Question: I have two small children that I would like to give a gold coin each ($5, 10 or 20), not sure what to purchase. It will be a keepsake to pass down thru the family. Doesn’t need to be the finest but something I can take pride in.
How do I go about purchasing gold coins to pass on to my family?
People often seek advice about buying gold and gold coins. United States gold coins can be divided into three broad categories:
1. “Common Date, grade and type” coins
These are coins that are readily available from multiple sources. Some examples are $2 1/2 Indians, St. Gaudens $20, Liberty $20, Liberty $5, Liberty $10.
2. Better Date, grade and type coins
These coins include the above coins in choice uncirculated grades, $2 1/2 Liberties, $5 Indians, $3 gold, $1 gold and any U.S. gold pre 1850.
3. Rare coins
Including rare dates, gold before 1834, gem uncirculated examples of any date or era (MS65 or better condition).
The cost of U.S. gold coins can vary greatly but if you wish to buy gold coins, there are coins available for any budget. For example, a uncirculated 1908 St. Gaudens currently can be purchased for less than $1500 (contains .9675 ounces of gold) but a nice 1907 High Relief example can cost $25,000+.
You might want to consider the historical background of the gold coins and make that a consideration when you are ready to purchase. For example, Civil War era, early U.S. Finance period (1820s – 1840s), the era of William Jennings Bryan (“cross of gold” and such in the 1890’s), California gold rush (CAL gold and territorial pieces (1849-1857), etc. Include the historical perspective with your gifts
Any purchase that you make should either come with papers of authenticity from the American Numismatic Association or encapsulated by a third party grading service such as PCGS, NGC or ANACS. (You can see links to the above on the CoinSite Links page.
Most major cities have dealers that are members of the ANA and other numismatic associations. If there are none in your area, there are many reputable dealers on the Internet. Because of the reach of the Internet, probably the majority of coin purchases today are transacted thru the mail and to a lesser extent, at major coin shows. You also might want to get a copy of Coin World (The NY Times of Coins) to see lots of ads and articles about coins. See your local newsstand.
Buying gold is a good investment, and buying gold coins, especially those with collectability, makes it fun as well.