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Suggestions for Gold Coin Collecting

Gold coins are the most ancient type of money. Croesus, King of Lydia, in about 560 BC was the first to produce gold coins. Gold currency has been in use till 1933 when most countries stopped producing gold coins. However something being better than nothing gold coloured coins have again started to jingle.

Gold coin collecting is one of the most ancient hobbies. The collector has to be differentiated from the hoarder. The two are poles apart as the glutton is from the gourmet connoisseur. Gold coins are collected for its rarity, antiquity, condition and the original minted number. The top gold coins coveted by the collectors are Aureus, Solidus and the Spur Ryal.

The most valuable coin that has been sold as a coin collector’s item is a 1933 gold coin (Double Eagle – $20), which was auctioned by Sotheby’s for $7,590,020. In 1933 the USA mint had released about 445,000 Double Eagle coins but by a government order most had been taken back and melted. Only few escaped the net.

Gold coin collectors know that apart from gold coins there are gold bullion coins that are worth storing. To feed this market South Africa introduced the Kruggerand in 1967. It was the worlds first low priced bullion gold coin. Gold bullion coins come usually in 5 sizes ranging downwards from 1 oz to 1/20 oz.

Usually one design is kept constant for many years but some make constant variations. The gold coins are named after their design. Some of the names prized by gold coin collectors are Austrian Philharmonic, British Britannia, Chinese Panda, Gold Dinar, Russian Chervonets and Swiss Vreneli.

The gold coin collector has to be alert about the counterfeits coins that are extremely difficult to identify. Many are in circulation. For example the Saint Gaudens counterfeit coins top the list – it is notorious for its complexity and has made a fool of many numismatics scholars.

Usually a scale belies the truth about a counterfeit coin. The American double eagle has a raised lettering across the rim. If the coin is not circulated then the letters will lie flat.

Thus if the rim is slightly rounded then the coin is counterfeit. Some double eagle counterfeits do not have the right proportion of gold and copper and consequently the appearance is slightly blotchy. Another method of testing is to bite the coin. Pure gold is softer than its alloy.

Gold coin collectors have in their stock some shining facts about the world of golden coins. USA has minted the maximum number of gold coins. The Swiss gold coin is called the verena, Helvetia or Vreneli. Since 1897 more than 600 millions have been minted.

The Islamic gold coin is the Dinar and has a cultural as well as political significance. The Australian golden coins are known as Nuggets. The Canadian Maple Leaf gold coins have the highest degree of gold purity. Other famous gold coins were minted by Napoleon , Charles I, Henry VIII and the famous Alexander the Great.

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