What are the Best Gold Coins to Buy in 2024?

Concept art of an article about Best Gold Coins to Buy: fancy folder with gold coins lying around on a dark, wooden table (AI Art)

For the most part, the techniques we’ve used over 40+ years of planning have changed as the times have changed. Except when it comes to hard assets. We believe that gold (and silver) should be a core part of any wealth protection strategy. But which are the best coins to buy? We’ll take a closer look in this article.

Best Gold Coins to Buy

Generally, the best coins to buy are issued by a government, have an official face value, and are produced by a mint with a solid reputation. This makes them easy to sell later without needed to be assayed, a process that takes time and can be quite expensive.

Most coins nowadays are held to the .9999 standard, which means that only 1/10000 of the weight of the coin will consist of impurities. In other words, 9999/10000 of the weight of the coin is pure gold.

Coins of this purity can also generally be transported across international borders duty-free. That said, they’re also easily scratched, which is why some gold coins contain some other metals, making them less prone to scuffs and scrapes.

At the moment the most popular gold coins to buy for investment include:

  1. American Gold Eagle: First released in 1986 and produced by the United States Mint. It has a gold purity of 91.67%. The rest of the coin is made of silver (3%) and copper (5.33%.) Probably the most recognizable gold coin in the US.
  2. American Buffalo aka Gold Buffalo: First released in 2006 and produced by the United States Mint. Made of .9999 fine gold, an extremely high standard of purity.
  3. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf: Produced by the Royal Canadian Mint. Made of .9999 fine gold, which also ranks it among the purest gold coins in the world.
  4. Gold British Britannia: Produced by the Royal Mint and made of .9999 fine gold.
  5. Gold Austrian Philharmonic: Produced by the Austrian Mint to the .9999 fine gold standard.
  6. Australian Kangaroo (or Gold Kangaroo): Produced by the Perth Mint in Australia. Made of .9999 fine gold.
  7. Chinese Gold Panda: Produced by the People’s Republic of China. Made of .999 fine gold. This means a slightly higher allowance for impurities within the coin. From a practical perspective, it makes little difference.
  8. Gold South African Krugerrand: Produced by the South African Mint and the modern “original” coin used by investors as a way to get exposure to the precious metal. It has a purity of 91.67% with the remaining 8.33% being copper.

A few other notable coins that, while not as well-known internationally, are popular in their respective areas of the world.

  1. Gold Somalian Elephant: Produced by the Bavarian State Mint in Munich, Germany, for the government of Somalia. Held to the .9999 fine gold standard.
  2. Gold Mexican Libertad: Produced by the Mexican Mint and made of .9999 fine gold.

The forms of gold coins that are most popular and thus most liquid will vary greatly depending on the country you’re buying them in.

In most cases, local buyers will prefer domestically manufactured products.

In the US Market, the most popular coins are the American Gold Eagle and the Gold Buffalo, followed by the Canadian Maple Leaf. For this reason, they can trade at a higher premium above the spot price of gold. They do so more than other gold bullion coins.

That premium is usually justified. That’s because when you sell, Eagles and Buffaloes usually fetch a higher price than other gold bullion coins. The Maple Leaf might be an exception.

Best 1 oz Gold Coins to Buy

By default, all of the coins mentioned above come in 1 oz sizes. Depending on demand, the mints may also produce smaller weight coins down to 1 gram (0.035 ounces).

In the US market, for ease of trading, it’s best to stick with the one-ounce American Eagle or the one-ounce Buffalo coins. Each has a face value of $50 but is, of course, priced by the value of the metal contained within plus a nominal premium.

Best Fractional Gold to Buy

As mentioned above, you can also buy “fractional” gold bullion coins. These are coins smaller than the standard ounce. Here’s a table outlining the options for coins of less than an ounce.

Size List of Coins
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, Gold British Britannia, Gold Austrian Philharmonic, Australian Kangaroo, Chinese Gold Panda, Gold South African Krugerrand, Gold Somalian Elephant, Gold Mexican Libertad.
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, Gold British Britannia, Gold Austrian Philharmonic, Australian Kangaroo, Chinese Gold Panda, Gold South African Krugerrand, Gold Somalian Elephant, Gold Mexican Libertad.
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, Gold British Britannia, Gold Austrian Philharmonic, Australian Kangaroo, Chinese Gold Panda, Gold South African Krugerrand, Gold Somalian Elephant, Gold Mexican Libertad.
1/20 oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, Australian Kangaroo, Gold Mexican Libertad, Chinese Gold Panda.
1/25 oz Gold Austrian Philharmonic, Somalian Gold Elephant.
1 gram Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, Chinese Gold Panda.
3 grams Chinese Gold Panda.
8 grams Chinese Gold Panda.
15 grams Chinese Gold Panda.


Fractional reserve coins tend to be a lot more affordable on a per piece basis. But they usually trade for higher premiums above the spot price of gold. That makes them more expensive compared to buying by ounce.

For that reason, in the US market, single ounce coins usually give you the best bang for your buck.

Best Gold Coins to Buy at the Best Price

You can buy gold coins, ingots, and bars weighing at little as 1 gram (0.035 oz) all the way up to 400 ounces.

Generally, the best price per ounce — meaning how to get the lowest premium — will result from buying gold bars. However, if you go the bar route, we suggest buying only those manufactured by major refiners, such as Johnson Matthey or Valcambi.

For the vast majority of American investors, buying 1-ounce Eagles, Buffaloes, or Canadian Maple Leaves will give you a well-recognized (and thus easier-to-sell product) with reasonable premiums.

Where to Buy the Best Gold Coins 

  1. Local coin and precious metals dealers are a great starting point for buying gold coins. You’ll avoid shipping costs and insurance for mail order purchases.
  2. Larger cities will have periodic coin shows with a large number of dealers in attendance. You’ll have a greater choice of coins or bars as well as possibly lower prices.

How do Gold Bars compare to Gold Coins?

Generally, gold bars are less liquid than gold coins for the same size. But the same sized bars also tend to have a lower premium above the value of the gold itself, making them more cost-effective. What’s right for you depends on your goals and budget.

Considering buying gold bars for investment as well? For more information on best gold bars to buy, click here.

What About Gold Storage

Okay, so you’ve decided to buy gold. But how to store it? Feel free to see our primer on how to store precious metals.

How to Private Buy Gold

Many of our clients buy gold because they want an asset that’s completely out of the system. That includes any official record of buying it in the first place.

The solution is to pay cash. But be aware that, if you make a cash purchase of $10,000 or more from any US business, that business must file a report with the Treasury.

And don’t forget, when it comes time to sell, you still need to claim the gain and pay appropriate taxes.

Why Gold?

Here are the top 10 reasons to invest in gold.

Gold IRA vs Physical Gold

Both a Gold IRA and physical gold involve owning physical metals. However, there are notable differences between the two: Each option has specific advantages and limitations. Here’s what you need to know before you decide: Gold IRA vs Physical Gold.

How to Ship Gold Internationally

Shipping gold overseas from the US might sound straightforward. But it can be quite a process. If you’re thinking about it, here’s what you need to know: how to ship gold internationally.

So what’s the best coin for you?

Well, it depends on your goals and situation. But generally, here’s what has worked best for our clients:

  • If you’re in the US: American Eagles and Buffaloes are good options.
  • If you’re in the US but thinking of moving offshore: Go for pure gold coins (.999 or .9999). Importing Eagles and Krugerrands into another country often requires that you pay import duties on their value.
  • If you’re in Europe: The market for gold coins is well established and both European and North American coins are popular, as are Krugerrands. But you might find the premiums lowest for the Austrian Philharmonic and British Britannia.

And when in doubt, give some thought to whether The Nestmann Group can help you build a Plan B. Since 1984, we’ve helped more than 15,000 customers and clients protect their wealth. For its proven record as a wealth preservation tool, gold has often been a part of that planning.

If you’re interested in using gold for the same purpose, and aren’t quite sure where to start, please book a free, no-obligation call with one of our Associates to see if a wealth protection plan is right for you.

On another note, many clients first get to know us by accessing some of our free publications, courses and reports on important topics that affect you.

Like How to Go Offshore in 2024, for example. It tells the story of John and Kathy, a couple we helped from the heartland of America. You’ll learn how we helped them go offshore and protect their nestegg from ambulance chasers, government fiat and the decline of the US Dollar… and access a whole new world of opportunities not available in the US. Simply click the button below to register for this free program.

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