Perhaps you own or have heard of gold quarters and wondered if they have investment value due to their gold content.
The answer to this depends on its melt value. Otherwise, they may be worth no more than a standard 25-cent quarter.
How Gold Quarters Differ Based on Their Melt Value
Gold quarters were first produced by the U.S. Mint in 2016, after which time, though they contained a more valuable gold content, they were intended for use as currency, similar to their silver quarter cousins.
However, over the years, many non-government entities have taken standard silver quarters and embellished them with a thin layer of gold, also producing gold quarters. Some of which contain up to 24 karats of gold.
Hence, various gold quarters only contain a gold coating, which makes them less practical as investment assets compared to the original gold quarters that have a higher melt value.
A high melt value for a gold quarter simply means it contains enough pure precious metal that when it is heated to a specific temperature, all that is left behind is a gold piece with sufficient weight to make it valuable.
The heavier the gold weight in the quarter, the higher its intrinsic value, which makes it worth more.
The 1788 Virginia Statehood Quarter Dollar, also known as the 1788 quarter, is a prime example of a gold quarter that is actually free of the precious metal.
Instead, only the outside of the coin is colored with 24-karat gold; however, the core is majority copper, so it basically has the worth of a standard quarter.
Furthermore, the 1788 quarter was only produced to mark the year that Virginia became recognized as a state of the U.S., so its only value may be to residents of Virginia and history buffs, not gold investors.
What Gold Quarters Have a High Melt Value?
The U.S. Mint is the only producer of real gold quarters, which began with the minting of the Standing Liberty Centennial Gold Coin.
These coins differ from gold-plated quarters in that their content is .9999 fine 24-karat gold, or 99.9% pure gold; however, they still have the same face value of 25 cents.
They are also the only gold coins to be circulated as currency before being reserved as collector's coins soon after their production.
As of today, there are only about 100,000 Standing Liberty Centennial Gold Coins on the market, which further adds to their value.
How to Recognize a 2016 Standing Liberty Centennial Gold Quarter
An authentic Standing Liberty Centennial Gold Coin is most recognizable by its M and W initials, which stand for McNeil, who is the designer of the coin, and West Point, New York, where the coin was produced.
Later versions of the coin are also engraved with the words AU 24K followed by 1/4oz. right below it.
Quarter Eagle Gold Coins Versus Gold Quarters
The U.S. Mint also produced Quarter Eagle gold coins during the 18th century, which, due to their name, may also cause them to be confused with gold quarters. However, they differ in that they have a face value of $2.50 and not 25 cents like Standing Liberty Centennial gold quarters.
The slightly smaller, less dense coins were also minted more as collector's items rather than currency. Gold coins produced during that time also had a lower gold purity of just .900 compared to the Standing Liberty gold quarter's .9999 gold fineness.
But because many Quarter Eagle coins were melted down into gold bars during the Great Depression, leaving only a few left, they are rarer and more valuable than Standing Liberty Centennial gold quarters.
These coins are most recognized by their arrow-clutching, shielded Eagle with the inscription 2 1/2 D underneath.
Gold Quarters Value Versus Gold-Plated Quarters Value by Gold Weight
Standing Liberty gold quarters contain 0.25 ounces of gold, which is about the equivalence of the spot price of a 1-ounce gold bullion bar.
Hence, to find their worth to collectors in the aftermarket, simply look up the current spot price for an ounce of gold and then multiply it by 0.25.
For instance, the spot price of a 1-ounce gold bar at the time of this writing is $1,777.05. So multiply $1,777.05 by .025, and we come up with a U.S.-minted gold quarter worth of $444.26.
However, if the gold quarter is in new condition, meaning it has no signs of wear, it is possible to get up to 25% or more of its gold weight.
In the meantime, gold-plated quarters have only about .003 inches of gold on them, which means they have practically no weight in gold.
Hence, they offer no value in the collector's aftermarket. However, some buyers may pay up to 10 cents above its face value for their aesthetics.
Why Do Investors Purchase Gold Quarters?
Gold quarters' high gold content makes them good investments similar to investing in other gold bullion.
Gold prices have repeatedly been shown to increase during times of economic uncertainty and stock market downturns, which makes it a sensible asset to add to your investment portfolio to help hedge against a significant loss of investment gains during such times.
This also extends to gold quarter prices, since they correlate to the spot price of gold bullion.
In fact, one report showed that the value of Standing Liberty Gold Coins grew steadily from 2016 to 2020, which is an increased worth of more than 65% since their release in 2016. During this time, they also outperformed the U.S. stock market by over 10%.
As of current, the value of gold has already reached its highest price point at $2,000 per ounce, which some market experts speculate will only continue to increase to well over $2,000 per ounce over the next year to year and a half, which would give the gold quarter a worth of almost $600.
However, other experts anticipate the value of gold will reach a high of $3,000 per ounce within this time, which would give the gold quarter a value of over $700.
Hence, many investors purchase gold quarters as a hedge against market risks and economic instability for a more stable mix of investments.
How Can I Buy Gold Quarters?
Find a Reputable Online or In-Store Precious Metals Dealer
Standing Liberty 2016 Centennial gold quarters can be acquired from just about any knowledgeable, reputable precious metal dealer online or in-store.
Just be sure to check the company's history to ensure it is accredited and has a high rating with the Better Business Bureau or another reputable business rating company to help ensure its trustworthiness.
You should also check their customer feedback and ratings with various popular online sites, such as Yelp, Consumer Alliance, Trustlink, Trustpilot, and Google, to see what their clients have to say about the company and their products.
Buy Gold Quarters Directly Through the U.S. Mint
In some cases, you may even be able to purchase gold quarters directly from the U.S. Mint, which will enable you to purchase them with confidence regarding their authentication.
Get Gold Quarters as Part of a Gold IRA
It may also be possible to purchase gold quarters as part of an IRS-approved gold IRA.
To do so, simply contact your gold IRA company and speak with a specialist who will work with you to determine which of their precious metals products are eligible for your account.
You may even be able to roll over or transfer your existing retirement plan into a gold IRA to own gold quarters as part of your portfolio. So be sure to ask. If you don't know if it's a good idea for you to open a self-directed IRA, we suggest you to read this guide.
Some gold IRA companies will even allow you to purchase gold quarters directly from them and then have them shipped right to your door. Or you can choose to have your coins stored in a secured depository provided by the company to maintain their flawlessness and protection.
However, if you are eligible to purchase gold quarters as part of your IRA, you are required to have them stored in a safe storage facility provided by the precious metals company to ensure their maximum safety and value until retirement.
How Can I Tell if I Am Purchasing Authentic Gold Quarters and Not Gold-Plated Quarters?
Be Sure the Dealer Offers a Guarantee of Authenticity
According to experts, one way to ensure you are getting certified gold quarters is if the dealer offers a guarantee of authenticity with the sale. This shows that they stand by their product's authenticity and will provide you with a refund if you are not satisfied.
Some dealers also have a buyback program that enables you to sell the coins back to them whenever, which may also hint to their product's authenticity.
Have the Coins Certified by a Third-Party Grading Company
You could also have a dealer's gold quarters graded and certified by a third-party grading service, such as The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NCG), before acquiring them to ensure they are real.
And in many cases, it can be done simply by calling the grading company and giving them the registration number on the coin's package, or you may even be able to enter the registration number via their online site to receive confirmation.
They are Sealed in a Tamper-Proof Package
Authentic gold coins typically come in their own tamper-resistant packaging to help keep them protected from smudges, scratches, and other blemishes that can affect their resale value.
Purchase Them Via an IRS-Approved, Self-Directed IRA Custodian
As per IRS rules, gold coins purchased for an IRA must be produced by a national government mint or another approved coin manufacturer, which ensures they meet the highest gold fineness.
They also stress that the gold acquisitions for your account must be facilitated by an IRS-approved custodian whose job is to ensure they are compliant with your IRA so that it remains eligible for tax benefits.
So, if you partner with a precious metals company that only works with vetted self-directed IRA custodians like Equity Trust, it also helps guarantee your gold quarter purchases are authentic.
Be Wary of Gold Quarters With an Intensely Yellow Hue
Gold-plated coins have a higher content of other metals, which results in a bright yellow-colored coin when they are coated in 24-karat gold. Therefore, one of the telltale signs of a gold-plated coin is the intense yellow hue that it has compared to the deep, yellowish-brown color produced by real gold coins.
Gold-plated coins may also change color over time due to the effects of acid and other environmental elements that real gold is durable enough to withstand throughout the ages, which also contributes to its intrinsic value.
In some cases, gold-plated coins may also display chipping and peeling when they are handled too much or stored loosely amongst other coins.
Gold quarters' performance in declining or questionable markets is just as impressive as gold bullion's activity during the same type of occurrences, which makes them another solid asset to add to your portfolio as a backup against falling stock prices, etc.
However, just be sure to do your research to ensure the gold coins you receive are authentic and not gold-plated quarters, which we saw have little to no value as investments. Read our guide on the best gold investment coins to learn more.
Likewise, you should be sure to only work with reputable gold coin dealers to ensure your Standing Liberty Centennial gold quarters are real. And many will also take back your coins, which helps eliminate finding another reputable dealer when you are ready to sell.
Some reputable precious metals dealers such as Augusta are also certified to grade and authenticate gold coins, so keep this in mind when choosing a dealer if you also own existing coins and would like to have them appraised at some point.