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Pre-33 Gold


I have collected many diff sets including barber halves, merc dimes, seated anythings, morgans, toned coins, etc…. And I have recently been bitten by the Pre-33 gold bug…

I just feel more comfortable in gold vs. silver coinage, but only the old stuff…. And only US…. I particularly like Indians in all denoms.

…is this a smart place to collect? Yes? No? …and why???


  • bolivarshagnastybolivarshagnasty Posts: 7,341 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What is your budget and experience in grading gold?
    I would recommend PCGS graded examples with CAC approval and stay away from raw gold unless you have a lot of experience in counterfeit detection and grading gold.
    It is a smart place to collect because there always seems to be demand for nice gold.

  • I have quite a bit of experience in buying and slabbed gold. I am buying from my coin dealer; all legit raw pieces…. I have owned a ton over the years.

    Im a big fan of pcgs, cac coins, but I have been buying raw stuff for a while and kinda like it as well…

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Generic_Gold_Guy .... Welcome aboard. Gold is always both interesting and good for stacking. Old gold carries premiums over melt - and market conditions can change. I like old gold, but limit my collecting in that sector. I do not limit my gold bullion - and I started that stack many, many years ago. Cheers, RickO

  • Downtown1974Downtown1974 Posts: 6,587 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Welcome @Generic_Gold_Guy!!!
    You and I appear to be cut from the same cloth as far as collecting is concerned.
    I’ve collected many different series over the years, most of which have been sold or traded away. But pre-33 gold is the one thing that has remained a constant in my collection.
    It satisfies the coin collector in me, but it’s also a nice safety net against a weakening dollar. While I don’t really buy into the notion of buying collectibles as an investment, I think gold is a good addition to one’s portfolio.

  • SimpleCollectorSimpleCollector Posts: 536 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Smart place to collect? That would be for you to decide.

    In my opinion, if you can stick to generic gold at small premiums over melt, then the risk of “tuition” or depreciation is limited. It becomes more of a gold hedge and the overall value of your coins will fluctuate with the price of gold.

    That said, I would caution that there are two things that work against you. Gold Indians always sell for more than spot. There is a numismatic premium on Indians. When you combine that with an understanding of what a nice coin is, it is a slippery slope from collecting common ms61/62 grades to justifying that for say $150 more you should get a ms63. So even though the term generic comes up(and I always use it) I am not sure that a MS64/65 1926 $10 Indian is truly generic. Maybe a ms62 is, but you have to decide if you would be happy with that.

    Last comment is: the liberty gold seems much more generic than Indians. There always seems to be something in the liberty series that is generic, nice looking, at a fair price. Much easier to find than Indians.

    There are a number of us here that have ended up in the same place that you are venturing into. Once you start, you almost never leave.

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,388 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes and no, if you are buying low MS and below you are very susceptible to the spot price. If you are buying MS65 and better you will be less susceptible to the spot price as it moves (unless the spot price moves much higher). As you are buying raw I am guessing that you are buying the former vs the latter, so any significant downward spot price move could have an impact on the value.

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  • coinandcurrency242coinandcurrency242 Posts: 1,944 ✭✭✭✭

    Welcome to the forum!! I have recently started collecting pre-1933 gold a year ago. I will say it can be expensive depending on what you want to add to collection. In addition, there seems to be a high demand for them right now among collectors who will pay way more than it may be worth. Personally, I only buy PCGS and NGC slabbed coins when it comes to gold coins. There are just way to many counterfeits in the market.

    I do like the Indian coins like you. I have the 2.5, 5, and 10 dollar gold Indians. I recommend looking on great collections if you want to buy one. They always have plenty for sale (auctions end every Sunday evening)! Most importantly, show off what you buy here. I love to see other coins :)

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  • moursundmoursund Posts: 3,207 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinbuf said:
    Yes and no, if you are buying low MS and below you are very susceptible to the spot price. If you are buying MS65 and better you will be less susceptible to the spot price as it moves (unless the spot price moves much higher). As you are buying raw I am guessing that you are buying the former vs the latter, so any significant downward spot price move could have an impact on the value.

    And vice versa of course...

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  • ReadyFireAimReadyFireAim Posts: 1,800 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Generic_Gold_Guy said:
    …is this a smart place to collect? Yes? No? …and why???

    I made a few mistakes when starting and was able to hold until breaking even.
    This won't help you if you make a big mistake so I'd recommend sticking with certified coins.
    Pick your favorite type and try to learn everything about it. Try to stay focused.

  • streeterstreeter Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    From my observation at Long Beach Sept 30th when I was purchasing gold... Out of a hundred $20 libs and Saints...low grade unc was about 10 to 1. (60-63 Saints and 60-62 libs).
    I focused on the higher grades until I though that there was too much of a condition scarcity premium. ----Above 63 on libs and above 65 on Saints.
    And grading within each whole number grade was a little erratic. You could find nice stuff for the grade without having to pay a CAC premium.

    Have a nice day
  • csdotcsdot Posts: 654 ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 5, 2021 8:31PM

    You may have picked a bad time to get "bitten by the Pre-33 gold bug…" Especially if you like Indians.

    It may be true across the board with all coins, but I can say without a doubt pre-33 prices have skyrocketed in the past year.

    Very glad I bought mine (Indian set in signature block) prior to 2021 when they could be had at not much above spot.

  • thefinnthefinn Posts: 2,645 ✭✭✭✭✭

    You can buy many of the newer gold commemorative $5 pieces pretty close to melt. Same weight and fineness of pre-1933 gold coins.

  • pmh1nicpmh1nic Posts: 3,109 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Pre-33 gold is a generic term. I think it can be further broken down into smaller groups by date and mint where the scarcity and price get extremely expensive. Anything prior to 1830 is going to carry a high premium. Branch mint coins are going to have a significant premium even in XF condition.

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  • stevebensteveben Posts: 4,583 ✭✭✭✭✭

    my advice to anyone looking to start collecting is to look at a lot of pieces before buying. the best place is at shows/auction viewing. observe the grades, prices, and overall look of the piece. look up the pieces you are viewing in coinfacts...look at the images and read about the coin in particular. what you will gain is knowledge of prices, the looks of certain coins that is common...and more importantly those coins you tend to gravitate to.

    for example, i like half eagles for quite some time, but over time realized i was more into double eagles. the experience i gained from half eagles applied to double eagles...but it would not necessarily apply to pioneer gold, for example, or early gold for another example.

    the point is, do you homework first. put in the time to research, learn, and appreciate the series you want to collect before pulling the trigger on any coins. this will save you money and make you a better collector...and in turn will make you appreciate what you have collected more.

    good luck!

  • crito_is_baaackcrito_is_baaack Posts: 130 ✭✭✭
    edited December 6, 2021 4:15PM

    Gold dollars and California fractional gold are neat but they look bad in modern PCGS holders. The octagonal ones look round and even on a $2.5 Indian half of the word LIBERTY gets covered up by the holder. You don't have to worry too much about spot price though as it's pretty much all numismatic value.

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