Who Collects Gold Coins?

Why would anyone collect gold coins? I mean, they're expensive, small and once you've seen them, well, they don't exactly do much!

I've been involved in the whole 'collector' thing for many years, although with figurines and not coins, but I suppose the best way to understand why people collect gold coins would be to break them down into types.

Okay, so these titles may be for comedic effect (and please don't be offended by them, they are by no means set in stone!), but they should give you some idea of what makes a gold coin collector:

Rich And Frivolous:
Okay, 'frivolous' may be a bit over the top perhaps 'indulgent' would be fairer, but a rich man or woman will often collect valuable things. Many rare gold coins are sold to aristocracy, Arab sheikhs, wealthy businessmen, etc.

Some will buy them just because they can, some will even want to show off,  but many will find that their wealth has enabled them to enjoy a 'hobby' that many of us can only dream of! And why shouldn't they? There are far worse things to spend your money on.

Rich And Prudent:
A lot of rich people, especially the self-made millionaires, are still as frugal as they were when they started on the road to wealth. Gold is, and always has been, the ultimate commodity. Banks can collapse and businesses can fold, but gold always has a relative worth. In fact, whole currencies are based on gold reserves, so not only is a coin worth its weight in gold, but it also has the added value of its history.

Fairly Well Off And Keen:
Some men like buying cars. My wife seems to breed shoes. Other people may like exotic holidays. And some people like coins!

Once you start studying the history of coins, it's easy to get wrapped up in it all and the enjoyment of owning a beautiful coin to a keen collector will be just the same as the adrenalin rush that a sports car enthusiast will get as they push down on the throttle. Or even the same as the enjoyment my wife gets as she hobbles out of the front door on yet another pair of 9 high heels!

Fairly Well Off And Looking To The Future:
Just like the 'rich and prudent' person, somebody fairly well off and looking to invest may well choose collectible coins. In an uncertain economic climate, shares plummet, banks offer little interest and shoving your cash under the mattress only leads to sleepless nights, so gold is always a good option. There are different 'types' of gold. Some people collect bars of gold, some collect nuggets, some collect jewellery, etc. So, why not coins?

Gold coins, as I've already said, are an investment with the added bonus of being entertaining conversation pieces.

Not Very Well Off And Keen:
I have mixed feelings of total respect and sympathy for somebody who doesn't have the money to fully indulge in any 'hobby', yet struggles to dip their toes in the water. There's so much I'd like to do in life, yet can't afford and I certainly don't have the drive and ambition that some people do.

It must be so frustrating, as gold coins will never be cheap, so why do they do it? I suppose the simple answer is that if you enjoy something, then you do. It's there, engrained in your very fibre.

But don't pity the less well-off collector; no, like any collector on a tight budget, the enjoyment that they get from obtaining a desired coin at a price they've waited so long is many, many times that of somebody who can buy at will. As I said previously, I used to work with collectible figurines and have seen collectors, many of them friends, scrape together money for months to buy a piece. The look of joy in their eyes when they finally get their Holy Grail is priceless. It was one of the best parts of my previous job.

Talking of Holy Grails.....

Gold coins, like many historic artefacts, can completely consume some people. They will do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) to get what they want. Beware the mad collector, as he or she will be like a thing possessed if you happen to be the owner of the one coin they so desire.

Thank goodness for the internet....you can sell them that precious gold coin without ever having to be alone in the same room with them!

I hope that you've enjoyed this piece and take it in the spirit that it was meant. If not, please don't come round. I'm not in....