With gold prices staying buoyant, it's important to keep close tabs on trends regarding what people are buying either for investment or collecting purposes. There are diverse choices out there for individuals who wish to invest in gold coins, but some of the best options remain pre-1933 U.S. gold coins and United States American Gold Eagles. Why these coins? Because they're backed by the United States government, are widely bought and sold, and enjoy a good investor/numismatic crossover appeal and thus are highly liquid.
Here is a look at 5 of the most popular United States gold coins and what helps to make them so desirable:
- Indian Quarter Eagle -- One of the least expensive yet most collectible vintage United States gold coins is the Indian Head $2.50 quarter eagle. Minted from 1908 through 1929, the Indian Head quarter eagle is both a great type coin or a series that can be assembled by date and mintmark. Common-dates currently trade around $350 apiece, though the series key 1911-D fetches thousands of dollars.
- Liberty Double Eagle -- This $20 face gold coin was minted from 1849 through 1907 and is an excellent type coin with nearly a full ounce of pure gold. It's also become a popular quasi-bullion coin in recent years as numismatic premiums for this series have softened across the board for the common dates in circulated grades. Well-worn common issues trade for right around melt value, making them among the most affordable vehicles for buying United States gold coins.
- Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle -- Often dubbed one of the world's most beautiful gold coins, the Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle is an iconic coin recognized around the globe. Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and produced from 1907 through 1933, this piece contains nearly a full ounce of gold and is widely sought and collected on both its numismatic and bullion merits.
- One-tenth ounce American Gold Eagle -- The smallest of the four United States American Gold Eagles, both by size and denomination (the latter just $5), this small gold coin is a heavyweight in terms of popularity. Issued since 1986, it bears the popular Saint-Gaudens design first seen on the double eagle of 1907-1933. Not only is it a great entry-level bullion coin given its relatively low cost, but it also makes a wonderful holiday gift.
- One-ounce American Gold Eagle -- The staple of diehard precious metals investors, this gold coin with $50 nominal face value is bought by countless gold speculators. It has been a mainstay in portfolios around the world since its initial release in 1986 and, like its smaller counterpart, is anchored on the obverse by a reproduction of Saint-Gaudens' famous Miss Liberty design first issued on the double eagle in 1907.