The Guide to Bullions: Are Gold Coins Pure Gold?

Gold is as fundamental to our modern culture as it was to civilizations 2,000 years ago. As nations worldwide continue to produce gold bullion coins, many investors seek to buy as many as possible. Though these items are sometimes worth thousands of dollars, are gold coins pure gold?

At Oxford Gold Group, we are experts in the world of precious metals and can explain everything about gold coins. Let’s dive deeper into the world of gold production and how to buy these valuable products.

History of the Gold Coin

Gold is a rare earth metal that professionals extract through the labor-intensive process of vein mining. For thousands of years, numerous cultures competed to access this commodity for their jewelry, architecture, and currency.

Gold coins made their first appearance around 550 BC in modern-day Turkey.

Archaeologists determine the gold purity of ancient coins to be as high as 95% in some cultures.

However, with gold becoming more accessible to industrialized societies, do modern gold bullions have similar purity levels?

The answer to this question is yes, with some exceptions. The most valuable modern gold coins in circulation have a purity of 90-99%.

How Are Gold Bullion Coins Made?

worker making gold coin in gold mine facility

While you can correctly assume a gold coin consists primarily of gold, other metals (alloys) also go into the production of gold bullion coins.

Authorized facilities produce gold coins during the minting process. This task requires several ingredients, such as precious metals, a stamping press, and a furnace that can deliver 1,943 degrees Fahrenheit of heat.

A smelter will extract gold in its purest form from a section of ore. They may mold this element into gold bars and sell them to minting facilities. Coin producers will then melt the gold and other alloys into a coin and stamp it with identifying markers.

Minting facilities generally stamp gold bullion coins with important national or cultural symbols. In the United States, you may see gold coins with the figures of eagles or Lady Liberty enshrined on their surfaces. Additionally, commemorative gold coins display other niche symbols that separate them from their standard counterparts.

Gold Coin Alloys

Minting specialists may choose to add popular alloys such as copper and silver to reinforce a gold coin. For example, 22-karat gold coins use alloying gold to reduce flexibility and offset slightly lower purity levels.

As you can expect, gold coins with high percentages of alloy will be heavier than those without them.

How To Measure the Purity of a Gold Coin

22 karat american buffalo gold coin

Appraisers measure the purity of gold by “karats.” It is important to understand that “purity” does not necessarily mean “quality.” Gold purity is simply a measurement of how much fine gold is present in the final product.

Twenty-four-karat gold offers the highest purity. It contains 99.9% fine gold and is highly malleable. Alternatively, 22-karat gold is around 92% pure, while alloys make up the remaining 8%.

How Much Are Gold Coins Worth?

The market price of a pure gold coin varies and may be difficult to determine at face value. Some factors include the coin’s age, weight, and condition. Still, most appraisers currently place the value of an ounce of gold at around $1,600.

Using an American Gold Eagle coin (one of the purest gold coins available) as an example, investors can expect to pay between $18,000 and $21,000 for this item.

Gold and silver prices fluctuate over time, but these commodities tend to retain value despite economic downturns. After the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, global markets struggled to survive. Nevertheless, gold prices grew by nearly 24%.

For these reasons, many people try to buy gold bullion coins to grow and reinforce their investment portfolio.

Which Gold Coins Are Pure?

canadian gold maple coin on gray background

Gold bullions come in different shapes, sizes, and purities. Before buying these coins, know which items have the highest gold content.

Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

This coin contains 99.99% fine gold, which makes it the purest gold coin in circulation. Members of the investment community respect this product and pay top dollar every year to obtain it.

The Canadian Maple Leaf has a face value of $5.

American Gold Buffalo

The American Buffalo gold bullion coin contains 99.9% gold content.

The United States Mint attempted to outcompete the Canadian Maple Leaf and other coins with this 24-karat, one-troy-ounce bullion. Though this coin’s value continues to rise every year, it is not as popular among investors as the Maple Leaf or American Eagle.

The American Gold Buffalo has a face value of $50.

Australian Gold Nugget

In 1986, the Perth Mint began producing Australian Gold Nuggets. These bullion coins also contain 99.9% gold, making them comparable to their American and Canadian gold coin counterparts.

Those buying gold should expect to spend quite a bit on this item. The face value of this quarter-troy-ounce gold coin is around $1 million.

Austrian Philharmonic

austrian philharmonic gold coin

The Austrian Mint began printing these beautiful 24-karat bullions in 1989. Each coin weighs in at half an ounce of gold. Investors started to gravitate toward this item after Austria adopted the Euro just over a decade later.

The Austrian Philharmonic sits at a face value of just over $100.

The British Gold Sovereign

British Gold Sovereigns closely reflect the iconography of ancient coinage standards. These 91.67% gold coins bear the visage of Queen Elizabeth II on one side and St. George on the other.

Production of these coins materialized at both the Royal and Australian Mint. The face value of Gold Sovereigns sits at just over $1.

American Gold Eagle

American Gold Eagles contain 91.67% of the purest gold on the market. Additionally, they include 5% copper and 3% silver. Unlike the American Buffalo, this bullion is popular and widely available. Manufacturers produced over 665,000 gold bullion coins throughout 2021.

The American Gold Eagle has a face value of $50.

South African Krugerrand

This gold bullion coin contains 90% gold, while copper alloy makes up the remainder.

Despite having the lowest gold content on this list, investors worldwide seek this item for their portfolios.

Though it does not have an official face value, it remains legal tender in South Africa.

How To Buy Pure Gold Coins

businessman planning to buy another gold coin in his laptop

Buying gold coins can be challenging if you aren’t sure where to start. Expect to spend time researching current market trends and exploring different offers from distributors.

Ask Yourself Why You Want Gold Coins

Ask yourself some essential questions before committing to a purchase, such as:

  • Am I buying gold coins as an investment?
  • Am I seeking to complete a physical coin collection?
  • Do I have the storage space to secure these items?
  • Can I afford these items?

The answers to these questions will impact how you shop. For example, you may need to arrange extra storage space if you cannot keep these valuable items at home.

Finding the Right Dealer

Collectors buy gold online through numerous outlets. These channels range from highly reputable companies like Oxford Gold Group to riskier networks like eBay. Others may pursue items at brick-and-mortar locations.

Buying gold coins through either channel can be extremely fulfilling for investors as long as they ensure their wisdom is sound, their information is reliable, and they’ve done their research.

Avoid scam artists by reading the online reviews and testimonials of precious metal dealers. Most people will be transparent about their experiences with certain distributors. Furthermore, don’t waste your time with companies that cannot achieve at least four-star ratings on Google.

A reliable dealer of gold coins will keep track of the current market prices of these items. Pawn shop dealers may not have the time to keep up with this information and may overcharge you for gold coins.

Buying Gold Coins

Once you find the right distributor, explore their options. As this article proves, not all coins are the same. Ask a professional about each coin’s purity, weight, age, and spot price.

If you are ordering products to your door, ensure you have all the correct tracking information. A professional will guide you through the delivery process so you know what to expect.

Furthermore, consider that a single gold coin can offer significant financial opportunities. Partner with an experienced advisor to learn how to effectively invest in these products in other channels.

Buy a Gold Coin Today

Oxford Gold Group is the premier seller of gold and silver bullions. We offer dozens of high-quality products and will arrange delivery straight to your door. Explore our catalog of gold bars and coins.

Don’t risk purchasing expensive items from shady dealers. If you have questions about the process, we can help. Our friendly representatives have years of experience managing gold transactions.

Buy gold and other metals with the help of Oxford Gold Group in Beverly Hills, CA. Call (833) 600-4653 for more information.

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