When inflation hits and investors look for less risky assets, they turn to gold. Buying physical gold in the form of bullion or coins provides consumers with stable investments that don’t rely on the value of the dollar to retain and increase their worth. Many investors use gold to hedge inflation and to enjoy tangible assets.
Gold coins provide one of the easiest avenues for accessible investments. Whether you want to invest $50, $500, or $5,000, you can find valuable gold coins in your budget. Keep reading, and we’ll introduce you to 15 of the best gold coins to buy.
Coin Vocabulary in Brief
Are you new to the world of gold coins? Let’s quickly review some coin terminology we’ll use throughout this article:
- Obverserefers to the front side of a coin. This side often depicts the portrait of a government leader but may also feature other designs.
- Reverserefers to the back side of a coin, often featuring animals or other symbolic designs. When coins feature new designs, the reverse is usually the side that changes.
Now that you understand the basic vocabulary used by coin investors and collectors, keep reading to learn about the best gold coins for your portfolio or collection.
Top 15 Gold Coins to Purchase
Minted around the globe, the gold coins listed below offer investors and collectors the chance to own beautiful pieces of history and culture. Each coin offers unique benefits, whether you want to make your first gold purchase or use gold coins to back an existing IRA. The coins on this list appear in no particular order.
Gold U.S. American Eagle
Minting Years: 1986 to the present
The gold American Eagle coin series represents the most popular coin for investments in the United States. Most U.S. investment portfolios with precious metals include this coin in at least one of its four size options.
The obverse side of the American Eagle gold coin features the same design as the beloved Saint-Gaudens coin minted half a century earlier (1907-1933). The scene depicts Lady Liberty walking in front of sun rays holding her torch and an olive branch. The reverse side, designed by contemporary sculptor Miley Busiek Frost, differs from the design by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens; Frost depicts an eagle in flight as it arrives at its nest to its awaiting family.
The one-ounce American Eagle offers investors a classic American coin with guaranteed gold content and purity. If you’re looking for a good-quality gold coin for investing, we highly recommend this coin or others from the American Eagle series. They offer great value at budget-friendly prices and painless liquidation.
Tenth-Ounce Gold U.S. American Eagle
We included the tenth-ounce American Eagle on our list of the best gold coins to buy because it offers investors an excellent value when considering cost per gram. Entry-level investors favor these tiny coins (about the size of a dime) because they provide affordable, liquid investments. Like their one-ounce counterparts, tenth-ounce American Eagles contain a gold content guaranteed by the United States Mint.
U.S. Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle
Minting Years: Pre-1933
The classic Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle features the Lady Liberty design borrowed for the 1986 American Eagle. The reverse side continues the sun motif with an eagle flying over the sun rays. The design by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens remains as popular today as it was when the coin was first minted more than a century ago.
These coins provide relatively affordable investments but can prove rare, depending on the mint year and condition of the coin.
Gold Canadian Maple Leaf
Minting Years: 1979 to the present
Another iconic gold coin, Canada’s gold Maple Leaf, offers one of the purest gold coins at 99.99 percent purity. The coin’s obverse features a profile bust of Queen Elizabeth II, and the reverse depicts a simple yet beautiful maple leaf.
The Royal Canadian Mint guarantees a nearly unmatched gold content, be it a one-ounce Canadian Maple Leaf coin or a Maple Leaf of another size. Like the U.S. American Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf offers accessible investment opportunities to entry-level investors in a variety of coin sizes and values.
The Royal Canadian Mint produces some of the world’s purest gold coins, and investors worldwide include the Maple Leaf in their portfolios.
Gold Chinese Panda
Minting Years: 1982 to the present
The Chinese Panda gold coin, first introduced in 1982, quickly became a prized coin for many investors and collectors. A new giant panda design graces the obverse of these coins every year with a consistent layout on the reverse depicting the Temple of Heaven’s Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Investors and collectors love the opportunities the Chinese Panda’s new annual designs and low mintage create.
The People’s Republic of China Mint casts these gold coins in several sizes, including tenth-ounce, quarter-ounce, half-ounce, one ounce, and many others up to one kilogram. At 99.99 percent fine, the Panda offers excellent quality and great value for investing. Many investors around the world seek these coins for their portfolios.
Gold Austrian Philharmonic
Minting Years: 1989 to the present
The Gold Austrian Philharmonic features a fineness of 99.99 percent. Beloved as one of the best gold coins to buy for its purity and design, this coin rests among the most popular gold coins for European investors and collectors.
The coin’s obverse side depicts the Great Organ in the Musikverein, Vienna’s famous concert hall. On the reverse, an almost whimsical design celebrates the Viennese Philharmonic orchestra and musical arts with several instruments, including the violin, cello, bassoon, harp, and Vienna horn.
The Münze Österreich (Austrian Mint) mints these gold coins in various sizes, so investors at every stage can benefit from buying them.
The one-ounce Australian Philharmonic gold coin is top-rated for investors looking for gorgeous, unique coins with high gold content. If you want to expand your portfolio to include European gold coins, the Philharmonic makes an excellent choice for affordability and availability.
Gold Australian Kangaroo
Minting Years: 1987 to the present
Asian investors who dislike the Chinese Panda often opt for the Perth Mint’s Australian Kangaroo gold coin instead. Like the Chinese Pandas, these coins feature different designs for every new iteration. The reverse-side kangaroo design depicts the animal in various positions and habitats, while the obverse side always features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
One-ounce Australian Kangaroo gold coins boast a high gold content at 99.99 percent, offering investors another high-quality coin. Their many minting sizes and easy liquidity make these coins an attractive option for both experienced investors and those who have never purchased gold before.
Gold French Rooster
Minting Years: 1899 to 1914
The French Rooster gold coin is the oldest example so far on our list of the best gold coins to buy. First minted more than a century ago, these gold coins commonly change hands through trades and investments.
A portrait of the French goddess of freedom, Marianne, graces the obverse of this gold coin, and the reverse features the Gallic Rooster, an unofficial symbol of France. This nickel-sized coin offers investors and collectors the chance to own a piece of history, although the gold content of these coins is not as high as others. If you’re new to investing or have a limited budget, consider adding the French Rooster to your gold portfolio.
Gold British Britannia
Minting Years: 1987 to the present
The British Britannia gold coin presents a popular investment option featuring breathtaking coins. These gold coins have been minted using 99.99 percent pure gold since 2013, offering another option with very high gold content.
A dynamic reverse design depicts Britannia, a female warrior who personifies the United Kingdom. She holds a trident in her right hand and a shield in her left. The obverse side features a profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
Many investors include British Britannia gold coins in their portfolios because they offer nearly unequaled purity, good liquidity, and several size options to complement varying budgets. The Royal Mint also boasts a trustworthy reputation with global investors.
Gold British Sovereign
Minting Years: 1817 to the present
First minted in 1817 under King George III, the British Sovereign gold coin is the oldest coin on this list. Historical coins like these don’t offer the best in purity. However, they attract enough attention from collectors and investors that the Royal Mint still produces them for trading and investing purposes.
The obverse side of the British Sovereign includes a portrait of the mint year’s reigning monarch, beginning with King George III in 1817. The reverse side, designed by Benedetto Pistrucci, depicts the recognizable scene of Saint George defeating the dragon on horseback.
Many date sets of these gold coins provide affordable investment options to entry-level investors, while experienced collectors may aim to complete rare sets.
Gold Mexican Libertad
Minting Years: 1981 to the present
Investors and collectors love Mexican Libertad gold coins minted in La Casa de Moneda de Mexico, which is among North America’s oldest mints. Sought-after for their beauty and size variations, these gold coins make an excellent choice, whether you’re looking to expand your investment portfolio or a gold coin collection.
This coin’s obverse features the Mexican coat of arms, while the reverse design shows a scene that includes a gorgeous rendition of the Angel of Independence, two volcanoes, and a detailed landscape. Mexican Libertad coins come in many sizes, including one-ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce, tenth-ounce, and others, so investors working with any budget can enjoy them.
Gold Somalian Elephant
Minting Years: 2004 to the present
The Somalia Elephant gold coin represents another excellent investment option among the best gold coins to buy at 99.99 percent purity. Minted by the Bavarian State Mint, these gold coins depict the Somali coat of arms on the obverse and changing designs, featuring elephants, on the reverse. Investors and collectors both covet these coins for their value and beauty.
With tenth-ounce, half-ounce, one-ounce, and half-gram size options, you can add these gold coins to your investment portfolio regardless of your budget or experience.
Gold American Buffalo
Minting Years: 2006 to the present
The one-ounce American Buffalo gold coin was the United State’s first gold coin with 99.99 percent purity, and it quickly became a popular option for tangible investments and precious metal IRAs.
The obverse borrows James Earle Fraser’s 1913 Native American design featured on the United States Buffalo nickel, and the reverse depicts Black Diamond, a bison who lived in New York City’s Central Park Zoo over a century ago.
Many investors use American Buffalo gold coins to bulk up their portfolios and back IRAs because these coins offer excellent value at affordable premiums and are considered legal tender by the United States.
Gold South African Krugerrand
Minting Years: 1967 to the present
One of the most affordable gold coin options comes from the modern era’s first gold coin, the South African Krugerrand. This gold coin featuring a simple but stunning design became incredibly popular for international trade in the 1980s. It remains in demand today as a tangible investment.
Designed by O. Schultz, the obverse side of the South African Krugerrand features a profile portrait of Paul Kruger, South Africa’s first president. The reverse side depicts a springbok antelope running in a simple and graceful design.
A one-ounce South African Krugerrand gold coin contains 91.667 percent gold with the remaining weight in copper, so it’s more durable than, for example, the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin.
British Royal Mint Gold Standard
Minting Years: 2016 to the present
The British Royal Mint Gold Standard coin first hit the market in 2016 to commemorate the world’s first gold standard introduced 200 years ago. The obverse features a profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark, and the reverse uses a design by Dominique Evans featuring a balance scale and sundial.
Tenth-ounce 2022 British Royal Mint Gold Standard coins offer investors and collectors 99.99 percent gold content and are often available in pristine uncirculated condition. A top choice among the best gold coins to buy, these gold coins provide excellent value and IRA backing opportunities.
FAQs About Gold Coins
What is the difference between a gold round and a gold coin?
Many gold mints exist that can sell gold in the form of bullion bars, ingots, or rounds. Bullion is gold that has been pre-weighed and shaped, but gold bullion is not necessarily legal tender.
While any gold seller can offer you gold rounds, only official institutions can mint and release coins as legal tender. Gold coins provide more value and collectibility than bullion rounds.
Can I buy gold coins online?
Of course! Now that you know the best coins to buy for your investment portfolio, you can connect with a trustworthy gold partner to help you reach your goals. You can check our blog to find reviews on various gold vendors that operate online to help you make your decision, or you can take our quiz to receive a personalized recommendation on which gold IRA partner you should contact.
Is investing in gold coins a wise decision?
Investing in physical gold may seem like an outdated investment plan, but there’s a good reason people and institutions have been investing in gold for hundreds of years. Gold provides a stable investment, with gold values fluctuating but still increasing over time.
Many U.S. investors choose gold over stocks and other assets because it doesn’t require capital gains taxes until the gold is sold. Most gold coins provide highly liquid investments because they remain popular with investors and collectors worldwide.
Can I use gold coins to back an IRA?
Yes, you can open a precious metals IRA account and transfer funds from your current retirement account. Many companies offer gold IRAs to help investors set up stable investment accounts.
Visit this link to learn about the benefits of opening a gold or silver IRA.