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The United States Mint has sold the American Eagle series of silver and gold coins since 1986. It started the Buffalo series of .999 fine gold coins in 2005. Canada produces gold, silver, and platinum "Maple Leaf" bullion coins, and South Africa produces the gold Krugerand.
Circulated Coins - These coins were minted for circulation many decades ago, yet, due to inflation and rising precious metal prices, their bullion value far exceeds their face value. Coins sold for their bullion content typically have common dates and mint marks and are in circulated condition, so they do not have significant numismatic value. In the United States, dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollars from 1964 and earlier contain 90% silver. Circulated Morgan and Peace silver dollars produced prior to 1935 and circulated gold coinage from prior to 1933 also appear on bullion markets.
Bars, Metals, Ingots, Old Jewelry
Bars and Ingots are produced both from scrap metal and directly from newly refined precious metals. Bars are typically of high purity and significant weight. Metals are usually at least 90% precious metal and their weights vary widely. The purity of gold jewelry is typically measured in karats, with 24 karats being pure gold.
American Eagles - This series was started in 1986, and features 22 karat (91.6%) gold coins available in weights of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz. These coins are produced in both proof and business strike forms. Some years may carry a significant numismatic premium because few coins were purchased that year.
American Buffalos - This series was started in 2006, and features 24 karat (100%) gold coins available in a weight of 1 oz. The coin uses the popular Buffalo/Indian Head design used on the nickel from 1913 through 1937. The coins are available in both proof and business strike versions.
Canadian Maple Leaf - These coins were started in 1979 and are minted from 24 karat gold. They are available in 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz weights. In 1994, smaller weight coins were also produced.
South African Krugerands - These coins were minted starting in 1969 and are minted from 22 karat (91.6%) gold. They are currently produced in weights of 1, 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 oz.
Bars and Rounds
Gold bars and rounds are typically medals or coins and bars from private mints. Common weights are 1 gram, 5 grams, and 1 oz.
Silver bullion coins are produced principally by the United States (American Eagles) and Canada (Maple Leafs). Coins in both series contain 1 oz of silver. American Eagle billion coins have been produced since 1986 and have a purity of 90%. Canadian Maple Leafs have a purity of 99.99% silver.
Bars and Rounds
Silver bars and rounds are typically a miscellaneous collection of
silver objects - typically old medals and bars. Many are are
inscribed with decorative designs, often copies of the Morgan design used
on old US silver dollars. Many of these items were initially sold by
private mints, supposedly as part of a "rare" offering. Usually
these items sell on secondary auction markets like eBay for just over
their silver value. Most contain 1 ounce or more of silver.
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