The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) have been around for decades, yet there are still gold investors who have never heard of either of these two organizations. Each week, I speak with people who have been buying gold for years. They know what the term “no motto” means, and they understand the value of a 1907 High Relief St. Gaudens. How, then, could they be unaware of two of the largest gold coin graders in the world?
Unfortunately, the answer lies in marketing. More accurately, the answer lies in the lies in marketing. Gold dealers want you to buy their wares, and what a particular dealer is pushing may or may not be what you really need. For example, let’s say you are in the market for gold and you plan to bequeath it after your death. In the meantime, you prefer to hold the gold rather than dollar bills because while the paper money can easily become devalued, gold can only lose value due to increased output or a stronger dollar. Additionally, you are in your 60s so you remember hearing about the “gold prohibition” that lasted from 1933 to 1976, so you only want to buy non-confiscatable gold.
A dealer who sells bars is going to tell you bars are the best choice. A dealer who sells bullion coins is going to promote bullion coins. If you happen upon a rare coin dealer, he or she will likely try to convince you to buy the coin with the largest margin (buy/sell spread). There are so many people marketing so many types of gold, it can sometimes be difficult to wade through the muck to get to the certified gold coin market.
Granted, certified gold coins are not for everyone. If you’re looking to hold long-term, however, and want something that should appreciate as the dollar loses value, then certified gold coins could be the investment for you, especially if confiscation of your gold or the inability to use it at the risk of committing a felony is a concern to you.