Here’s all you need to know about choosing between gold and silver coins or bars…
Should I Buy Gold Coins or Should I Buy Gold Bars?
It’s a very common question for new gold buyers. And one we hear a lot.
Should I Buy Locally Produced NZ Gold and Silver Or Overseas Manufactured Coins or Bars?
Just to complicate things even further there’s the question of buying locally New Zealand produced gold and silver coins and bars versus those from overseas.
Some common overseas coins include South African Krugerrands, American Silver Eagles, Canadian Silver Maples, Canadian Gold Maples and Austrian Philharmonics. Closer to home we have the Perth Mint Silver Kangaroo, Gold Kangaroo, Perth Mint Silver Koala and Silver Kookaburra coins.
A Large Choice in Gold Bullion Options Can Make for a Large Headache!
There is also the consideration that coins that are not 99.5% pure will not be GST exempt in New Zealand. This includes some common overseas coins such as the South African Krugerrand which is only 91.67% pure or 22 carat. And American Eagles are also only 22 carat so not 99.5% and not GST exempt. So generally it’s safer to avoid these less than 99.5% pure gold coins.
Local NZ gold bars (or sometimes referred to as gold ingots) are usually 99.99% pure so GST is not an issue with these.
Bullion Coins vs Collectible Coins
Then as a newbie precious metals investor you hear about the plethora of collectible gold coins available. Personally we steer clear of these as it takes specialist knowledge and is not our area of expertise. They often sell for very large markups over the spot price of gold and silver and so unless you know what you are doing there can be great risk in buying collectible gold coins and silver coins. Go here for more on collectible or numismatic coins vs bullion coins >>.
But with all this choice and only so much money Mr or Mrs Prospective Gold Buyer faces a difficult task.
First Consideration is When/If the Time Comes to Sell, Where Are You Likely to Be?
Locally produced NZ gold bars and NZ gold coins may not be nearly as well recognised as a Krugerrand, American Eagle or a Canadian Gold Maple. An overseas bullion dealer may wish to have them assayed to ensure their gold (or silver) content, or they may give you less for them in dollar terms than you’d receive at home.
Whereas here in New Zealand if you buy from a reputable precious metals supplier you can pretty much guarantee they’ll buy their product back from you, as it gives them a ready supply. Because that’s how they make a profit – buy it back for less than what they sell it for.
Often you will pay a higher premium for overseas gold and silver coins due to the transport costs of getting them here. And the fact that the overseas mints may sell them for a higher price.
If you do buy overseas coins and want to sell them back to a New Zealand supplier then you may also find they will give you no more than they would for their own products.
If you’re not likely to sell your precious metals offshore then NZ gold bars and coins, and NZ silver bars and coins may be just as good a bet. You’ll likely pay a bit less for them and still have a large pool of ready buyers for them when you want to sell.
But You Also Need to Decide Between NZ Gold and Silver Coins or NZ Gold and Silver Bars!
Sheesh – no wonder you’ve put off buying gold for so long – it can seem complicated!
But in reality it’s not. You just need to consider the pros and cons.
The lowest mark up over the gold spot price will likely be for gold bars/ingots. This is because bars are “poured” and so fabrication costs are less than “minted” gold coins which are pressed. Same goes for silver bars versus silver coins. You’ll also generally pay more for smaller denominations in both coins and bars which also comes down to the production cost for each. So 1 kilogram’s worth of one ounce silver coins will obviously cost significantly more than a 1 kilogram silver bar.
So there’s a number of factors to take into account. It might be that if you’re unsure you could consider a mixture of them?
Given that coins usually have a higher premium over the spot price, if you choose these you may be better off getting an overseas brand coin. Because as stated above they will be more widely accepted overseas. You may want to look at Canadian gold maples or Canadian silver maples.
What other question on coins vs bars do you have? Leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to answer them…
Note: We have access to large range of gold and silver products including gold bars and gold coins made in NZ as well as from offshore producers. We have access to 2 major N.Z. precious metals suppliers and often the prices we have negotiated for our readers are better than if you went directly to them as a new customer. So give us a call on 0800 888 GOLD (0800 888 465) if you’d like to get a quote or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or for more information visit this page: Buy gold or silver
Update: This article was originally written 26 January 2011. Updated 23 October 2018 to include new headings and links to related content.