Bullion or Numismatic Coins: Which is the Best Buy?
If you're not familiar with the precious metals market, you might not be aware that there are important distinctions between bullion coins and numismatic coins.
Those who are somewhat new to precious metals ownership may be confused as to the fundamental difference between bullion coins and numismatic coins. Both are highly prized by collectors and investors—should buyers consider purchasing both?
Not unless they understand precisely what they're getting. Here are the basic differences:
Bullion coins are either gold, silver, platinum, or palladium coins that are purchased either for investment purposes, or as an inflation hedge. With some exceptions, they are manufactured yearly by government mints. Their weight is carefully calibrated into specific increments. For example, you will often find gold coins that are available as a single ounce, half ounce, quarter ounce, 1/10 ounce, or grams. If you purchase bullion coins from a reputable dealer, you are getting a particular weight of a refined precious metal.
Types of bullion coins include:
- United States Eagles (Gold, Silver, or Platinum)
- Canadian Maple Leafs (Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium)
- South African Krugerrands (Gold)
Although these coins are purchased specifically for their precious metal content, many collectors enjoy owning beautifully and intricately stamped minted coins.
Unlike bullion, numismatic coins are not just valued due to their precious metals content, but also because they are no longer being produced and are therefore quite rare. They are also valued based on their condition. Such coins might include:
- St. Gaudens Double Eagles
- Indian Head Eagles
- Peace Silver Dollars
The study of historic currency is certainly fascinating and fun—it's definitely rewarding to find a rare penny in your change purse! However, if you're looking to purchase precious metals, it is important to consider the difference in how bullion and numismatic coins are valued so that you can select the products that are best suited for your needs.