In this guide, you will discover the 10 best gold coins to buy for bullion investors in 2020.
This article covers each gold coin in detail along with a complete buyer's guide to help you choose the best coin for your money.
Best Gold Coins for Investments
I want to help you pick which gold coins is best for you to buy. There are literally dozens of different gold coins sold on the market so you have to make sure you do your homework before making a purchase.
I've dealt with both Gold bullion and coins over the years so I know which gold coins not only have the best resale value, but are struck at the high purity and look absolutely beautiful in the palm of your hand.
|Name||Diameter||Purity||Face Value (Denomination)||Weight|
|Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin||30mm||.9999%||$50 Canadian Dollars||1 troy oz|
|Chinese Panda Gold Coin||32mm||.999%||500 Yuan||30 grams (0.9645 troy oz)|
|Somalia African Elephant Gold Coin||39mm||.9999%||1000 shillings||1 troy oz|
|American Gold Eagle Coin||32.7mm||.9167%||$50 dollars||1 troy oz|
|Australia Gold Kangaroo Coin||32.6mm||.9999%||$100 AUD||1 troy oz|
|Austria Gold Philharmonic Coin||37mm||.9999%||$100 Austrian Dollars||1 troy oz|
|South African Krugerrand Gold Coin||32.8mm||.9167%||None||1 troy oz|
|Mexican Libertad Gold Coin||34.5mm||.999%||1 Onza||1 troy oz|
|Great Britain Britannia Gold Coin||32.69mm||.9999%||100 British Pounds||1 troy oz|
|American Buffalo Gold Coin||32.7mm||.9999%||$50 dollars||1 troy oz|
Note: Each gold coin comes in many different weights (1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, etc). I listed the main 1 oz gold coin in the chart, but will note each different size in the reviews below.
Our top ranked favorite gold coin is the Canadian Maple Leaf produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.
It's is one of the purest 24k gold coins in the world with an impressive .9999% purity rating.
I recommend it over the American Gold Eagle simply because the Maple Leaf is a pure gold coin in traditional terms.
The Maple Leaf carries a $50 legal tender backed by the Royal Canadian Mint and is recognized all over the world. If you ever travel to Asia or Europe, you will see plenty of Gold Maple Leafs while few people carry American Gold Eagles.
The first Canadian Gold Maple Leaf was struck in 1979 and many gold investors favor these coins due to the RCM's long standing history and tradition of producing outstanding gold coins.
Gold coins produced from 1979 to 1982 carry .999% purity while those produced after 1982 are .9999% purity. The Gold Maple Leaf is considered the world’s purest gold bullion and each coin is stamped with the .9999 guarantee of purity and “1 OZ or Pur.”
On the obverse of 2020 1 oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins, you will find the right-profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. This is the fourth-generation bust of the Queen on Canadian coinage and was designed in 2003 by Susanna Blunt.
The reverse face of 2020 Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Coins features the sugar maple leaf. This design was created for the Gold Maple Leaf in 1979 by Walter Ott and is a staple of the series. It has proven so iconic that the mint uses it as the reverse design of the silver, platinum, and palladium versions of the Canadian Maple Leaf bullion coins.
In 2013, the Royal Canadian Mint added the security measure of a second micro-engraved maple leaf that holds the last two digits of the date. Also, the mint machined a radial line background onto the master die to create a “unique light diffracting pattern.”
The Mint also offers a “Bullion DNA” device that recognizes and authenticates each coin minted by its unique engraving. However, these are still delicate coins for handling, with sharp edges and smooth faces that wear and scratch easily.
Canadian Gold Maple Leaf Sizes and Denominations
- 1 oz
- 1/2 oz
- 1/4 oz
- 1/10 oz
- 1/20 oz
Generally, it's better to purchase the larger size because you acquire more gold while paying a smaller premium. However, if you are on a limited budget, then it's best to acquire some gold than none at all.
Currently, you can purchase gold 1-ounce Maple Leafs for $38 over spot for 20 or more. For individual coins, the price over spot approaches $50. Older coins carrying .999 purity — pre-1983 — are slightly lower while 25th-anniversary coins can list for $100 over spot. Within Canada, these are tax exempt. Within the United States, transactions involving fewer than 25 coins at a time are not reportable.
Surprised? Our 2nd ranked coin is China's beautiful struck Gold Panda Coin. This coin is the 1st gold coin I ever owned so I am a bit biased towards it. However, I also enjoy the Gold Panda because Chinese coins maintain the highest value appreciation and premiums in the gold coin industry. China is obsessed with gold, and with their large population, you always know your Chinese Panda coin will remain in high demand.
The Gold Pandas were first minted in 1982 in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz and 1/10 oz coins. In 1983, they introduced the 1/20 oz sized coins. Some years also include 5 oz and 12 oz Gold coins.
In 2016, The People’s Republic of China began minting Gold Pandas in the metric system sizes to better suit the international appeal of the coins. Each year, the design of the panda changes making them highly collectible. The only year they did not change design was 2002, which used the same design as 2001. Collectors spoke up about this halt in the design changes, and the annual design changes resumed in 2003.
The People’s Republic of China issues and guarantees the quality of each Gold Panda coin. Gold Panda coins are minted from several mints each year. Those mints include but are not limited to Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Shenyang.
Unlike the U.S. Mint, these Chinese Mints do not incorporate mintmarks to distinguish the difference between each mint every year. Some years such as 1987 do feature a “Y” mintmark or “S” mintmark.
The mints are also known for having minor differences in the design of the coin such as font size, small date, large date and designs of the temple in certain year’s mintages. With the annual change in design, and unique mint variations, the price of Gold Pandas has appreciated over time making them highly sought after by collectors and investors.
To add to their collectibility, the People’s Republic of China issues specialty designed Gold Panda coins for coin expositions. These designs usually feature similar panda designs with extra scrollwork or other design enhancing features along with the expositions name and variations in the Hall of Prayer for Abundant Harvests designs. These coins tend to be an exclusive purchase at the event, but can sometimes be found to purchase by the public.
Chinese Panda Gold Coin Sizes and Denominations
- 30 grams (approx. 1 oz)
- 15 grams (approx. 1/2 oz)
- 8 grams (aprrox. 1/4 oz)
- 3 grams (approx. 1/10 oz)
- 1 grams (approx. 1/20 oz)
These coins cost a higher premium than most gold coins, but have the largest resale potential as well. I'd advise going for at least the 1/10 oz gold coin for starters or just saving up for the 1 oz coin when you can afford it.
Each year, the Bavarian State Mint releases the popular Somalian Elephant series of coins with a new design, along with various options for both investors and collectors to choose from.
The Somalian Elephant series began in 2004 with a 1 oz silver coin. Over time, the Bavarian State Mint has grown the program to include gold versions of the coin with fractional weights, and even more recently, a platinum version.
On the obverse of the 2020 1 oz Somalia Gold Elephant Coins is the image of the coat of arms for Somalia. The crowned shield that forms the center of the crest design includes a background field of horizontal lines with a single star in the center. A leopard supports the shield on either side and there are two spears and two fern leaves crossed at the bottom of the design.
The reverse of 2020 Somalia Gold Elephant Coins includes the design of two African bush elephants. The bush elephant is one of three distinct species of elephant still alive today and is the largest, heaviest land mammal in the world. These two elephants stand facing one another as Mount Kilimanjaro juts up toward the sky in the background.
Somalia Gold Elephant Sizes and Denominations
- 1 oz
- 1/2 oz
- 1/4 oz
- 1/10 oz
- 1/25 oz
- 1/ 50 oz
- 1/2 gram
Like the Chinese Panda, these coins carry higher than average resale premiums. It's best to start with at least 1/10 oz coin unless you are purchasing it as a gift for someone else.
The smaller sizes make great gifts for kids/grandchildren to start their gold collection at a low price.
It's one of the most recognizable gold coins in the world and the official gold coin of the US government.
The reason I ranked it #4 is because the American Eagle is not a pure gold coin. It contains 1 troy oz of gold, but is only around 91% pure. My preference is a pure gold coin, but some investors/collectors prefer the Gold Eagle because it's backed by the U.S. Mint.
Since its introduction in 1986, the Gold American Eagle coin has been in high demand every year. Today, the modern Gold Eagles are a whisper of history as they showcase the design that made its first appearance on American Gold coins in 1907.
Because Gold American Eagles are a perfect addition for any investor or numismatic collector, these Gold coins are the most popular Gold bullion from the U.S. Mint. As Gold bullion, they always hold value making them easy to sell, buy and trade at a highly desirable price of Gold.
The obverse of the Gold Eagle is adapted from Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ famed Gold Double Eagle design of 1907, often regarded as the most beautiful design in American coinage. The Gold coin design features Lady Liberty, walking confidently against the sun’s rays, carrying a torch and an olive branch.
The reverse of the Gold coin is equally beautiful, showing a male bald eagle in flight carrying an olive branch to his nest, where a female awaits with her young. This American Gold coin design highlights the strength and importance of American families.
The 2017 1 oz Gold Kangaroo coin continues the popular series known for its recognizable wildlife symbol of Australia, the kangaroo. A series that started in 1986, each different coin design gives collectors and investors a great variety through distinguishing characteristics.
The Gold Kangaroo series was originally the Gold Nugget series minted by the Perth Mint in 1986. The reverse images featured various Gold Nuggets from 1986 to 1989, until the design was changed in 1989 to feature the kangaroo, which was more symbolic of Australia.
Minted in denominations of 1/20 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz, 1 oz and 1 kilo sizes, these coins have legal tender status in Australia. A significant appeal for collectors is the fact that the designs of these beautiful coins change each year, differentiating them from many other popular Gold sovereign coins.
On the obverse of each coin, you’ll find the image of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s effigy is featured on the obverse of Australian coinage each year, with a right-profile design preferred in those portraits. The design used on these coins comes from Ian Rank-Broadley, and was created in 1998.
The reverse of the 2017 1 oz Australian Gold Kangaroo Coin includes the image of a kangaroo as it hops along the Outback. Kangaroos have a unique motion, but their movement is flawed in some ways. For example, kangaroos are not capable of moving backward with any degree of ease.
The kangaroo is the most instantly recognizable wildlife symbol of Australia. The world's largest marsupial, females carry their infants around in their pouch for two months after being born. These young kangaroos, called joeys, will stay close to their mothers until about eight months of age.
Red Kangaroos hop along on their powerful hind legs and do so at tremendous speed and with incredible grace. In fact, a red kangaroo can reach speeds of over 35 miles per hour! Their massive gait allows them to cover 25 feet in a single leap.
Perth Mint is responsible for the coining of all Australian Gold Kangaroo products. The mint was opened in 1899 as a Royal Mint facility by the British, but today is owned by the state government of Western Australia. The Currency Act of 1965 established the Royal Australian Mint as the sovereign mint and gave Perth Mint coins legal tender status.
When most investors and collectors think about the most popular gold coins in the world, the South African Krugerrand, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, Chinese Gold Panda, and American Gold Eagle probably come to mind. Quietly though, the Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin has topped the charts on numerous occasions. Today, the 2017 ½ oz Austrian Gold Philharmonic Coin is available to purchase from JM Bullion.
- 23rd anniversary release of the ½ oz Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin!
- Contains ½ Troy oz of .9999 pure gold in BU condition.
- Face value of €50 (Euros) is fully backed by Austria’s government.
- Obverse features the Musikverein’s Pipe Organ.
- Reverse includes a variety of musical instruments used by the orchestra.
- Designed by Thomas Pesendorfer.
The Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin debuted in 1989 with the release of a 1 oz and ¼ oz variant in the program. The coins remained available only in gold until 2008, when the Silver Philharmonic was introduced, and further expanded with the Platinum Philharmonic in 2016. The 1992, 1995, and 1996 sales years saw the Gold Philharmonic earn the title of best-selling gold coin in the world according to the World Gold Council.
The obverse of the Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin includes the image of the Great Pipe Organ, which is located inside the Musikverein Golden Concert Hall in the Innere Stadt neighborhood of Austria’s capital city of Vienna.
On the reverse of the 2017 ½ oz Austrian Gold Philharmonic coin is the image of a collection of musical instruments used by the members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, which was formed in 1842 and is considered by many to be one of, if not the, finest orchestras in the world.
All Austrian Gold Philharmonic designs came from Thomas Pesendorfer, Chief Engraver of the Austrian Mint. His designs originated in 1989 and have not changed since, finding use on the silver and platinum variants of the coin as well.
The Austrian Mint was formed in 1194 by Duke Leopold V, who used a 15 ton payment of silver from England’s King Richard the Lionheart to refine the first products at the sovereign mint of the nation.
The Krugerrand is the world’s longest running gold bullion coin program. It was first introduced in 1967, and for more than two decades dominated the precious metals market place as private investors began to flock to gold bullion coins and other products as safe-haven options.
South African Gold Krugerrand coins debuted in 1967 as South Africa sought to market its gold to private investors around the world. For more than two decades, the Krugerrand was the only option for those looking to invest in or collect gold coins. The introduction of the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf (1979), Chinese Gold Panda (1982), and American Gold Eagle (1986) cut into the Krugerrand’s dominance, as did the economic boycott of its apartheid system.
The obverse of the 2017 1 oz South African Gold Krugerrand Coin features the left-profile portrait of Paul Kruger. He was the 5th President of South Africa and a major political and military figure in early 20th century South Africa during the Boer Wars.
On the reverse of all South African Gold Krugerrand coins is the image of a Springbok antelope. Both sides of the coin have engravings in both English and the native Afrikaans spoken by tribes and ethnic groups in South Africa.
The designs on the modern obverse and reverse were refined in 1984, with Otto Schultz revitalizing Kruger’s portrait and Coert Steynberg reimagining the Springbok antelope.
The South African Mint is the official sovereign mint of the Republic of South Africa. Headquartered in Centurion, in Gauteng province outside of Pretoria, it produces coinage for the South African Reserve Bank.
Of all the coins in the Mexican Libertad Series from the Mexican Mint, it is the 1 oz Mexican Gold Libertad that is the direct successor to the popular gold Centenario coins released between 1921 and 1947.
Today, the Mexican Mint continues the use of those iconic images on the Mexican Libertad coins.
The gold Centenario coin was released in 1921 on the 100th anniversary of Mexican Independence from Spain. The coin featured the image of Winged Victory, front-facing, on the obverse and the coat of arms on the reverse.
These coins were released by the Mexican Mint in conjunction with the erection of a statue in Mexico City of Winged Victory, along with other national celebrations of the centennial.
When the Mexican Mint launched a new bullion coin program in 1981/82, the Mexican Gold Libertad was the first coin available and it featured those same iconic images from the Centenario coin.
On the obverse of the Mexican Gold Libertad coin is the image of Winged Victory, which dominates the center of the design field and is framed in the background by the twin volcanic peaks of Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, which are named for a pair of Ancient Aztec lovers.
The reverse of all 2016 1 oz Mexican Gold Libertad coins includes the modern coat of arms for Mexico in the center of the design field, with surrounding images of all 10 historic versions of the seal used by the nation since 1821.
Founded in 1535, the Mexican Mint is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere and once struck colonial coinage for Spanish Empire colonies throughout the Western world. Today, it is the sovereign mint of Mexico and is overseen by Banco de Mexico, the nation’s central bank.
The symbolism of Britannia has stuck with the British people for more than two thousand years. Originally a term used to label the islands as a province of the Roman Empire two thousand years ago, Britannia came to mean something much more to its inhabitants.
- 30th anniversary of the Gold Britannia.
- Contains 1 Troy oz of .9999 pure gold in BU condition.
- Face value of 100 (GBP) is fully backed by Britain’s government.
- Queen Elizabeth II graces the obverse.
- Britannia commands the reverse design field of the coin.
Britannia became more than just a name, a term, to the British people. In the days following Roman conquest of the island, the name came to be associated with a goddess responsible for protecting the island. With a trident in one hand she controlled the seas of the English Channel, keeping intruders at bay. In the other, a shield prepared her for battle against those who survived the crossing.
The British Gold Britannia coin debuted in 1987 from the Royal Mint. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the coin’s initial release, which featured 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 Troy oz coins in addition to the popular 1 oz version. 2013 marked a year of changes for the program, with the addition of 5 oz and 1/20 oz coins to the lineup, and a boost in gold content from .917 to .9999 purity.
On the reverse of the 2017 1 oz British Gold Britannia Coin you’ll find the image of Britannia, which has featured on the coins unchanged for the last 30 years. Britannia originally featured on sovereign coins in the early 18th century at the formation of the United Kingdom between England and Scotland.
The obverse of all British Gold Britannia Coins includes the new fifth-generation depiction of Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s effigy was last updated in 1998 by Ian Rank-Broadley, but in 2015 the Royal Mint unveiled a new image of the Queen from 33-year-old Jody Clark, the youngest engraver and artist ever to complete her portrait.
All 2017 1 oz British Gold Britannia Coins in this listing are in BU condition. Coins in this condition show no signs of wear and tear, though you may notice minor flaws ranging from breaks in the luster and spotted surfaces to contact marks from striking the coins during the production process.
Britain’s Royal Mint originally formed in 886 for the first time as a singular entity. For the next 500 years, various mints handled the production of coins for the crown until the 16th century.
The first-ever 24-karat gold coin from the United States Mint was the American Gold Buffalo. Based upon the historic Buffalo Nickel design and unveiled in 2006, the American Gold Buffalo coin has a limited maximum mintage each year and was, for a time, the only 24-karat gold coin available to the public from the US Mint.
American Gold Buffalo coins debuted in 2006 as the first-ever release of 24-karat gold coins from the United States Mint. The coins were initially available in bullion and proof versions, with talk of expanding the lineup to include fractional weight coins. Only the proof program has since had reliable production of fractional weight coins however.
On the obverse of the American Gold Buffalo coin is the left-profile portrait of a Native American chieftain. The image does not represent a singular individual, but rather, was designed by James Earle Fraser using a combination of facial features from numerous early 20th century Native Americans.
The reverse of each 2017 1 oz American Gold Buffalo coin includes the depiction of Black Diamond. This bison was a resident of the Central Park Zoo in New York City in the early 20th century, and served as inspiration for Fraser’s design.
Both designs on the American Gold Buffalo were created in 1913 by James Earle Fraser for the nation’s five-cent piece, which became known as the Buffalo Nickel. Fraser, a native of Winona, Minnesota, grew up in the American Midwest and Plains and used his early childhood experiences as influence for his design of the Buffalo Nickel.
Gold Coin Buyer's Guide for Investors
Still not sure about buying gold coins? Please take the time to read our personal buyer's guide for bullion investors to help you make the right decision.
Why Invest in Gold Coins?
Did you know that the US dollar has lost 95% of its purchasing power since 1913?
According to Merk Investments:
“Investors holding cash have lost over 95% of their purchasing power since 1913. To derive this number, we debase the dollar’s purchasing power annually by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It’s this gradual debasement that is supposed to encourage us to take risks, to preserve our purchasing power. Think of being put into a mouse wheel: even as you run fast, you are not advancing.”
We've all experienced this ourselves because everything from rents to gas prices seems to always be increasing. Things that used to cost a mere 25 cents decades ago are now well over $2 or more. College tuition, home prices, automobiles, and many other everyday items have skyrocketed in price over the years.
Protect Yourself From Paper Currency Inflation and Potential Civil Unrest
If you want to insure a bright and success future for you and your loved ones, then you need a way to protect your savings against hyperinflation and incredibly fast rising prices.
That's why I am advocating a far better way to protect your hard earned savings in the future: Gold.
Gold, created by God, is the ultimate store of wealth and has been used as money for over 5,000 years. It's easy to store, indestructible, portable, discreet, and doesn't lose its value over time like paper currency does.
We review many gold coins over the years, but only 10 made our best gold coins list. This is because these 10 coins are struck by excellent mints with a safe and reliable background history. Whenever purchasing gold, you want to safeguard your investment while minimizing your risk.
Which Gold Coin is Best for You?
Depending on your budget and geographical location, you have access to at least a few different gold coins. In this guide, you will learn how to select the best gold coins for investment purposes.
When investing in gold coins, many investors flock to the safety of gold coins with a strong reputation in the bullion industry. The gold coins with the strongest track record are:
- South African Kruggerand
- American Eagle Gold Coin
- Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin
These coins are trusted around the world by most investors and carry the biggest universal resale value. Out of the 3 above coins, I prefer the Canadian Maple Leaf because it's the purest gold coin on the market.
Many investors wish to own a pure gold coin because they cherish the feeling of pure gold in their possession. If that's the case, then you want to focus on the following pure gold coins:
- Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin
- Somalia African Elephant
- Australia Gold Kangaroo Coin
- Austria Gold Philharmonic Coin
Each of the 4 coins above is struck at .9999% purity, making them the most pure gold coins on the market. You may not have the same resale value, but you will truly own a pure gold coin that's not mixed with copper and other metals.
If you are purchasing gold coins with the intent to resell them at a profit, then focus on the following coins with a history of strong resale values:
- Chinese Gold Panda
- Somalia African Elephant
- American Gold Eagle
Chinese Panada coins have the strong resell value I have ever seen. As each year passes, your Chinese Panda coin will command very large premiums due to the incredible demand for these coins amongst Chinese gold investors. Somalia African Elephants resell at a high value as well due to their limited mintage.
Choose a Reputable Gold Coin Dealer
Whenever something has immense value, there are always scammers and con-artists looking to take advantage of innocent people. unfortunately, you must be very careful to avoid purchasing counterfeit gold coins from local dealers and/or the internet.
The best way to protect yourself from fake gold coins is to purchase through a well trusted, reputable dealer. A trustworthy gold bullion dealer is a necessary asset that will make your buying experience 10x easier.
Our site recommends BullionExchanges.com, a very good bullion dealer based out of New York City. They ship worldwide and always provide a high quality product that's in great condition when you receive it in the mail.
You may also try local gold dealers, but you'll need to do your homework and know what an authentic gold coin looks like. Many federal agents have discovered fake bullion gold coins in local gold coin shops so be extra careful before you make a final purchase.
Tarik Pierce is the founder of InvestorTrip.com and regularly contributes articles to this website.
While living overseas, he uses PureVPN for a low cost VPN service.
He recommends Bluehost for setting up your own personal and/or business blog.
While his background is mostly related to trading stocks, he recently gained interest in real estate crowdfunding with Fundrise.