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Gold is a valuable and beautiful material. Today it is most often seen in jewelry, but it used to be used as currency even in the United States. United States banks used to routinely trade gold coins and gold certificates. So, can you still buy gold coins at a bank?
According to the US Mint there is only one bank that is an authorized purchaser of United States Bullion coins and that is the Scotia Bank in New York City. Beyond that bank there are no other US banks that are authorized purchasers of bullion coins (as of right now).
Beyond that single bank in New York you are unlikely to find gold coins at any other normal bank in other states. Some banks might be able to order coins for you but few (if any) will have actual gold coins on hand that you can buy.
When the gold standard ended, banks no longer exchanged gold. Gold coins are still legal currency, but regular banks don’t sell them anymore. That is, except for a few. Because gold selling banks are so uncommon, it is difficult to find one that sells gold coins.
The value of gold fluctuates so often that banks would have a hard time exchanging the gold coins. In some countries it is common for banks to sell gold coins, but not in the U.S. The federal reserve only sells gold coins to banks and not individual customers.
Some banks may offer commemorative gold or silver coins for a limited time, but most U.S bank banks don’t sell gold bullion coins or bars to the public. Even if the bank has a portion of their securities in gold bullion bars, these won’t be for sale.
The best way to buy gold coins through an official channel is actually by going to the US Mint website. There you can purchase all sorts of coins and coin sets including gold coins (although you will have to pay far more than the current price of gold in most cases).
You can also find ½ ounce 1/10 ounce and 1 ounce gold coins at many other websites as well. To see some of the most popular gold coins available just click here.
Which Banks Provide Gold Coins?
Though it is rare, some banks do sell gold coins but this all depends on where you live. For security reasons, banks won’t usually publish or advertise that they sell gold coins. So, which banks provide gold coins?
The only US bank that is an authorized purchaser from the US Mint is the Scotia Bank in New York City. Other banks might sell gold coins but they do it on a case by case basis and they are not an “authorized purchaser” according to the US Mint website.
In the future this could certainly change but as of now there are no other banks on the list. The US Mint even has a bullion dealer locator on their website that shows different companies in each state that a part of the coin program but even in that far more exhaustive list of dealers there isn’t a single bank mentioned.
Some banks sell gold coins, but most of the time, if you want to buy gold coins, you have to buy them from gold coin dealers in your area or online. Places like GoldLine, APMEX Gold, Gold Price, Northwest Territorial Mint, Bullionvault, Bullion direct, etc. are reputable online gold dealers. Places to get gold coins include the following:
- Local coin shops
- Online coin dealers
- U.S. Mint
- Online gold coin dealers
You can also always call your bank and ask if they have any gold coins available. Although they don’t advertise that they have any gold coins, if they do have some, they will give you helpful information on how to buy gold coins from them. Although it is rare that a local bank would have gold coins (simply because of the risk involved from theft and the fluctuations of gold pricing) it can happen in rare cases.
When buying gold coins from a bank, then you will want to follow some steps. Here are the steps you need to take in order to buy gold coins from your bank:
- Ask your bank if they have any available. This can be done through call or email. If they do have some, they will let you know the next steps to take.
- Find out the current price for gold. The price of gold changes on a day to day basis. So, it’s important to know the current price of gold before making a gold coin purchase.
- Find out the price your bank will charge you for the gold as well as their payment policies. You can usually use credit cards, checks, or money orders to buy the gold.
- Receive your gold. Your bank will verify your purchases after you have made payments for the gold and then they will hand you the gold coins along with a certificate. This certificate shows the value of the gold, the date of purchase, and the karat value.
- Store your gold coins in a safe place with its certificate. If you are going to sell them, make sure to choose the buyer carefully.
How Much Are Gold Coins At The Bank?
As we have already covered, most banks won’t have gold coins for sale. However, if they do happen to have some, the price of gold coins is based on what the current price of gold is and the “collector value” that is placed on the coins. Gold prices change every day so one day you could pay a certain amount for gold and the next the price will be different.
So, how much are gold coins at the bank?
If you happen to find gold coins at your local bank you will likely be charged a bit more than “spot price” (the current price that gold is trading out). Even gold coins sold by the US mint can sell for over $1,000 an ounce more than the current spot price of gold because of their collectability.
Before you head to your local bank (or gold store) check the current spot price of gold and what gold coins can be purchased for at online sources as well. You should expect to pay somewhere in between those two numbers for your gold coins locally (but some places will try to gouge you as well).
To make sure you don’t make a poor purchases knowing what other places are charging for a gold coin is vitally important.
By knowing what gold is worth, you can have a better idea of what you are going to spend. You will normally pay 6-8% above spot when you buy a gold coin (depending on how many you are buying) so if your local bank or store is selling them for more than that you should always be willing to walk away.
You can also expect to receive about 90% of the market value when selling gold coins. Many people think that buying gold coins will be at or near the spot price but unfortunately this is rarely the case.
If you are buying gold coins online, then you need to be careful. It is important to understand that not every dealer is trustworthy which is why buying from places like APMEX or other large gold dealers is worth the extra cost (since you know you aren’t getting scammed.
Gold coin dealers who have a common email address for their contact info (such as @gmail or @yahoo) or do not have a security system for accepting credit card payments are signs that you should avoid buying gold from them.
Contact the dealer’s customer service department by phone or email before you buy from them. Inquire about specific items you are interested in buying along with warranties, payment methods and return policies. How they respond to these questions will tell you about how they do business.
Gold is priced by the amount of pure gold it contains. When choosing the types of gold to buy you should know the difference between gold coins and gold bars. Both are made out of pure gold, but gold coins are on a lower level investment than gold bars. They are a collectible and easier to cash in while gold bars are for bigger investments or collectors.
Make sure you also know the market price of gold, so you know if they are offering you a fair price for the gold or not. Before selling gold coins, you can do some at home tests or take it in for a professional appraisal if you are unsure if it is real gold, how much gold it contains, and what its worth is.
So, most banks do not sell gold coins, however, there are a rare few that do. To find these banks, you will need to contact each of the smaller local banks in your area and ask. Those are the most likely to have gold coins (although those places are unlikely to have them as well)
If you find a bank that sells gold coins, you will pay about what the current price of gold is plus 6-8% For an exact price, you need to contact the bank and they will tell you what the cost is for the gold coins.