In times of crisis there are people, more than a few, that start thinking in investing their saving in gold or silver, since the value of these metals have kept growing along many years. In this post we will talk about that, the high value of some collection coins due to the materials in which they are minted.
In order to preserve our bullion coin collection in perfect conditions we have to be very careful in its manipulation as well as in its storage. As we previously saw in the coins preservation and storage post, gold is a very inert material so its not very affected by the passing of time. However it is not the same with the silver, which can sometimes show a very ugly patina. The best conservation method in this case is the use of capsules in order to isolate them from the environment.
The bullion coins are mints in noble metals like silver, gold and platinum for investing purposes and a limited number of issues. Its unit is the troy-ounce (31,10 gr.) and they can be in multiples (2, 5, 10 of an ounce) and sub multiples (1/2, 1/4, y 1/10 of an ounce). All of them have a facial value in the country they were issued, most of the time substantially smaller than the metal value and it is because of this value that they are not considered medals or ingots.
The main advantages of the gold coins as a secure value compared to the gold ingots are:
- Security and certification of the gold coins: A coin is always more secure than an ingot. Among its measured unique characteristics you can find the gross weight, nett weight, diameter, width, design and edition, while on the ingots, most of the time these characteristics are unknown or they are not persistent in time. In general, gold coins are difficult to counterfeit, and knowing the specific coin characteristics might be enough to detect those counterfeits.
- Well known geographic prestige coins: A Japanese, an Argentinian, and Iranian or a Spanish might prefer totally different coins. The Spanish guy might rather invest in 20 gold French francs while the Argentinian guy might do it in an “gold Argentinian from 1884”. Depending on the country each investor lives he or she might choose a different coin, this is a characteristic that will determine the demand of this coin and therefore if it will rise its value.
- Gold coins usually contain an alloy: I. e. the Gold Krugerrand has a purity of 22 carats, a high gold concentration, and it is more hardly damaged. This is important when it comes the time of selling the coin, since the value will decrease if the coin is damaged or it contains scratches. Coins with a 99.9% purity are damaged easily since gold is a relatively soft metal at that level of purity.
- The coin weight: A coin is an insurance against the loss of purchasing power and sometimes a life insurance. It is recommended to have gold coins with low weight as they have a higher liquidity. Also, a one ounce gold coin (or until 250 grams) is usually more difficult to manipulate by a counterfeiter.
Best Bullion Coin Example
The most times minted in history coin. It is estimated a production of 390 units, it is re-minted since 1857 by the Austrian Mint House, in the Maria Theresa Thaler from 1780, year when she died. It is a silver coin .833 and a weight ounce of 28 grams, in which 23.4 are silver.
Along the obverse shows a portrait of the empress with the inscription M· THERESIA·D·G· R·IMP·HU·BO·REG· which means: "María Teresa roman empress by good’s grace, queen of Hungary and Bohemia". Under the bust the initials S. F appear, which correspond to the initials of the assayers of the Günzburg mint, Tobias Schoebl and José Faby.
Along the reverse the double headed imperial eagle is sown in the centre, rounded by four quarters that represent Hungary, Bohemia, Burgundy and Burgau and the inscription ARCHID·AVST·DUX·BURG·CO·TYR·1780·X, translated as: "Archduchess of Austria, duchess of Burgundy, countess of Tirol 1780".
Besides the coin was of legal use in Austria until 1858, in lots of African countries, the Maria Theresa thaler was used as a legal coin during the Second World War.
The latest success of the Austrian mint is the famous Vienna Philharmonic coin. Minted in pure silver and from which 41 million has been sold along the last three years.
The coin represent in its reverse the harmonic variety of the musical instrument, including a cellos, violins, an arp and a Vienna horn. The obverse of the coin shows the big organ of the concert hall Musikverein in Vienna, headquarters of the orchestra. The nominal value, weight, fineness and year of mintage are also printed on this side of the coin.
Most Popular Bullion Coins
There are a very large precious metals minted coins and the use of these coins as investment has increased along last years. This way, most popular coins to acquire as an investment would be these ones:
Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, is a gold coin of 0.99999 near the 24 carat of precious metal, to the point that it has no alloy. First minted in 1979 with a facial value of 50 Canadian dollars. Even though the precious metal is higher than the facial value, the Maple Leaf is recognised as legal circulating coin in Canada according to its denomination.
In the obverse, it shows the Isabel II bust, looking right, with an inscription showing her name, facial value of the coin and mint year, there are variants depending on the image of Isabel II. In the reverse a maple leaf its shown, the national symbol of Canada, with the inscription showing the name of the country and the gold purity.
The Krugerrand is the south African coin, minted for the first time in 1967 with the aims to help in the buying and selling of the south African gold in the market. It was the first gold coin minted in the whole world to contain exactly one ounce of fine gold, and it was intended from the first moment of its creation to provide an efficient carrier to the private property of gold. Although this coin its is an alloy with brass in order to give some strength to the coin. The real weight of “one ounce” coin is 1,0909 ounces (33,93 g), being one ounce of pure gold and the rest, 2,826 grams of brass.
The Krugerrand gets its name from the fact that the obverse shows the face of Paul Kruger, the president of the ancient Republic of South Africa at the beginning of the XX century. The reverse shows an south African antelope (springbok), one of the national symbols of south Africa. The name of the country and the gold content are written in Afrikaans as well as in English.
American Gold Eagle
The American Gold Eagle is the official bullion gold coin of the United States, that started minting in the US Mint in 1986. Usually they are minted in the West Point Mint, New York, that is why they have a mark of a “W”. By law, used gold might only come from mineral deposits situated in US land, with an alloy of silver and copper (91.67%Au 3%Ag 5.33%Cu) in order to add some more strength to the coin, therefore the gold is .9167, the equivalent to 22 carats, which had been during a long time the standard measure for the gold coins.
The obverse of the American Gold Eagle reproduces the famous figure of the “Freedom Lady”, as it was designed by its author August de Saint-Gaudens in 1907, with her hair on the air and holding a torch with her right hand, while in the left one she holds an olive branch, all rounded by beams of light. In the background the capitol of Washington is shown.
In the reverse a male eagle is shown carrying an olive branch in its claws, flying over a nest with the female with the offspring. All that rounded by the inscriptions “United States of America”, “E Pluribus Unum”, “In God We Trust” and the fine gold weight and its facial value, 50 dollars.
Another peculiarity of these bullion coins emission is that between 1986-1991 the mint date was written in Roman numbers, although after 1992, the arab numbers started to be used instead to give them date.
Portuguese Mint Centenary Commemoration
Although it might not be one of the most popular coins regarding its commercialization, it deserves a place in this post due to its original design . Its is the only bimetallic and eccentric coin in the world, combining the two main precious metals: gold and silver. We already talked about this coin in the 2.5 Euro Portuguese coins post.
Spanish Bullion Coins
All along history, Spain has also minted this kind of coins. With no doubt Alfonso XII 25 pesetas coin is one of the most important ones. The etcher on this coin was Gregorio Sellán González, who show his work continuously used with the design of the Alfonso XII coins and the first two of his son Alfonso XIII.
Therefore we have the Alfonso XII coin from 1878 in which obverse it can be read “ALFONSO XII-POR LA G. DE DIOS 1878” with date of 1878 in the six pointed stars. The etcher mark G.S (Gregorio Sellán) is shown in the neck. The reverse shows the inscription “REY CONSTL-DE ESPAÑA D.E 25 PESETAS.M.” A crowned shield rounded of the Toisón collar and with the royal mantle in the background with symbols from Castilla, León, Aragón, Navarra and Granada; in the center the Borbón shield.
This 25 pesetas coins are among the most popular ones in the Spanish territory, even demanded by people from other countries, interested by its high historic and economic value. As it is one of the most known coins its value can grow high, especially along crisis times, obtaining very tempting values and very well positioned in the world of offer and demand.
The FNMT (Spanish mint house) keeps minting coins in precious metals, one of the last incorporations of this serie where the new coins minted due to the Felipe VI proclamation as king of Spain.
Following this line, the commemorative coin of the 70 years of the end of the Second World War is also among the latest minted ones.
For its silver version, a 10 Euro coin was elected in which the picture of the king Felipe VI is shown, being the first of this coins of “proof” quality. The obverse reproduces the image of a dove with an olive branch in its bill. In the upper part of the coin, in circular and upper case, the inscription “70 AÑOS DE PAZ” (70 years of peace). Along the lower part of the coin, on the left, the common mark adopted by the countries that mint coins dedicated to the European Program. Of this coin 7.500 units in proof quality has been minted with a weight of 28 grams of .925 silver.
On the other hand the gold version is a coin of 200 Euro with an obverse and reverse exactly the same as the previous one but for the facial value. In this version the coin is minted in gold .999 with a weight of 13.5 grams. It has also been minted an amount of 7500 units in proof quality and at a starting price of 675 Euro.
And Now The Most Expensive Coin Of The World
Finally to end the post we will talk about the most expensive coin ever minted. Although this might not be totally true, due to the humongous size of the coin its manufacture has not being by the minting process but regular function.
The coin has been made by the mint house of Australia and it has 80 centimetres of diameter and 12 centimetres of thickness. In the averse a red kangaroo rounded by sun beams with the inscription “AUSTRALIAN KANGAROO 1 TONNE 9999 GOLD” and the date 2012. While in the obverse the picture of Elizabeth II is shown with the inscription “ELIZABETH II, AUSTRALIA” and its value, “1.000.000 DOLLARS”, what if we make the change into Euro would be like 718 497.297 Euro.
They took 18 months making this coin. It is a coin with 1000 kilograms of gold of a 99.99% purity, which in actual value would be around 40,26 million Euro.
“Minting a coin of this size has been an incredible challenge, a challenge that not all minting houses can have”, said the executive director of the Mining House of Perth, Ed Harbuz, during the presentation.
Also, the coin of a one tonne of gold is part of a program from the Australian minting house that offers different size of commemorative coins, being until now one of one kilo and similar characteristics to the one we are currently explaining. This coin was minted commemorating the 70th anniversary of Elizabeth II as a queen. Its diameter is 75.60 mm, and its thickness is 13.0 mm. The inscriptions in the obverse are, “Isabel II”, “AUSTRALIA”, “1 kg 9999 Gold”, “2012” and, “3000 dollars”. The price of the coin only because of the gold value, would be around 57000 dollars.
If you want to see more details of the coin making process you can also have a look at the following video: