Althoough rare coins come in many metals and types, by far the best rare coins to collect are gold ones. At the very least one has the intrinsic value of the gold in the coin but also there is the potential for increased value due to rarity, demand and other factors.
The same could be said for silver coins of course, but the value is less and the fascination is a lot less than for gold coins.
Buying rare gold coins can be done from coin dealers, general auctions such as ebay.com or specialised coin auctions such as heritagecoin.com for example.
A rare gold coin is usually a coin from earlier times that is valued for its age, beauty, or workmanship and could be considered an antique if it is old enough and desirable for either its aesthetic appeal or its artistry. It can also be a fairly modern coin if it is rare enough.
Collectible rare gold coins are distinct in that they are harder to come by, and therefore considered more valuable. The age and condition of rare coins are, of course, key factors in determining their value, but also important is their attainability. Following the law of supply and demand, if the demand for an item is high and the supply of it is low, that item becomes more expensive.
Here are some criteria to keep in mind when buying rare gold coins.
- Type of coin. Eagle, sovereign etc. Many rare coins can be from earlier times such as Turkish, Roman etc.
- Date of coin. A rare coin should be dated. A coin to be rare should be at least 50 years old although they could be less if very rare.
- Size of coin. These can vary also. Sometimes measured in value and sometimes in weight.
- Face Value. This may bare no resemblance to the value of the coin as an antique but certainly helps to identify the coin.
- Weight. Usually measured in troy ounces or part of an ounce but grams have also become a popular weight measurement recently.
- Fineness. (999% fine) Amount of gold compared to other metals, such as silver. This information may or may not be available, especially with the earlier coins.
- Gold content in grams and troy ounces. The weight of the gold contained within a gold coin, measured in grams. Again this information may or may not be fully available.
- Price. How much you would be expected to pay for the gold coin advertised. The perceived value of the coin depending on what coin it is, the rarity, demand and the other factors listed above. As well as any margin added by the seller and any tax that might be applicable.
Keep in mind also, whether you are collecting as a hobby or done for serious investment purposes, buying rare gold coins is a fun activity!