When people imagine vast hoards of wealth or treasure, gold coins always come to mind. Whether it’s a king’s ransom, a buried pirate treasure, or the contents of Fort Knox, when you close your eyes and imagine the scene, you see the warm, mellow gleam of gold. Gold coins have been used as a form of currency since as early as 600 BC and have retained their status as a trusted form of money ever since.
Mints from all over the world have struck and issued gold coins, with the most common weight of all being the 1 oz gold coin. Today, investors are somewhat spoiled for choice when it comes to investing in gold, particularly with the wide range of options for 1 oz coins. Let’s take a look at some of the key points and considerations before making an investment in gold coins.
Coins range from the minuscule 1/10 of an ounce up to 2 oz, the monster 5 oz, or rarely even bigger (the Royal Canadian Mint once made a 222-lb gold coin with a $1 million face value, for instance). However, the 1 oz weight class is the most popular category of gold coin for a reason. With a single troy ounce of gold each, these coins have hit the balance between a substantial, valuable coin that is still convenient to store and eminently satisfying when held.
Although lower-weight coins exist and are popular with some investors, the single troy-ounce coin offers better value compared to the spot price of gold than smaller coins. On the other hand, fractional gold coins have a correspondingly lower price each. Please note we don’t have anything against gold coins smaller than 1 oz (after all, the famous Spanish doubloon had less than ¼-oz of gold).
Because 1 oz gold coins are the most produced of all gold coins, the market is usually highly liquid. Depending on the specific coins you’ve purchased, they allow for easy liquidation.
Thanks to the global range of mints designing and producing 1 oz gold coins today, collectors and investors can enjoy an unprecedented array of options. Coins have different designs, stories, histories, technologies, and even physical textures, making investing a voyage of exploration and discovery as much as a financial decision.
America’s favorite, the 1 oz gold American eagle, features Augustus Saint Gaudens’ iconic image of Lady Liberty on the obverse side. Though these coins weigh 1.0909 troy ounces of 22-kt crown gold (or 91.7% pure), since coins are categorized based on their quantity of the precious metal, it’s still a 1 oz coin. The American eagle underwent a redesign in 2021. The new design added a new eagle design to the reverse side along with new anti-counterfeiting measures. Both the classic and updated designs will be minted in 2021, making it an extraordinary year indeed.
Since its release in 1979, the 1 oz Canadian maple leaf has been another leading choice. The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) is renowned worldwide for its high-quality and high-purity gold coins. Furthermore, the RCM has led the industry in adding state-of-the-art anti-counterfeiting measures in recent years. Like the Canadian flag, the 1 oz maple leaf features a maple leaf on the obverse side. With its astonishingly high purity between 0.9999 and 0.99999 fineness, the gold maple leaf is among the purest bullion coins worldwide.
Other examples include:
Gold is often bought as a hedge against inflation and other financial risks. Historically, gold price is negatively correlated with drops in the stock market. Markets and central banks consider gold to be a “safe haven” asset, so when economies fall apart and disaster looms, gold tends to benefit.
While buying exposure to gold through paper-based gold funds, mining stocks, or derivatives can meet these needs, physical gold has advantages over its digital impostors.
Physical gold isn’t vulnerable to the same counterparty risks as financial instruments. A 1 oz American eagle cannot be hacked or erased from a computer system. You can hold gold in your hand, feel the weight and admire the beauty of your individual coins, and choose to store them either personally or with a custodian you prefer.
Private ownership of gold offers a layer of privacy, security, and trust that intangible assets simply cannot provide. Given the rich history of gold coins as a form of money and the historical symbolism you’ll find on many of the designs on coins struck around the world, the experience of investing in physical gold is a deeply fulfilling one.
Take a look at our hottest 1 oz gold coins here.