There are plenty of ways to invest your cash and build wealth. Buying gold is a popular asset to diversify an investment portfolio from only holding stocks and bonds.
Physical assets like real estate and precious metals are a popular alternative. Gold coins can be the best way to invest in gold. Owning physical gold bullion can be better price stability than other gold investments that trade on the stock market.
There are many places to buy gold online and you might consider these ten legit places first.
Best Places to Buy Gold Coins
You can purchase gold coins and bullion from a local gold dealer. But shopping online can help you quickly find the best price and you might find a better selection.
1. JM Bullion
JM Bullion is one of the most popular places to buy gold and other precious metals online. You can buy gold coins from the US and foreign mints. Bullion bars are available too. There’s also a sales page to find gold coins selling for a discount.
Many products are IRA-eligible to reduce your potential tax bill. You will need to buy gold coins with a self-directed IRA. This retirement account is similar to a traditional or Roth IRA you open with a stock broker but holds physical assets instead of stocks.
For each item, you can see the per-item cost based on your payment method.
Your payment options include:
Shipping is free for all orders larger than $199.
As is common among gold coin dealers, JM Bullion charges a fee above the current spot price. The fee varies by product. You can find the current gold spot price with the ticker on each product listing page, similar to a stock ticker for an investment news site.
If you have questions, you can contact JM Bullion customer support by phone or live chat.
Why We Like JM Bullion
- Sells IRA eligible gold coins
- Free shipping on $199+ orders
- Can pay for orders with cash or cryptocurrency
Trustpilot score: 4.2 out of 5
Another well-respected place to buy gold coins is APMEX. You can buy newly minted coins and rare coins from well-known world mints. APMEX privately issues gold bullion with a .9999 purity level.
Browsing the “Deals” section can help you save money on bullion and coins. Volume discounts are available for select products too.
Shipping is free on most orders above $99. You can pay with a linked bank account, crypto, credit card and PayPal. For orders smaller than $25,000, you have five business days to submit payment. Orders greater than $25,000 need payment within three days to secure your purchase price.
Other than shipping, APMEX doesn’t charge any additional fees beyond the retail price. You can also sell your gold to APMEX and will find the buyback price online.
Why We Like APMEX
- Free shipping on orders above $99
- Sells APMEX-branded bullion
- Rare coins and discounts are available
Trustpilot score: 3.3 out of 5
3. United States Mint
Your best option can be buying your gold coins directly from the mint. In this case, it’s the U.S. Mint that also produces the currency and coins sitting in your change jar at home.
If you decide to buy directly from the U.S. Mint, you will most likely buy the American Eagle proof coin as the U.S. Mint cannot sell the bullion series of collectible coins.
Investors favor bullion coins as they tend to sell at a lower premium than proof coins. Both coin types have the same purity level. You must buy bullion coins that the U.S. Mint strikes from a gold dealer.
Shipping fees start at $4.95. After making three orders, you get free shipping on your remaining orders for the same year.
Why We Like U.S. Mint
- Buy American Eagle coins directly from the U.S. Mint
- Free shipping for frequent buyers
Trustpilot score: Unavailable
Kitco sells gold coins and bars online or by telephone. Their minimum order is $2,000 which is higher than most precious metals dealers.
It’s possible to buy gold coins from the world’s largest mints including the United States, Canada, Australia and Austria. You can browse weekly deals to save money.
Kitco also offers a digital way to buy gold that can convert into physical gold. You can buy fractional amounts of gold bullion until you’re ready to accept an in-person delivery. Rising prices can increase your total investment cost but it’s an easy way to buy physical gold with small amounts of money.
This online dealer also has an impressive precious metals news dashboard. If you invest in alternative assets, this dashboard can let you quickly track precious metals.
Why We Like Kitco
- Sells gold coins and bars from largest mints
- Weekly deals
- Offers digital ownership with future physical delivery
Trustpilot score: 4.5 out of 5
5. Patriot Gold Group
Patriot Gold Group offers gold coins from the United States Mint and other world mints. Shipping is free and Patriot Gold Group can store your bullion in their vault too. While you can browse the bullion, proof and IRA-eligible gold coins online, you will need to speak with an advisor to get a price quote.
You might consider this online dealer as they can help you open a self-directed individual retirement account (IRA). It’s possible to transfer or rollover an existing IRA and get up to $2,500 in free gold coins.
Why We Like Patriot Gold Group
- Sells IRA-eligible gold coins
- Can get up to $2,500 in free gold coins by opening a self-directed IRA
- Offers vault storage
Trustpilot score: 4.6 out of 5
6. SD Bullion
SD Bullion is a relatively young yet highly-rated gold precious metals dealer. You can buy gold coins and bars. Some offerings are IRA-eligible and you can find rare coins such as pre-1933 US coins.
Like other dealers, you can buy gold bars in various weights. The smallest bars can be as light as 1/100th of an ounce or up to one kilo.
The Doc’s Deals page lets you find the best prices for gold and silver bullion when SD reduces its over-spot fee.
You will also find plenty of silver coins and bullion to buy to diversify your portfolio.
Shipping is free for domestic orders above $99. Small orders have a $7.77 shipping fee.
SD Bullion offers storage options as well. Storage accounts start at $9.99 per month with the primary SD Depository vaults in Ohio and Michigan. Your holdings stay separate from other investors using the vault for storage.
Why We Like SD Bullion
- Sells new issues and collectible gold coins
- IRA-eligible coins
- Storage options for coins and bars
Trustpilot rating: 4.3 out of 5
You can buy gold coins, bars and jewelry at GoldSilver. IRA-eligible bullion is available and the deals section lets you buy gold at a reduced cost.
Paying with a wire transfer, check or Bitcoin lets you qualify or a discount of up to 4%. You won’t get a discount when paying with a credit card or PayPal as you pay payment processing charges. This practice is common for online gold dealers.
Shipping is free within the continental U.S. for orders of at least $499.
GoldSilver can also store your metals in one of these vaults:
- Salt Lake City
- Hong Kong
Storage costs start at 0.06% of the asset value per month ($4 minimum).
By purchasing at least 500 ounces of silver or 10 ounces of gold, you can join the Insiders loyalty program. As an “Insider,” you can qualify for exclusive discounts and get access to in-depth investment research.
Another reason to consider GoldSilver is its price match guarantee. If another legit competitor has a better price, GoldSilver can match the price for orders of up to $5,000.
Why We Like GoldSilver
- Can buy gold coins, bars and jewelry
- Vault storage is available to all buyers
- Insiders loyalty program
- Price match guarantee on orders up to $5,000
Trustpilot score: 4.2 out of 5
8. Money Metals Exchange
You can buy gold coins and bars that Money Metals Exchange will ship to you. Bullion and proof series coins are available plus pre-1933 coins. Enrolling in a monthly savings plan of at least $100 per month reduces your premium costs.
Prices for coins update each minute. If you’re not ready to buy gold coins, you can set up price alerts to buy at a better price.
Your payment options include the standard methods of wire transfer, check, money order and credit cards. While other dealers accept Bitcoin payments, you can pay with other alt-coins including LiteCoin, Dash and Ripple.
Money Metals Exchange also offers storage-only “Vault Gold” 1/10 oz. bars. These bars stay at their Massachusetts vault until you sell your gold. Storage fees start at $96 per year (0.96% annual fee). The annual fee drops as your value stored increases as you buy more bars.
Shipping is free for orders of at least $500. Smaller orders have a $7.97 shipping fee.
Why We Like Money Metals Exchange
- Monthly savings plans reduce over spot premium costs
- Free shipping on orders $500 or more
- Vault storage for select gold bars
9. David Hall Rare Coins
David Hall Rare Coins is one of the most respected deals for rare coins. One reason many investors like using David Hall Rare Coins is for its personalized service. Talking to an agent can make it easier to compare your options for rare coins that cost more than bullion coins.
It’s also possible to buy bullion coins in gold and silver. You can order some coins online but will likely need to call to secure your purchase price.
Shipping information is not available online and your sales trader will discuss your options to complete your order.
Why We Like David Hall Rare Coins
- Reputable dealer for rare coins
- Offers gold and silver bullion
- Can speak with a sales trader to complete your order
Buying gold coins and bullion can be pricey. Vaulted makes it easy to own gold as you can invest a few dollars at a time. You buy fractional shares of physical gold bars that Vaulted stores at the Royal Canadian Mint. For example, you can purchase $20 per month from a linked checking account.
Once your account balance is equal to the price for one ounce of gold, Vaulted can FedEx your gold bar to you. You pay $50 per delivery plus $2 per bar. Each bar is conflict-free and has .9999 fine gold purity. A .9999 purity is the best possible rating for physical gold.
If you want to buy gold coins, one of the other option can be better as Vaulted only offers gold bars.
You pay a 1.8% transaction fee each time you buy or sell gold on Vaulted. Also, Vaulted charges a 0.4% annual maintenance fee. The annual cost is competitive with gold bullion ETFs but Vaulted lets you convert your digital balance into physical gold bars.
Why We Like Vaulted
- Can buy gold bars with fractional payments
- Stores at Royal Canadian Mint or can request delivery via FedEx
- Gold bars have a .9999 purity level
Trustpilot score: Unavailable
Why Buy Gold Coins
There are several advantages of investing in gold.
Gold can be a hedge against inflation that can weaken the value of paper currency and currency-based investments. Central banks can print an infinite amount of currency but there are a limited amount of gold coins and precious metals.
Stock Market Alternative
Investing in stocks has been one of the most successful ways to build wealth for the last century. However, precious metals can be a better investment during a stock market recession.
Investors may sell paper stocks and buy physical gold and other physical assets, including real estate, as a way to store wealth.
As physical gold bullion doesn’t earn interest or dividends, you don’t pay taxes on any gains until you sell your coins. It’s possible to avoid this tax when you buy gold using a self-directed IRA, taxes are paid when the money is withdrawn from the account in retirement.
Paper Currency Alternative
Gold coins can also be an alternative to paper currency. For example, various nations have been using gold as a currency for several thousand years. No paper currency in use today has been in circulation for the same length of time.
When the value of a currency decreases, investors tend to flock to gold and silver as a “safe haven” investment.
Also, gold bullion is worth the value of metal content. People use gold as money and also for industrial purposes including making jewelry and electronics. The sole purpose of paper currency is to pay for goods and services without exchanging physical goods.
Risks of Buying Gold Coins
Gold can be a good investment but there are some risks and downsides.
Doesn’t Earn Passive Income
Gold coins only appreciate in value when the price of gold or its collectible value increases. Stocks, bonds and savings accounts can earn passive income through dividends.
As the spot price for gold fluctuates, it can take years (or decades) to sell your coins for a profit if gold investments enter a recession.
You will pay transaction fees to buy or sell gold coins. When buying coins, dealers charge a premium above the spot price for a gram or ounce of gold. Premiums are higher when demand for gold coins is high.
These fees increase your investment cost basis and reduce your potential investment return.
Secure Storage is Necessary
As gold bullion is valuable, finding a secure storage vault is essential to prevent theft or loss. You can store your gold at a home vault. Other investors prefer storing their gold in a dealer’s secure vault. Off-site storage costs money and doesn’t give you instant access to your gold if you need to sell it quickly.
Capital Gains Tax
When it comes time to sell your gold, any profit is subject to a capital gains tax. The current tax rate on long-term capital gains is 15% or 20% for most investors. Investors pay the same tax on stock market investments they own for at least a year.
How to Buy Physical Gold
The process of buying physical gold online is simple but different than investing in gold stocks. You have more options and more fees. Below is a brief how-to for buying gold coins.
Decide Which Gold Coin to Buy
There are many different types of gold coins you can buy. Several factors dictate the price.
Gold coins have differing weights of gold.
A 1 oz. gold coin is the largest and priciest coin that you can buy. The 1/10 oz gold coin can be the most affordable.
These coins might have different purity levels of gold.
Below are the purity levels for two of the most popular U.S. Mint coins:
- American Gold Eagle Coin: 91.67 (.9167 fine gold)
- American Gold Buffalo Coin: 99.99% (.9999 fine gold)
A .9999 purity level is the best grade possible for gold.
Bullion or Proof Coins
For newly minted coins, bullion-grade coins cost less than proof-coins. Bullion coins are uncirculated but go through a less intensive minting process than proof coins.
Most online dealers display the bullion coins first as they are more sought after by investors.
Mints issue different series of coins. Dealers can offer coins from the U.S. Mint, Royal Canadian Mint and the Perth Mint.
Coins with similar weights and purity levels but from different mints can have varying prices.
A coin’s collectible value also impacts the price in addition to the spot price for the gold.
US coins with a pre-1933 mint year tend to have some of the highest values.
Compare Dealer Prices
Pricing is similar among most dealers for coins and bars. However, they can charge different over-spot premiums to make a profit. This premium is how much more the coin is selling for versus the spot value for the gold.
You will need to compare the purchase price for each dealer to determine which one charges a higher premium.
Also, compare any potential shipping fees and vault storage fees that you might pay.
Pay for Purchase
It’s common for online dealers to accept these payment methods:
- Wire transfer
- Credit card
Paying by wire and check can give you a 4% discount as you avoid payment processing fees.
If you have a large order of at least $5,000, you may have to pay by check or wire transfer. Each dealer has different payment policies.
Buy Gold with a Self-Directed IRA or Not?
Selling your physical gold can result in paying capital gain tax on your investment gains. Opening a self-directed IRA can minimize your current tax bill for precious metals and other physical assets.
You will need to buy IRA-eligible coins and bars that are not exclusively for collectible value. Many coins and bars are eligible including the American Eagle bullion coins. These are one of the most common coins that investors buy.
One reason to avoid a self-directed IRA is for its custodian fees. First, you will need to open a self-directed IRA from a special custodian. You will pay either a flat annual fee or a percentage of your portfolio value. Also, your self-directed IRA cannot hold stocks.
To avoid the IRA custodial fees and purchase restrictions, it may be easier to avoid buying gold with retirement cash.
Buying physical gold is a popular way to diversify your liquid net worth and not rely on gold stocks to build wealth. The best option can be the one with the best price or vault service.
Do you own physical gold? Who is your favorite precious metals dealer? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.