How to Buy Gold Coins

buy gold coins

Buying gold coins online is the easiest, fastest and often cheapest way to buy bullion.

Online retailers usually have prices close to spot available.

Here we look at some of the best places to buy gold coins online.

    • Wide range of bullion, gold coins and collectibles
    • Transparent pricing
    • Ethical business philosophy
  • BullionStar
    • Free shipping with a low order minimum
    • Will store in vault or ship bullion
    • Variety of bullion/collectibles


buy gold coins

GoldSilver has an excellent selection of gold coins that makes buying for even the most novice investor an easy task.

All leading forms of gold coins such as Buffalo and American Eagle coins are advertised on the site in various denominations for your budget.

New investors will love GoldSilver for the amount of written info they supply visitors to their gold coin website pages. The writing is below the inventory stock pages, and it details the following key points:

GoldSilver values are educating clients before they purchase to ensure satisfaction. Storage through GoldSilver is secure and confidential through private non-vault banks that are consistently monitored.


Money Metals

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Not only does Money Metals outline the best gold coins to buy through an organized catalog and paragraphs of writing to educate buyers, but the website also advises which coins not to buy.

Money Metals advises investors to be wary of buying rare coins as they are not the best choice to invest in for a secure future. Rare coins are more meant for hobbyists, collectors, and speculators.

Expect to pay higher premiums when purchasing rare coins. Gold coins linked to their melt value are more secure investments.

When browsing coins on the Money Metals website, individual coins will have a seal advertised over their coin image, which reflects different coins that are IRA approved. Other category labels on the Money Metals website include:

You can track the live spot price of gold alongside GoldSilver’s gold coin inventory to keep yourself updated while you browse.


BGASC separates its online gold coin catalog between the following main indexes:

Foreign gold coin options include:

BGASC gives you a wide selection of coins that are available at competitive prices. You can order online or by phone, receive fast, insured shipping, and receive prompt customer service whenever needed.

Orders over $5,000 receive free shipping. Minnesota is the only state BGASC doesn’t ship to.

Why Buy Gold Coins Online?

Many gold buying websites help facilitate the process of buying gold coins, so even a beginning gold investor can make the right purchase.

Half of the trouble of investing in gold, and more specifically, gold coins, is starting the process. With all the options available on the market, new investors can feel overwhelmed.

Visiting a website such as APMEX helps potential gold coin investors narrow down selection choices to suit their portfolio needs adequately. Gold coin selections are categorized on APMEX’s website by some of the following categories:

Here are a few examples of some of the things you can do after selecting a coin type online:

Finalizing coin purchases is made simple when shopping for gold online. For most reputable gold websites, the following payment options are:

Where to Check Gold Prices 

Checking current gold prices is made easy with the internet. Aside from googling current gold prices, visiting websites such as the ones explored later on in this article, will provide users with live gold spot prices.

Spot prices are mostly the benchmark for cash operations on international exchanges such as the following:

The value of a spot price is in between the buying and selling price.

The designers of popular gold buying websites make gold price charts, both interactive and easy to use. Gold buying websites will often include historical gold price charts to give users a more well-rounded context regarding current gold prices.

Where to Check Gold Coin Prices

Before browsing gold coin prices online, it’s essential to check the current overall rate of gold. Now that you’ve evaluated where gold is priced at browse multiple websites such as the ones we discuss later in the article to compare prices on coins.

You’ll find that most gold coin prices on reputable websites such as GoldSilver or Money Metals are pretty comparable.

Prices on gold coins will vary based on the weight of the coins, as well as how many coins you are purchasing. 1-ounce American Gold Eagle coins, for example, are sold in the following standard sets:

A full tube quantity is 20 coins.

Size quantities for gold coins tend to be the following:

Gold prices from online websites such as GoldSilver tend to be more honest and transparent compared to local prices. Shops tend to charge higher rates due to smaller inventory amounts.

Where to Sell Gold Coins

Many websites make selling gold coins just as easy as buying them. Sites such as Money Metals have straightforward programs that make sure the seller is walking away, having benefited from the transaction.

Money Metals not only buys back precious metals purchased from their inventory, but they also buyback metals bought from competitors.

Similar to buying gold coins, it is recommended that you sell online as opposed to selling to a local coin shop. The size of local coin shops dictates the fact that they rarely can offer a high buyback price. Expect reputable online websites to repurchase your gold at the current spot market price or above.

The general steps toward selling gold online tend to include the following:

What are The Top Gold Coins? 

There are a handful of nations across the world that produce and hold some of the most in-demand gold coins. Here is a list of some of the top gold coins in the world:

Prices on these coins are pretty comparable, as gold is equally valued on a worldwide scale. Other than the American Eagle and the American Buffalo coins, Canadian Maple Leafs, South African Krugerrands, and Australian coins are the most sought after gold coins.

The Royal Canadian Mint produces Maple Leaf coins. One unique thing about Maple Leaf coins is you can purchase them in denominations as low as 1/20 ounce. Other sizes of Maple Leaf coins are:

Canadian Maple Leaf coins are excellent choices for both new and experienced investors.

South African Krugerrand coins weight slightly over one troy ounce and include an alloy that makes up the coin’s 91.67% purity. Your gold Krugerrand will still be one full ounce of gold. Krugerrand coins were first minted in 1967 and were one of the first gold coins in the modern sovereign era.

The Perth mint manufactures Australian Kangaroo coins with a design that changes every year. If you’re looking to add some gold coins to your IRA, Australian Kangaroos are a great choice.

What’s The Difference Between Normal Gold Coins and Collector Gold Coins?

Normal gold coins are common government-issued coins such as the American Gold Eagle that are produced annually in sizable numbers. Collector gold coins are specific types of historical coinage that are not produced in modern times and are valued for their rarity over the content.  

Here are a few common collector gold coins:

Many European coins minted before World War 1 have a value that slightly exceeds modern gold coins. Another name for rarer collectible gold coins is numismatic coins. Modern gold coins are viewed as a better overall investment as their value is always associated with current gold spot prices.

Where to Buy United States Gold Coins

When looking to purchase United States gold coins, you can buy online, or visit local coin exchange shops. Buying gold online is recommended over visiting a local coin shop for a variety of reasons.

Relying on a local coin shop forces you to work around their schedule in terms of open store hours while buying online gives you the option to browse inventory whenever you’d like.

Many reputable gold selling websites emphasize integrity and clarity in their dealings to give the client the best deal possible. If you go to a coin trade show, for example, you may run the risk of running into a shady coin dealer that is unlicensed and takes advantage of customers.

Local coin dealers usually have to charge higher premiums for their products since they have to cover expenses that apply to other parts of the shop, such as storefront and on-site storage.

While it may be helpful to go into a store and have your purchase in hand right away, purchasing online has the potential to save you a decent amount of money.

American Eagle Coin vs. Buffalo Coin 

While both of these coins are minted in the U.S., there are some differences.

American Eagles:


If you want to purchase either of these coins, you won’t be able to buy directly from them from the U.S. Mint. The U.S. Mint sells American Eagle and Buffalo coins to authorized dealers that meet a strict level of criteria.

American Eagle gold coins were designed for circulation purposes while Buffalo coins were intended to compete with other 24-carat gold coins such as the Canadian Maple Leaf.

Higher carat gold coins such as Buffalo coins are softer than their American Eagle counterparts and should be handled gently to preserve the quality of the currency.

Is a 1-Ounce Coin The Best Sized Coin to Buy?

1-ounce gold coins are one of, if not the best, sized gold coin to buy due to their prevalence on the worldwide market.

Prevalence is critical in a market as it makes the coin easier to trade. You’ll have a hard time finding someone who won’t take you up on buying or trading for a coin such as a 1-ounce American Eagle.

You’ll find that many common 1-ounce coins, such as the Gold Maple Leafs, apply to IRA accounts.

1-ounce gold coins provide you the most overall value.

Can you Buy Gold Coins from a Bank? 

There are several banks nowadays that sell gold coins. Chances are you’ll have to call up a bank to see if they sell gold coins. Many banks won’t openly advertise that they sell gold coins for safety measures.


If you’re looking to invest in gold coins, look toward standard gold coins instead of collectibles.

Buying gold coins online is a better overall strategy compared to buying from a local store that will charge higher prices with a smaller inventory.

Evaluate current gold prices as you buy and look toward investing in universally in-demand coins such as American Eagles or Canadian Maple Leafs. 

Buy Gold Online

Choosing where to buy gold coins is not just a matter of finding the best price online. The price-comparison table can help you find the best price, but there are other factors to consider, such as shipping costs. Some dealers offer free shipping, while others only offer free shipping if you order certain amounts. Also, some dealers offer discounts when you order in bulk. You should also check if the bullion dealer has a physical store in your area. You can use the bullion dealer map to find stores near you. It might be worth your while to pay a little extra premium on gold coins, if you make up the cost in shipping fees.

Another factor to consider is the reputation of the dealer. If a bullion dealer has prices that are too good to be true and a bad reputation, beware! Be sure to check out the customer reviews before your choose a gold coin dealer.

Another consideration is the payment methods available. Some dealers do not accept checks, others accept checks with stipulations and waiting periods. This information is also conveniently located on the dealer review pages.

After considering all of these factors, you’re ready to make your purchase. Please come back, write your own review, and tell us about your experience buying gold coins.

Gold Coin Prices

When buying gold coins online, one of the most important factors in determining the price is the current spot price of gold. In most cases, gold coin prices are based on the spot price plus a premium added by the dealer. Gold coin prices fluctuate with the gold spot price. That’s why the prices in the price-comparison tables update continuously.

Gold Coins

The mints of sovereign nations as well as private mints produce gold coins. Coins issued by government mints are often legal tender, although the face value stamped on the coin is almost always considerably lower than the coins’ actual value. For example, American Eagle coins have a face value of $50, but since they contain one ounce of gold, they are actually worth over 25 times the face vale. Gold coins, such as American Eagles, Gold Buffaloes, Canadian Maple Leafs, Krugerrands, Austrian Philharmonics, Chinese Pandas and Austrailian Kangaroos make an excellent first-time gold investments.

Gold coins are the most recognizable staple in the bullion industry. Coins offer value in their bullion content and scarcity alike. While gold bars are manufactured endlessly, gold coins will always have a relative scarcity. After a set year of production for a gold coin is complete, there will never be another edition of that coin produced.

Red Spots on a Gold Coin

Anybody who has been collecting gold coins for a while now is familiar with the dreaded “red spot.” The topic is quite popular because many believe red spots on “pure gold coins” to mean that the coin is counterfeit. In most cases this is not the cause at all. Let us explain why.

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Red spots are not a new phenomenon, they occur on coins from the early 1900’s to even today’s modern coins. Because the red spots are ultimately caused by tarnishing/oxidation, and pure gold does not tarnish, a popular myth amongst coin forums is that the coin must be fake or fraudulent. That is usually not the case.

Most gold coins are not 100% pure gold. Modern coins such as 22-karat  American Gold Eagles and Krugerrands as well as older coins such as French Francs and English Sovereigns contain a percentage of metal alloy that is not gold. This is usually in the form of silver, copper and other harder metals that lend themselves to durability. During the alloy process of these metals (where it is a combination of gold, silver, copper and other metals) the molten metal cools and crystallizes at different rates. There is a slight tendency for the metals with a higher melting point to being to crystalize first which can lead to small localized pockets of metal with a higher or lower concentration of elements. It is around these small pockets that red spots can sometimes appear.

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Pure 24-karat gold coins such as American Gold Buffalos and Canadian Gold Maple Leafs on the other hand are very soft. Simple handling can easily cause scuff marks and dents. Because these coins are .999 fine they technically should not rust or tarnish. However, the majority of red spots come from surface contamination. When these pure (soft) gold coins are minted they are struck in facilities that handle other coins and metals. Any type of metallic dust that lands on these coins can cause red spots. Especially if the coin is struck and then enclosed in plastic so the contaminant cannot escape. This is why you see red spots more on Chinese Gold Pandas and Gold Buffaloes because both of those coins are struck and then enclosed in air tight plastic.

What is Paper Gold?

If you’re new to precious metals, you might have read about paper gold and wondered what it is. Paper gold is not physical gold. Paper gold is a piece of paper, or digits on a computer, acting as a substitute for physical gold. Paper gold is usually traded in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or futures markets. In a futures market, speculators bet on the direction of the gold price. They do not produce gold or use it. They cannot deliver gold to a buyer, nor do they take delivery of the gold. They merely try to profit from a change in the gold price. This mechanism can provide price stability for producers and buyers, but the problem is that there is more paper gold than physical gold in existence. In fact, it is believed for every ounce of physical gold, there are 200 ounces of paper gold. What happens if consumers try to take delivery on more gold than there is in paper existence? Pop goes the weasel!

All About The New 2015 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin

The United States Mint has released a new coin for 2015 which harkens back to the Golden Age of coin minting – The 2015 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin.

Arguably America’s most famous coin engraver/sculptor, Augustus Saint-Gauden was the designer of the ever-popular gold $20 Double Eagle. In 1907, only about 20 of these coins were minted. Because of the intricate detail and the level of relief that Saint-Gaudens sought after, it took up to 11 strikes to create one coin. Because of the intricacy and the level of relief needed to create it, the Ultra High Relief coins did not stack properly and were deemed unfit for commerce. The coin was then adapted into a High Relief version to where only 8 strikes were necessary. These coins were produced for one year with 12,317 coins minted. Again the design was modified to a standard-relief version and were minted from 1907 to 1933.

Although the high relief and ultra high relief coins were only produced for one year, they are come of the most sought after coins in numismatics (an ultra high relief Saint Gaudens was sold for close to $3 million dollars in 2005). The U.S. Mint decided to resurrect this design in 2009 and created a new version of the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin. It was a smashing success and the coins sold out very quickly.

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This year, the U.S. Mint is back again and attempting to capture numismatists’ fascination with high relief coins. They are ushering in a new era that harkens back to Saint-Gauden’s vision but combining contemporary designs with the latest in modern coin manufacturing technology. The result is the 2015 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin.

Designed by Justin Kunz, the 2015 Gold High Relief American Liberty obverse depicts a modern day rendition of Lady Liberty. Lady Liberty stands proud evoking the ideals of courage, hope and of course liberty. In her hands she holds a torch and an American flag.

The reverse features a fresh eagle design, created by Paul Balan. The eagle is shown rising in flight with an olive branch gripped in its talons – a common depiction of American freedom.

Each High Relief American Liberty gold coin is struck in beautiful .9999 fine 24-karat pure gold. The weight of each coin is 1 troy ounce and come individually encapsulated. The coin also is delivered in a black velvet-lined presentation case complete with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Chinese Gold Panda Coins

The Chinese Gold Panda (Chinese: 熊猫金币; pinyin: xióngmāojīnbì) is a series of gold bullion coins that is minted by the official Mint of the People’s Republic of China. The official mint of the People’s Republic of China began production of the panda gold bullion coins in 1982. The panda design on the back of the gold panda changes every year (with one exception). Gold Panda coins come in various sizes and denominations, ranging from 1/20 troy oz. to 1 troy oz. and larger. There is also a silver panda series issued with the same designs as the gold panda coins.

Gold Panda History

China issued its first gold coins depicting a panda design in 1982, in sizes of 1, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 troy oz. of 999 fine gold. In 1983 another size, 1/20 oz, was added. Larger panda coins weighing 5 and 12 oz were issued in some years. These popular coins are issued in proof-like, brilliant uncirculated quality with a different design each year. A freeze of the design was announced with the 2001 issues. Therefore, the 2002 pandas were identical to 2001. But collectors spoke up in behalf of annual changes, and the mint reverted to its original policy. There are several mints that produce these coins, including: Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Shenyang. Chinese mints usually do not employ mintmarks, unlike coins made by US mints, that carry mint marks to distinguish their origin. In certain years there are minor variations in the coin design that allow the originating mint to be determined.

Gold Panda Design

The China Gold Coin Corporation (CGCC) is the official distributor of the Gold and Silver Panda coins in China. Panda America has been an official distributor in America since 1982.


The Gold Pandas are legal tender in the People’s Republic of China, and are currently issued in face-value denominations of 500, 200, 100, 50 and 20 yuan. From 1982 through 2000, they were issued in denominations of 100, 50, 25, and 10 yuan with the 5 yuan added in 1983, which corresponds with 1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 and 1/20 troy ounces of gold respectively. In 1991, 1-gram Gold Pandas were minted in denominations of 3 yuan.

Face valueNominal gold weightFine weightTotal weightDiameterThickness
500 yuan1 troy ounce 31.103 g32.05 mm2.70 mm
200 yuan1/2 troy ounce 15.5515 g27.00 mm1.85 mm
100 yuan1/4 troy ounce 7.7758 g21.95 mm1.53 mm
50 yuan1/10 troy ounce 3.1103 g17.95 mm1.05 mm
20 yuan1/20 troy ounce 1.5552 g13.92 mm0.83 mm

The 2016 Gold Panda Coin

In 2016, the old weight system of troy ounces was replaced by the metric system of grams, which is the standard system of weights used in China. For the first time, the full range of Silver and Gold Panda coins are issued in metric weights. This change may affect bullion buyers, who calculate their holdings in ounces, more than coin collectors, who collect by denomination.

New Gold Panda Characteristic

Face valueNominal gold weightFine weightTotal weightDiameterThickness
500 yuan0.9645 troy ounce 30 g32 mm2.70 mm
200 yuan0.4823 troy ounce 15 g27 mm1.85 mm
100 yuan0.2572 troy ounce 8 g22 mm1.53 mm
50 yuan0.0965 troy ounce 3 g18 mm1.05 mm
20 yuan0.0322 troy ounce 1 g10 mm0.83 mm

Gold Buffalo Coins

The gold buffalo, also known as the American Buffalo, is a 24-karat bullion coin that was first offered for sale by the United States Mint on June 22, 2006. The coin design is similar to the design of the Indian Head nickel and has got its name from the American Bison on the reverse side of the coin. This gold buffalo was the first time that the United States Government minted pure (.9999) 24-karat gold coins for the public. The coin has a legal tender (face) value of $50 USD. Because of the coin’s popularity and the tremendous increase in the price of gold since its creation, the value of the gold buffalo has increased considerably in just a few years. The initial 2006 U.S. Mint price of the proof coin was $800. In 2007 the Mint proof coin was $899.95, $1,410.00 in 2009, and $2,010.00 in 2011.

The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 mandated the production of a one-ounce 24-karat gold bullion coin with a face value of $50 and a mintage limit of up to 300,000 coins.

Gold Buffalo Design

The design of the gold buffalo coin is a modified version of James Earle Fraser‘s design for the Indian Head nickel (Type 1) that was issued in early 1913. After the mound of dirt below the buffalo was reduced, the Type 2 variation continued to be minted for the rest of 1913 and every year until 1938 (excluding 1922, 1932, and 1933 when no nickels were minted). Fraser’s Indian Head nickel design is regarded as one of the best designs of any U.S. coins. The same design also was used on the 2001 Smithsonian commemorative coin.

The front (obverse) of the coin depicts a Native American, whom Fraser said he created as a mixture of the features of three chiefs from different American Indian tribes: Big Tree, Iron Tail, and Two Moons. The front of the gold coin also shows the motto “LIBERTY” on the top right, the year of mintage on the bottom left, and below that the letter F for Fraser.

An American Bison stands on a mound of dirt on the reverse (back) of the coin. The animal depicted on the reverse is believed by most to be the bison named Black Diamond, who lived in the New York City Central Park Zoo during the 1910s. It is rumored that Fraser had to have someone distract the buffalo while he sneaked to a position beside it to draw. Otherwise, the buffalo would turn to face him and Fraser couldn’t get the profile he needed.

Like the nickel, the American Buffalo gold bullion coin has the motto E PLURIBUS UNUM above the buffalo’s lower back and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA along the top. Differences between the nickel and the fifty dollar piece are: on the gold American Buffalo coin, the mound area of the reverse of the Indian Head nickel bearing the words, FIVE CENTS, has been changed to read $50 1 OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD. Like all US gold coins since 1908, the motto, IN GOD WE TRUST appears under the buffalo’s head.

Fractional sizes

The U.S. Mint has indicated an expansion of the program, to include buffalo gold coins in fractional sizes. The specially-packaged 8–8-08 Double Prosperity set contains a half-ounce gold buffalo coin.

$5 (1/10 oz.)16.5 mm (0.650 in.)1.19 mm (0.047 in.)0.10 Troy oz. (3.11 g, 0.109 oz.)
$10 (1/4 oz.)22.0 mm (0.866 in.)1.83 mm (0.072 in.)0.25 Troy oz. (7.776 g, 0.274 oz.)
$25 (1/2 oz.)27.0 mm (1.063 in.)2.24 mm (0.088 in.)0.503 Troy oz. (15.552 g, 0.5485 oz.)

Gold Buffalo Distribution

Currently, all US bullion coins, including the gold buffalo, are minted at the West Point Mint in New York. Only the proof version of the gold buffalo coin bears the mint mark “W” on the obverse (front) of the coin. The bullion version does not have the “W” mint mark. The 2006 and 2007 coins only have been issued in a one-ounce versions, but in 2008, $5, $10, and $25 face value coins were minted with 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/2 oz of gold respectively.

After a long wait by collectors and investors, the uncirculated version of the American Buffalo gold piece was made available to coin dealers on June 20, 2006. Collectors who wanted to purchase the proof version from the mint were given the opportunity to place their orders with the mint beginning on July 22. The 2006 proof quality coin has a strict mintage limit of 300,000, with an additional enforced limit of only ten (10) coins per household. The catalog number of the 2006 proof coin at the U.S. Mint is (BA6).

The coin was created in order to compete with foreign 24-karat gold bullion coins. Since investors sometimes prefer 99.99% pure gold over the 91.67% gold used in the American Gold Eagle, many were choosing non-U.S. coins, such as the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, to meet their bullion needs. With the gold American Buffalo coin, the U.S. government hopes to increase the amount of US gold sales and cash in on the 24-karat sales, which makes up about 60% of the world gold market.

On July 22, the mint transferred two of the American Buffalo coins to the Smithsonian Institution’s coin collection because of their historic value.

On September 26, 2008 the U.S. Mint announced that temporarily, it would halt sales of the American Buffalo coins because it could not keep up with soaring demand as investors sought the safety of gold amid the subprime mortgage crisis of the late 2000s, which had also sent the price of gold to a record high.


Mintage for the bullion version of the American Buffalo is as follows (all 1 ounce coins):


Silver Buffalo Coins

There are many silver buffalo coins on the market, which have similar designs to the gold buffalo coin. Silver buffaloes are not made by the United States Mint, and they are not legal tender. Therefore, I’ve removed silver buffaloes from the silver coin price-comparison list. I don’t have anything against silver rounds, but since silver buffaloes are minted by more than one mint, it seems a little like comparing apples and oranges.

Beware of Imitations

There is a version of the Buffalo Gold Coin offered for sale on TV, minted by a company called the National Collector’s Mint. Such coins are advertised as “a recreated gold clad proof of the $50 Gold Buffalo coin” and are generally sold for $19.95. These coins are actually thinly gold plated. Cladding has historically been used to describe the bonding of different metals together, as is done with the US dime, quarter, and half dollar, which have a copper layer that is clad between two silver-colored layers of copper/nickel. The imitation buffaloes are not the same diameter as genuine US Mint coins.

They are not legal tender in the United States, as they are issued by a private company, not an official US Government mint. These recreations do not have any currency denomination on the reverse face, unlike the official version which has the words “$50” and “1 OZ. .9999 FINE GOLD” on the reverse face. On the obverse face there is the word “COPY” printed where the Indian head’s hair is braided. Another variation produced by American Coin Treasures for 2010 subtly alters the wording on the reverse face to “$50” and “10MILS .999 FINE GOLD” with “COPY” printed above.