Making Gold and Silver Purchases in California

With an economy of $2.7 trillion, larger than either the U.K. or France, California is a powerhouse on the world stage. Only the U.S. itself, China, Japan and Germany have bigger economies. Moreover, from 2016 to 2017, California’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), powered by thriving entertainment and technology sectors, went up $127 billion, providing the Californian economic engine with the boost to reach the fifth spot.

The state is home to Hollywood, a district within the City of Los Angeles that, since The Count of Monte Cristo was completed there in 1908, has become synonymous with the U.S. movie industry. California is also where you will find Silicon Valley, which got its name because of the many semiconductor companies located there. Silicon is a semiconductor used extensively in microprocessor computer chips. Today, silicon is just one facet of Silicon Valley. The region in the San Francisco Bay Area is home to many software companies and accounts for about one-third of venture capital investment in the U.S.

California became a U.S. territory in 1847, shortly before James W. Marshall’s discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill on January 24, 1848, an event that triggered the Gold Rush. Marshall’s serendipity prompted an influx of about 300,000 migrants that swelled the population from the 1,000 it was at the time of the discovery. California continued to attract settlers in large numbers even after the Gold Rush subsided and by 1964, it had surpassed New York to become the most populous state in the nation.

California accounts for about 13 percent of U.S. GDP and has contributed 16 percent of total U.S. job growth between 2012 and 2017. The state is the most populous in the U.S. Its inhabitants number around 40 million, about 12 percent of total U.S. population. In terms of area, it is the third largest after Alaska and Texas, covering a total of some 163,696 square miles.

The state capital is Sacramento and the Official State Animal of California is the Grizzly Bear, designated as such in 1953, by which time the animal had been extinct for more than 30 years. In the nineteenth century, large numbers of Grizzlies populated the valleys and mountains and the state was, apparently, known as the Grizzly Bear State. However, the Gold Rush brought an influx of prospectors that slowly but surely set about exterminating the bears to appropriate living space and as a measure of defense. With the bears gone, the state’s nickname changed to the “Golden State.”

California has earned other accolades. It is the only state to have hosted both the Summer and Winter Olympics. In 1932 and 1984, the Summer Olympics took place in Los Angeles. They are due to be held there again in 2028. And in 1960, Squaw Valley was the host site for the Winter Olympics.

Sales Tax on Gold and Silver in California

California state law levies sales and use taxes of 7.5% on precious metals, with some exemptions. Coins used in a transaction as a medium of exchange are not subject to tax, even though the exchange value may not be on par with the face value. For example, the value given for a dollar coin could be just 90 cents in a purchase transaction. However, if the transaction in coins occurs as an investment or as an acquisition of collector’s items, it will be subject to tax.

In general, sales of gold and silver are subject to tax. However, bulk sales of monetized bullion, non-monetized gold or silver bullion, and numismatic coins are exempt from both the sales tax and the use tax, provided the total market value of a single transaction is $1,500 or more, according to Article 7, Regulation 1599 of the California Sales and Use Tax Regulations.

Local Gold and Silver Dealers in California

If you are looking for coin shops in specific cities located in the state of California, be sure to check out our other local directory pages:

Local coin shops in Los Angeles, CA
Local coin shops in San Diego, CA
Local coin shops in San Jose, CA
Local coin shops in San Francisco, CA