The Best 1 Oz Gold Coins to Buy for Bullion Investors (2023)
Build a high value portfolio of gold coins.By Jane Pardo | Updated May 19, 2023
Gold bullion coins are some of the best investments you can add to your well-rounded portfolio.
But with so many gold coins in the global market today, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones fit your investment goals.
That’s why we created this extensive guide to help you explore five of the most sought-after gold coin assets worldwide, from the iconic American Gold Eagle to the striking Vienna Philharmonic.
The 5 best gold coins to buy for investors
If you’re looking for the best 1 oz gold coin to buy, these coins should top your list.
1. American Gold Eagle
First introduced to the market in 1986, the American Gold Eagle is the country’s official gold coin and one of the most popular gold bullion coins among investors.
The United States Mint mints these coins in various fractional sizes to fit any budget, including 1 oz ($50 face value), ½ oz ($25), ¼ oz ($10), and 1/10 oz ($5) denominations.
Substantial weight and feel
Every American Gold Eagle has 91.67 percent gold (22 karats) and small amounts of alloy (3 percent silver and 5.33 percent copper), resulting in tougher, scratch-resistant coins perfect for long-term investments.
- With added alloys for strength and durability, American Gold Eagles are heavier than their weight in troy ounces.
- These bullion coins have a satisfying solidity, thickness, and heft when held.
A symbol of American freedom and pride
American Gold Eagle coins have a rich history, and they boast stunning visuals that capture the American spirit. The intricate designs flaunt plenty of depth and texture, adding to the coins’ aesthetic appeal.
- The obverse (front) design portrays a full-length depiction of Lady Liberty carrying an olive branch in her left hand, whereas the reverse (back) displays a torch in her right hand against the US Capitol dome backdrop.
- Augustus Saint-Gaudens originally created this design for the $20 gold coin minted between 1907 to 1933.
- The reverse (back) depicts a male eagle hovering over a nest of a female eagle and an eaglet, serving as a symbolic tribute to the American people.
In 2021, the US Mint introduced a refreshed design to mark the American Eagle Coin Program’s 35th anniversary. Plus, the new coins feature a reeded edge variation for enhanced security.
- The reverse displays a close-up side profile of an eagle, conveying pride and wisdom passed from one generation to another.
American Gold Eagle coins are great for first-time and seasoned investors alike. If you’re a conservative investor who wants to invest in a secure, long-term asset for your retirement portfolio, you can never go wrong with these government-backed coins.
American Gold Eagles also are available in collectible editions, such as limited-edition proof coins with a stunning extra-polished backdrop and an incredibly detailed raised image.
2. Canadian Gold Maple Leaf
First released in 1979, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin is Canada’s official gold bullion coin and one of the purest official bullion coins globally. The Royal Canadian Mint introduced this coin to compete with popular gold bullion coins, like the Krugerrand and American Gold Eagle.
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin comes in various sizes, from ½ oz ($20 CAD face value) and ¼ oz ($10 CAD) to 1/10 oz ($5 CAD) and 1 oz ($50 CAD).
Lovely, iconic design
The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coin portrays an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. The reverse displays a meticulously detailed image of a maple leaf, Canada’s national symbol.
- Crafted from 99.99 percent pure gold, this coin boasts a bright, lustrous appearance and a distinct, substantial feel.
First minted in 1967, the South African Krugerrand became the first internationally recognized gold bullion coin accessible to investors for private investment. The South African Mint released this coin to promote South Africa’s vast precious metals mining industry.
The Krugerrand became so popular that it accounted for almost 90% of the gold coin market worldwide by 1980. Although Western economic sanctions due to an apartheid system significantly reduced its availability later on and paved the way for other gold coins to enter the market.
The South African Gold Krugerrand comes in 1 oz, 1/10 oz, ¼ oz, and ½ oz fractional weights.
Nationalistic design and sturdy craftsmanship
The South African Krugerrand displays a left-profile portrait of former South African president Paul Kruger on the obverse. The reverse shows an image of a leaping springbok antelope, the country’s official symbol.
- Kruger was a renowned political and military figure in the 19th century before becoming the nation’s leader. The name “Krugerrand” is a combination of Kruger and the South African currency called the Rand.
- Like the American Gold Eagle, the Krugerrand features 91.67 percent gold (22 karats) and small amounts of durable alloy (8.33 percent copper), making it more resilient, damage-resistant, and slightly heavier than standard gold coins.
This gives the Krugerrand Gold a noticeable reddish-gold or rose-colored tone and a slightly rough texture.
4. Britannia Gold Coin
The Royal Mint first issued Britannia gold bullion coins in 1987 to showcase British heritage and culture.
Beautiful, artistic design
Portraying a striking image of Britain’s Roman goddess Britannia on the obverse, the Britannia gold coin symbolizes British pride and tradition. The reverse side shows a profile of Queen Elizabeth II.
- Britannia gold coins feature varying depictions of Britannia, the goddess who personifies the United Kingdom.
- The obverse side depicted King Charles III for the first time in 2023.
- Every coin has a.9999 millesimal fineness (24 karats) since 2013. Previously, Britannia gold coins contained 91.7 percent gold (22 karats) and copper or silver.
- These gold coins have a distinct, alluring shine and a smooth, polished feel.
Besides the 1 oz (£100) size, Britannia gold coins are available in numerous fractional sizes, including 1/10 oz (£10 face value), ¼ oz (£25), and ½ (£50) denominations. The Royal Mint added a 5 oz (£500) coin size in 2013.
5. Vienna Philharmonic
Also called the Austrian Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic bullion gold coin first entered the gold market in 1989, and it’s well-known as one of the most stunning coins worldwide.
A celebration of musical culture
The Austrian Philharmonic series flaunts an elaborate design that celebrates Austria’s extraordinary musical heritage and pays tribute to Europe’s world-renowned cultural institution — the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
- The obverse shows an image of the Great Organ used in Vienna’s world-renowned concert hall, the Musikverein.
- The reverse portrays musical instruments, including the Vienna horn, a bassoon, a harp, a cello, and a violin.
- Austrian Philharmonic gold coins are some of the purest and highest-quality coins available today, with each coin containing .9999 (24 karats) fine investment-grade gold bullion.
- The Vienna Philharmonic has the smooth, polished feel of pure gold.
Austrian Philharmonic coins are available in 1 oz (€100 face value), ½ oz (€50), ¼ oz (€25), and 1/10 oz (€10) denominations.
Whether you’re preserving wealth, increasing your stack, or improving your collection, the gold coins above are all worthwhile choices.
Consider the purity, weight, design, historical significance, and price of a coin when choosing the best buy.
Gold coins are valuable assets that will contribute to your solid long-term investment strategy and help you achieve your financial goals.