Is It Better to Buy Gold Coins or Bars?

A variety of gold coins and bars

August 18, 2023

Physical, investment-grade gold bullion comes in two formats: gold coins or bars. While both investment vehicles are similar in many ways, there are some key differences to keep in mind as you plan your acquisition.

Even a small amount of gold is a significant purchase, so we highly recommend taking the time to research your options. As always, our in-house precious metals specialists are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

Besides choosing between gold coins and gold bars in general, you’ll also want to learn about specific gold products—there are many types of coins and bars from mints and refineries all over the world.

Collecting gold is more than a savvy financial maneuver. Many gold enthusiasts enjoy the hobby of collecting gold coins or bars (or both). First things first: Here’s what you need to know to determine whether coins or bars are right for you.

Bars Have a Lower Premium

Compared to coins, gold bars’ simple, straightforward design makes them cheaper and easier to manufacture, store, and distribute. That’s why the premium (markup) is typically lower.

Is it better to buy gold coins or bars? If price is your main concern, bars are the ideal choice. That said, the price difference between coins and bars is minor, although small fees can add up if you’re making a major purchase.

Consider the weight of your gold coins or bars. If your goal is to own one kilo of gold, buying a single kilo bar will cost less than 32 coins that weigh one oz each. However, there are other factors to consider besides price.

Coins Are More Collectible

A variety of gold coins from all over the world

While plenty of people do collect gold bars, there’s just something about coins that makes them perfect collector’s pieces, especially if you build cohesive sets. There are so many stunning designs from all over the globe, and each coin has its own story and historical significance.

Full sets tend to sell for more than individual coins, so collecting specific coins can actually increase your potential profit margin. Even if you don’t plan to sell your gold coins or bars anytime soon, it’s something to think about.

Starting a coin collection can be especially profitable if you learn about numismatics—rare, commemorative, and antique coins that are worth substantially more than their intrinsic gold content. The higher value of gold numismatics comes from their rarity, condition, and overall market demand.

Is it better to buy gold coins or bars? Coins are appealing because they’re modern treasures that hearken back to times long gone by. From gold “stater” coins discovered in ancient Egyptian catacombs to the ingots circulating during the California Gold Rush, there’s an undeniable air of intrigue surrounding coins.

Bars Are More Practical for Larger Investments

As you choose between gold coins or bars, you’ll want to think about how you plan to store your gold. Bars tend to be the most convenient format (especially if you plan on owning a large amount of gold) because you can stack them.

There’s a reason most institutional investors opt for gold bars. Not only is buying bars in bulk more cost-effective, but they take up less space in the vault. Swimming in bullion coins may work for cartoon ducks, but storing vast quantities of gold coins is a hassle for human investors.

Bars are easier to store. But as you plan your purchase, don’t overlook the importance of owning an asset that brings you joy. Whether gold coins or bars are more desirable is largely a matter of taste, so trust your instincts. You know what you like.

Coins do stir a sense of nostalgia, sentimentality, and romanticism, but viewing a large gold bar up close is a breathtaking experience in its own way. The iconic gold bar is the quintessential symbol of wealth, exuding timeless prestige. You can’t go wrong either way.

Coins Usually Have Higher Liquidity

A businessman extending his hand for a handshake

Is it better to buy gold coins or bars if you plan to sell them in the future? As a general rule, coins tend to be easier to convert to cash, although coin-sized bars are generally comparable.

A big difference between gold coins and bars is that coins are easier to sell in smaller quantities. For example, say you own a 10 oz bar of gold, but you only want to sell half of your holdings. Your only option is to sell the whole bar and then buy 5 oz of gold.

Coins are also easier to authenticate. While gold bars do have serial numbers and specific markings, coins are much more difficult to counterfeit due to the many protective measures taken by the mints that produce them.

There’s No Right or Wrong Decision

The bottom line is that choosing between gold coins or bars is mainly a matter of preference. As you can see, there are slight differences to consider, but the best gold product can vary from person to person.

Is it better to buy gold coins or bars? If you’re still not sure, get in touch for a free consultation with a highly qualified precious metals specialist.

Endeavor Metals is a Tier 1 U.S. Mint bullion dealer with over 50 years of in-house experience. We’ll be happy to provide unbiased information so you can confidently decide how you want to proceed.

Diversify Into a Time-Tested Store of Value

Whether you decide to purchase gold coins or bars, you’ll find a wide selection of gold products to choose from at Endeavor Metals. All Endeavor products are backed by our 7-day, 100% money-back guarantee, even if the gold market has a downturn. Secure your financial future today.

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