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Should I Buy a Coin with a COA or a Brilliant Uncirculated Version of the Same Coin?

A Brilliant Uncirculated American Silver Eagle next to a Silver American Eagle with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Is it Better to Buy a Coin with a COA than a BU Coin?

With the myriad of options available in coin collecting, it might feel a little bit overwhelming trying to decide on your first purchases. Why would you want an uncirculated coin with a certificate of authenticity over a Brilliant Uncirculated coin? In this Answer, we will explain the difference to help you make an informed decision.

Coins with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA)

When a coin is sold with a Certificate of Authenticity or COA, the originating mint typically issues a COA. The United States Mint began issuing COAs with Proof coin sets in 1990 and issues them with many Proof coins today.

Certificates of Authenticity can provide detailed information about a coin’s rarity, grade, provenance, and reassurance that a coin is genuine. They allow buyers to check with the issuer to validate their coin’s authenticity and ensure it is not a copy.

Provenance is the term used to describe a coin’s ownership history. It supplies the record of where the coin has been, who has owned it, as well as any significant transactions or events in the coin’s history.

Provenance can be a key component for collectors since it can add to a coin’s historical significance and value.

Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) Coins

Brilliant Uncirculated coins are not held to the same standard as Proof coins but are struck with greater precision and beauty than business strike coins. Brilliant Uncirculated coins begin life as burnished blanks that are hand-loaded into a coining press and display a soft, matt-like finish.

These are issued primarily for collectors and are more valuable than business strikes but often less valuable than Proof coins. While the BU coin in our example does not come with a COA, it should keep its mint luster intact.

Mint luster is the term used to describe the satiny, frosty, or cartwheel-like shine that gleam from the face of a freshly minted coin. This special sparkle is due to metallic flow in the manufacturing process and indicates the age and condition of the coin. Its mint luster can diminish with wear and exposure to environmental elements.

Should You Buy a BU Coin or a Coin With a COA?

When trying to evaluate these two purchase options, the clear answer is to buy both or to assess what your intentions are first. Are you buying it for precious metal content or numismatic value?

Coins tell a story- One of history, drama, and value. BU coins tell a story of elegance and refinement. Coins with a Certificate of Authenticity relate a story with an index and table of contents.

Whether you buy an uncirculated coin or a Brilliant Uncirculated coin, protect it from the elements and environment so you can admire its beauty for years to come.

Quick Guides to Investing

Step 1:

Why Buy Physical Gold and Silver?

If you are concerned about the volatility of the stock market, you’re not alone. The extreme highs and lows of the stock market often lead investors towards safe-haven assets, like bullion. Historically, the Precious Metals market has an inverse relationship with the stock market, meaning that when stocks are up, bullion is down and vice versa.

Step 2:

How Much Gold and Silver Should You Have?

This question is one of the most important for investors to answer. After all, experts suggest limits on how much of any types of investments should go into a portfolio. After deciding to purchase and own Precious Metals and considering how much money to allocate, one can then think about how much and what to buy at any point in time.

Step 3:

Which Precious Metals Should I Buy?

With the frequent changes in the market and countless Precious Metal products available, choosing investments can be difficult. Some want Gold or Silver coins, rounds or bars while others want products that are valuable because of their design, mintage or other collectible qualities. Also, collectors may shop for unique sets and individual pieces for their collections.

Step 4:

When to Buy Gold & Silver

After considering why, how much, and what Precious Metals products to buy, an investor’s next step is when to buy them. This decision requires an understanding of market trends and the impact of economic factors on precious metal prices.

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