Gold coins minted in the UK have long proved a popular choice, appealing to both bullion investors as well as collectors. British gold coins such as the Royal Mint’s flagship coin, the Sovereign, as well as the UK Britannia, remain some of the most widely traded gold bullion coins.
But what makes them so appealing?
Why British Gold Coins?
There are many reasons why investors choose to buy UK coins over others. The main attraction is that British coins minted by the Royal Mint in 1837 or later offer a unique appeal - they are exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) due to their status as British legal tender. Gold bullion coins are also exempt from VAT.
Another reason British coins remain popular is for collectable purposes – many British gold coins are highly attractive to collectors due to their appealing designs, and/or historical value.
Which UK Coins are Available?
The flagship coin of the Royal Mint, the Sovereign is one of the world’s oldest gold coins still in production today. The first Sovereign was struck in 1489, however the modern Sovereign as we know it today was first minted in 1817.
The sovereign coin is steeped in British history, featuring the portraits of serving British Kings and Queens past and present; from King George III right up to today’s fifth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The iconic Saint George and the dragon design by Benedetto Pistrucci adorns the reverse of the modern Sovereign, as it did over 200 years ago.
Did you know that the Sovereign was originally a circulating coin? It was struck in 916.7 (22ct) fine gold to withstand everyday use and is still the same today.
First struck in 1663, the gold Guinea coin was the largest denomination in British currency until the appearance of the modern Sovereign. Like the Sovereign, the Guinea featured the portraits of Royalty from King Charles II up to George III. Struck in 916.7 (22ct) gold, these coins can be highly collectable and sought after today.
The Britannia gold coin has been around since 1987, and features the image of Britannia, known as the feminine personification of Britain. Britannia symbolises Britain's strength and integrity, and is an icon that has been used in the UK for over 2,000 years since the Romans claimed Britain.
The famous design by Philip Nathan is used on most year’s coins and shows Britannia standing at the shore. However, some years have seen different designs released which adds interest to collectors.
Up until 2013 Britannia gold coins were produced in 916.7 (22ct) gold, with the non-gold component being copper until 1989 and silver from 1990. From 2013 onwards, Britannia gold coins have been produced in a fineness of 999.9.
In 2014 the Royal Mint began a new series of 999.9 fine gold coins celebrating the Chinese Zodiac. The ‘Shengxiào Collection’ embraces a fusion of both British and Chinese tradition, each year featuring a different animal representative of the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. These coins have great appeal not only to investors, but also to those looking for a gift for the birth of a new child, or a special birthday, due to their attractive designs and meanings.
The Queen’s Beasts
The highly popular Queen’s Beasts coins are the newest addition to the British bullion range. A series of ten designs, the Queen’s Beasts bullion range celebrates the British Monarchy and the centuries of fascinating heraldry that has been a part of their story. Featuring spectacular reverse designs, these coins are struck in 999.9 Fine Gold and are available in both 1oz and fractional sizes.
The most recent Queen’s Beasts coin features the White Horse of Hanover and is the penultimate release from the popular range.
Pre-Owned or New?
British gold coins represent not only an investment opportunity, but also an interesting opportunity to own something that holds a little history - they can offer the best of bullion and numismatics in one investment. For this reason, many people enjoy the opportunity to purchase pre-owned coins.
Pre-Owned Gold Sovereigns are some of the most popular coins we sell here at Atkinsons, with many people seeking out specific year dates and/or sovereign head portraits to complete their collection. In good condition, these coins can often offer additional potential due to their historical appeal. The same idea applies to other UK gold coins, such as the Guinea – the ‘Spade’ Guinea being one example. Guineas can vary in price, from a few hundred pounds to several thousand, dependant on the age and condition.
Some of our best-selling coins are our pre-owned ‘mixed dates’ full and half sovereigns, as they offer excellent value for investors. These coins are sold at lower premiums yet contain the same amount of gold as a new coin. These are sold as ‘pot luck’ so will be a random year selected for you from those we currently have in stock.
Unlike other speculations, British gold coins can offer a real permanent value you can hold in your hand. With added tax benefits for UK investors, they have the security of a precious metal, as well as a historic and aesthetic appeal, both of which are surely an advantageous addition to an investment portfolio.
This blog represents one person’s opinion only. Customers should conduct their own research and take advice before making an investment. We do not offer investment advice.