Sell Gold Coins 2017-10-17T07:15:31+00:00

Sell Gold Coins

If you are wondering where to sell gold coins, chances are you have already seen quite a few local and online ads for it.  Many companies are more than willing to take them off your hands, and it can be as simple as tapping a few buttons on your smart phone or strolling into a local jeweler or pawnshop. You can get cash on the spot if you do the latter, a great thing if you are in a hurry to convert your tangible asset to disposable income.  However, you should know some things about gold coins before you sell them.

Value of Coins

Gold coins are also known as bullion coins, and are usually minted for investors and collectors rather than for general circulation. They are definitely worth more than their face value. For example, a gold sovereign coin has a face value of £1, but it is actually worth £230, (depending on current gold prices) because of its gold content. It may be worth even more if it has numismatic value.

Aside from British sovereigns, examples of coins minted primarily for its collectible or intrinsic value are the American Gold Eagle, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, and the South African Krugerrand. With the exception of the Krugerrand, most bullion coins have a symbolic face value. The American Gold Eagle has a $5 to $50 face value, while the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf has a $0.50 to $50 face value. The actual market value of a $5 Canadian Maple Leaf and the $5 American Gold Eagle (both containing 1/10 of a troy ounce of cold) is about US$130.

Back in the day, gold coins were actually used for commerce. People would pay for goods and services using gold coins, which are usually solid gold. Since gold is so soft, savvy traders could tell the purity of a particular coin by biting it. The gold coins today are seldom made of pure gold, however.  For example, a British gold sovereign all have 7.322381 grams of 22K gold, which is exactly 113.0016 grains or 1320/5607 troy ounces in weight. One troy ounce is equivalent to about 31.1 grams, so gold buyers will calculate the price for your gold coin based on the current market value (spot price) of 24K or pure gold, which is per troy ounce. The calculation is simple enough:

(spot price  ÷ 31.1) ÷karat (e.g. 91.67% for 22 karat gold) x 7.322381grams

The gold content of coins is the main reason why many investors buy them. Gold is a good hedge against inflation, because it is universally valued, and its price often rises when the economy is unstable. The government cannot mint gold that isn’t there the same way they can print more paper currency when the economy is in trouble, so gold tends to rise in value in such times.

Gold coins are small and easy to keep in physical form, as well as easy to find a buyer for when the need arises. Of course, it would be better to invest in gold coins when the prices are low, i.e. when the economy is good. Since you are looking to sell, you don’t have to worry about when to buy. What is more the point is when to sell, and the good news is gold prices are not likely to go much higher than it is now.

Numismatic value

However, gold coins are seldom just valued for its gold content. Some coins have numismatic value; that is, it has value to a collector or investors. This could be due to its condition, rarity, historical significance, design, or popularity.  Bullion coins, which are made of precious metals, are already worth more than its face value because of its intrinsic value. However, if it happens to be a rare coin as well, it will have numismatic value on top of its melt value.

For example, the 1933 Double eagle is valued at $7.6 million because it is so rare. It has a face value of $20, with 33.431 grams of 90% gold, so its selling price is definitely not for its gold content. The fact is the US Mint pressed more than 400,000 of this particular coin, but then President Franklin D. Roosevelt barred it from circulation to keep gold out of the hands of the public to manage the banking crisis. Two were preserved, but about 20 slated for melting were stolen.  Nineteen were recovered, and nine were melted down. This makes it one of the rarest coins in the world.

It is very important to find out the history of any gold coin you may have bought, inherited or found before you sell it, because it just may be the one 1933 Double Eagle piece that was never recovered. It is unlikely, but you never know. It may also be some other rare coin worth far more than its weight in gold.

Sell gold coins

Finding a buyer for your gold coin is easy enough if you just have a regular gold coin with no numismatic value. It does get more complicated the higher its numismatic value. You will obviously not want to sell it for its gold content, but finding the right buyer for a rare coin can take some time.  The best place to sell old gold coins is at a coin and currency auction, offline or online, where you can find serious coin collectors.

Some knowledgeable pawnbrokers and jewelers may also be able to give you a good price for your coin beyond its gold content, but the important thing is to do the research before you put it up for sale. Even if you sell it at lower price because time is of the essence, at least you know what you had in hand. That way you can negotiate for the best possible deal you can get.  Keep in mind that these rare coin buyers are looking to make a profit by turning around and sell it to someone else, so expect to get less than the going rate. If you have more time, you may want to consider a consignment as these gold buyers usually have the right contacts to get you top price. They will still get a percentage of the sale, however.


Gold coins are nice to have as a nest egg for when the need arises. If you want to sell in a hurry, it is easy enough to get close to spot price if you are only selling for the gold content. However, you should know as much about your gold coins as you can before selling it. They may be of more value than its gold content.