Gold coins and gold bullion
We are often asked about buying gold coins and other bullion products such as gold bars. We do not deal in bullion - only natural raw gold.
For those that are interested here is a bit of basic info that may be of help: Coins purchased strictly for their gold value, not their collectible numismatic value, are known as bullion coins. Many countries mint them -- South Africa (Krugerrand), Canada (Maple Leaf), China (Panda), Austria (Philharmonic) and Australia (Kangaroo), among others. The U.S. Mint makes Buffalos and American Eagles. For investment purposes, you usually want the one-ounce size. Visit a site like kitco.com to learn more.
For U.S. investors, American Eagles are the bullion coin of choice. You can put them into individual retirement accounts as long as they remain in their original U.S. Mint capsules. (It's not clear that Buffalos are allowed.)
A cheaper way of buying gold is through an exchange traded fund. The most widely traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares, costs 0.4 percent a year in fees, plus your brokerage commission. You don't own the gold directly. A trust holds large gold bars (warehoused principally in London) and sells shares against them, which are traded on the open market. You can't redeem in gold itself.
It costs even less to buy bullion in a pool account, such as the ones offered by Kitco. Like an ETF, a pool account sells shares in a large bar of warehoused gold. You pay just a hair over the spot gold price, and sell it back to Kitco.com for just a hair under. There are no annual expenses. For a fee, you can redeem in gold itself. As with ETFs, you depend on the pool's trustee to support its guarantee.
Buying natural gold in raw nugget form is a heck of a lot more fun and far more interesting to display. Finding your own gold yourself is even more fun. Give it a try!
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