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What is the Best 1 Oz Gold Coin to Buy?

Catherine Tramell
Catherine Tramell

Last updated 5. may 2022

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A typical 1 oz gold coin contains approximately 31 grams of gold. An ounce of gold costs $1,895 (as of 23 February 2022). The price does fluctuate but usually hovers in that region, cementing the theory that gold prices remain stable more or less.

With the price details of one ounce of gold handy, it’s not that difficult to ascertain how much a 1 oz gold coin would cost. If you said $1,895, you are technically correct. In the real world, however, that value estimation may not hold well since the worth of a 1 oz gold coin is determined by several other factors besides the melt value.

And if the gold coin is a rare collector’s piece, its worth could be significantly more. The intelligent investor in you should invest in such rare gold coins that appreciate value over time. However, picking the right gold coins could be a task since there are quite a few to choose from.

So, what are these precious 1 oz gold coins? What determines the value of a gold coin? We’ll answer those questions and list down the 1 oz gold coins worthy of your money.

Types of Gold Coins and Their Value Determinants

As mentioned above, the value of a collectible gold coin is more than just its gold content. It’s not rare to find two identical gold coins valued differently. Below, we’ve broadly categorized gold coins to give you an overview of how they get valued.

Bullion and Certified Coins

If the gold coin is of the “bullion” kind, its weight determines its value. Then there are “certified” coins graded for condition. They are usually evaluated by a third party, which assigns a grade number to the coins. A higher grading denotes excellent condition, meaning a higher or more intact market value.

A bullion coin is usually not assessed for its condition. A few scratches on the currency would not impact the value, unlike the case with a certified bullion coin. Since the value of a certified coin is contingent on its state, the coin is usually cased or comes encapsulated to maintain its pristineness.

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Proof and Uncirculated Coins

The term “proof” denotes how a coin was manufactured and its finish. Proof coins are usually reflective or have a mirror-like finish. The attention to detail on the coin is immaculate. The value of a proof coin hinges on its condition and availability. Even a tiny scratch could hurt the coin’s grading and, as a result, the value.

An uncirculated coin could be available to the general populace but not in regular circulation. At times, “uncirculated” could also denote the making of the coin, but that’s a rare definition.

Uncirculated coins sit between bullion and proof coins. Their value is based on more than just their melt value, but they are also not as rare or expensive as proof coins. Rarity and physical condition ascertain an uncirculated coin’s market value.

5 Best 1 Oz Gold Coins

The below-mentioned coins are arguably the best gold coins to buy. These popular gold coins are highly desirable, have historicity attached, and many other things going for them.

Note: Besides being produced as a one-ounce coin, these coins may come in other weight denominations—namely one-tenth ounce, quarter ounce, half-ounce, and one troy ounce.

American Gold Eagle

Made by the United States Mint, the American Gold Eagle is a coin gold investors worldwide instantly recognize. It’s America’s official gold bullion coin, which the United States government uses to pay off national debts whenever the need arises.

Comprising 91.67% gold, alloyed with silver (3%) and copper (5.33%), the American Eagle is a piece of 22-carat gold. It has the effigy of Lady Liberty on its obverse side and the reverse side featuring a profile shot of an eagle.

Canadian Gold Maple Leaf

The Gold Maple Leaf coin is a Canadian government-issued gold bullion coin. Made by the Royal Canadian Mint, it’s the Canadian equivalent to the American Gold Eagle or Buffalo coin. It’s pretty much the national symbol of the country.

But, unlike the Gold Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf is made of pure gold (24 carats or 0.9999 millesimal fine gold), making it one of the purest gold bullion coins in the world.

First introduced in 1979, the coin has had a few iterations or design changes over the years. The obverse bears Queen Elizabeth II’s figurine, whereas the reverse side features a maple leaf.

South African Krugerrand

The Krugerrand helped put the South African Mint and the Rand Refinery on the global map. South Africa is known for its rich gold reserves. The Krugerrand made the local gold more accessible to the country’s masses. Not to mention, the Krugerrand is the first gold bullion coin in the modern world.

The coin’s head depicts the left profile image of Paul Kruger, 19th century South Africa’s dominant military and political figure. The reverse side is a cantering springbok antelope image. The springbok is South Africa’s national animal.

Unlike the Gold Eagle and Maple Leaf coins, the gold Krugerrand has zero face value. But the coin has legal tender value status in South Africa, nonetheless.

Vienna Philharmonic Gold Coin

The Vienna Philharmonic, or just the Philharmonic, is the Austrian Mint’s version of a gold bullion coin. Named after the iconic Vienna Philharmonic orchestra, which also provided design inspiration, the gold Philharmonic coin is arguably the best-selling coin of its kind.

Gold Philharmonic coins are 99.99% gold. The 1-ounce gold coin has a face value of 100 euros. The Austrian Mint also makes the coin in other precious metals, namely silver and platinum.

The coin’s design has been the same over the years, with only the mention of the year the coin was issued changing. 

Australian Kangaroo Gold Coin

First made in 1986, the Australian Kangaroo gold coin may not be as popular as some other gold bullion coins on this list, but it’s nevertheless recognized worldwide and highly valued. Produced by the Perth Mint, the Kangaroo is made of 24-carat gold.

The coin’s obverse and reverse sides depict the kangaroo and Queen Elizabeth II. The coin’s design changes every year or with each new issue, usually in the form of the kangaroo’s positioning or depiction changing. The continual minor design hauls lend to the uniqueness or collectability quotient of the coin.

The other gold coins that deserve mention are the Chinese Gold Panda, American Gold Buffalo coin, and Gold Britannia coin.

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Conclusion

Though relatively rare and coveted, the aforementioned gold coins do not trade way above their melt prices as you may have expected. Some special issues of these coins may have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars or even millions, but those are rare occurrences. 

The fact that these coins are not valued way over their melt prices is a good thing since that makes them a lot more accessible. Due to their historical significance, holding on to them long-term makes for a sound investing strategy. If the respective mints of these coins stop making these coins or the older versions become highly sought after, the prices can shoot up like crazy.

To conclude, gold investing is all about the waiting game, and no other form of gold investment symbolizes that aphorism the way the gold coins mentioned above do.