"Spot gold" - based on the London P.M. fix - has moved up 10% since then, from $1,515 an ounce to about $1,660 an ounce. The most popular government-minted bullion gold coins - the United States Gold Eagle and the Canadian Maple Leaf - have climbed 10.7% from a range of $1,560 to $1,610 to $1,746 to $1,763, depending on the source.
And I have some good news for those of you who have not yet bought gold coins- there's still time to profit.
A number of top analysts see gold testing the $2,000-an-ounce level by year-end and, according to a few, potentially reaching $5,000 an ounce longer term.
Adding to your coin holdings is a great way to profit from gold's rise. Still, given recent sharp volatility in the metals markets, it only makes sense to do a little "bargain shopping."
Due to the overwhelming reader response to our last look at gold-coin buying, we put together this guide so you can find the best deals in the bullion-based gold coin market.
How to Find a Gold Coin BargainBargain shopping in the coin market isn't quite as easy as it is with stocks. That is, we don't know of any major coin dealers who will take "standing limit orders" to buy at a price below the current market. But it is possible to watch the spot gold markets and buy your coins at a discount on days when metals prices suffer large losses.
For example, the London P.M. fix for spot gold on Sept. 6 was $1,895 an ounce and the leading dealers were quoting one-ounce American Eagle gold coins at around $1,970 each. The next day, gold plunged $85 an ounce to $1,810, and the quote for American Eagle coins fell to just $1,882 - a savings of around $88 per coin.
Gold-coin bargain hunting is possible now that the major U.S. and international coin and bullion dealers have computerized quote systems that link their product prices to current market prices in commodity markets. Some adjust their prices for coins and bullion bars every few minutes, reflecting changing market quotes -- unlike a few years ago when many dealers set coin prices just once a day (or even less often), based on the previous day's close.