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If you’ve been debating whether new or old gold coins are the better investment, we’re here to help. We’ll unravel this age-old debate and show you why both have their advantages and disadvantages, so get ready for a journey into precious metals investing.

 Before we get deeper into this topic, we first need to mention that when evaluating options for buying gold or silver, it’s important to consider your primary objectives and ask yourself a few key questions: 
  • Are you a history buff or a collector who wants something tangible and special?
  • Is investing for the future or protecting your retirement savings account what has piqued your interest?
  • Maybe inflation and recession concerns have motivated this move?

Whatever drives your decision, these are questions worth taking some time with. That said, let’s start by taking a look at what defines an old gold coin.

Feel free to use the quick links in the TOC list to jump straight to any section:

What Defines An Old Gold Coin?

The definition of an old gold coin can vary depending on the context and the individual using the term. In general, an old gold coin is a coin made of gold that was minted a significant amount of time ago and is no longer being produced.

However, the specific time period that qualifies a gold coin as “old” can vary depending on the collector or numismatist (coin expert) in question. Some may consider a coin from the 19th century to be old, while others may only consider coins from ancient civilizations, such as Greece or Rome, to be old.

In addition to age, other factors that can contribute to a gold coin being considered old include its rarity, historical significance, and condition. For example, a gold coin that was only produced for a short period of time or in limited quantities may be considered more valuable and old than a coin that was produced for many years in large quantities.

Definition Of Numismatic Coins

Numismatic coins are collector’s items, sought after for their connection to history and aesthetic value. Valuing much more than just their face worth, these rare or ancient coins can be highly valued due to their condition, date of minting, rarity level, and even the mark from which it was made.

What Are Proof Coins?

Proof coins are the finest quality coin produced by the United States Mint.

“Proof coins aren’t intended to be introduced into circulation but are made only for the collector market. While regular coins are struck just once under normal pressure and at a high rate of speed, each Proof coin is carefully struck at least twice under high pressure to bring out the full details of the design.” GovMint.com 

In other words, these exceptional quality coins are created with a meticulous multi-step process that includes special treatment, hand polishing, and cleaning to guarantee pristine results every time. The blanks are then fed into presses fitted with specially polished dies and struck at least twice.

The Threshold From Old Gold Coins To Newer Coins

It’s tough to pinpoint when we crossed the threshold from ‘old’ gold coins into ‘newer’ territory. Some maintain that pre-1933 coins are classic, true relics of a time before the US currency went off the gold standard – while others contend 1986 is really where modern coin collecting kicks in.

This marked the birth year of America’s iconic Gold Eagle which is the most popular gold bullion coin sold worldwide!

American Gold Eagle Coin

Image Source: goldco.com

Additionally, old gold coins, known as the Double Gold Eagle, minted pre-1966 are touted as “rare and valuable” by telemarketers and TV personalities; so many were confiscated by the government.

Old Gold Coin: Gold Double Eagle

Image Source: apmex.com

However, experts estimate that only 25% of the pre-1966 gold coins were turned in, which means there is plenty still circulating amongst collectors and investors.

If you are ready to take action, >>>>see our list of the 5 top precious metals IRA companies (cash sales also available).

Determining Factors In Deciding The Value Of A Coin

For collectors, age, rarity, and mint are key factors when assessing the value of a gold coin. While it may seem hard to believe that gold coins from centuries ago can still be found in perfect condition, some have managed to escape meltdowns or circulation wear over time.

Naturally, gold coins produced during historically small runs tend to carry more worth than those created with larger mintages.

As do coins marked by smaller mints like Carson City which generally saw fewer production numbers compared to major mints like Philadelphia. Thus the CC mint mark is highly coveted by collectors.

Are Old Gold Coins Worth More Than New Gold Coins?

It depends…. Overall, Double Gold Eagles and Gold Eagles are both worth considering, but it all comes down to your investment goals.

For starters, the original Double Gold Eagle has a higher premium – think 30-50% above spot price for this yellow metal. Telemarketers have been known to upcharge heavily when trying their luck with these beauties. If you know what to look for, however, collectors may be able to find fantastic opportunities.

On the other hand, the American Gold Eagles (new gold coins) are sold at a minor markup, which is why coin investors flock to this coin. The obverse features the remarkable Augustus Saint-Gaudens design of Lady Liberty with her flowing hair watching over the US Capitol building in the foreground. On the reverse is a proud and majestic bald eagle in profile.

“What truly sets American Eagles apart is that they are the only bullion coins whose weight, content and purity are guaranteed by the United States Government.  Investors can buy them with confidence, knowing the coins contain their stated amount of gold.  In addition, long-term savers can include American Eagles in their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).” (U.S.Mint/gov)

If you are ready to take action, >>>>see our list of the 5 top precious metals IRA companies (cash sales also available).

The History Of The American Gold Eagle Coin

The American Gold Eagle coin has seen a lot in its long history. This iconic piece of money was first minted way back in 1792 and served as an important part of Americans’ daily lives. It helped them put food on the table, buy warm clothes, or finance their education—whatever they needed it to do.

Unfortunately though, when hard times hit during the Great Depression all gold coins were ordered and turned over by our government meaning that this treasure disappeared from circulation for some time until revived later after 1985 as 1-ounce bullion coins made with 22k gold alloy.

Today, these beautiful silver-golden objects are more than just symbols. They represent how resilient America can be against difficult odds – ready to rise again every single time!

Lastly, the Gold Bullion Coin Act includes a provision that requires the coins to be minted using gold found in the United States, making it truly an American coin.

Should You Invest In Collectible Coins Or Bullion?

In coin collecting, the numerical grade of a coin is a vital factor rather than the gold spot price in determining its value. But if you’re looking to make big bucks, the condition of a bullion coin isn’t as important.

Instead, it’s all about what kind of metal it contains. For precious metals investors interested in–gold, silver, and platinum coins–there’s only one thing that matters; does this shiny piece pack enough punch when it comes to legendary metals?

As long as the answer is “yes” then your portfolio should be sorted…No grading necessary!

Gold Eagles and Silver Eagles from the United States Mint come struck in sizes sure to fit any budget, ranging from a tenth of an ounce of gold all the way up to one full ounce. The value comes just out of their weight alone.

However, if you’re collecting coins, it’s essential that they remain in pristine condition: every grade matters. Keep your eyes peeled for those highest quality pieces; rarity equals a high price tag when talking collectible numismatics.

For example, if you happen to have a 1996 Silver Eagle, it’s worth far more than the one ounce of silver it’s made from. Certified as MS70 in perfect condition and sporting that rare grade makes the coin worth almost $5000, and is extremely sought-after by collectors.

And a 1999 Silver Eagle contains one ounce of silver but on the collector market, it’s valued at up to $22,500 in perfect mint state 70 condition.

Best Old Gold Coins To Buy

Pre-1993 US gold coins have been popular with coin collectors for a long time. Here are some of the best old gold coins to include in your collection:

  • Gold Indian Head
  • Liberty Gold Eagle
  • Liberty Gold Double Eagle
  • Half Gold Eagle
  • Quarter Gold Eagle
  • Peace Silver Dollars
  • Swiss 20 Francs
  • British Sovereigns

Best Old Gold Coin To Buy In 2023

Image Source: pgsgoldandcoin.com

Bullion Coins

And if you prefer new versions, here are examples of bullion coins:

  • Gold American Eagles
  • Canadian Gold Maples
  • Canadian Silver Maples
  • South African Krugerrands
  • American Gold Buffalos
  • Austrian Gold Philharmonics
  • US Silver Eagles

American Gold Buffalo Coin
In summary, if you’re looking to invest in collectible coins, make sure they come with third-party certification from respected graders like PCGS or NGC. That way, you have the peace of mind of knowing your coins are authentic and professionally graded.

And when buying modern, newly issued collectible coins, make sure to work with a reputable precious metals company and ask for the official mint certificates of authenticity if they are issued.

Lastly, the numismatics market isn’t nearly as liquid as the bullion market. So, finding a buyer who offers a fair price when you want to sell may not be easy.

If you are ready to take action, >>>>see our list of the 5 top precious metals IRA companies (cash sales also available).

Top 5 Precious Metals Companies

Canada Maple Leaf Gold CoinUnless you are a coin collector, we recommend investing in new gold coins. They will ensure the best return on your investment.

Additionally, you can also buy these gold coins and other precious metals with your 401(k) or similar retirement account through a so-called gold IRA.

 Whatever your preference, the precious metals companies below are all industry-leading gold firms that will guide you through the gold-buying process and make sure you have the right gold coins for your needs. 

Here’s a summary of the most well-established and reputable firms in the industry:

  1. Goldco: Best Gold IRA Provider Overall
  2. Augusta Precious Metals: Most Trusted Gold IRA Company
  3. American Hartford Gold: Most Transparent Fee Structure
  4. Birch Gold Group: The Gold IRA Specialist
  5. Noble Gold: Most Personalized Service


Company Reviews Annual Fees Investment Minimums (IRA) Preferred Custodian Free Gold Kit
Goldco: Best Overall Gold IRA Company Reviews $180 $25,000 Equity Trust
Reviews $0 $50,000 Equity Trust
Reviews $100 $10,000 Equity Trust
Reviews $180 $10,000 Equity Trust
Reviews $80 $2,000 Equity Trust
You can read more about each precious metals company in our 5+ Best Gold IRA Companies Of 2023 (Reviewed & Rated) article.

Conclusion: Best Old Coin to Buy

Collecting numismatic coins can be an engaging, rewarding hobby. But just like any other collectible, prices fluctuate – sometimes dramatically. So, if you choose to buy and sell rare coins as part of your collection journey, make sure you know the risks and opportunities it may bring.

It’s also easy to fall victim to a good deal at first but prices can be highly volatile. While collectors may thrive off the thrill of collecting rare coins and tokens, treating it as an investment isn’t always wise – savvy investors opt for bullion instead.

Bullion is reliable; its spot price is constant which means buyers and sellers know exactly what their money will buy or get them each time they trade in precious metals. Best of all, they can be bought from or sold to any precious metals dealer, at any time, for the spot price plus or minus a small dealer fee.

To conclude, for the average investor who’s simply seeking the traditionally safe and reliable store of value or protecting their retirement savings account, bullion is the better way to go.

Learn more about protecting your retirement account with precious metals >>>>request this Free Gold IRA Guide.
Goldco Free 2023 Gold IRA Guide
Goldco Free 2023 Gold IRA Guide

About the Author

Stina is an entrepreneur who's passionate about personal finance, investing, and digital marketing. She's been a writer in this space for over a decade.

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