Owning gold has been extremely lucrative for long-term investors over the past decade, with prices of the yellow metal soaring. But now that a big price drop in gold has prompted many precious-metals investors to contemplate selling their holdings, the tax consequences of selling their gold may give investors a nasty shock next April.

In the following video, longtime Fool contributor and tax expert Dan Caplinger explains some of the tax consequences of holding gold. Dan notes that several of the most popular exchange-traded funds, including SPDR Gold(NYSEMKT:GLD), are subject to higher tax rates because of their status as collectibles. To help solve the potential problems involved with many investments, Dan discusses two potential alternatives that can let you keep more of your precious-metals profits.

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