Which is the better buy - American Eagles or Maple leaves

Discussion in 'Bullion Investing' started by Max Cado, Jul 20, 2014.

  1. Max Cado

    Max Cado New Member

    Hi all:
    I'm intend to get some Gold & Silver bullion coins and have a couple of questions.
    As far as Gold, I've narrowed the choices to either American Gold Eagles or Maple Leafs.
    Now, the Maple Leafs are around $17 less than the Eagles, which puzzles me as the Maple Leafs have more Gold content.
    Is the reason only because they're Canadian and not American?
    Also, the Maple Leafs have that “anti-counterfeiting” Laser Mark on them.
    As such, it seems to me that the Maple Leafs are the better deal all around.

    Lastly are dates important? I can't see why dates should matter at all for bullion coins, but I've seen comments here & there that it matters.

    Thanks for any replies
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  3. PeacePeople

    PeacePeople Wall St and stocks, where it's at

    The maple leaf doesn't have more gold, it's just a higher content of gold. The actual gold weight of each is 1oz of gold. I don't think dates matter too much. If you can buy the lowest mintage years for the same as the highest mintage year. I'd say do it just in case, but wouldn't count on some big rarity and a price bump. (regarding just bullion versions)
  4. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    The AGE has a higher price, but it also usually has a higher resale value. Plus, it tends to be a little more liquid than the Maple Leaf, as more Americans want to own it.

    Regarding dates, it depends on how heavily the series is collected by coin collectors. I believe the 1996 silver eagle brings quite a premium. If you are buying it for bullion purposes, though, never pay a premium for a certain date, as it is meaningless to you.
  5. doug444

    doug444 STAMPS and POSTCARDS too!

    My preference would be the Maple Leaf. But the true test is tax treatment when you sell; since Eagles can be held in managed IRA's, taxation may be different. I would check that point very carefully first.

    I think the hologram on a recent Maple Leaf is a VERY worthwhile benefit.

    I looked in Krause, and probably 3% of Maple Leafs carry a huge premium, but they are so specialized it seems a remote chance that you would find one among bullion.

    The only (Gold) Eagle with a big premium is the 2006W reverse Proof, but again, it seems very unlikely to find one floating around. In (Silver) Eagles, the two key dates are 1994 Proof and 1995-W Proof.

    From Wikipedia:
    "...A self-directed IRA can also hold precious metals such as gold, silver, palladium, and platinum. The regulations pertaining to investing in precious metals can be found in Section 408(m)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Most government minted coins (American Eagles, Australian Nuggets, etc.) are permissible. Bullion is also permissible if it meets a standard level of fineness, and is produced by a COMEX or NYMEX approved refiner.

    In order for coins to be held inside an IRA, coins must satisfy a certain level of pureness in their mineral content so that they are not viewed as a type of collector’s coin. As a result, Krugerrands and the old Double Eagle gold coins are disallowed because they do not meet this standard. When a retirement account invests in precious metals, the metals are typically held by a third-party custodian..." (but not always)
  6. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    The tax treatment would be the same if held and sold in the same manner. If both held after-tax outside a retirement vehicle, then both would be treated identically net of sales proceeds minus basis. Always remember to keep track of your SDB fees paid while you hold these, and make sure you increase your basis with it. If you pay $500 for a sdb to hold these over the course of a decade, when you go to sell your basis, (cost), of them would be your purchase price plus applicable storage costs you paid, so you could deduct on your taxes the sdb fees.
  7. vpr

    vpr Active Member

    It doesn't really matter. You might get $20 less for a Maple but you also spend $20 less acquiring it. Americans prefer AGEs, so there is a slight premium for them.

    Don't worry about key dates unless you are a collector. Some dates might go up in value while others might go down. Hard to predict so just stick to whatever you can get at low premiums.
  8. Ed Sims

    Ed Sims Well-Known Member

    I would think the best buy is the coin with the lowest premium over the intrinsic value of the coin. Yes, some bullion coins are more popular than others and as such have a higher premium but, when it is time to sell you will probably net the same amount regardless of how much of a premium for that coin you paid and at any coin show or online ALL of the gold bullion coins available today are very liquid.
  9. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I understand your point sir, but I agree with VPR. I have seen the posted buy prices from dealers, and, (at least here in the US), all of them offer to pay more for a ASE and AGE than they do for identical Maple leaf products. So, like VPR said, you pay a premium when buying it, and receive a premium when selling. Does this mean I believe its therefor worth it to buy the AGE instead of the gold Maple leaf? No, just clarifying the situation.

    OP, my advice would be to buy the one which you like better. Whichever one you will be most proud to own. I know its a bullion purchase, but its a pretty large one, so you might as well be as proud of it as possible. :)
  10. fretboard

    fretboard Defender of Old Coinage!

    All true, go with the AGE.
  11. benveniste

    benveniste Type Type

    Based on my ownership of U.S. Commemorative Arts Medals, I'm afraid I disagree. Not only are they harder to sell than an AGE, but I would get less for them than for AGE's.

    Here are some numbers from APMEX as of a few minutes ago:
    Gold Eagle: Bid: $1344.40 Ask: $1365.39 Spread: $20.99
    Gold Maple: Bid: $1325.40 Ask: $1347.39 Spread: $21.99

    Silver Eagle: Bid: $22.83 Ask: $23.42 Spread: $0.59
    Silver Maple: Bid: $22.23 Ask: $22.92 Spread: $0.69
    Generic 1oz Silver: Bid: $21.03 Ask: $21.92 Spread: $0.89

    In each case, the choice with the lowest premium had the highest bid/ask spread. That may not always be the case, so check with the dealer you plan on using.
  12. W.Mart

    W.Mart Member

    I believe there is an exception specifically for AGEs in an IRA if you live in the U.S. Krugerrands are disallowed though.
  13. doug444

    doug444 STAMPS and POSTCARDS too!

    My guess would be that the IRA regulations comprise 5,000 pages of bafflegab. Good luck figuring everything out. I still think it is prudent for the OP to check the tax ramifications down the line.

    Incidentally, the IRS (in an audit) can spot an unreported cash sale in a flash; here's how. Let's say you sell $4,000 worth of gold (3 AGEs) for cash, at a coin show. All of a sudden, your savings account shows no periodic deposits and withdrawals, maybe for (say) 6 weeks. Your credit card shows little or no usage, compared to usual, or worse yet, you pay off a sizeable balance. You purchase several large money orders for big expenditures.

    The key is to maintain a steady stream of routine financial transactions, as usual, instead of struggling to "get rid" of all that cash. Save the cash for items like car repair, or new tires, or winter clothing, or wedding gifts, or flea market bargains, etc., etc., one time items that leave no paper trail. This assumes a NSA drone is not tracking you. :eek:

    All the bank and postal records are available to the IRS, and they are all "flags" for a sudden influx of cash. You can't win. My PM's will be sold by my heirs, not by me, so no problem.
  14. Aidan_()

    Aidan_() Numismatic Contributor

    So AGEs are more reliable to sell than Maple leaves?
  15. doug444

    doug444 STAMPS and POSTCARDS too!

    If they're X-rayed, weighed, and calipered (as professional sellers often do), I would think there's no difference. There's a seller in town who does all that while you watch, no extra charge. Certainly the hologram on recent Maple Leafs is a huge reassurance.
  16. brightspirit1

    brightspirit1 Member

    I like maple leafs as they glitter more and look like "real gold", rather than the AGEs which have a dull finish. However, the AGE is by far the nicer design. Just a thought. I don't think it makes a difference which one you get if it is an investment, so get the bullion you enjoy looking at and holding.
  17. Hotpocket

    Hotpocket Supreme Overlord

    I think we need a sticky thread entitled: " So you've decided to buy gold/silver bullion" and post all the above info, maybe in an FAQ format. Cant tell you how many times the above questions have all been debated/answered. Might help more newbies if a sticky thread is at the top of the bullion forum...

    Just my 2 cents
  18. Aidan_()

    Aidan_() Numismatic Contributor

    What grade?
  19. W.Mart

    W.Mart Member

    But we wouldn't get to have the fun of arguing over it every time!
  20. doug444

    doug444 STAMPS and POSTCARDS too!

    The price changes, the market changes, the world situation changes. For all practical purposes, every "bullion" question is different. You wouldn't answer now the same way you did two years ago...

    Plus, the first time some yahoo launches an all-out attack on the petro-dollar, everything is going to change overnight.
  21. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    People would not read a FAQ or sticky anyway. Everyone always thinks their question is different. Just look at how many "I have a 1965 silver quarter" posts there have been over the years. CT is simply a site where many new members will register simply to ask one or two questions and go away. Those kind o members just ask the question rather than research or remembering the same question was asked 8 months ago.

    Btw Doug, lots of yahoo's have tried to launch all out assaults on the dollar. Many were started with great fanfare and predictions of imminent demise of the dollar, all to fail miserably. Someday such a thing will succeed, but its not like it hasn't been tried.
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