Advice on Selling and Buying Scrap Gold

Are Gold Coins Pure Gold?

Some gold coins are classed as “Fine Gold” (99.999% gold) meaning they are solid 24ct pure gold.

Many other gold coins have base metals added to them and are 22ct gold (91.67% pure).

This is because pure (24ct) gold is very soft and a coin made with pure gold that was originally in circulation as legal tender would easily be damaged.

The added metals are harder than gold and make the coin more durable and robust.

A “Fine Gold” 24ct bullion coin like the Britannia, Maple, or Buffalo is 1oz in weight, and weights 1oz since there are no base metals added, it is a pure gold coin.

A 22ct (91.67% purity) gold coin like a 1oz Krugerrand will contain 1oz of gold, and 0.9oz of base metal, giving a total weight of 1.09oz.

Which Gold Coins Are Pure Gold?

The gold coins that are classed as “Fine Gold” or “Pure Gold” bullion coins are:

  1. Gold Britannia (2013 onwards)
  2. Gold Maple Leaf
  3. Gold American Buffalo
  4. Gold Chinese Panda

 

Each of these coins are 24ct or 99.999% pure gold and are available in the following denominations:

Britannia Pure Gold Coins

Prior to 2013 the Britannia was a 22ct gold coin (not pure gold), but has been 24ct since.

The Britannia is a British fine gold coin available in the following denominations:

  • 5oz Britannia
  • 1oz Britannia
  • Half Ounce Britannia
  • Quarter Ounce Britannia
  • One Tenth Ounce Britannia
  • One Twentieth Ounce Britannia

 

The specifications for each of these sizes are in the table below:

 

Britannia Coin TypeWeight in OuncesWeight in GramsDiameterGold Purity
Five Ounces5oz156.29565 mm.9999
One Ounce1oz31.10432.69 mm.9999
Half OunceHalf Ounce15.6027 mm.9999
Quarter OunceQuarer Ounce7.8622 mm.9999
One-Tenth Ounce1/10th oz3.1316.50 mm.9999
One Twentieth Ounce1/20th oz1.5812 mm.9999

Maple Leaf Pure Gold Coins

Prior to 1982 the Maple was a 1oz coin with .999 fineness, after this all denominations are .9999 fineness, that is to sat pure 24ct gold.

The Maple Leaf is a Canadian fine gold coin first minted in 1979 and available in the following denominations:

  • 1oz Maple Leaf
  • Half Ounce Maple Leaf
  • Quarter Ounce Maple Leaf
  • One Tenth Ounce Maple Leaf
  • One Twentieth Ounce Maple Leaf

 

The specifications for each of these sizes are in the table below:

 

Maple Coin TypeWeight in OuncesWeight in GramsDiameterGold Purity
One Ounce1oz31.10430 mm.9999
Half OunceHalf Ounce15.5525 mm.9999
Quarter OunceQuarer Ounce7.775720 mm.9999
One-Tenth Ounce1/10th oz3.1116 mm.9999
One Twentieth Ounce1/20th oz1.55514.1 mm.9999

American Buffalo Pure Gold Coins

The Buffalo is an American fine gold coin first minted in 2006 and available in the following denominations:

  • 1oz ($50 denomination) Buffalo
  • Half Ounce ($25 denomination) Buffalo
  • Quarter Ounce ($10 denomination) Buffalo
  • One Tenth Ounce ($5 denomination) Buffalo

 

The specifications for each of these sizes are in the table below:

 

Buffalo Coin TypeWeight in OuncesWeight in GramsDiameterGold Purity
One Ounce1oz31.10832.7 mm.9999
Half OunceHalf Ounce15.55227 mm.9999
Quarter OunceQuarer Ounce7.77622 mm.9999
One-Tenth Ounce1/10th oz3.1116.5 mm.9999

Chinese Panda Pure Gold Coins

The Chinese Panda is a 99.9% Fine Gold bullion coin.

It was introduced in 1982 in the denominations of:

  • 1oz Panda (100 Yuan denomination)
  • Half Ounce Panda (50 Yuan denomination)
  • Quarter Ounce Panda (25 Yuan denomination)
  • One Tenth Ounce Panda (10 Yuan denomination)
  • One Twentieth Ounce Panda (5 Yuan denomination)

 

In 2001 the denominations changed to:

  • 1oz Panda (500 Yuan denomination)
  • Half Ounce Panda (200 Yuan denomination)
  • Quarter Ounce Panda (100 Yuan denomination)
  • One Tenth Ounce Panda (50 Yuan denomination)
  • One Twentieth Ounce Panda (20 Yuan denomination)

Panda Gold Coin Specifications & Dimensions

YearsCoin TypeWeight/GmsDiameter (mm)Fineness
1982-2015Panda 1oz31.10332.05.9999
1982-2015Panda Half Ounce15.551527.9999
1982-2015Panda Quarter Ounce7.775821.95.9999
1982-2015Panda Tenth Ounce3.110317.95.9999
1982-2015Panda Twentieth Ounce1.555213.92.9999
2016+Panda 30 grams3032.9999
2016+Panda 15 grams1527.9999
2016+Panda 8 grams822.9999
2016+Panda 3 grams318.9999
2016+Panda 1 gram110.9999

Then in 2016 China changed the coins to be by weight in grams rather than ounces.

This means what was the 1oz coin now only contains 0.9645oz of gold, and what was the one-twentieth ounce contains only 0.0322 ounces of gold (rather than 0.05oz).

In other words, if you previously had 20 of the smallest denomination Pandas (the one twentieth of an ounce coins) you would have 1oz of pure gold.

Now if you have 20 of the smallest denomination Pandas you have 0.644 ounces of pure gold.

Which Gold Coins Are Not Pure Gold?

Many gold coins are not pure 24ct gold, they are instead 22ct. These include:

  1. Gold Sovereigns
  2. Pre 2012 Britannias
  3. American Eagles
  4. Krugerrands

 

This includes all of the denominations or fractional variations of these coins, e.g. the Full Sovereign, Half Sovereign, Quarter Krugerrands, etc.