Are US coins a good investment?

Gold and money Collect coins as an investment

Due to the current low interest rates, many are looking for investment opportunities for their savings. For many, stocks are too risky and there is not enough money for a property. You then consider coins as an investment, especially since magazines and magazines often advertise buying coins. However, there are a few things to consider when deciding on coins and buying them. Basically: Coins do not yield any interest, are subject to price fluctuations and their safe custody, for example in a bank vault, costs money.

Every beginning is difficult

Anyone who deals with coin collecting is initially confronted with a large number of different coins and has to find out which ones are worth collecting. "Wild" collecting based on optics or gut instinct is not expedient if the collection is to generate a return. So you should, for example, decide on certain metals, countries, series or epochs and then specialize. A basic distinction is made between collector coins and investment coins. "You shouldn't confuse coins with medals," advises Andrea Heyer, a financial expert at the consumer center in Saxony, based on her consulting experience. "Coins are official means of payment, medals are not. The latter can also be issued by private companies."

Collector coins

Commemorative and special coins, also known as collector coins, are minted on certain occasions and in limited numbers. "Often silver-plated or gold-plated coins are offered for collection, which consumers have the impression that they are made entirely of gold or silver. However, this is not true and the price for these pieces is often higher than their value," warns Heyer. Historical coins currently seem to be more popular with collectors than modern coins such as those for the Olympic Games or special euro coins. Similar to the art market, the collectible coin market is also influenced by trends, which makes it difficult to predict the value of certain coins.

Regardless of trends, however, the following applies: the rarer and more valuable (in terms of material value) a coin, the higher its collector's value. The state of preservation is also extremely important. As an investment, you should fundamentally rethink the purchase of collector coins.

Investment coins

Investment coins are usually minted in large numbers and their value is mainly determined by the value of the precious metal from which they are made. In the EU, gold investment coins are therefore also considered investment gold. In times of crisis they are an investment. But their value also fluctuates greatly from time to time. Therefore, an investment in gold is only an option if you have large assets and a small share of around 10 percent of the total investment. In addition to the precious metal value, the value of the coins only increases if they are incorrectly minted or coins from the rarer mintings in small numbers.

Classic investment coins (also called bullion coins) are:

  • the South African Krugerrand
  • the Canadian Maple Leaf
  • the American Eagle and American Buffalo
  • the British Britannia gold coin

Coin value, increase in value and return

Depending on whether it is collector or investment coins, various factors determine the value and increase in value of a coin. For collector coins, on the one hand, rarity, state of preservation, origin and material value are important criteria. On the other hand, market trends and consequently the number of interested parties determine the value or increase in value and yield.

In the case of investment coins, the value, increase in value and yield depend on the respective precious metal price. Investing in investment coins is therefore only recommended when gold or silver prices are low. As the price of the precious metals recovers, so does the value of the collection. Investing in coins as an investment is only worthwhile if you are not dependent on the money invested in the long term, because the gold price is very volatile and subject to strong fluctuations.

Investing in gold coins has one major advantage: gold has proven to be an emergency currency for centuries when all other currencies expire. Investments in gold should therefore always be made physically, for example in coins, and not in gold securities, because they are also worthless in times of crisis.

How do I determine the coin value?

Anyone who collects coins should also acquire the necessary specialist knowledge. If you only rely on estimates from coin dealers, refineries or banks, there is a risk of not getting the best buying or selling price. Good sources of information are price comparisons for private sales on the Internet, coin and auction catalogs, specialist journals and, for unusual or rare specimens, the opinion of a numismatics expert. The value of gold coins depends on their total weight and their gold content.

Buy, sell and tax

In order to avoid buying counterfeits, offered coins should be checked carefully or, even better, bought straight away from trustworthy partners. Members of the professional association of the German Coin Specialist Trade e.V. are considered to be such, for example. Only experienced companies are allowed to use its logo. You can also turn to refineries, auction houses, and banks for safe buying and selling. However, banks should have a numismatic department in order to guarantee the necessary expertise.

Beginners who want to invest in bullion coins should not buy small denominations, as this increases the additional cost of buying them. The heavier a coin, the smaller the difference between the coin price and the precious metal price. Precious metal coins up to a value of EUR 1,999.99 can be bought and sold anonymously in Germany. If the price exceeds this amount, commercial buyers and sellers must record the personal details of the parties involved in the transaction.

When it comes to taxes, some special regulations also apply to coins. Gold coins have a special status. Profits from their sale remain tax-free if they have been owned by the seller for at least a year. Below the annual period, profits of 600 euros or more must be taxed at the seller's individual tax rate. In addition, gold coins with a gold content of at least 900/1000 ‰, which were minted after 1800, were already official means of payment in the country of origin and whose price is no more than 80 percent above the market value of gold in the EU, are exempt from VAT.

The same rules apply to buying and selling silver coins as to gold coins. However, depending on the country of origin, VAT of 7 or 19 percent applies.

Safe and proper storage

Coins must be stored appropriately according to their material and securely according to their value. This means that storage is best done in a dry place, with low humidity and free of dust. Albums, boxes or cases in which the coins are stored individually are suitable for this purpose. Because of their value, coin collections are also popular with thieves. The household insurance should therefore be informed about the collection and, if necessary, the coins must be insured separately. In order to meet the insurance clauses on theft protection, it is recommended to store it at home in a safe with a high security class or, even better, in a safe deposit box.

Conclusion

If you want to invest your money in coins, you should use investment coins. Anyone who counts on collector coins must know the market well.