Fast facts About Investment Grade Gold Coins
We know you’re feeling pretty pumped up about investing in gold. We are too.
Not only is gold a great investment, but it’s interesting and fun to learn more of the stories behind the gold.
If you’re a history buff or even just a fan of Indiana Jones, you probably understand the lure of investing in gold.
It’s not just another investment in a commodity. It’s so much more interesting – and usually more lucrative – than investing in soybeans or pork bellies. Investing in gold is investing in the legend, the fable, the mystery – and yes, the history – of gold.
Even with all the glamour of its history, gold is a good investment. Holding a position in hard assets such as gold or precious metals should be part of every investor’s strategy.
Gold stands up to the ravages of inflation. Over time, the price always rises. There is consistent demand across multiple consumer and industrial uses. Gold enjoys a stable supply and it has a well-defined supply chain. It’s pretty close to an ideal investment when you’re looking for a safe place to stash your cash.
You can even choose how you want to invest in gold.
If you want to invest in a gold ETF, you can. Some ETFs manage to beat the gold index with a judicious mix of hedge techniques including futures and derivatives.
When you take physical possession of your gold, you can see it or touch it whenever you want. The beauty of gold is part of its allure.
If you want to buy gold and store it in a vault, you have the option to buy bars, ingots, collectibles or coins. You can even keep gold at home if you have the right security.
That way, you can examine your coins and collectibles as you learn about their history.
Which leads us to today’s topic. We’re going to take a walk through the stories behind some of the most coveted gold coins and collectibles available.
In the previous issue, we looked at U.S. coins such as the American Eagle, the American Buffalo and the First Spouses series.
We also touched on the South African Krugerrand, the coin that made investing in gold easy for the masses.
Now we’re going to hear some more stories. Here we go. Once upon a time…
Gold Vienna Philharmonics
The Austrian mint produces gold Vienna Philharmonics. The Austrian mint has been in operation for more than 800 years. It is one of the oldest continually producing mints in the world.
The Gold Vienna Philharmonic was introduced in 1989. At that time it had a currency denomination of 100 Austrian shillings. In 2000, the currency was changed to Euros. It now carries a denomination of 100 Euros. It is the only legal tender gold bullion coin denominated in Euros.
Since1994, the coin has also been offered in 1/25 ounce, 1/10 ounce, ¼ ounce and ½ ounce sizes. Face value for these smaller coins range from 4 Euros to 50 Euros.
The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra inspired the design on both sides of this beautiful coin. This orchestra is also known as the Vienna Musikverein.
The design does not change from year to year. The coin does have a year on the reverse side. Thomas Pesendorfer, the chief engraver of the Austrian Mint, created the design of both sides of the coin.
The front of the coin shows the pipe organ in the Vienna Musikverein's Golden Hall. The reverse includes images of a bassoon, a Vienna horn, four violins and a cello. All these instruments are used in the Vienna Musiverein’s performances.
The design is considered so attractive the Austrian Airlines puts a likeness of the coin on some of its airplane fleet.
The Vienna Philharmonic gold coin contains one troy ounce of 24-karat gold. Twenty-four karat gold is also known as 99.99 pure.
This coin has one of the largest diameters of any gold collectible coin. It measures 37 mm across and it is 2 mm thick.
When traded in Europe, the Vienna Philharmonic is one of the few items not subject to VAT tax.
As of 2012, more than 14 million Vienna Philharmonics have been sold worldwide. It is one of the best selling coins of all time.
In 2000, the Austrian mint created a special commemorative version of the Philharmonic. It weighs 1,000 ounces and has a 100,000 Euro face value. Its nickname, understandably, is “Big Phil”.
There is also a limited edition version weighing 2,000 ounces. This coin typically sells at a premium over the value of the gold it is made from because its scarcity adds to its value as a collector’s item.
Canadian Maple Leaf
The Canadian Maple Leaf was introduced in 1979 to provide an alternative to the South African Krugerrand.
The Canadian Maple Leaf is pure 24 karat gold. It is considered one of the most beautiful and highest quality investment coins in the world.
There are also limited edition versions of this coin produced using “5 nines” gold. That means gold 99.999 percent pure, the purest gold used in any coin. The gold in all Canadian Maple Leaf coins is mined in Canada.
The Royal Canadian Mint insists on perfect blanks for its coins. Coin blanks are known as planchets.
The Canadian Maple Leaf one-ounce coin has been minted continuously for longer than any other one-ounce gold coin.
The Maple Leaf comes in 1/25, 1/20, 1/10, ¼ and ½ ounce denominations in addition to the full one-ounce coin. There was at one point a 1/15 of an ounce version, but it has been discontinued because of lack of demand.
Canadian Maple Leaf coins are available in palladium, silver and platinum as well as gold.
Not to be outdone by “Big Phil”, Canada created a 100-kilogram Maple Leaf with a face value of $1,000,000. The gold value of the coin is more than double the face value.
The mint was surprised to discover there was real demand for the massive coin. They now manufacture 100-kilogram Maple Leaf coins by special order.
Palladium Canadian Maple Leaf coins are subject to VAT tax in Canada. The other metal coins are exempt.
These coins are legal tender in Canada, but only up to the denomination on the coin. Be careful not to spend them by accident if you visit the country!
Canadian Howling Wolf
The Canadian Howling Wolf is a “5 nines” pure one-ounce gold coin. It is the first coin to be issued in a special series the Canadian Mint designates as “The Call of the Wild.”
This coin is legal tender and carries a face value of $200. It is 30 mm in diameter.
The artist who designed the reverse side of this beautiful coin is Pierre Leduc. This side of the coin shows the profile of a howling wolf, as you might expect from the name.
The artist for the obverse side was Susanna Blunt. It shows an image of Queen Elizabeth.
The coin’s beauty comes from a combination of its exceptional design, the exacting minting process that includes laser sculpting and of course, the beauty and purity of the gold itself.
This coin is the first to use the Royal Canadian Mint’s new laser security technique. The technique creates a sharp design and includes a security element in the form of a maple leaf. This technique is designed to prevent the possibility of counterfeiting the coin.
As the first in the series of exceptionally high quality coins, Howling Wolf coin is expected to become extremely collectible.
The British Sovereign has a nominal denomination of one pound, but it is not used as currency in practice.
These coins are made at the Royal Mint in Wales. MMTC-PAMP in India also mints them under a license form the Royal Mint.
Sovereigns are made from 22 karat gold, using the crown gold alloy that includes some copper. Today, sovereigns are used primarily as bullion.
Australian Gold Nugget
The Perth Mint introduced the coin in 1989. This is one of the few coins that changes its design each year.
One side of the coin always features an image of Queen Elizabeth.
Since 1989, the coin has featured a kangaroo in each design. These coins are sometimes known as Gold Kangaroos because of this design feature.
In 2011, the Perth Mint created a one tonne Gold Kangaroo, outdoing the Royal Canadian Mint’s previous record. One side of this coin features Queen Elizabeth and the other shows a Red Kangaroo.
This coin’s face value is one million Australian dollars but the gold is worth well over fifty million Australian dollars. That easily exceeds $40,000,000 in U.S. dollars.
Our recent newsletters have looked at the most popular investment grade gold coins in the world. They are all pretty cool. They all make super investments.
If you’ve read the newsletters, you’ve learned some fun facts about each of those coins, including a little bit of their history.
More important than the details about specific coins, you should recognize by now that investing in gold and precious metals is a terrific investment.
I know. I know. You’re broker says it’s risky.
Your broker is wrong.
Every portfolio should include some hard assets as protection against stock market fluctuations.
Gold and other precious metals fit the bill nicely.
Gold prices continue to rise. The increase in the price of gold easily outpaces the rate of inflation.
Gold is safe. It’s liquid. It’s easy to invest in.
You can put it in your IRA or include it in any part of your portfolio.
Many people are predicting a stock market correction next year. Gold prices always rise rapidly during a correction, because savvy investors recognize gold as a safe haven.
If you wait you risk losing capital if the value of your portfolio goes down during the correction.
Why wait for the correction to happen? Now is the best time to invest in gold, before other investors drive up the price even further when they pull their money out of stocks and start looking for a safe place to stash the cash.
Gold is that safe place.