according to stringent standards and then sealed in tamper-proof plastic cases which act as both a security measure and as a protective cover to prevent damage from handling. In coin collecting, as with other antiques and valuables, condition is everything - with examples in top condition often fetching many times the price of those in lesser grade.
Monetarily speaking, collecting gold coins, whether ancient or modern will no doubt be expensive. However, some gold coins are made with varying purities, some only containing a significant amount of gold alloyed with a base metal. Such coins are not prized as bullion coins (with some rare exceptions), although they can make for (somewhat) more affordable gold coins for collectors interesting in owning one or a number of such coins but that lack the monetary leverage to purchase bullion coins.
Ways to obtain gold coins
The primary way gold coins are obtained is of course through purchase. However, one of the great challenges of collecting gold coins is the expense involved. Coin collecting was once called "the hobby of kings" - and this is for good reason: Rare ancient gold coins can be hard to obtain and very expensive - with the best examples either in museums or fetching four, five or even six figures at auction. And modern bullion coins will reflect the fact that the price of gold is high in modern times. However, there are still many gold coins that are "within reach" - and many gold coins can be seen for sale at three figure sums through dealers, auction houses and through commonly used portals such as ebay.
The second means by which gold coins are obtained is through metal detecting. A surprisingly large number of old gold coins that were once lost, are uncovered every year. In ancient times, before the rise of the modern banking system, the standard method for many people to hide their wealth was to bury it. Very often, fateful events caused the location of these treasures to be lost. In recent years, metal detector technology has advanced - and in the UK especially it seems that a new hoard of spectacular value is unearthed almost every year. The UK has even been called "the real treasure island" on account of the sheer number of treasures that lie buried beneath its lands.
Quite often, landowners are interested in the idea of finding wealth on their land and will be amenable to work out deals with treasure hunters - perhaps agreeing to a 50/50 split of any wealth uncovered. If treasure hunting, care must be taken however to observe a) any laws such as "treasure trove" - which require all finds of gold or silver to be reported. b) to observe the laws regarding landowner permission (always get permission first!) c) to observe laws and codes regarding the disturbance of sites of ancient historic interest. d) to observe other codes of respect of the land, such as the "countryside code".
Note that treasure trove laws vary in different countries.
A third way gold coins are often obtained is by being passed on from family members. It seems that many people have a few old gold coins which perhaps have been in the family a long time.
Modern gold coins
Modern gold coins fall into two basic types - bullion coins and collectors' coins. Collecting modern gold bullion coins is generally easy (provided that one can afford it), since the coins are readily available from reliable bullion dealers both online and offline. The price of the coins is dictated by the market value of the gold contained in the coin, plus a small dealer commission of a few percent. The coins may have some additional value if they are older and are in top condition - but the value is typically that of the gold content.
Modern gold bullion coins such as the American Gold Eagle or the Krugerrand not only make for excellent and valuable collectibles, but they can also make for monetary investments (bullion investments) which may possibly appreciate overtime. Unlike ancient gold coins whose main value is on account of their scarcity and historical interest, with its gold content being of secondary worth, modern gold coins make for a more reliable investment due to the controlled and standardized purity of the gold used in its production. Modern gold coins are usually minted in pure refined form and manufactured at specific weights in order to contain a measured amount of gold.
In addition to bullion coins, one may also see modern collectors' coins. These are typically produced by national mints as limited edition sets, often commemorating an event of national significance. One may also sometimes see gold proof versions of the ordinary currency coins of the day, produced with specially frosted / mirrored designs. Such coins are typically best purchased directly from the mint as they are released - as when they appear in the hands of dealers or other online outlets such as ebay, they may be at a higher price.
Collector coins are sold by grades, with the price of a coin being affected by its grade in much the same way collectible comics or books are assayed. Coin grades usually include a coin's condition as well as its rarity which, aside from the overall price of the precious metal found within, may help to increase its value. 
Content researched and created by Alexander Leonhart for coinandbullionpages.com © coinandbullionpages.com 2012
Note - this site provides general information about gold, silver, coins and bullion. None of the contents of this web site should be seen as financial or investment advice.