Do You Buy Coins, Bars, or Bullion?
We buy all solid gold, platinum or silver coins, bars or bullion.
What is bullion? Bullion is gold and silver that is officially recognized as being at least 99.5% pure and is in the form of bars, coins or a casted shape for transportation (Ingot), typically rectangular for stacking purposes. Bullion is not part of currency, but people do collect and purchase bullion coins, which can be made of any metal type, primarily gold and silver, and purchased as an investment.
Examples of bullion coins:
- U.S. Gold Eagles
- Canadian Gold Maples
- U.S. Silver Eagles
- Canadian Silver Maples
- South African Krugerrands
- 90% Junk Silver (pre-1965 half-dollars, quarters, dimes, etc...)
Numismatic Coins - The other form of coins is a numismatic coin. These coins were not produced in the modern times; they tend to be one of a kind, historical, and with special markings, so collectors purchase them for their rarity vs. the actual metal content like bullion. For example, a 1907 $2 St. Gaudens, High Relief Double Eagle gold coin, produced by the Philadelphia Mint can be worth 500 times the market price of the gold.
Examples of numismatic coins include:
- Pre-1933 $20, $10 Eagle coins
- Peace Silver Dollars
- Swiss 20 Francs
- British Sovereigns
In addition to diamonds, numismatic coins have grading systems as well. A couple common grading companies are:
Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS): One of the most respected of the third party grading companies, it certifies coins from over 100 countries. PCGS provides a grading standard to help buyers get the best price for their investment. They offer a guarantee of accuracy and authenticity for each coin they grade.
Here are some examples of the grades they give and the description:
|P0-1||Identifiable date and type|
|FR-2||Mostly worn, though some detail is visible|
|AG-3||Worn rims buy most lettering is readable thought worn|
|G-4||Slightly worn rims, flat detail, peripheral lettering nearly full|
|G-6||Rims complete with flat detail, peripheral lettering nearly full|
|VG-8||Design worn with slight detail|
|VG-10||Design worn with slight detail, slightly clearer|
|F-12||Some deeply recessed areas with detail, all lettering sharp|
|F-15||Slightly more detail in recessed areas, all lettering sharp|
|VF-20||Some definition of detail, all lettering full and sharp|
Numismatic Guarnaty Corporation (NGC): The world's largest online grading agency and considered to be the standard. They use a scale of 1-70, which is internationally recognized. When a coin is graded, they will get a strike type a numeric grade and a designation. Here are examples of their strike type grading method.
|MS||Mint State. Coins struck in the same format as circulation issues. Applies to grades 60 to 70.|
|PF||Proof. Coins struck in a special format for collectors|
|SP||Specimen. A hybrid between Mint State and Proof.|
Numeric grades: 70-1
|MS/PF 70||A coin with no post-production imperfections at 5x magnification.|
|MS/PF 69||A fully struck coin with nearly imperceptible imperfections.|
|MS/PF 68||Very sharply struck with only minuscule imperfections.|
|MS/PF 67||Sharply struck with only a few imperfections.|
|MS/PF 66||Well struck with minimal marks and hairlines.|
|MS/PF 65||Well struck with moderate marks or hairlines.|
|MS/PF 64||Average or better strike with several obvious marks or hairlines and other minuscule imperfections.|
|MS/PF 63||Slightly weak or average strike with moderate abrasions and hairlines of varying sizes.|
|+ (NGC Plus Designation)||NGC assigns a + to coins at the high end of their assigned grade, approaching the quality requirements for the next grade.|
|* (NGC Star Designation)||NGC assigns its trademarked Star * Designation to coins with exceptional eye appeal for their assigned grade.|
Americas Numismatic Association Certification Service (ANACS): the oldest US grading services. The ANACS also dedicated to the authenticity and creating a standard for grading coins took grading one-step further by grading two sides of the coins and encapsulating the coins in tamper evident plastic holders.
Examples of their grading structure:
|Straight Grades (problem free)||Problem Grades (detail graded)|
|Mint State (MS) 70-60||MS60|
|About uncirculated (AU) 58,55,53,50||A8 (AU%*|
|Extremely Fine (EF) 45, 40||A5 (AU55)|
|Very Fine (VF) 35, 30, 25, 20||A3 (AU53)|
|Fine (F) 15, 12||AU (AU50)|
|Very Good (VG) 10, 8||E5 (EF45)|
|Good (G) 6,4||EF (EF40)|
|About Good (AG) 3||V3 (VF30)|
|Fair (FR) 2||VF (VF20)|
|Poor (P) 1||FI (FI-12)|
|AB (AG 3)|
|Other Grade Designations Used|
|GH (Genuine)||PV (PVC)|
|N8 (Non-eligible- wrong size for encapsulation, not something we grade, corrosion that is not PVC)||N9 (altered coin, not genuine, questionable authenticity, etc|
What are gold bars? Gold bars are a type of gold bullion (refined gold) held at central banks and gold reserves. These types of bars are popular among gold dealers. The two types of gold bars are cast and minted. The names are simply just referring to how the gold bar was manufactured.
Cast gold bars are made using ingot, a mold that is in a specific shape, usually rectangular, that molds molten gold. The second is the minted gold bar which are made from gold blanks that have been hand cut to specific dimensions. Both pressed with markings such as purity and weight.
Gold bars will typically come in two weight classes, gram and ounce. If the bar contains a large amount of gold the lower the premium is over market price per gram.
Popular gold bars by gram and ounce:
Gram Gold Bars
Ounce Gold Bars
1 gram PAMP Suisse gold bar
1 oz. PAMP Suisse gold bar
2.5 gram PAMP Suisse gold bar
1 oz. Credit Suisse gold bar
5 gram PAMP Suisse gold bar
1 oz. Sunshine Mint gold bar
10 gram PAMP Suisse gold bar
1 oz. RCM Gold Bar
1 oz. OPM Gold Bar
Identifying Fakes -Fakes and knocks offs are growing as more and more manufacturing moves to China. The fakes are also becoming harder and harder to spot. Do you stay on top of the latest fraud techniques? We do. Let us take a look for you. But if you want to examine your coins on your own here are some helpful tips:
- If your coin is a precious metal such as gold, silver, brass, bronze etc. it should not be magnetic
- Check your coin for its diameter and thickness. It's hard to replicate size and weight of specific coins. Certain alloys can make a coin much heavier than real precious metals.
- Examine the coin under a magnifier, observe its edges, details and year, and compare the design to a known original. The fakes are good, but never as good as the originals.