It seems as though anywhere you turn you are confronted with television advertisements, billboards, and Internet blogs ranting and raving about gold investments: ETFs, coins, etc. Anyone who has been to a pawnshop lately has received a noticeable amount of pressure from merchants suggesting they exchange jewelry containing precious metals in for a cash return. Why all the fuss?
A serious answer to this question goes beyond simple issues regarding supply and demand on the precious metals market. An investigation of this question would guide you not only toward issues in current events and world economic politics, but also toward psychological and cultural issues as well.
Gold is, in some respects, "the ultimate currency", as Bill O'Neill of Logic Advisors explains; Logic Advisors is a commodities research firm. For those who, for a variety of reasons, do not trust the value of euros or other currencies, look to the long history of gold's value. Gold is something to which humans have assigned value for many thousands of years in comparison to much newer means of exchange such: dollars, euros, etc. These symbolic currencies constitute little more than a recent phenomenon, chronologically, compared to how long civilizations have traded goods and services for gold.
When currency fails, why not just invest your wealth into things that people buy with currency? This argument becomes especially true during a period of time (like the present) in which people are willing to pay considerable amounts of money for gold. It is here that bullion becomes a topic of interest.
Recently, coins like the South African Krugerrand and the American eagle gold coin is proving popular to a wider consumer base beyond those exclusively interested in numismatics. Due to ever inflating precious metal values, purchasing this coin makes sense as an investment. People with investments in things such as CDs are seeing extremely limited returns at the moment, while gold prices climb ever further into the sky.
The trick is to figure from where you can purchase these bullion coins at the cheapest price. You can purchase them directly from the national mint, but often, you will not get them at the lowest prices for which they are available. Kevin Demarrais of The Record recently reported that a private company called the U.S. Money Reserve offered the American Eagle gold coin for $183; the U.S. mint was charging $220 for the same coin at the same time. The actual price gap is somewhat less when you take insurance, packaging and shipping costs into account, but the central point remains: from where, and from whom you choose to purchase bullion coins can make a significant difference.