I visited my coin dealer last week and managed to snag a deal I would not have thought possible just a few short years ago. I purchased a lightly circulated pre-1933 gold coin type set for mere pennies over melt. No kidding! I bought an AU 1907 Type II “No Motto” Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle for $1,700, AU 1910-D Indian $10 Head eagle for $840, AU 1910 Indian Head $5 half eagle for $440, and AU 1908 Indian Head $2.50 quarter eagle for $260.
A handsome four-piece gold type set containing approximately 1.85 ounces of gold for $3,240? Not bad, considering that much gold, at the present $1,640 an ounce, is worth about $3,095. That means I paid a numismatic premium of just $145 — about 4.5% over spot value. Now, think for a moment — that’s just 4 cents per dollar over spot to buy some of the most beautiful vintage gold coins ever struck. What’s more? These pre-1933 gold coins are limited in quantity and will never be struck again. As other pre-1933 gold coins head to the smelter, these pieces only get scarcer and scarcer.
My point? Consider that pre-1933 gold coins can currently be bought for lesser premiums than one could buy modern-day American Gold Eagles. The benefits of buying pre-1933 gold coins is that they enjoy an incredible crossover market, appealing to both bullion investors and numismatists, making these old gold coins highly liquid. Why are pre-1933 gold coins comparatively inexpensive now? A number of factors are at play, including:
- Hoards from Europe making their way back to the United States
- Massive selloffs of gold coins from the Great Recession still making their way through the market
- Relatively fewer coin collectors who pursue these pieces today
All of these factors make for very good buys in the eyes of collectors who love pre-1933 gold coins. There’s no guarantee the values of these old gold coins will increase without an upward push from bullion prices. But that doesn’t really matter if you’re a true numismatist. If you love classic United States coinage and want to own examples of timeless designs from Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Bela Lyon Pratt — two of the most celebrated artists of the early 20th century — then now may represent an ideal opportunity for you to buy pre-1933 gold coins for your collection.