Fractional Gold Bullion Coins
It Started With A Krugerrand
We give a brief history of the Krugerrand on our "Krugerrand Information" page.
For the first 13 years of its existence, a Krugerrand was a one ounce coin, and there were no fractional versions. The the South African Mint or Chamber of Mines decided there may be demand and a marketing opportunity for smaller version, so in 1980, they introduced three new sizes (weights) of Krugerrand.
A number of other countries and mints decided they too should join in and market fractional weights of bullion coins:-
Some of these other countries added other weights such as 1/25th ounce. The production costs of smaller coins are relatively higher than for larger ones, and the mints all charge increasingly high premiums as the sizes decrease. Because of this, most investors tend to avoid smaller sizes, but they do seem to appeal to collectors, and perhaps would-be and "wannabe" investors.
Which Size Bullion Coins to Buy?
Over many years, our advice to investors has been very simple and consistent. Within reason, buy the cheapest, by which we mean the lowest percentage premium over gold.
Most of the time, one ounce bullion coins sell at lower percentage premiums than their fractional equivalents, full one ounce bullion coins are therefore a better investment purchase than the fractional weights. Occasionally it may to possible to buy fractional bullion coins at competitive prices, and this can be a sensible optional extra for some investors, but to do so necessitates being ready to buy when the items are available at bargain basement prices rather trying to chase them at higher premiums.
It is often possible to buy older "real" gold coins, including smaller ones, for a premium similar to one ounce bullion coins, in which case, we would normally recommend buying them instead.
More information on our Real Coins versus Bullion Coins page.
What is Bullion?
On this page we have concentrated on gold coins issued specifically as bullion coins, at a relatively low percentage premium. We have ignored such things as 1986 proof nuggets, because they only became available as ordinary non-proof bullion versions in the following year 1987.
We have also only included coins which contain a simple fraction of a troy ounce of gold. There are other coins which can and should be classed as bullion coins, but which do not contain one ounce or any simple fraction of an ounce. Investors should not ignore these other bullion coins, as they are often competitively priced compared with their modern bullion-only counterparts. As we mention elsewhere, you can often buy older "real" gold coins at similar premiums to modern bullion coins, in which case you are getting their numismatic and historical value thrown in for nothing. It's not often you can get "owt for nowt" as they would say in our near neighbour Yorkshire.
Fractional Gold Bullion Coins
Reverse of 1988 Half Ounce Gold Panda
Reverse of 2004 Quarter Ounce Krugerrand
Reverse of 2007 Tenth Ounce Maple
Reverse of 2004 Twentieth Ounce Nugget