More than being pretty to look at, gold coins can be a lucrative part of any numismatist's collection. Collectors cherish gold coins both for their beauty, and for there investment potential. Here are some of the gold coins circulating in the market today:
Type One Double Eagle - Struck between 1850 and 1866 at mints in Philadelphia, New Orleans, or San Francisco. This twenty-dollar piece is easy to identify because it's missing the "In God We Trust" motto on the reverse side of the coin.
Type Two Double Eagle - Struck between 1866 and 1876 in Philadelphia, New Orleans, or San Francisco. Includes the "In God We Trust" motto on the reverse side of the coin, and also signifies the value of the coin as "Twenty D."
Type Three Double Eagle - Struck between 1877 and 1907 in Philadelphia, New Orleans, or San Francisco. Distinct from the Type Two because the value of the coin is signified as "Twenty Dollars."
Liberty Head Half Eagles - These five-dollar gold coins are the only ones struck at all seven mints in the U.S.
High Relief Double Eagle - Theodore Roosevelt felt that coin designs were becoming run-of-the-mill, so he hired sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens to create something special. The result was the 1907 High Relief Double Eagle. Even today, many feel it is one of the most striking gold coins in America.
New Orleans Quarter Eagles - Struck at various times between 1840 and 1857, these coins consist of thirteen issues and tend to be a great set to begin with if you're a new collector.
Sacagawea Golden Coin
First minted in 2000 to commemorate the Shoshone woman who help lead the Lewis and Clark expedition, this coin has quickly become a favorite among collectors. The final decision was chosen after an extensive, and at times contentious, design competition.
Some rarer coins, that are highly sought, include:
$10 Liberty SS Minted during the administration of President Polk, this piece is often missing from pre-Gold Rush collections.
$20 St. Gaudens a remarkably beautiful coin, this $20 piece is inspired by ancient Greek coins. The design was commissioned to Augustus St. Gaudens, a renowned American sculptor. The coin was produced between 1907 and 1933 and it considered by many to be an aesthetic treasure.
Gold coins were circulated for commerce in the United States until 1933, when gold coins were confiscated and recalled. Much to the chagrin of coin devotees, up to 95% of all the gold coins in circulation were melted down and poured into gold bars. Surviving coins from this era are highly prized by collectors and do not come up on the market often.
Aside from being prized by collectors for their aesthetic value, many people use gold coins as an investment vehicle. The price per ounce of gold has traditionally always been a safe investment bet, and purchasing this commodity in coins is a big business. If you choose to invest in gold coins, you should do some research and seek advice from independent (and unbiased!) sources.
Experts recommend that you use the services of a coin broker when investing in gold coins. This will assure you that the coins you are buying are authentic and worth the price you are paying. Make sure any coins you purchase are graded by one of the leading grading services. PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) and NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation) are two leading grading houses, and will assure you that the coins you hold are graded to the highest industry standards.
Most likely, gold will always be among the premier trading commodities. Invest carefully, and do your homework before you choose. Always deal with only reputable brokers, and be sure that your gold coin purchase comes with the appropriate authenticity verification.