90% vs .999 Gold: Which Is Better?

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90% vs .999 Gold: What Are the Advantages of Buying .999 Gold Bullion Over Old 90% Gold Coins for Melt Value, Especially Older Mexican Pesos? Seeking Guidance for My First Gold Purchase


The 90% coins, being a gold alloy, offer enhanced durability with fewer scratches and dings, albeit with a less pure “gold” appearance. Personally, I prefer 24k gold, but within this community, many individuals opt for 22k bullion, a choice that’s perfectly valid. In certain countries, particularly in Asia, there’s a tendency to favor gold that’s 99.9% pure or higher, often shunning gold with added metals like copper. While the preference for 99.9% gold makes sense logically, in reality, the approximately 90% gold content sells well and is often available at a few percentage points below melt value.



I share the same sentiment. While you can find some fantastic Mexican minted pesos near spot price, my preference leans towards 24K gold exclusively. Currently, I have only two coins in my stack that aren’t 24K—a 1923 St. Gaudens Double Eagle and a 1943 50 Peso Coin. All my other coins boast 24K purity. Among them, my favorite 24K bullion coin is the gold Buffalo. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but its .9999 gold composition also ensures durability with minimal susceptibility to scratches. Handling it doesn’t pose much concern for potential damage. If you’re considering other high-purity gold coins, some widely recognized options include the Canada Gold Maple Leaf (99.99% purity), Chinese Panda (99.9% purity), Austrian [Vienna] Philharmonic (99.99% purity), Australian Gold Nugget (99.99% purity), and American Buffalo (99.99% purity).


Is this some kind of joke? Avoid it just because the gold content seems low? Take the 1 OZ South African Krugerrand, for example, which indeed has 1 OZ of gold along with other metals, but there’s a reason for it.
“The Krugerrand’s true weight is 1 1⁄11 troy ounces (34 g). It is minted from a gold alloy that is 91.67% pure (22 karats), ensuring the coin contains one troy ounce (31.1035 g) of gold. The remaining 8.33% of the coin’s weight, or 1⁄11 ozt (2.828 g), is copper. This inclusion of copper makes the coin harder and more durable, effectively resisting scratches and dents.”

In a recent online discussion, the focus was on the comparative analysis of gold stacking, specifically pure gold versus constitutional gold with a 90% gold content. The contributor, known as Stacking Giddy, acknowledged a preference for 90% gold, highlighting the historical and numismatic value of constitutional gold. Stacking Giddy introduced a 1-gram pure gold bar and showcased an 1865 franc from France as an example of 90% gold. The discussion delved into the pricing differences, emphasizing that pure gold often comes with a higher cost than constitutional gold. Stacking Giddy suggested that constitutional gold, particularly from foreign sources, can be acquired at or near spot prices, making it a more cost-effective option for gold stacking. The article concluded by addressing the durability of gold coins and expressing a preference for 90% gold due to its affordability. Viewer comments in the discussion highlighted alternative gold coins for stacking, contributing to a diverse perspective on the topic.

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