With the economy and the stock market in shambles, many people are looking for alternative forms of investing. Despite the lackluster state of the economy, there are still solid investment vehicles available. The precious metals, for example, in their various forms (gold bullion and gold coins and bullion and coins of the other precious metals) are sound investment vehicles to consider. Below is a brief breakdown of some of the options when considering these different investment vehicles.
Gold bars are the most traditional way of investing via precious metals. Gold bars are the standard form of trading and selling gold, and that is because they are the most consistent and the easiest to authenticate. They also are extremely durable and do not depreciate in value. Bars usually have a lower price premium than gold bullion coins. However, the larger bars can have an increased risk of forgery due to their less strict appearance guidelines and checks. Gold bullion will always be the industry standard over gold coins, as they are simply just more consistent, more reliable, and more durable.
Coins are a common way to acquire gold, and they are definitely one of the more popular choices available. Gold can be acquired gradually, rather than in larger and more expensive amounts at once. The coins also often possess extra value based on their design, uniqueness, rarity, and demand. Many coins have face values which are irrelevant because of their gold value, their design, and their demand. If a coin becomes extremely rare, its face value becomes meaningless. For example, a gold coin with a great design and a face value of $10 could be worth hundreds of thousands (even millions, in some cases) of dollars if the coin becomes extremely rare.
Certificates are a safe and reliable way to invest in gold (and other precious metals) without the usual risks. Certificates replace the physical risks associated with gold bullion such as theft and assay costs with the much lesser risks associated with the certificate itself. The certificates are a valuable alternative for the weary investor who worries about the quality of his investment over the long term, especially if the investment is one which is expected to remain untouched for several years. Unlike physical bullion, and especially unlike physical coins, certificates are not subject to wear and tear, as they are merely a representation of an actual investment.