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A Brief History of Gold Coins

Gold coins have been used as a storage of value and means of exchange going back for hundreds and even thousands of years. A number of empires and civilisations historically have minted their coinage from gold bullion. One of the most impressive records of gold wealth comes from King Solomon, who was said to have amassed an impressive 25 tonnes of gold. It is rumored that when he traveled, he gave away so many gold coins that he devalued local currencies for decades.  Since that time, many different civilizations, from the Inca Empire up to the British Empire, have issued gold coins. Gold acts as a store of value and a medium of exchange, allowing people to trade more efficiently.

Today, gold coins are primarily used as a store of value - there are no sovereign nations that currently issue gold coins as circulated currency. However, a number of countries issue gold coins with legal tender value. These include gold American Eagles, gold Canadian Maple Leafs, gold Austrian Philharmonics, gold Mexican Libertads, gold British Sovereigns and gold Chinese Pandas.
These gold coins are purchased by individuals who like to buy gold coins as a way to hedge against inflation and against market recessions.

Gold coins are primarily available in 1 Ounce and fractional Ounce sizes.

Gold American Eagles
Gold American Eagles are issued by the United States Mint and are popular worldwide with gold investors, particularly those located in the United States and Canada. The coins feature an image of a Bald Eagle bringing sticks to his nest. The front of the coin features an image of Lady Liberty walking in front of a sunset. The American Gold Eagle series is available in 1 Ounce, 1/2 Ounce, 1/4 Ounce and 1/10 Ounce sizes. The American Eagle series is also available in platinum and in silver.

Gold American Buffaloes
Gold American Buffalo coins are also issued by the United States Mint, however these are only available in the 1 Ounce size. The front of the coin features an image of an Indian Chief, and the reverse an image of an American Buffalo grazing. The Buffalo series is only available from the United States Mint in gold. The Gold American Buffalo coin contains 99.99% pure investment grade gold bullion - this coin is slightly purer than the gold American Eagle, which only contains 99.9% pure investment grade gold bullion.

Gold Austrian Philharmonics
The Gold Austrian Philharmonic coins are produced by the Austrian Mint, and feature images from the world-famous Austrian Philharmonic. The coins were initially produced with a Schilling face value, however this was changed to Euros in 2000, when Austria switched to the Euro. The Gold Austrian Philharmonic coin series is available in 1/10 Ounce, 1/4 Ounce, 1/2 Ounce and 1 Ounce sizes. These coins are popular with gold investors looking to buy gold coins, primarily located in Europe.

Gold Canadian Maple Leafs
The Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin is issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa. These are one of the most popular gold coins available to gold investors. You can buy Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins in 1/10 Ounce, 1/4 Ounce, 1/2 Ounce and 1 Ounce denominations. Recently, the Royal Canadian Mint also released a 1 gram gold Maple Leaf. All gold Maple Leafs are 99.99% fine, however the Royal Canadian Mint also released a 99.999% fine gold Maple Leaf coin, which is the purest gold coin currently available on the market. The gold Maple Leaf series is one of the most popular gold coin series currently available to individuals looking to buy gold coins or invest in gold bullion.

Chinese Gold Pandas
The Chinese Panda Gold coin is released annually by the Chinese Mint. Each year, the image of the Panda on the back of the coin is updated. These coins were initially released in ounce denominations, and were available in 1/10 ounce, 1/4 ounce, 1/2 ounce and 1 ounce sizes. However, in 2016 the ounce denominated gold Panda coins were discontinued, and they were released instead in grams - today, they are currently available in 1 gram, 3 gram, 8 gram, 15 gram and 30 gram sizes. Because of the updated design each year, and the fact that these gold Panda coins are produced in limited minting each year, these coin tend to appreciate in value much more than some of the other gold coins available in the precious metals market.

British Britannia Gold Coins
The British Britannia gold coin is primarily available in 1 Ounce size, however, fractional denominations are also possible to purchase. The gold Britannia coin is released each year by the Royal Mint in the United Kingdom. This coin features an image of Lady Britannia. The gold Britannia coin is really popular, particularly with UK residents looking to buy gold coins, because they have no VAT payable when they are purchased, and no capital gains tax is payable on profits. Therefore, even though they sell at a slightly higher premium to some of the other gold coins, such as the gold Maple Leaf, the tax offset is greater.

British Sovereigns
British Sovereigns have been in circulation for over 100 years. These coins were initially introduced as part of the British circulated currency system, and were hugely coveted at the time that Britain maintained colonies around the world, particularly in Canada and India. This is because they had an intrinsic value, and individuals were willing to accept them in local markets and at trading posts. Each gold Sovereign coin contains 7.8 grams of gold bullion.

Australian Gold Kangaroos
The Kangaroo gold coin is minted by the Perth Mint, and is released annually with a new design each year. These coins are available in 1 Ounce and fractional ounce denominations. The Australian Kangaroo coin is popular with gold investors, and coin collectors. The Perth Mint also release the lunar series gold coins, which are very popular with precious metals investors.

Gold Krugerrands
The Gold Krugerrand is one of the most renowned gold coins worldwide - and one of the most popular with gold investors. Initially released in the 1970s, the coin was more challenging for gold investors due to Apartheid and Sanctions. However, since that time, the Krugerrand has become one of the most popular gold coins for gold investors. The gold Krugerrand coin comes in 1 Ounce, 1/2 Ounce, 1/4 Ounce and 1/10 Ounce sizes, and is available to individuals looking to buy gold coins in small or in large quantities. The coins have a slightly coppery coloring. This is due to the fact that the coins contain 99.9% fine gold bullion, and the remaining metal used in the coin is copper, which is mixed in so that the coin is slightly harder and damages less.

For individuals looking to invest in gold bullion, gold coins are an excellent option. They are released by government mints, which means that they have a legal tender value, and they are recognized worldwide. It is recommended that anyone looking to build a diversified portfolio containing investment gold consider adding some gold coins to their portfolio.