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A One Ounce Gold Coin is a One Ounce Gold Coin

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A One Ounce Gold Coin is a One Ounce Gold Coin

2021 Proof American Gold Eagles (Type 2)
2021 Proof American Gold Eagles (Type 2)

We’ve previously touched on the topic of the weight and size of gold coins when we analyzed in a previous article if the purity of gold coins affects their value, but considering that there still seems to be a good deal of confusion in the marketplace as to if the purity of a gold coin affects its gold content, we thought that we would briefly address this issue in a separate post.



This article is primarily geared toward individuals who have been inquiring as to our stock of 24k gold coins, and are of the opinion that lower purity gold coins contain less gold content.


As a bit of background, several countries currently produce one ounce gold coins on an annual basis, including, but not limited to the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Austria and China.  These gold coins are what are referred to as sovereign gold coins, as they’re produced by the government of origin.  Privately produced gold coins, which are technically gold rounds, are produced by private manufacturers or refineries.

The difference is that privately produced gold rounds typically aren’t as recognizable as government produced gold coins.  Furthermore, they’re not guaranteed by the country of origin to contain the exact weight and dimensions as noted in the specifications.

Government Gold Coins2022 Canadian Maple Leaf 24k Gold Coin

The American gold eagle is the official gold bullion coin of the United States and is the most popular gold coin bought and sold in the U.S.  Due to the high demand for the coin, prices are typically slightly higher than Canadian gold maple leafs and South African gold krugerrands; two other highly popular gold coins bought and sold in the U.S.  American gold eagles are 22k gold coins.

They’re mixed with other alloys, including silver and copper, to add to the coin’s durability, as 24k gold is extremely soft and susceptible to damage.  The coin weighs 33.93 grams, which is 2.83 grams heavier than a troy ounce of pure gold.  The 2.83 gram difference accounts for copper and silver that is included in the composition of the gold coin.


The weight of one ounce 24k gold coins, such as Canadian gold maple leafs, Austrian philharmonics, Australian Kangaroos, American gold buffaloes and Chinese gold pandas are 31.1 grams.  These coins contain the same amount of pure gold as 22k gold coins, such as American gold eagles and South African gold krugerrands, but don’t contain any other alloys.  Because of the coin’s purity, they’re highly susceptible to damage, including scratches, dents and nicks, so special care should be taken to properly secure and store these coins.

All of the above mentioned coins, with the exception of American gold buffaloes, sell at a lower price than American gold eagles.


In summary, a one ounce gold coin is a one ounce gold coin.  While the coins may contain different purities of gold, then contain the same amount of pure gold.  Because 22k gold coins are combined with other alloys, they’re typically more durable and less susceptible to damage than their 24k gold counterparts.  Regardless of your personal preference, it’s important to remember than the purity of one ounce gold coins has no impact on the amount of pure gold that you’re receiving.


Tony Davis
Tony Davis
Tony Davis is the owner of Atlanta Gold & Coin Buyers, a full service Atlanta based coin and bullion dealer specializing in buying, selling and appraising coins and coin collections of all types and sizes. Tony frequently writes on various economic and numismatic related topics affecting the coin and bullion markets and has been published on some of the industry’s leading websites, including Coin Week, the American Numismatic Association, Coin Collector, Coinflation, and Coin Auctions Help, just to name a few. Visit Atlanta Gold & Coin’s website at to obtain additional information on the products, services and educational resources offered by his company. Tony can be reached at or at 404-236-9744

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