In India, the word ‘gold coin’ is commonly used to describe a round medallion bought for savings or gifting purposes. The category includes minted coins in rectangular, oval and other shapes. However, when you are buying gold coins, here are some basic things to know.

Firstly, be full clear about the purity of gold coin as that is what determines the value of the gold coin. Organised refiners adopt standard purities of 995 or 999 but most of the coins sold are 916.6 (22 Karat). The purity can also be specified by the retailer or corporate entity ordering the coins (e.g. 23 Karat, 21 Karat, 20 Karat and 18 Karat). For gold coin investment purposes most of the coins bought are either 22 karat or 24 karat. Avoid 18 carat coins altogether. The second aspect to consider is the weight of the gold coin. Most organised refiners produce coins ranging from 0.5g to 100g. The most popular weights are 10g and less. Many manufacturers also produce a standard range of small coins from 1g, 2g, 4g and 8g. The 8 gram coin is also called the guinea. We shall now turn to the design aspects of the gold coin.

Gold coins are available in a range of designs. Corporate companies and jewellery retailers often have their logo featured on one side of the coin and a standard or tailor made design on the other. Many coins depict a Hindu god or goddess or religious motif on the reverse. A few coins depict Queen Victoria, Edward VII or George V. Other country coins like Panda coin (China), Maple Leaf (Canada) and Kangaroo (Australia) are also available. Coins with the initials of the manufacturer and retailer unit are also sold. The most important aspect of gold coins you need to understand is the hallmarking. When you purchase a coin make sure that it is hallmarked. Hallmarking ensures gold coin’s purity that you are assured of getting what you are paying for. This is like the equivalent of an ISI quality certification.

But where exactly do you go and buy these gold coins. There are a variety of options in front of you. Coins are primarily sold at Jewellery outlets. They will also exchange them for jewellery or buy them back whenever you need. Jeweller’s websites and e-commerce sites also sell gold coins. You can also purchase coins from select banks as well. Many banks also tie up with jewellers and you can also order these coins using your online banking interface or pick it up from a bank branch. Let us also understand the pricing aspect of gold coins. For example, gold coins are usually sold with margins, which is essentially a cost that makers charge over and above the price of the coin.