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That’s the message that many coin collectors need to heed when shopping for gold coins.
While the United States Mint and many other mints around the world — both public and private — strike solid gold coins (like the American Gold Eagle, the Canadian Maple Leaf, and the South African Krugerrand), there are several offers for ‘gold’ coins that really are only gold-plated.
When shopping for gold coins, make sure you’re buying ‘solid’ gold and not ‘gold-plated’ coins.
Also, beware the words 24K or 24K gold plating. 24K looks high and mighty on paper, but in the end if it’s only gold plating, then you still aren’t really buying a solid gold coin.
By the way, gold-plated coins have only a very tiny fraction of the value of a real gold coin.
My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I'm a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and have won multiple awards from the NLG for my work as a coin journalist. I'm also the editor at CDN Publishing (a trusted source for the price of U.S. rare coins), editor at the Florida United Numismatists Club (FUN Topics magazine), and author of Images of America: The United States Mint in Philadelphia (a book that explores the colorful history of the Philadelphia Mint). I've contributed hundreds of articles for various coin publications including COINage, The Numismatist, Numismatic News, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin Values, and CoinWeek. I've also authored nearly 1,000 articles here at The Fun Times Guide to Coins — and I welcome your coin questions in the comments below!