The vast majority of precious metal dealers operate the same way. They source it from the manufacturer or a distributor, then mark it up and sell it to you. But what if you could cut out those middlemen, couldn’t you save money? That’s the premise Golden State Mint was founded upon. A family run operation, Golden State Mint has the ability to produce silver, gold, and copper specimens in a wide array of sizes and designs. Buying direct and saving money sounds great, but is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Are you really saving? Do they back up their offering with the kind of customer service you deserve? Continue reading our comprehensive review of Golden State Mint to find out if you should trust them with your hard earned cash.
WHO IS GOLDEN STATE MINT?
Golden State Mint has a rich history, and has been operating in the precious metals business for nearly 50 years. The company has been a family affair from the start, with Jim Pvalakos founding the mint in 1974. Eventually, his son Andrew joined him as a co-owner. Together, their primary focus has been providing the highest quality products accompanied by superior customer service.
Golden State Mint originally started in California (hence the name), but their growth was such that they soon needed to open another location. This facility, in Florida, allowed them to better serve the east coast and improve their nationwide distribution network.
Since their establishment, Golden State Mint has shown consistent growth over the course of several decades to become one of the leading private mints in America. They have worked hard to become leaders in their field, and hold many longstanding memberships to some of the most prestigious organizations in the precious metals and coin collecting communities. This includes being an American Numismatic Association (ANA) member since 1988, a Polygon Network member since 1985, a Token & Medal Society (TAMS) member since 1987, and an NRA member since 1978, among others.
Golden State Mint has also worked hard to keep up with the latest and greatest technology. They’ve continually reinvested in the facilities and equipment to help them stay ahead of the competition. Leadership has also committed significant resources to upgrading their production so they can improve quality while reducing delivery time. This array of equipment has enabled them to create nearly limitless designs while minimizing waste.
Golden State Mint certainly has what it takes to be a contender, on paper at least. The ability to manufacture is definitely a positive, unless the products themselves are nothing special. Let’s take a look at Golden State Mint’s offering and see if it’s in-line with their production capabilities.
WHAT DO THEY OFFER?
We’ll start with what is their most unique product: custom minting. Maybe you thought of a design for your own coin and want to see it come to life? Or perhaps you think it’s a great marketing idea for your business? Just give Golden State Mint a call. They’ll ask a few questions to determine exactly what you want, give you a price, and then get to work making it into reality. More on that specific process, later.
Silver is Golden State Mint’s sweet spot, and their selection is quite extensive. They produce their own silver bars, available in 1 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, and 1 kg sizes. They also sell monster boxes.
What’s nice about Golden State Mint is that they sell products from other mints, as well. Golden State Mint has a wide selection of silver bars for example, but if you’d prefer to buy from some other national or private mint then they have you covered. This includes silver bars from the Royal Canadian Mint, Valcambi, Asahi, Engelhard, and Johnson Matthey.
Similar to bars, Golden State Mint carries silver coins from the most popular national mints including the United States Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, Perth Mint, and British Royal Mint. Weights offered include 1 oz, 2 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, and 1 kg.
Last but certainly not least is their huge offering of silver rounds. “Rounds” are basically just like coins, but issued by a private mint instead of a government-backed mint. This is where Golden State Mint really stands out, as their rounds are known for beautiful and unique designs. Most other private mints merely stamp their bullion rounds with the mint mark, silver purity, and weight. With Golden State Mint, you’ll see examples that are just begging to be displayed, often paying homage to classic coin designs from years gone by.
Among their most popular silver rounds are the Buffalo and Incuse Indian designs. The Buffalo silver round is based on the classic Buffalo Nickel design and has been a top seller since 1981. Their Incuse Indian silver round is a take on the Indian Head gold coins that were produced in the early 1900’s. Other top sellers include takes on the Morgan and Standing Liberty silver dollars, as well as the Saint Gaudens $20 gold piece. Sizes are wide-ranging, from fractional rounds up to tenth ounce examples.
Golden State Mint’s gold offerings are similar, except for the fact that they do not produce their own gold bars. Still, they have bars available from major mints such as PAMP Suisse, Valcambi, Perth Mint, and Royal Canadian Mint. Sizes are 1 oz, 5 oz, 10 oz, and 1 kg. One notable product they carry is gold grain/gold shot. Used in jewelry making and other manufacturing, it’s basically just a bunch of raw gold pellets.
As for gold coins, Golden State Mint carries American Gold Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs, Chinese Pandas, South African Krugerrands, Germania Oaks, Australian Kangaroos, Austrian Philharmonics, and others. They carry their own gold rounds as well. Their offering includes three different 1/10 oz designs, as well as a 1 oz wearable gold bracelet that we found quite unique.
They also offer platinum, palladium, and copper products. This includes bars and coins. At the time of our research, they had a solid selection of three platinum bars and nine platinum coins, two palladium bars and one palladium coin, and copper rounds ranging from 1/4 to 5 oz.
You can browse their “Collections” section to see some unique designs based on special events or commemorations. For instance, if you’re into cryptocurrency, you can buy a physical representation of a Bitcoin. While it’s not actually worth the thousands of dollars that an actual Bitcoin is worth, it’s an example of something different that sets Golden State Mint apart.
Lastly, they offer self-directed precious metals IRAs if you are thinking about the future (and you should be). While the IRS prohibits retirement plans from purchasing collectibles (including coins), precious metals with a fineness of .999 are indeed eligible. Golden State Mint will work with your IRA custodian so you can purchase gold and silver for your IRA.
WHAT DO WE LIKE?
We really love Golden State Mint’s custom minting ability. They make it extremely easy for their customers by helping you literally every step of the way, from initial concept to finished product. The options are nearly endless for both bars and coins: create your design then pick whatever metal, finish, and size combination tickles your fancy.
We also like the fact that when you’re buying from Golden State Mint, you’re buying directly from the factory. By having their own equipment and processes, they’ve been able to minimize waste and reduce costs. Combine this with the fact that they are cutting out the middlemen by selling direct, and the result is increased savings for you.
Considering their manufacturing capabilities, it’s really no surprise that Golden State Mint has such a huge selection of products. From their own coins and bars, to products from other mints, to precious metal IRAs, Golden State Mint has something to offer both the casual collector and private investor alike.
Finally, we appreciate their outstanding customer service and commitment to quality. They’re the kind of company you think of when you imagine the ideal family-run business. This is backed up by their Better Business Bureau (BBB) accreditation since 2019, and they were bestowed the highest rating of an A+.
HOW TO GET STARTED
We’ll start with Golden State Mint’s custom minting service. Costs range from around $500 for a basic 2D design, up to around $1,500 or so for a complex 3D design. You’ll start by emailing your artwork to them, and they’ll schedule a call to discuss your vision. There technically isn’t a minimum order quantity, but there is a $275 setup fee if you’re looking at less than 500 pieces total. As for the timeline, it’s roughly 3 weeks for the sculpting, 3 weeks for die cutting, and 3 weeks for production.
If you’re interested in Golden State Mint’s precious metals IRAs, the setup process is fairly simple. First you’ll open a precious metals IRA with your IRA custodian. You’ll then need to move funds to the IRA (this can be a rollover/transfer from an existing IRA or 401(k)). Then you’ll choose your IRA-approved gold and silver from Golden State Mint. They’ll submit a buy order on your behalf and have it delivered to the depository you selected upon signup. It’s that simple.
The rest of their website is pretty standard. You’ll need to create an account before you can place an order. Golden State Mint accepts credit and debit cards (for orders under $10,000), Paypal (for orders under $5,000), bank wire (for orders over $1,000), and checks. They used to have a minimum order quantity, but that’s no longer the case. They also offer free shipping on all orders over $99.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you’re looking to get involved with precious metals in any capacity, then Golden State Mint is worth checking out. They are a trusted, family-owned business with a strong history of customer satisfaction. Their massive selection includes a comprehensive array of coins and bars, in addition to precious metals IRAs and custom minting products. What that means for you is that no matter who you are, Golden State Mint has something to offer.
If you’re interested in learning more about Golden State Mint, or are looking to purchase precious metals, visit them at www.goldenstatemint.com or call 1-800-320-8260.