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Author: Gold Why Webmaster
Updated: February, 2012
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First Gold Eagle  
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One Gold Why reader is about to purchase his very first gold coin, a one ounce American Eagle. With so many coin stores and options available, he wonders where he should purchase his first gold coin. Check out my coin shop recommendations.

Question: I am looking to start buying gold (I have never before) and was wondering which companies you would recommend? I have seen Blanchard on your site but I have heard some bad things about Monex. I am unsure which company to buy from. I wanted to start with a 1 oz Gold Eagle. Any help would be appreciated.

Answer: Thanks for the great question! With so many coin stores and options available, I can imagine it's quite confusing (and potentially intimidating) when buying your first gold coin. Today's Gold Why article will discuss my personal opinion on buying your first gold coin and will hopefully make the process seamless and a lot of fun for you, the way it should be!

Your First Gold Coin, Which One?

First and foremost, I want to congratulate you on your purchase and decision to buy a one troy ounce American Eagle. If you were to ask me which coins I recommend the most for first time gold buyers, I'd recommend the one ounce Gold Eagle or one ounce Krugerrand. There are three main reasons behind this. First, these are both 22 karat gold coins. That means they are much less prone to scratching and denting (as opposed to 24 karat gold). This is important for the first time buyer because you'll want to hold your first gold coin in your hands and enjoy it without the fear of damaging your investment. Second, these are both once ounce coins. If you can afford it, this is the way to go since one ounce gold coins have the lowest markup versus the spot price of gold. It's important to get a lot for your money when you're just starting out. Last, both coins are iconic and amazing. They are highly liquid and two of the most recognized gold bullion coins in the world.

Now, Where Should You Shop?

There are so many great choices, so many amazing coin shops. This is a very difficult question because I truly enjoy shopping around and personally do business with many coin shops. That said, when it's your first gold coin purchase, I always recommend going with the biggest and oldest coin stores. Why? It really comes down to this very question at its core. When you are new to anything, you don't know what you don't know. There's nothing wrong with that (I was in this situation too when I first started out, everyone is). Along this line of thought, the biggest and oldest coin shops will make your experience a breeze. They will hold your hand, answer your questions, guarantee their product, deliver on time, sell you the best quality coins (since they hand inspect all of them), typically offer the best prices (since they do such a huge sales volume), and allow you to sleep at night.

Now, who am I talking about in general? It really comes down to the very large coin companies out there, ones that have dozens (if not hundreds) of employees. I'm talking about Blanchard and Company, Monex, APMEX (American Precious Metals Exchange), and other similar companies, all pioneers of the gold coin industry. Now, out of these guys, I've personally done a good amount of business with Blanchard. (I don't have first hand personal experience with the others but have heard excellent things, after all they have been in business for a really long time.) In terms of Blanchard, I would recommend them to anyone and I couldn't be more happy with my experience, especially the fact that I have a dedicated representative who answered all my questions when I was brand new to the game.

Don't Get Me Wrong, Local Coin Shops Rock

Now I probably have a lot of you thinking now, what about local coin shops? I'm a tremendous fan of local coin shops and have purchased a ton of great coins from mine. A perfect example is my flawless one ounce American Eagle. However, I recommend doing your first purchase with one of the big guys just mentioned, even if you can't visit in person. (I purchased all of my gold coins from Blanchard and Company via the phone since their headquarters is in New Orleans.) Why? It's simple: It's easier to stay focused and methodical in your purchase when the gold is not right in front of you and you are one step removed. Gold has a magical attraction and it's easy to get caught up in the moment and get distracted in your purchase, coming home with the wrong thing. Case in point: I made a rash decision at my local coin shop (even after making a few purchases) and purchased a one ounce Johnson Matthey gold bar without an assay certificate. Not the end of the world, but I sure wish I had that assay certificate. It happens to the best of us, it's easy to get caught up in the allure of it all.

That said, I buy a huge portion of my gold and silver from my local coin shop these days. I absolutely love shopping there and enjoy the fact that I can go there without a shopping agenda and end up with something amazing and unique. It's just that you don't want to go that route on your very first gold coin purchase. So there you have it! My opinion on the best way to buy your first gold coin, hope this helps and thanks so much for the great question.

NEW: Another Gold Why reader just asked a question about buying their first gold coin, a quarter ounce gold bullion coin. Check out my new article about Buying 1/4 Oz Gold Coins.

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