Letter Re: Trading Numismatic $5, $10, and $20 Gold Pieces for Bullion Coins?


I have a question for you. Should a person keep old $20 gold coins, or convert them into 1 oz. gold American Eagles? This would assume coins with no great [numismatic] value, just old coins. Also, what about $5 and $10 gold pieces? Thanking You in Advance ,- Jim A. in Montana

JWR Replies: As I’ve mentioned before, the often-mentioned threat of another gold confiscation is overblown, so essentially, “gold bullion is gold bullion.” For buyers here in the US, I recommend American Eagles from the US Mint, because they are widely recognized and accepted. There are also some tax advantages to buying them. (In some states, for instance, there is sales tax charged on all gold bullion except US Mint Gold Eagles.)

Unless your $5, $10, and $20 gold pieces have sentimental value, then I recommend selling (or trading) them a like-value (but greater weight) of gold American Eagles. The 1-ounce variety have the lowest premium. But if one of your concerns is the ability to barter for necessities in the midst of an economic collapse, then I recommend also buying some silver coins—either pre-1965 US quarters and half dollars, or 1 ounce .999 silver “rounds”. As I described in “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse”, gold is essentially too compact a form of wealth for practical barter for necessities such as food and fuel.