In response to rising demand for “specialty” gold coins many national and private mints have recently announced their own lines of “limited-edition” or “commemorative” gold coins. The Royal Canadian Mint just released the 2014 Snowy Owl coins in both gold and silver. The Perth Mint of Australia is selling Charlie Chaplin coins. Are the project managers at these mints insane, or do they have some insider information on the gold coin market?
It could be both, but there is no doubt that gold coins that are not classified as bullion have spiked in popularity in recent years. The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) have made global names for themselves by authenticating, grading and encapsulating coins that could be worth more than their inherent precious metal content, and mint directors around the world have taken note.
A large sector of gold investors know by now that pre-1933 U.S. certified gold coins can be some of the most profitable coins in the world, given the correct conditions. Savvy mints and even some gold dealers want a piece of the pie, so they are minting their own coinage. How will this affect the certified gold coin market?
Just like some investors fell for (and are still falling for) the marketing ploy of modern-day certified gold Eagle coins, there will be those who will listen attentively to salesmen who wax poetic about commemoratives and “limited-edition” coins. Some may realize profits but most will eventually find their way to the Better Business Bureau or other consumer protection agencies.
The lesson here is simple: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The gold spot price has been in a real rut for the last two years, but the basic dynamics that caused the market to rise in the first place remain the same. Debt, spending and unemployment are high. Interest rates are low. The government is broke. If you really want to buy gold, stick with the tried-and-true products. Which coins and bars are those? Scroll down for four free guides that will tell you everything you need to know about gold and silver investing.