If you’re new to precious metals and struggling to come to terms with the vast amount of gold and silver at your disposal — most of which is available at spot or close to spot — just how do you make your decision? Well, although the precious metal content of many of those bullion coins and bars are the same, there are slight differences that make them stand out, whilst things such as proof coins, coloured coins and more also make the choice harder.
What to Buy
One of the best gold coins that you can buy is the Gold Maple Leaf, which is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. This is a 1 ounce coin that has a face value of $50 (the precious metal content is around $1600 at today’s prices) and it has a .9999 fine gold content. This is higher than any other gold coin on the market, and yet the Gold Maple Leaf is often one of the cheapest gold coins available, selling for just a fraction above spot. There is also a silver coin available with the same design and this is also available at just above spot price, but there have been issues with “milk spotting” on these coins. This is where a milky coating spreads across the coins over time due to the finish that was applied at the mint. Therefore, whilst cheap, these coins do not share the same fine content as the gold coins and they are also not ideal for a long-term investment.
When it comes to silver, some of the best coins available are the Lunar coins produced by the Perth Mint. These coins are produced every year and if you buy them during that year, not so long after they have been minted, then you can often get them for spot, or just above spot. The beauty of these coins is that because the Perth Mint is so loved and so sought-after, these coins often double or triple in value in just a few years. This is very rare for coins that are available for next to spot price, especially when compared to other coins at the same price, such as the US Eagle and the Sliver Britannia, both of which will only increase if the value if the price of silver increases.
If you have the money, then PAMP gold bars should also be considered. These carry a premium, but it is a premium that will always remain as these bars are produced to a very high standard.
What Not to Buy
One of the things you should leave alone as a first-time investor is proof coins and coloured coins. These have a high premium and may cost you 2x to 5x the spot price. These coins can be worth a fortune in a few years time and even more if you wait a little longer, but at the same time there are many of these coins that turn out to be worthless, valued at spot price only.
You really need more experience before you begin to buy these coins. At the very least you need to do a lot of research to discover what is selling now and what might sell in the future. The worst thing you can do is what many first time investors do, which is to buy coins that are very pretty and produced by a popular mint, assuming that’s all that is needed to make them worth a lot of money in the future. Whilst this isn’t too far from the truth, the fact is that there is a lot more that goes into choosing the right proof coins for a long-term investment.