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Bullion Information

Coin & Bullion Auction Links
Morgan & Peace Dollars
Gold & Silver Bullion Chart
Precious metals including gold, silver, and platinum are frequently sold through online auctions.  The following information describes the forms of precious metal most commonly encountered online.  Unlike the coins on the other parts of this website, which derive their value primarily from their numismatic, or collectible characteristics, the coins and bars discussed on this site derive their monetary value primarily from their precious metal content.  As such, they usually trade around the spot price of their precious metal content.  A table of coin weights and links to eBay auctions is found in the Gold and Silver Bullion Chart on this website.


The American Eagle gold bullion coin is widely traded . 
2006 Gold Eagle
Bullion Coins - These coins are minted specifically for sale as bullion coins.  They typically sell for a slight premium over the melt value of the precious metal due to value added through standardization.  The face-values given to the coins by the mint are typically much lower than the market price of the coin and exist mainly for symbolic and legal reasons. They have little significance to precious metals buyers. 

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. 

Common date gold coins from prior to 1933 are now traded for their bullion content.   
 Double Eagle Gold Bullion
Circulated US Gold Coins - The United States minted gold coins intended for circulation (or bank vaults) prior to 1933.  The dollar was valued at approximately 1/20 oz of gold, so a $20 gold coin contained approximately 1 oz of gold.  Gold coins were produced mainly in denominations of $1, $2.50, $5, $10, and $20, containing approximately 1/20, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, and 1 oz of gold respectively.  The exact gold content varies depending on the year of issue, as the dollar was revalued several times during the 1800's and early 1900's.  Typically only coins in the $5 and higher denominations from common dates are commonly purchased for bullion purposes.  These coins often sell on bullion markets for 10 to 20% over the spot price, partly because of a slight numismatic premium.  On the other hand, coins with rare dates, which have higher numismatic value, or coins in small denominations, which have less gold, are not sold on bullion markets because their numismatic value significantly exceeds their bullion value. 

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. 

Common date silver coins from the 1940's through 1964, like this Franklin Half, are commonly sold for bullion purposes. 
 Franklin Half Reverse
Circulated Circulated Coins -   All U.S. dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollars from 1964 and earlier contain 90% silver.  Like their gold counterparts, circulated coins in common dates typically trade for slightly above their bullion price, due to a slight numismatic premium.  Coins are typically sold in bank rolls of 20 to 100 coins, depending on the denomination.  Rare-date or high-grade coins typically are not sold on bullion markets because their numismatic value significantly exceeds their bullion value.  Silver coins were produced in denominations of $1, 50 cents, 25 cents, and 10 cents, containing 0.77, 0.36, 0.18, 0.072 oz of silver respectively.  Those most commonly traded on bullion markets were produced between 1945 and 1964. 

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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