Certified Gold Coins vs. Gold Bullion Coins

As gold has risen, fallen and risen again investors new to the yellow metal have struggled with the decision to invest in certified gold coins, gold bullion coins or a mix of both types of gold coinage. Today’s blog aims to clear the air with the hopes that some investors, after reading this blog, will be able to make a well-informed decision regarding the purchase of gold coins.

A “certified” gold coin is one that has been placed into a sealed, protective casing by either PCGS or NGC and has a grade of MS61-MS70. MS69 and MS70 American Eagle coins have grown in popularity over the years, but critics of such coins say that modern-day (post-1986) certified coins are merely bullion with a hefty price tag, and they are right. Anyone can buy brand new bullion coins, at bullion coin prices, and have them certified for $30-$40 each, although the certification does not make the coins collectibles because as brand new coins they are expected to be in perfect condition.

Older (pre-1933) certified coins carry a high premium too, but the premium is justifiable for long-term investors because of older coins’ historic profitability in comparison with gold bullion coins. Investors who plan on holding their gold coins for longer than 14 consecutive months typically do better financially, historically speaking, with pre-1933 certified gold coins.

Gold bullion coins are usually the better option for investors who plan on “flipping” their gold coins in the near-term. Premiums are lower so the buy/sell spread can be covered more quickly. For short-term investors this is optimal, but individuals who plan on sitting on their coins for a long time, or possibly bequeathing them to friends or family, have in the past been able to realize a greater profit by investing in pre-1933 certified coinage instead of raw bullion or post-1986 certified coins.

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