People buy gold coins for two reasons, for investment purposes, or for collecting. Collecting old gold coins is often because of their intrinsic beauty as works of art and sculpture. Rarity and condition of these coins determine their value. The metal market prices determine the value of investment gold. There are several ways for buying gold coins.

The Best Way To Buy Gold Coins

Whenever buying gold coins, the collector should purchase what they like. Price guide books give information such as approximate prices and mintage numbers for specific coins.  Investor gold coin prices fluctuate according to metal market prices like any other metal or commodity. Rarity and condition are the key factors that determine collector coin prices. The best way to buy is from gold coin dealers that have a return policy. This should apply to buying gold coins online. This allows the buyer to send the coin to a grading company to verify the grade. If the gold coin isn’t as advertised, the buyer should be able to return it and get their money back. It isn't recommend buying gold coins from a seller that doesn't have a return policy.

Gold Coin Condition

Anyone that buys gold coins should have a basic understanding of the numismatic, or coin, grading system. As in all collecting, condition is everything. Collecting gold and silver coins is no different. The importance of grade and condition when collecting coins cannot be overstated. Condition and rarity determines a gold coins value. Condition is the most important facet of collecting coins. Money may be lost when buying or selling coins because of the coin’s grade. The American Numismatic Association (ANA) has a system for rating coins based on the amount of wear. The American Numismatic Association for Grading United States Coins is a book used to determine a coin’s grade. There are other books published that adhere to the same grading standards and methods. It is called the Sheldon system and works on a alpha numeric system to rate coins condition. A mint state (MS) coin is uncirculated, and an about uncirculated (AU) shows some wear on the high points of the coin are two examples. A MS 70 would be a perfect coin. A MS 65 may have a strike that wasn’t quite as good, but no wear or dings on the coin. The grading system classifies wear from perfect to unreadable dates that makes the coins basal or scrap metal without collector value. Proof coins are coins by the United States mints minted to exacting specifications for collectors. Proof coins are subject to the same grading system and have a PF designation. All serious gold coin sellers and buyers should be acquainted with these books and have some practical experience in grading. There are reputable grading companies that grade, encapsulate, label and certify the coin for grade and authenticity.

Collecting Gold Coins

There are several ways for buying gold coins to collect.  Collectors can buy United States coins, or those from other nations. The collector can use one of these methods or devise his own depending on likes and dislikes. By mintmark. The collector chooses a coin such as a 20-dollar gold piece and collects a coin from each of the different mints. By design type. Choose a design type, such as Saint Gaudens, and collect one denomination of each type regardless of date. By year. Pick a year and collect one each of coins for that year. Key dates. Key date coins are those minted in low numbers. These coins are harder to find that those of higher mintage numbers.  As a rule key dates are higher priced. A person may devise their own system after looking at the gold coins varities.

Gold Coins to Buy

The best coin to buy depends on the collector. They should buy the best quality they can afford, preferably a coin graded and certified by one of the reputable grading companies. The gold coin dealer should guarantee his coin and stand behind it.

Those buying or selling gold coins for investment isn’t ruled by the grading and condition restrictions. Gold coins made for investment purposes are bullion. Bullion value is determined by the fine gold content and quoted in US dollars per troy ounce. Gold is part of the commodities market and follows that market's prices. This is what determines the gold coins value for investors. Several countries over the world make bullion coins for investment. Buying gold coins such as the Canadian Maple Leaf, Chinese Panda or South African Krugerrand are easy ways to buy world gold coins.