Beyond American Gold Eagles and Canadian Gold Maple Leafs, there are dozens of other gold coins produced by Government mints across the world. This category of products includes all gold coins not listed in the Eagles/Maple Leaf categories, including other US coins, European coins, Asian coins, and more.
While browsing our world listings, you may wonder if the originating country of a gold coin affects its value. In our opinion, the most important piece of any gold coin’s worth is its gold purity and weight. Given that most gold coins are of 24k (.999 or .9999) fine purity and 1 troy oz weight, we typically tend to recommend investors go with the cheapest coin available.
That being said, some investors prefer buying coins from their home country, or coins that may trade at a premium due to relative scarcity. If you choose to do this, you typically are no worse off in the long run, as coins that are more expensive now will typically sell for a higher price later, as well.
A facet of world Gold coins that attracts investors and collectors to them more than gold coins from the US or Canada is the fact that their designs are like nothing most people have ever seen before. Some of these coins come from the furthest, remote parts of the world and even though they are relatively small pieces of metal, the depictions and inscriptions present on the coins give you the chance to take home part of that country’s culture and history. A perfect example of this is the Austrian Philharmonic gold coin whose main images are representative of the country’s oldest, most famous orchestra.
With superior gold content and some of the most unique designs around, world gold coins are a great choice for any serious collector or investor.
While many investors are familiar with the imagery found on coins like the American Gold Eagle, Canadian Gold Maple Leaf, and the aforementioned Austrian Gold Philharmonic, there are a wide (and growing) number of major gold bullion coin programs available for investors to consider when buying gold. Below, you can read the basic details of some of the many popular programs out there, to include year of introduction, options, and metallic content.
The oldest gold bullion series continuously issued in the modern era is the South African Gold Krugerrand. Conceived in 1967 by the South African Mint and the Rand Refinery, the Gold Krugerrand was ostensibly developed to promote the vast gold reserves of South Africa and spark revived interest in private gold ownership. The coins were available from 1967 to 1980 with only a 1 oz gold option. In 1980, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz gold coins were introduced. In 2017, the South African Mint marked the 50th anniversary of this vaunted series with the release of additional 1/20 oz and 1/50 oz gold coins. All of the coins in this series have 22-karat gold content, indicating the presence of 91.67% gold and a balance of copper in the composition of the coins. Notably, the Gold Krugerrands are legal tender, but have no assigned face value.
The Mexican Gold Libertad was introduced by the Mexican Mint in 1981 as a popular revival of the Winged Victory image from the 1921 gold Centenario. The Gold Libertad is arguably one of the most diverse programs. Though it debuted in 1981 and did not resume until 1991, with a second break in production running from 1995 to 1999, the series offers five weights across both its Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof collections. You can purchase Mexican Gold Libertads in each version on an annual basis in weights of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz. There is, additionally, a Reverse Proof coin available as of 2018 in the 1 oz and 1/2 oz weights. Like the Gold Krugerrand, the Gold Libertad is legal tender, but has no marked face value.
The 1980s saw a flurry of new gold bullion coins introduced that rapidly expanded the availability of gold bullion to investors from just two major coins in 1980 to a total of eight by 1989. Among the coins introduced in this era was the British Gold Britannia from the Royal Mint of England. The Gold Britannia has featured three different metallic compositions since its 1987 debut. From 1987 to 1989, the coins were 22-karat gold with 91.67% gold and the remainder copper. From 1990 to 2012, the coins were still 91.67% gold, but now the remainder was silver. Since 2013, the series has offered 24-karat, .9999, pure gold content. The original weights in the series included 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz gold. in 2013, a 1/20 oz and a 5 oz gold coin were introduced.
Without question, one of the series to see the greatest amount of change in its history is the Chinese Gold Panda. First and foremost, the Gold Panda was the world’s first major gold bullion series to offer up new design elements on one side of the coin each year. In this case, the Chinese Mint produces a new reverse image of the Giant Panda for each date mark in the series. The coins are produced of .999 pure gold content and come with a total of five weights available. In 1982, the series debuted with 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz gold. In 1983, a 1/20 oz gold coin was added. These factors are, however, just the tip of the iceberg among the changes that have come about in the history of the Gold Pandas.
From 1982 to 2000, the coins had face values of 100, 50, 25, 10, and 5 Yuan, respectively from 1 oz to 1/20 oz. In 2001, the Chinese Mint and People’s Bank of China adjusted the face values upward to values of 500, 200, 100, 50, and 20 Yuan. In 2016, the Gold Pandas became the first major coin series to use Grams instead of Troy oz as the official unit of measure. This changed the coins to 30 Gram, 15 Gram, 8 Gram, 3 Gram, and 1 Gram weights instead. With this change, the diameter of each coin but the 1/2 oz coin shrunk. Similarly, the actual weight in Grams of each coin changed.
What started as a collectible 12-coin series at the Perth Mint has grown to become a recurring 12-coin collection that is on its third iteration as of 2020. The Australian Lunar Gold coins are available from the Western Australia-based mint in Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof options each year. While specific weight options have ebbed and flowed in this range, the Perth Mint has steadfastly released 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1/20 oz gold coins in the Australian Lunar Series. The series follows the exact 12-year cycle of the Zodiac from the Year of the Mouse in the first year to the Year of the Pig in the final year. The collections available include the Lunar Series I coins (1996-2007), the Lunar Series II coins (2008-2019), and the Lunar Series III coins (2020-2031). All coins in this series have 24-karat gold content.
Another long-running gold bullion coin and one of two major collections from the Perth Mint is the Australian Gold Kangaroo. This series has, like the Lunar Series coins, offered varying weights over the course of time. The most important and most common are the 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, and 1 Kilo gold coins, though other weights such as 2 oz, 10 oz, and 1/20 oz have been issued in the history of the series. From 1986 to 1989, this series was actually known as the Australian Gold Nugget and featured new reverse designs each year of golden nuggets that had actually been discovered on the Australian continent. As of 1990, the series has transitioned to become the Australian Gold Kangaroo with fresh depictions of the world’s largest marsupial species on the reverse side of the coins with each new release.
Another of the world’s most prominent and diverse gold bullion coin collections is the Somalia Gold Elephant. Once available only as a 1 oz gold coin, this series debuted in 1999 from the Bavarian State Mint as the Zambia Gold Elephant. From 1999 to 2003, the coins were issued as the Zambia Elephant. Starting in 2004, the collection transitioned to become the Somalia Gold Elephant. Throughout its history, the series has offered up new reverse design elements of the African bush elephant with each subsequent release, never repeating a design. Originally offered as 1 oz .999 pure gold coins, as of 2016 the series has offered investors 24-karat .9999 pure gold coins. The 2016 release not only brought with it greater purity, it also brought greater diversity. That year saw the introduction of additional coins in the form of 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/10 oz, 1/25 oz, and 1/50 oz coins. In 2017, an additional 1/2 Gram coin was added as well.
The Armenian Noah’s Ark Series is a product of the Geiger Edelmetalle mint in Germany, a private minting company in Leipzig, Germany. The Armenian Noah’s Ark Series was exclusively a silver bullion collection when it was introduced in 2011. Its first addition in 2012 merely added to the range of silver coins available in the collection. It wasn’t until 2020 that the series gained its first gold bullion coins. The designs of the coins are the same as used on the silver coins and actually draw inspiration from a 2017 proof gold release of the coins.
The 2017 Proof Armenian Gold Noah’s Ark Coins marked both the first-ever release of proof coins in the series and the first-ever release of a gold version of the coin. The set included four gold coins with weights of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1 Gram gold, each one containing .9999 pure gold content and face values assigned in Dram, the sovereign currency of the Republic of Armenia.
When Geiger Edelmetalle introduced the new Armenian Gold Noah’s Ark bullion coins in 2020, those same four weights were chosen as the representative investment-grade coins. On the obverse of each coin is the image of the Armenian coat of arms as selected by the nation in April 1992. It features a quartered shield supported by an eagle and a lion, with a crest at the center showcasing Noah’s ark resting atop Mount Ararat. For the reverse design field, Eduard Kurghinyan’s depiction of Noah’s ark from the Book of Genesis is featured in the center of the design field. The sun rises over Mount Ararat in the background field, while a dove flies into the foreground with an olive branch in its beak.
Finally, if you’re looking for a little more history in the designs of the world gold coins you purchase, you might want to look into our range of European Sovereign Gold Coins. The vast majority of these gold coins were issued prior to World War I as legal tender, everyday circulation currency in empires from the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the French Empire to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the United Kingdom. Among the most common European Sovereigns you will find still available to modern buyers are the Corona denominations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Francs denominations issued by France and Switzerland, and the vaunted British Gold Sovereign, a coin with a history dating back to the 1480s when the English sovereign was introduced.
Please note that the diameter, thickness, and gold purity level of world gold coins can vary drastically, especially when you shop through the collection of European Gold Sovereigns listed on our website. If you navigate on any given production description to the “Specifications” tab, you can see the exact dimensions and purity for any given coin you are looking to purchase so that you are well informed before making any decisions.
If you have any questions about the gold coins listed within this category, please feel free to ask. JM Bullion customer service is available to assist you on the phone at 800-276-6508, on the web using our live chat service, and via our email address. If you have questions about payment methods, we would like to direct you first to our Payment Methods information page. If you cannot find your answers there, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service team for further details.