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Gold Bullion vs. Coins: What Are the Differences?

March 22, 2022

How much do you know about the differences between gold bullion vs. coins? Read on to learn more about the differences between them.

From the first jewelry of the ancient Mesopotamians to the tomb of Tutankhamun to the California gold rush of 1849, gold has fascinated humans. It’s shiny, durable, malleable, and a good conductor of heat and electricity. 

Gold has always had value to civilizations around the world. So it makes sense to include precious metals like gold as part of your overall investment strategy. However, it can be confusing to figure out which type of gold is best for you.

Are you looking to get into gold buying, but aren’t sure what the differences are between gold bullion vs. coins?

Our quick guide will get you started and help you decide which one is right for you, so keep reading below. 

What Is Gold Bullion?

First, let’s talk about gold bullion. What is gold bullion? In short, it’s probably what you imagine when someone says gold. 

Bullion is a general term used for silver or gold priced by weight, or in bulk. Because bullion is based on weight, it can come in different shapes or forms, like bars or ingots. 

Gold bullion is exactly that – a gold bar or ingot priced at a specific weight. Gold bullion products in this form have no monetary face value. Instead, their value comes from the weight and purity of the bar or ingot.

What Are Gold Coins?

Gold coins are exactly what they sound like — coins that are, well, gold. Like bar or ingot bullion, gold coins are minted with a specific weight and purity. 

However, unlike gold bars or ingots, gold coins often have a face value. They also frequently indicate a date, the name of the country where they were minted, and a symbol or head of state. 

Gold coins, such as the Gold Eagle, are legal tender. The U.S. mint produces American Gold Eagle coins in four weights: a half ounce, quarter ounce, tenth ounce, and one ounce. The face values of these coins are either $5, $10, $25, or $50.

Unlike gold bullion, gold coins have greater appeal to collectors. Numismatists, or coin collectors, will often seek out specific coins due to the coins’ rarity, visual appeal, or simply because it reminds them of a place they have traveled to. 

Gold coins can be popular years after minting. One of the most popular international gold coins to collect is the Krugerrand. Not only is there a long history behind the South African coin, but they were widely minted, making them easy to find.

Choosing Between Gold Bullion vs. Coins

So gold bullion vs. coins — which is right for you? Really that depends on what you’re looking for. 

If you want portability and want to collect coins for their design, gold coins may be right for you. But if you don’t mind the additional storage or space required, gold bullion in bar or ingot form may be better.

Of course, many people choose a mix and match approach, incorporating both coins and bars or ingots in their portfolio.

Are You Looking for a Gold Bullion Guide?

Are you interested in knowing more about gold bullion vs. coins, and which one is right for you? If you’re still not sure, CMI can help you weigh the pros and cons of the different types of gold bullion available.

We specialize in gold and silver and understand the benefits and potential pitfalls of the precious metals market.

Feel free to contact us with any questions, or sign up for our email alerts to get daily prices and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.

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