Collecting gold coins can be a fascinating hobby and there are several types of international gold coins that would take pride of place in any collection.
The American Gold Eagle must, by law, be made of gold mined in America but it does also contain a copper-silver alloy that reduces wear and tear. It is the country’s official gold bullion coin and features a torch-carrying Lady Liberty on the obverse side and a male eagle holding an olive branch while protecting its nest, on the reverse. The Gold Eagles come in denominations of $5, $10, $25 and $50 and The United States Mint produces a proof version of this coin especially for coin collectors.
The South African Krugerrand is probably the most well known gold coin and is manufactured by the South African Mint Company. It is made of an extremely durable gold alloy, as, unlike most other gold coins, it was meant to be used and not only to act as gold bullion. Proof Krugerrands are also produced, again especially for the collector, and they are popular additions to any collection. The obverse of the historically significant coin shows Paul Kruger, a former South African president who held office four times, while the reverse shows a springbok, one of the country’s national symbols.
Russia introduced their gold Chevronets in 1701 but they fell out of favor when replaced by the Ruble in 1757. After the Russian Revolution and Civil War ended, the authorities re-introduced the Chevronet in an attempt to counteract the devaluing of the Ruble but production ceased once again after 1925. To commemorate the 1980 Summer Olympics, however, hundreds of the 1925 Chevronets were re-minted and they are now greatly valued as collectors’ items. Even more valued are the five remaining 1925 gold Chevronets, but they are being closely guarded back in Mother Russia.
The Brittania is Britain’s contribution to international gold coinage and Brittanias are made of 22 carat and 91.7% gold mixed with either copper or silver (depending on when the coin was originally minted). They weigh one ounce of troy gold, have a face value of £100 and is the official coin of British gold bullion. Apart from the £100 coin, Brittanias come in denominations of £10, £25 and £50, which weigh a tenth, a quarter and a half of an ounce of troy gold respectively.
The Chinese Gold Panda is highly unusual in that it is still being minted and the exact design found on the coin’s reverse changes from year to year (although they always feature pandas). The coins show a Temple of Heaven design on the obverse and are composed of 99.9% fine gold. Proof Gold Pandas usually delight collectors as they have their hands full trying to get hold of a full set. The one exception to this rule is the 2002 Panda, which was identical to the 2001 Panda as the Chinese government had implemented a design freeze. The government later recanted the freeze after being begged to do so by collectors.
The Islamic Gold Dinar is a revived version of the Dinar used by Ancient Islam and is a mysterious coin that is not seen in many collections. The Dinar only officially came into use during September 2006 in, of all places, Kelantan State in Malaysia and has not yet received wide circulation. There are, so far, four traditional uses for the Islamic Gold Dinar: saving them, making charitable contributions and paying dowries in terms of Islamic Law, buying merchandise, and making and receiving payments on account.
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is, unlike the Islamic Dinar, a coin well known to collectors. It is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint out of gold mined only in Canada and, at 99.99%, is the purest gold coin in the world. And if you’re not content with buying a Gold Maple Leaf at its usual size, then why not order the deluxe version. In 2007, a Gold Maple Leaf weighing 100kg, being 3cm thick and 55cm wide and having a face value of one million dollars was unveiled. Although not originally intended as a collector’s item, interest was immediate and the government is presently working to fulfill 5 confirmed orders.