Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Maple Leaf 1/4 Ounce Gold Coins

Quarter ounce Gold Maple LeavesYesterday I bought a 1/4 oz Maple Leaf gold coin. Its design and image are the same as other denominations of the Maple Leaf, with only its size and weight being different. To give you an idea of how big 1/4 oz gold coins are, think of an American or Canadian copper penny. When I bought the coin at Ginza Tanaka, a precious metals dealer in Japan, they weighed the coin for me in grams and the coin came out to 7.78 grams of gold. In Japan precious metals prices are usually quoted in grams rather than ounces, except for silver which is usually quoted in kilograms.

Actually, my intention when visiting the shop was to look for silver bullion coins, but they informed me that they don't carry them. I received a similar response at Ishifuku Metals. My guess is that silver coins have such a narrow profit margin per coin that they're not worth anybody's time here, certainly not worth the effort of importing. The only silver coins I have seen in Japan have been proofs sold at the Japan Mint's gift shop. And these are sold with a rediculous premium markup of around 500%. Since I buy mostly as an investor and not as a hobbyist, I decided to avoid marked up silver proof coins and buy a fractional gold coin instead. "Fractional" gold coins are coins that weigh a fraction of one ounce, normally 1/2 ounce, 1/4 ounce, and 1/10 ounce.

Here's a youtube video of me with my new 1/4 ounce Maple Leaf.

For more information on Maple Leaf coins please see The Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin

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