Can You Buy Gold Coins At The Bank?
Today it is rare to find a bank that will sell gold coins to the public, outside of some locations in Asia.
Looking at history, until 1933, banks around the United States routinely traded gold coins and gold certificates. However, since the end of the gold standard, all that changed. While United States gold coins are still legal tender, they are no longer routinely exchanged in day-to-day commerce transactions.
But that doesn’t mean banks have totally abandoned the business of dealing in gold. A few financial institutions in the United States still furnish gold bullion or sell gold bullion coins. Some banks in other nations also sell gold, including those in Canada, Germany, and Hong Kong.
Still, it’s not always easy to find a bank that sells gold. In fact, according to one survey of 17 United States banks, only one of them sold gold. This is mainly due to the volatile nature of gold prices, which fluctuate on a moment-by-moment basis.
Summary: Some banks sell gold coins, but it is exceptionally uncommon.
We’ve already addressed whether or not you can buy gold at your bank (you can—it’s possible) and some of the other places around the world where banks sell gold. But, even if your bank does sell gold, should you buy it there? What are other options for purchasing gold if you can’t find it at a local financial institution? What else should you know about buying gold coins?
Should You Buy Gold at a Bank?
Bank vault full of gold coins
There’s no real risk with buying gold at a bank. Financial institutions, in general, take great pains to make sure any of the assets they handle—instead, they are paper checks or bars of gold—are authentic. But that doesn’t necessarily mean buying gold through a bank is the best way to go. It may not be the most convenient or cost-effective way to buy gold.
Banks generally don’t deal with just anybody in the public—you’ve got to be a member to engage in transactions with them. And this can cost you additional money through membership fees. There may also be other bank fees imposed on gold purchases, which can put your total cost above spot value at a significant premium.
You may also have to wait for a period of time for the bank to issue gold to you. This is especially true if the bank is low on inventory or depleted of gold stocks and needs to order more from its source to fulfill your order.
Coins at the bank were traditionally stored in canvas bags
Other Options for Buying Gold
If you’re having trouble finding a bank that will sell you gold, you might decide to pursue other options. And there are many.
Suppose you’re looking for special, current-year collectible gold coinage. In that case, you could turn to the United States Mint, which offers collectors a rich array of beautiful proof and other special-finish gold coins, gold commemorative coins, and gold medals.
But what if you’re looking for gold bullion—gold coins, gold rounds, or gold bars that come with lower premiums and are better suited for investors? In that case, the United States Mint won’t be of much help to you. They don’t sell gold bullion products directly to the public. Instead, they distribute these and other precious metals items to a small, select group of authorized buyers, who in turn sell these pieces to the public.
Buying Gold Through a Dealer
Summary: Your best option for buying gold is going through a reputable gold dealer, bullion broker, or coin shop.
When it comes down to the brass tacks of buying gold, your best bet for purchasing bullion will be doing so through a dealer. Dealers sell gold coins from the United States and many other nations worldwide. They also handle privately minted gold bars and rounds.
Another benefit of working with a gold dealer is that they can sell you vintage gold coins, which you won’t be able to get from a bank or the U.S. Mint.
So how do you buy gold from a dealer, and what should you be looking for when choosing one? You might be pleasantly surprised to discover how easy, safe, and affordable it is to go this route.
Gold and silver bullion in the Gainesville Coins showroom
Gold dealers work with all kinds of customers—individuals who are just starting as investors by buying an ounce of gold here or there, as well as those who are plunking away tens of thousands of dollars each month in a diverse bullion portfolio. There’s no minimum or limit when it comes to the types of purchases bullion dealers handle.
If you do an online search for gold dealers, you’re probably going to find a dozen or more names, all seemingly offering the same types of products. So, how do you know which dealer is the right one to work with? That’s where just a little bit of legwork now will pay off long-lasting dividends for you well into the future.
Once you establish yourself as a customer with a gold dealer, they can earn your trust. You want a dealer who will offer you fair deals when both buying and selling gold.
Be sure to choose a gold dealer who has many years of experience and who has built a solid reputation. These are things you’ll be able to verify simply by visiting the dealer’s website and by checking out their customer reviews.
Another way to vet a gold dealer is by finding out who they are affiliated with. A good gold dealer will belong to respected industry organizations such as the National Inflation Association, Industry Council for Tangible Assets, Professional Coin Grading Service, and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.
Finally, deal with a dealer who is willing to educate their customers. Know what you’re buying, and don’t buy anything you don’t understand. Before investing in gold, read up on how to buy precious metals, reasons to buy gold, and the best ways to buy gold.
Contact your gold dealer, and be sure to ask any other questions you have. Professional gold dealers only hire experts who will be willing to answer any questions you may have so you can make smart, informed decisions when buying gold for the best possible outcomes.
Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez is a journalist, editor, and blogger who has won multiple awards from the Numismatic Literary Guild. He has also authored numerous books, including works profiling the history of the United States Mint and United States coinage.
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