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The British Sovereign

Friday, November 29th, 2013

The Gold Sovereign is a highly collectable investment coin first introduced in Great Britain in 1489 at the request of King Henry VII. In 1816, there was a major reform of coins in Great Britain which resulted in The Coin Act. This laid down in law, amongst other things, the specifi cations and dimensions of Gold Sovereigns produced from 1817 onwards which have remained in place to this day. The Sovereign weighs 7.99g and is 22 carat Gold (or 916.667‰ fineness).

SOVEREIGN AVERSE AND OBVERSE

Details

The first Gold Sovereign was struck in 1489 for King Henry VII. Sovereigns continued to be issued by monarchs up until the end of the reign of Elizabeth I in 1603. As part of the coin reform of 1816/1817, the Sovereign was re-introduced. A young Italian engraver, Benedetto Pistrucci, was appointed to create the reverse design coming up with the beautiful image of St George slaying the dragon. This design saw many alterations over the years but is essentially the same. As a testament to the design, it still appears on the very latest 2013 edition. Other reverse designs have at times been used during the reigns of William IV, Victoria, George IV and Elizabeth II. The obverse of the Sovereign followed the trend established by the original and portrays an image of the reigning monarch, which remains the case up to the present.

Gold Sovereigns were withdrawn from circulation at the start of World War I in 1914 although production continued at the Royal Mint until 1917. They continued to be produced at other mints of the then British Empire but at lower quantities than before. Sovereigns which were not produced at the Royal Mint carry a mintmark showing their provenance, hence one finds coins referred to as Australian Sovereigns or South African Sovereigns. This “foreign” production stopped in 1932.

In 1957, the Royal Mint began again producing Sovereigns in order to meet world demand and to stop the booming counterfeit production which had become rife since the Royal Mint stopped producing in 1917. They were not however reintroduced into everyday circulation. Prior to 1979 only Gold bullion coins had been issued and it was this year that the fi rst Gold proof Sovereigns were issued. Between 1983 and 1999 the Royal Mint ceased producing Gold bullion Sovereigns and only minted proof Sovereigns. Gold bullion Sovereigns were re-introduced in 2000. There are several special designs but essentially, the George & Dragon design remains with the wheel turning full circle where Pistrucci’s design (which was on the Sovereign when the current monarch was crowned) has been re-introduced for the 2013 edition to mark the 60 years reign of Elizabeth II.

Investment Advice

There are various grading systems in use around the world. However, the British system is as follows :

SOVEREIGN 1

Whilst older Sovereigns were produced in much larger quantities than those produced today, it is much more diffi cult to source a good quality Sovereign from those times. Sovereigns from the reigns of George III, George IV and William IV are extremely rare in good quality and thus command high premiums. EF quality can be found but are still quite rare. For example, a UNC George IV Sovereign from 1825 made £14,950 at a sale in March 2004! Early Victorian shield Sovereigns are highly sought and therefore an EF quality coin would fetch a high premium. Indeed anything UNC or FDC from the reign of Victoria is a high premium coin.

Edward VII and George V are fairly easy to obtain in EF quality as they were produced in very large numbers. As with Victoria Sovereigns, any UNC or FDC coins would attract a high premium.

The majority of coins on the market is from the reign of Elizabeth II and has lower premiums than earlier editions. However, the quality again affects the premium and the investor should look for the highest grades. Any coin will always fetch a higher premium anyway than the price of Gold and can only become more sought after in the future. There follows a list of certain rare Sovereigns to seek out if possible – finding one of these will command an excellent premium:

SOVEREIGN 2

– 1817, the first year of the modern Sovereign

– 1838, the first Victoria Sovereign

– 1841, the rarest Victoria Sovereign

– 1917, London-minted Sovereigns, not Australian or South African

– 1989, 500th anniversary of the Sovereign edition

– Anything from George II, George III and William IV – FDC, UNC and even EF grades

Specs

SOVEREIGN 3

Detailed reading: http://goldcoin.org/numismatics/the-british-gold-sovereign-the-world’s-most-sought-after-gold-coin/4103/All investment coins sold by LinGOLD.com are EF quality or above.

For further information:   +44 (0)203 318 5612     or email : info@lingold.com

How much does 1 gram of pure gold cost ?

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Who said that only wealthy people could afford buying gold ?

  • Save from 1 gram of gold per month
  • Secure storage in Swiss vaults – FREE*
  • No administration or signup fee
Sign up for the LSP for free

Gradually build your wealth by simply buying each month a minimum of 1 gram of physical gold, for your LinGOLD Savings Plan (LSP) and benefit from freestorage in Swiss vaults outside the banking system.

How to save with the LSP?

  • Connect to your LinGOLD account or create a new account
  • Signup free to the LSP programme
  • Buy each month a minimum of 1 gram of pure gold
  • The gold you have bought is fully referenced : bar code, photograph, certificate of ownership
  • The gold is stored in a Swiss vault outside the banking system
  • You are free at any time to increase or reduce the amount of your savings, or you can unsubscribe from the LSP with no charge or prior notice.
Minimum Purchase 1g pure gold per month*
Maximum Threshold Unlimited
Storage Charges Free*
Signup Fee None
Availability Immediate Resale
Minimum Engagement None

*The storage charges levied on your gold stored in the LSP are FREE, on the condition that you buy a minimum of 1 gram of pure gold per calendar month, before the last day of each month. If the minimum monthly purchase is not made, storage charges will be applied, currently £4 per month per 200g total weight stored.

What are the products that fall within the LSP?

  • All the fractions of pure gold (1 g, 10 g, 100 g) issued from bars or gold investment coins (Britannia, Sovereign, Napoleon 20F, Napoleon 10F, Panda, Vera Valor, etc)
  • A whole coin : Vera Valor 1 ounce
  • A 1kg bar of pure gold

For further information on the LSP.

Manipulation of financial markets ?

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

What’s happening with the London gold fixing ?

First, Bloomberg reported that the U.K.Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was investigating over the way gold prices were set every day in London, as the main bullion-trading centre in the world based on information from the LBMA.

Now it is the BaFin, German’s financial supervisory authority, who is actually investigating into suspected price-fixing of benchmark gold and silver prices.

images-2

One should ask ?

The facts :
It would seem that the London fix, benchmark rate used by mining companies, central banks and other companies to buy, sell and value gold, may have been subject to manipulation over the past few months.  According to some traders interviewed by Bloomberg, it seems that ‘insider trading’ around the gold fixing is potentially possible as dealers and customers exchange information. That should lead to a wider investigation into how global rates are being set.
Remember last year when the London interbank offered rate – LIBOR – was being manipulated. Would other financial markets be manipulated ?
Similar investigations would be under way in the Uk and US, no sources

actually confirmed that point.
It wouldn’t be the first time prices are being manipulated.

Ext: Mining.com


Your savings in a safe place

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Traditional investments are at risk because they are inextricably linked to the world wide web of paper debt that exists in futures, bonds, hedges and spread bets.

Pension funds, banks, stock markets and even countries are using your investments to pay off their own debts rather than to seek a profit for you.

These paper investments are all at the mercy of the debt cycle and could be lost completely or become worthless at any time. What happens when these massive debts are called in and can’t be repaid ?  This will happen but nobody knows when. How bad will it be ? How long will it last ? Politicians publicly pretend it can’t happen because they couldn’t handle the panic and their main preoccupation is preserving power or surviving their ‘shift’.

Did you know?

– You can still buy a new car today with the same weight of gold as you needed to buy a new car 90 years ago.

– 300 years ago 2 oz of Gold could buy a cow, the same amount as you need today!

– Current devaluations are decreasing your ‘paper’ savings, investments and pension funds

– Since  2000 stock markets have slumped while the price of gold has increased more than 5 times

LinGOLD.com’s commitment to doing things differently is exemplified through its ‘Vera Valor’ gold coin.  The ‘Vera Valor’ is the first ethically produced coin made from “clean extraction” gold, which is 100% traceable from mine-to-mint.

LinGOLD.com’s vault storage facility is based in the highly secured facility of Geneva Freeport and is independently audited to ensure total propriety and counterparty.

investment in lingold

investment in lingold

Britannia 1 ounce Gold Coin

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

The Gold Britannia is a 1 Troy ounce investment coin. Whilst the figure of Britannia has graced coins since Roman times, it is only since 1987 that the modern Gold Britannia coin has been produced. The Gold Britannia is also available in fractions and the Silver Britannia is 1 Troy ounce of pure Silver.

It is probably Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war who set the pattern for powerful maidens, like Britannia, to personify the characteristics of the nation they represent. It was the Romans who first portrayed Britannia on their coins. However, in the mists of time, it seems Britannia was depicted as resisting the invasion of the Roman Empire paying tribute to the fighting spirit of the island’s inhabitants, the Ancient Britons. In modern times, Britannia remains the universally recognised personification of Britain.

BRITANNIA 1 OUNCE

BRITANNIA 1 OUNCE

The coin history can be traced through Roman coins, those of Charles II and Elizabeth I through to today. Queen Elizabeth II came to the throne in 1952 and by that time, Britannia had been on coinage continuously for the previous 300 years. These coins were made from copper, and later bronze. In 1971, Britain adopted decimal currency and Britannia was chosen for the 50p copper/nickel alloy coin. In 1987, Britannia was finaly “promoted” to grace the Gold bullion coin which is known today as the modern Britannia. Ten years later in 1997, a Silver bullion Britannia was also issued.

In modern times, different aspects of Britannia’s history and character have been interpreted by different artists. The portrait by David Mach is the ninth to appear on both the 2011 Silver and Gold coins of Elizabeth II’s reign. The 2012 and 2013 coins were designed by Philip Nathan with the obverse continuing to show the acclaimed monarch effigy by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.The first Gold Britannia coins were produced in 22 carat form.

The 2013 edition is pure Gold, 24 carat. See full specifications below :

Although it is 1 Troy ounce of pure Gold, the Britannia is in fact the highest denomination coin in Britain. So as well as being free from VAT as it is investment-quality Gold, it is also free from Capital Gains Tax on any sale or transfer which is advantageous over other bullion coins and bars as an investment instrument.

There are various grading systems in use around the world. However, the British system is as follows:

BRIT 2

The Gold Britannia is issued in weights of 1 Troy ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce. The Silver Britannia is produced in a weight of 1 Troy ounce only and has a face value of £2.00. The large coins are those which attract the best premium. The reason for this is the costs of manufacture are approximately the same regardless of size and therefore Gold content.

The premium of Britannia coins is determined by the quality of the coin, design features, mintage and Gold content. From 1987to 1989, the coin was alloyed with Copper. From 1990 to 2012 it was alloyed with Silver. From 2013, it is pure Gold.

BRIT 3

The British Royal Mint has issued Proof editions every year and these should be sought where possible. Generally, the Britannia is not a high mintage coin. The years with the lowest numbers minted are 1990 to 2000. Coins minted in the years 1990, 1991 and 1997 are particularly sought after as their proof mintage was 262, 143 and 164 respectively. There are several design variations of the reverse, notably the year 2003 which featured Britannia’s head only as opposed to the usual full figure.

Silver Britannia tends to be sold in bulk because of the much lower value of Silver. Beware that Silver prices are much more volatile than Gold.

BRIT 4

Special Offer on LinGOLD.com

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

We would like to make all our readers aware of a special offer that LinGOLD.com is currently running. For the low price of 89.99 GBP, it is possible to buy 1g Gold Britannia, 1g Gold Sovereign and 1g Gold Vera Valor. So 3g Gold combined into one low price. It is below the value of buying each item separately so there is a saving to be made. It is an excellent time to take advantage of such offers while the price is comparatively low before the inevitable rise as various financial crises take hold. If you want to read more about the offer, click here.

GOLD: SAVINGS AND PENSIONS

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

By Mark Rogers

“Save for a rainy day.” The old adage, but does anyone do so nowadays?

“Saving” is much more likely to mean pensions nowadays, the likelihood of ever having one, and the certainty, if one has been saving towards one, that the recent and continuing bouts of Quantitative Easing (QE) have eroded it. “As much as £30,000 could be wiped off a £100,000 pension pot.” (This is Money, November, 2012)

But QE is only inflation speeded up; paper money is inflationary in and of itself over the long term, and with high tax regimes thrown in, no savings are safe. Those who remember the late 1970s will recall the prudent people who realised that money sitting in the bank was money evaporating, so they reasoned: why not spend it? Slap up meals, theatre tickets, luxury holidays – use it now before it is gone. During the Weimar inflation, industrial wages were eventually paid on the hour, with workers rushing out to spend them before they lost such value as they had by the second.

Converting your savings into gold sounds good, but – those ingots?? Is gold for the ordinary person?

Connect to LinGold.com (either click here, or on the box below this article) and find out. Signing up as a Member of the LinGold Savings Plan at a minimum purchase of 1gm of gold per month gives you a foot on the gold savings ladder: the cost of 1gm of gold compares favourably with the cost of, say, travel passes on London transport. Figures for 2012 on average household expenditure give the highest weekly cost as transport at £65.70, with half of that going on running a car; weekly expenditure on groceries averaged £44.20, with 80% being spent at supermarkets – doubtless because of the loyalty schemes and loss leaders that help keep prices down, as well as all the other prices wars that the supermarkets are more or less permanently engaged in.

Gold therefore, if saved for nothing other than the rainy day of retirement, compares very well with other necessary expenditures. After saving money on the weekly shop at the supermarket, it would be well to consider putting the balance into gold – and thanks to the unique LinGold.com Savings Plan, you too can do it! The democratization of gold is here to stay.

For the raison d’être of these articles on goldcoin.org read: GOLDCOIN.ORG: MIXING POLITICS AND NUMISMATICS

For background on the writer: CONFESSIONS OF A LAW AND ORDER ANARCHIST

For a series of articles on the pernicious effects of progressive tax regimes: THE MORAL DILEMMA AT THE HEART OF TAXATION

For a review of one of the most important books on the financial crisis published last year: THE MESS WE’RE IN: WHY POLITICIANS CAN’T FIX FINANCIAL CRISES

GOLD SOVEREIGN: THE WORLD’S MOST SOUGHT AFTER GOLD COIN

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

By Mark Rogers

The Gold Sovereign is a highly collectable investment coin and the oldest coin struck by the Royal Mint. It is perhaps the World’s most famous gold coin and is the most widely traded semi–numismatic gold coin. The Sovereign is 22 Carat and is a highly collectable investment coin.

It was first minted at the order of King Henry VII in 1489; the modern version first appeared in 1817 with the now famous image of St George slaying the dragon engraved on the reverse. Today’s sovereign contains 0.235421 ounces (7.315 grams) of gold and is highly sought after throughout the world.

Henry VII

On October 28th 1489, Henry VII issued instructions to the Royal Mint to strike “a new money of gold”. Gold coins had been in circulation for the previous 150 years, this was the largest yet both in size and volume. It had yet two other intriguing features: while being large, it was also very thin, with a diameter of one and a half inches.

“The king is seated on a throne of elaborate design which fills the field of the obverse; the reverse type is the same which he adopted for the ryal, but usually the work is more crowded, a fleured tressure being added around the rose, and lions and fleurs inserted in the small intervening spaces. The coin, in spite of the somewhat restless effect produced by the massing of detailed ornamentation on the reverse, is a wonderful creation of Tudor art; the compositions of the throned figure, adapted most skillfully to the circular field, and the powerful handling of perspective to defeat the limitations of the shallow relief which was necessary in the engraving of the dies for striking so thin a flan, show a complete mastery of technique combined with the highest artistic inspiration.” (Coinage, by R.H. Dolley, Assistant Keeper of Coins and Medals, British Museum, in Lane Poole, Austin: Medieval England, Volume I, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1958).

The coin weighed 240 grains and had a current value of twenty shillings. The king is in full coronation regalia on the obverse, and the reverse shows the royal arms against a double rose symbolizing the union under Henry VII of the Yorkists and the Lancastrians after the turmoil of the Wars of the Roses.

It was named a Sovereign and it is interesting to speculate why, the Wars of the Roses being an indication. England had been long troubled by the conflicts between the nobles and their contending champions for the crown. A weak Henry VI who could not rule France and barely controlled England was usurped by Richard III, who in turn was beaten at Bosworth Field by Henry VII, who was duly crowned king as victor in battle. However, Henry did have legitimate claim: he was Earl of Richmond in his own right, and claimed descent from the Lancastrian side, while politically he was a Yorkist. He was a powerful ruler, aided in this by his subjects who craved a quiet life and the dissipation of the nobility, many of whose lines died out on the battlefield as male heirs perished, often enough upon capture and execution.

While it is true that plots and subterfuges continued behind the scenes of Henry’s rule, the country at large was at peace and united for the first time under his reign. This imposing gold coin, emblazoned with the image of the victorious sovereign was perhaps intended as a symbol of how he had and was to continue to rule, hence the name. It set a seal on this the reign of the first Tudor, which was to be consolidated in the reign of his son, Henry VIII.

“Large and handsome, it was clearly intended to augment the dignity of the king and to propagate a political message of stability and prestige rather than to fulfill any commercial or domestic need. As such, it was struck in turn by each of the Tudor monarchs, its issue coming to an end early in the reign of James I. A Sovereign was not to appear again for 200 years.” (The Royal Mint) (Clicking on this link will not only give readers the Royal Mint’s perspective on its oldest and most famous coin, but a view of the obverse and the reverse of Henry’s Sovereign: a coin that richly merits the fulsome description given above by Assistant Keeper Dolley.)

The first modern Sovereign

Gold sovereigns were re-introduced as legal tender in 1817 as part of a major coin reform conducted by the Master of the Royal Mint, William Wellesley Pole.  A young Italian engraver, Benedetto Pistrucci, was appointed to create the reverse design of the new sovereign; he realized the beautiful image of St George slaying the dragon.  This design has been varied over the years but is essentially the same.  As a testament to its greatness, it still appears on sovereigns today.  Other designs for the reverse designs have appeared at times, during the reigns of William IV, Victoria, George IV and Elizabeth II.  A royal shield, as used on the 1489 sovereign, has often been used in various different formats.  The obverse of the sovereign followed the trend established for the original sovereigns and portrayed an image of the reigning monarch which remains the case up until today.

Gold sovereigns were withdrawn from circulation at the start of World War I in 1914, although production continued at the Royal Mint until 1917.  They continued to be struck in other mints of the British Empire but in lower quantities than before.  Sovereigns not produced at the Royal Mint in London carry a mintmark to show which mint produced them.  Production of sovereigns at other mints stopped in 1932.

In 1957 the Royal Mint began producing gold sovereigns once more, in part to meet world demand and  in part to prevent counterfeit production – which became rife after the Royal Mint stopped production in 1917.  They were not however reintroduced into everyday circulation.  Prior to 1979 only gold bullion coins had been issued and it was in this year that the first gold proof sovereigns were issued.  Between the years 1983 and 1999 the Royal mint ceased producing gold bullion sovereigns and only minted gold proof sovereigns.  Gold bullion sovereigns were re-introduced in 2000.

1989

To celebrate the 500th anniversary  a special 500 commemorative design was produced, showing Queen Elizabeth II seated facing on a throne. This was only issued as a proof and demand  has grown steadily over the past few years, because as a single-date type coin, it is in demand by both date collectors and type collectors.

2005 – New Modernistic design

In 2005, the Royal Mint issued another new sovereign designed by Timothy Noad a herald painter at the Royal College of Arms actually a modernistic version of Saint George slaying the dragon with the shield as a focal point. This coin was issued in both normal circulation (bullion) and proof versions for 2005 only

2007 – 2010

The Royal Mint have used re-cut dies to take the design  back almost two centuries to portray Pistrucci’s St. George and the dragon in its neo-Classical glory

Types of Sovereign

Aside from the full sovereign, the Royal Mint today produces the following sovereigns in gold proof and gold bullion versions for general sale: quintuple (£5) sovereign, double (£2) sovereign, half sovereign and for the first time ever, 2009 saw the general release of a quarter sovereign.

Sovereign designs and dates

Monarch Obverse design Reverse design Dates
George III Laureate head St George and the dragon 1817-1820
George IV Laureate head St George and the dragon 1821-1825
George IV Bare head Shield 1825-1830
William IV Bare head Shield 1831-1833, 1835-1837
Victoria Young Head Shield 1838-1839, 1841-1866, 1868-1887
Victoria Young Head St George and the dragon 1871-1887
Victoria Jubilee Head St George and the dragon 1887-1893
Victoria Old Head St George and the dragon 1893-1901
Edward VII Bare head St George and the dragon 1902-1910
George V First Type (large head) St George and the dragon 1911-1928
George V Second Type (small head) St George and the dragon 1929-1932
George VI Bare head St George and the dragon 1937 coronation proof set only
Elizabeth II First portrait St George and the dragon 1957-1959, 1962-1968
Elizabeth II Second portrait St George and the dragon 1974, 1976, 1978-1984
Elizabeth II Third portrait St George and the dragon 1985-1988, 1990-1997
Elizabeth II Sovereign portrait Shield and Tudor rose 1989
Elizabeth II Fourth portrait St George and the dragon 1998-2001, 2003, 2004, 2006-2009
Elizabeth II Fourth portrait Shield 2002 Jubilee
Elizabeth II Fourth portrait Modern St George and the dragon 2005

Technical specifications of modern sovereigns (post 1817)

  Quintuple sovereign Double sovereign Sovereign Half Sovereign Quarter sovereign
Purity 22 carat gold 22 carat gold 22 carat gold 22 carat gold 22 carat gold
Weight (grams) 39.94 15.98 7.99 3.99 1.997
Diameter (mm) 36.02 28.40 22.05 19.30 13.50
Actual gold content (troy ounces) 1.1771 0.4708 0.2354 0.1177 0.0588

Gold sovereigns: to invest or not to invest?

As one of the oldest coins in the world the British gold sovereign is highly sought after by both investors and numismatists alike.  As with all gold coins, the price of sovereigns fluctuates with the price of gold because of the gold content of the coin.  However the price of sovereigns is not entirely based on its gold content.  Gold sovereigns generally fetch a higher premium than the price of gold for the same gold content.  For example the 2009 gold proof sovereign retails at about £299 for 0.23 ounces of gold.  The current price of an ounce of gold is around £680 therefore the price for 0.235 ounces is around the £160 mark.  Therefore the 2009 sovereign is worth almost twice as much as the price of gold.

The premium of a sovereign obviously depends on its quality and whether it is easily available or not.  Some sovereigns fetch a much higher premium than others.

While there is no official grading system in existence, sovereigns are generally graded in the following manner in the UK:

FDC/proof  – perfect quality

UNC – uncirculated

EF – extra fine

VF – very fine

F – fine

(see article on quality of gold coins)

Whilst older sovereigns were produced in much larger quantities than those produced today it is much more difficult to source a good quality sovereign from these times.  Sovereigns from the reigns of George III, George IV and William IV are extremely rare in good quality.  EF quality coins can be found but are quite rare and as such would fetch a high premium.  FDC and UNC coins are extremely rare for these periods and when sold fetch very high premiums.  A George IV sovereign from 1825 made £14950 in a sale in March 2004.  Early Victorian shield sovereigns are also highly sought after and therefore an EF quality coin would fetch a high premium whilst extremely rare FDC and UNC coins would fetch incredibly high premiums.  Later Victorian sovereigns are less rare than the earlier coins in good condition, however they are again fairly rare in top condition therefore sovereigns of UNC and FDC grade would fetch a high premium.

Edward VII and George V sovereigns are also fairly easy to obtain in EF condition and were produced in very large numbers so do not fetch such a high premium.  As with later Victorian sovereigns, it is more difficult to find UNC and FDC grade coins and these would therefore fetch a higher premium.  No sovereigns were issued for Edward VIII, however a few official pattern coins were produced.  If any of these were ever to be sold they would fetch an incredibly high price due to their extreme rarity.  During the reign of George VI no sovereigns were issued apart from a very limited amount of collectors sets to commemorate his coronation.  This was a gold proof set and as such can be found today in FDC condition.  This set would today fetch around double the price of a 2009 4 piece gold proof set.  When gold sovereigns were reintroduced during the reign of Elizabeth II they were produced at much lower quantities than for other monarchs as they were no longer in everyday circulation.  However despite the fact that much fewer coins were produced they were all of FDC or UNC quality.

The majority of coins were released during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign and are not difficult to find in prime condition.  For this reason they fetch a lower premium than UNC or FDC coins from earlier periods, although they are still worth investing in as they do fetch a higher premium than the price of gold and are likely to become more sought after in the future.

Certain sovereigns are much rarer than others; some that are worth looking out for include:  1817 sovereign – the first modern sovereign and any other UNC or FDC coins from the reigns of George II, George IV and William IV (or even EF graded sovereigns from these periods), 1838 the first Queen Victoria sovereign, 1841 the rarest Queen Victoria sovereign, 1917 London minted sovereign (very few in existence as it was the year London stopped producing sovereigns) and out of Elizabeth II sovereigns the 1989 special commemorative 500th anniversary sovereign.   British sovereigns are an excellent investment choice and will continue to be so. For as long as Britain keeps its currency, it seems inevitable that the Royal Mint will continue issuing sovereigns every year for collectors, investors and enthusiasts.  However, if the UK joined the Euro would this signal the end for this iconic coin? If that were the case gold sovereigns would surely become more sought after than ever and consequently represent an even greater investment opportunity.

How to spot a fake

Many fake sovereigns have been produced over the years.  To avoid buying a fake you should always buy from a reputable source such as LinGold.com.  We have however, created a list of key things to look out for to avoid buying a sovereign forgery:

  • The feel of the coin: fakes are often very smooth or can have sharp edges
  • Be wary of coins that are too shiny with blurred details. It’s a sign that they have been cleaned and, therefore, some gold has been worn away
  • Dates: check for missing dates or check that sovereigns were actually produced in the year stated in the design shown
  • Mintmarks: if there is no mintmark check that the London mint produced sovereigns in that year, if there is a mintmark check that the mint in question produced sovereigns in that year
  • Weight, size and depth: check these correspond with official figure

GOLD: THE BOOK OF THE MOMENT

Monday, April 29th, 2013

livre3DReview by Mark Rogers

Gold, A Different Point of View by Paul McGowan

With a Preface by Bill Bonner

Published by Ferrington in association with LinGold.com

Following the drop in the price of gold a few weeks ago, record sales of gold coins were reported (see here, and here for a rise in its price). The publication of this little book is therefore timely and pertinent.

There may be many people who would like to hold some gold but are dissuaded by the thought of large and expensive ingots. But bullion is not the only way in which to invest in or purchase gold. Yet as the author states: “Gold is not just ingots. The common response to gold is that it is only for the wealthy: those heavy bars, alluring though they may be, are simply unaffordable.”

This book argues that this view of gold is misguided and misinformed: there are affordable routes to investment in gold.

Although short the book contains a wealth of information. There is an introductory chapter giving a brief history of gold’s 6,000 history, which includes its denigration by politicians and academics in the twentieth century; Keynes for example thought it a “barbarian relic”. Proudhon, Marx, Lenin, Hitler all denigrated it, and to this day it troubles the likes of Ben Bernanke and George Soros.

Gold’s function as a stabiliser of value and its use over time as actual currency coin in circulation suggest that gold is today an alternative currency, and this first chapter ends with a comparison of gold with modern economies, noting that the latter are not working, while attempts to remonetize gold are afoot in, for example, Utah.

There is also discussion of the vexed problem of clean extraction with some useful information about the certificating process that reassures investors that their gold has been mined under the highest standards.

Chapter Two, “Gold, the last bastion of individual freedom”, examines the role that gold may play in hedging one’s investment portfolio, as well as its potential as a regulating device, controlling the whims of politicians and central bankers. This chapter contains a concise guide to the problems of paper currency unsecured against tangible value, with the inevitable consequence that savings are eroded and destroyed and more and more paper is required to purchase fewer and fewer goods. In other words, paper currencies are a direct attack on people’s individual control of their lives, rendering it harder and harder for them to provide for themselves, their families and their futures. We have been here so many times in history, with the latest example being the eurocrisis, that it is nothing short of scandalous that the political and academic classes cannot see the lessons to be so plainly learned.

Gold on the other hand “observes a constancy. With one ounce of gold you can almost buy today the same quantity of basic goods as at the time of the Roman Empire or Egyptian civilization. Inder the Pharaoh Tutmosis III, one needed the equivalent of 2 ounces of gold to buy an ox. Today, 2.5 ounces would be needed. Inflation has been rather weak in 4,000 years!”

This is a salutary reminder of gold’s stabilising power, which is just the very thing that the modern politician resents about it.

A strong bullish potential

The importance of gold in the contemporary world is underlined by an examination of those countries which invest heavily in it, both at the national as well as the individual level. Russia, China and India are at the forefront of this investment, with others, such as Vietnam, making significant moves in this direction. There is a useful digest of information about these countries, the role gold has traditionally played in them and how they are managing their portfolios at present. This analysis clearly establishes trends which are not going to vanish: China indeed buys enormous quantities of it, even though she also produces it.

These markets ought to assure the potential gold investor that while prices do indeed fluctuate, bullish potential is always there in gold, and has been for most of human history. Any falls in the market have identifiable causes – for example, the wedding season in India sees a rise in prices. Indeed, this analysis is testimony to the fact that we have had 6,000 years to observe people’s behaviour with gold and make it one of the easiest assets to manage.

An Investment Portfolio

Nevertheless, the author does not argue that gold should be the sole asset in one’s portfolio, far from it. Instead it should be looked on as the preserver of a portfolio’s value, that depending on the scale of one’s other investments a relevant proportion should always be kept in gold to support the rest of the portfolio.

There is a very useful chapter on investments other than gold, such as arable land and forestry, fine art and fine wines. These all have valuable potential (after all, we all need to eat), but each has significant drawbacks which are clearly and carefully spelled out. Gold’s position as being free of such drawbacks means that it is essential to invest in it, as a hedge against the dormant disasters in the rest of one’s investments.

And gold enjoys an enormous potential over any other investment, including in things such as diamonds that might seem to share some of gold’s economic potential. Gold is superbly versatile. Cut a diamond, and much of it is waste; melt an ingot of gold, and you still have the same amount of gold.

Gold Coins

The heart of the book is in its last chapter which really gets down to brass tacks – or gold coins! Coins represent gold at its most versatile, allowing even those who do not have huge fortunes to start saving in gold. While one ingot is beyond the reach of most, a single coin, perhaps purchased at the rate of no more than one a year, is a realistic and feasible option.

The book contains a wealth of information on tax regimes; storage; what to do and what not to do in actually physically handling coins and how to transport them; what to look out for as enhancing a rare numismatic coin’s value and what depletes it – all fascinating information in itself, and eminently practical.

“If we had to state only three reasons to buy: gold is a recognized and accepted safe haven throughout the world, demand from the emerging countries is strong and the total demand over the mid to long term is reliably forecast as being higher than the supply.”

The book is available on Amazon in a Kindle version (price: £5.14). Those readers who would like the printed version, should send a cheque for £12.50 (includes p+p) made out to: Ferrington, and send it to: Ferrington, Bookseller & Publisher, 24 Shipton Street, London E2 7RU. The book is also available as Buy It Now on eBay.

PAUL SAMUELSON ON THE TROUBLE WITH ECONOMIES

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

By Mark Rogers

Hagiography

“Rare is the opportunity to see, much less own, an original. Economics by Paul Samuelson is the classic textbook that gave birth to modern economics, and sold millions of copies in more than 40 languages. Now, in this unique and carefully crafted reproduction edition, Samuelson’s original words, text, and layout are recreated from the original classic edition. More than just a historical curiosity, however, this book’s power to explain economics to both the expert and the novice shines on every page. As fascinating now as when they were first published in 1948, the wisdom and applicability of Samuelson’s words remain vital in today’s turbulent economic world.”

(Publisher’s description on Amazon for new edition (1998) of the 1948 edition, McGraw-Hill

“Samuelson’s text was first published in 1948, and it immediately became the authority for the principles of economics courses. The book continues to be the standard bearer for principles courses, and this revision continues to be a clear , accurate, and interesting introduction to modern economic principles. Bill Nordhaus is now the primary author of this text, and he has revised the book to be as current and relevant as ever.”

(Publisher’s webpage for the 2010 edition.)

“It is difficult to exaggerate the world-wide impact of Mr Samuelson’s Economics.”

(The Economist)

Samuelson’s textbook has been one of the most influential sources of Keynesian ideas ever since it was first published.

Samuelson meets “Adam Smith”

George J. W. Goodman writing under the pseudonym “Adam Smith” published Paper Money in 1982 (Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, London & Sydney). Amongst many other activities business as well as journalistic and academic, by the time he published this book he had been serving on the Advisory Council of the Economics Department of Princeton University.

Paper Money is an investigation of the financial crises of the 1970s and their unravelling. It is also an attempt to discover why so much of the economic orthodoxy was unable to explain what was happening or offer cures and preventatives. This may sound familiar.

Chapter 2, “Why Not Call Up the Economists?”, is his account of some of the economists he paid visits to in order to answer that question. He interviewed Paul Samuelson, and posed the question: “Is Keynes really dead?”

Samuelson’s answer somehow seems to encapsulate the air of unreality fostered by Keynes and the Keynesians:

“The fact is that what we’ve got, a Keynesian economy, is economically stable. It’s just politically unstable. The self-interest that the early economists counted on as a balance leads, in a modern economy, to collusion among the self-interested groups.” He further conjectures: “The malaise just isn’t in the figures. Something else must be going on.” Though what, he didn’t know. (That “just” is an emphasiser, he doesn’t mean that the malaise is elsewhere too; he means that the “malaise” (whatever he means by that – the general sense of economic disorder that is somehow not disorder?) isn’t recorded in the figures at all.

“Adam Smith’s” gloss:

“We have an economic system that works, except for the people in it? But the people are in it.”

Samuelson’s bizarre understanding of self-interest will be the starting point for further discussion…

Readers curious as to why articles of this nature should be appearing on a gold investment website should read: GOLDCOIN.ORG: MIXING POLITICS AND NUMISMATICS

And for background on the writer: CONFESSIONS OF A LAW AND ORDER ANARCHIST

THOUGHTS IN SEASON

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

By Mark Rogers

Stating what ought to be the obvious

As long as governments are producing money out of thin air, what is called quantitative easing, the financial crisis has not ended. It can only be “eased” for the present working generation insofar as we can continue to withdraw money from our bank accounts – perhaps I should say currency notes, because they are not really money. But by wiping billions off pension funds, and ensuring ever mounting debt, retired people will be impoverished and our children will struggle to pay off the debts incurred today.

Once the world’s money was taken off the gold standard, the coins and notes in circulation became, effectively, a form of credit. So borrowing is taking out credit on credit.

As long as most houses are bought with a mortgage the housing bubble has not ended. We have discussed here, here and here, why the modern mortgage is not a mortgage – it is indeed the most spectacular form of the above type of borrowing.

So that is two important assumptions about how our economy works that are false: money is not money and mortgages are not mortgages. No wonder we lurch from crisis to crisis, from promise of recovery to disappointment of that promise. If politicians and bankers are conjuring with illusions, what price the promises?

Money isn’t money

An obvious riposte to this assertion is that if we agree that something is money, then surely it is… This assumes that the only thing needed to underpin monetary value is trust. But that trust is so easy to abuse: quantitative easing is the result of that abuse. Besides it is generally thought that politicians are not trustworthy, so a contradiction lies at the heart of our assumptions about how modern politics works. I frequently ask people whether they trust politicians, and the answer is invariably, no. Why, then, do we allow politicians to run our healthcare and the education of our children, let alone dictate the money supply?

We cannot simply say that anything we choose to be money is money: it has to have a value. Given that money is: a store of value, a unit of exchange, and a commodity in itself, while value in the market place is nothing more than an agreement, money must, in spite of the first and third aspects and because of all three, be more than an agreement. Which is why a return to the gold standard is essential.

Any more bubbles?

One that grows larger and larger and larger, driven by national and local government policy, is: education. The mania for driving teenagers into tertiary education may be seen as the inevitable consequence of, amongst other things, Harold Wilson’s decision to lower the age of majority to 18. This was done to capture the vote of ignorance for the illusory promises of socialism. However, it now causes a problem for the unemployment statistics, so to disguise the fact, more and more youngsters are persuaded to go to university. A means to this end is grade inflation at every level of education: the easier it is to pass exams, the easier it is to qualify for university entrance.

This, though, has the further consequence that many, many graduates cannot find work at their supposed degree level. In turn, this leads to the expansion of local and national bureaucracies as make-work is invented to take up these over-qualified graduates. Job markets become distorted by “degrees” in hair-dressing and the like, which used to be taught on the job. Apprentice masters have been replaced by academics.

A novel solution to this problem of the education bubble has been suggested to me. That school-leavers from the age of 16 should be incentivised to work, even start their own businesses, by being kept out of the tax system until they are 26. This would include not having to pay business rates. That is, 10 years to qualify in the real commercial world, and learning through trial and error how businesses function and prosper. It would also help to destroy the benefits system.

Readers curious as to why articles of this nature should be appearing on a gold investment website should read: GOLDCOIN.ORG: MIXING POLITICS AND NUMISMATICS

And for background on the writer: CONFESSIONS OF A LAW AND ORDER ANARCHIST

KRUGERRAND SCANDAL AT THE SOUTH AFRICAN MINT

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

By Mark Rogers

On 8 December 2011, the Board of the South African Mint Company suspended the Managing Director of the Company and its General Manager Numismatic Coins, having become “aware of certain technical issues within the operations of the SA Mint Company.” The media statement went on to say that:  “Investigations into the matter have been instituted and are on-going.”

Nothing at this time was said publicly about what these “technical issues” were. However, dealers were alerted in confidential meetings to the need to assay their stocks of proof Krugerrands. A further statement, going into much more detail, was publicly issued on 13 April 2012.

This stated that “investigations into the matter have revealed that some of the proof Krugerrand coins cast between April 2011 and May 2011may not meet all the required quality specifications. Based on information that there had been fluctuations in assay results in the production process starting from April 2010, a conservative approach was adopted to analyse results from 01 April 2010 until 31 October 2011, the latter date being one on which  new quality control measures were introduced.  The extended period was adopted merely as a precaution.”

Proof and Bullion Kruggerands and Investment

The SA Mint only strikes the proof Krugers, bullion Krugers being the preserve of the Rand Refinery. Proof coins are issued in smaller quantities for the collectors’ market and are struck in a way that provides a mirror-like finish with a contrast of matt. They are important to collectors who are interested in “a perfect uncirculated” coin, a distinction that mattered when the Krugerrand was first struck given that the bullion coins were intended to circulate as currency.

This means that Krugers are minted from a copper-gold alloy, as the copper gives the coin greater durability. Apart from the mirror finish, the other difference between the proof and the bullion coins is the number of serrations (or reeds) around the edges, being 180 on the bullion and 220 on the proofs.

While the minting process is different between the SA Mint and Rand Refinery in order to achieve the required finish, the gold content and ultimately the investment are the same: bullion coins are still as valuable for their gold content and premium and are the most prevalent, but there is no difference to an investor if the Kruger is proof or just bullion.

The proof can be found to be more expensive but usually in collectors’ circles as they insist on this type of coin. However, in effect all of the Krugers are bullion coins and they can be found at the same purchase price. The importance of all this comes into play when demand is high: investors buy them all for the same reason. Even “proof” Krugers are important as they are part of the available investment quality bullion coins and there is no real need to differentiate their importance as an investment. Most Krugers are held for their investment potential and not by collectors – they are very “liquid assets” that contain a sure value (1 oz of gold).

Scandal Story Breaks – Misleadingly

Within a couple of days of the latest Media Statement issued by the SA Mint, TimesLive published a story that some of the proof coins were underweight. This was a very careless reading of the Mint’s statement which is quite clear on this point: the coins were under-specification, containing less gold than required by law. The South African gold collector who first alerted the Mint to the problem makes the crucial point on PM Bug (Precious Metals Forum):

“The coins are NOT underweight in any way, shape or form, they are under-spec. They weigh exactly the same as any of the Krugers available. This is just bad reportage from TimesLive. Now people will just weigh their coins, see the weight is right, and forget about it.” (Readers should view the short excerpt from CNBC Africa report that is posted on this forum after the statement just quoted – and look out for the moment when a gold coin being assayed registers at 94% silver! GoldCoin.org is attempting to discover more…)

Apparently TimesLive was aware that CNBC Africa and Forbes Africa were onto this story and wanted to scoop them – hence the sloppy reporting. Forbes Africa is due to publish the fruit of its investigations in its May issue.

So what was happening at the Mint?

“Concurrent with the investigation into proof Krugerrand coins, the SA Mint investigated the evidential theft of R5 circulation coins. This crime was ostensibly committed by a number of employees who appeared to have acted in collusion with what appears to be a syndicate-style operation that included external parties. Appropriate steps have been taken and all evidence gathered has been handed over to the Police’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.”

How did a criminal gang come to be operating at the South African Mint, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank? How far up the scale of management did it penetrate? Were the two officials suspended because this happened on their watch or is there evidence that they were somehow complicit and/or bought off? Is this yet another instance of the corruption and malfeasance that have embroiled South Africa after the early promise of the post-apartheid years? The ANC is after all no more than a tribal ascendancy and there is widespread disillusion with the ruling elite in South Africa.

True Value

This is an astonishing story and one that may have considerable implications for the Krugerrand, a popular investment because widely regarded as a strong one. Perhaps investors should start taking a very serious look at the Vera Valor, recently highlighted in the luxury magazine Meze.

The Vera Valor is a serious contender for replacing the Krugerrand as the gold coin of investor choice.

Gold vs. Silver : Gold wins, as always

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Recently, a wave of panic swept the precious metals markets and there was talk about the end of the cycles of mega-rise in raw materials! And whereas some thought there was a bubble on gold, it was on silver that the bubble inflated, then burst: The Wall Street Journal talked about the sudden   fall in the grey metal which “ fell 12% in just 11 minutes when the fall was at its most severe. Spot silver saw its informal open at $47.863/oz before rising to a peak of $48.150/oz; it then sold off sharply to a base of $42.210 before stabilizing.

The move down is the first break in an extraordinary run for silver, which has more than doubled in price over the past six months as investors bet on rising prices from renewed industrial demand and as a cheap safe-haven alternative to gold.”.

A piece in the  Financial Times asked  “Did the Silver bubble just burst?”,  illustrating with a chart that “the grey precious metal has tumbled 20 per cent in a week”.

The feeling was that a rapid rebound would be unlikely as expressed by Phillip Klapwijk, executive chairman of the precious metals consultancy GFMS, who said of silver’s position, “I think it could be over on the upside for the next little while.”

The FT also explained the extent of the early May slump sayingSilver prices plunged for the fifth consecutive day on Friday(6th May) as the grey precious metal suffered its biggest correction since the billionaire Hunt brothers cornered the market in 1980. As the week drew to an end they summarised “The reversal of fortunes for silver – which until this week’s 25 per cent drop had been up 56 per cent since January – has led a wider sell-off in commodities markets, which were heading towards one of their worst one-day falls on record.”

Market manipulation rumours were rife and silver faced additional challenges because of rule changes by the CME Group.The volatility in silver has been exacerbated by a series of increases in margin – or the amount of cash that investors must set aside to trade each contract – by CME Group, which runs the silver futures exchange in New York.

CME has raised its margin requirements five times in the past 15 days. Investors must now set aside $14,000 per silver futures contract, worth about $180,000 at current prices. The rate will rise to $16,000 on Monday (9th).”

The grey metal, with a predominantly industrial use, is traditionally much more volatile than gold.

So where does gold feature in all this?

According to the FT “gold has managed to remain relatively unscathed compared with its poorer cousin

It remains on top, as always!

Silver has never been able to compete with gold

For a long time, these two precious metals have been linked by a ratio of 10 to 15.5. In the time of the Pharaohs, it was said that there was a ratio of 13.3 between gold and silver. In 440 BC, this ratio was of 13 during the Roman Empire it was set as 12.

In 1876, Henri Cernushi wrote in “The Bimetallic Currency” that “gold and silver are two natural and eternal currencies. Nobody can produce them artificially nor by decree and this is why they remain a trustworthy guarantee”. During this era most fiduciary systems fixed the parity between gold and silver at 15.5.
In 1840 Europe, the situation was tense because almost everyone felt that there was a tendency to believe that the ratio of 15.5 tended to overvalue silver.  Indeed the grey metal was abundant due specifically to heavy production in the United States.

These historical references are interesting because they are not too distant from geologist’s estimates that Silver is 17 times more abundant than Gold in the earth’s crust. This has given rise to some investors believing this ratio is the natural balance between the two metals and that one day we should somehow return to it.

Many traders, speculators, and investors focus on the gold/silver price ratio in determining which metal is under or overvalued. In recent weeks and months the ratio has collapsed from above 65:1. The ratio of gold to silver prices is at its lowest since 1980, and has plunged from 46 in January this year to 33

Throughout the twentieth century, the gold/silver price ratio went to nearly 100:1, occasionally dipped below 30:1, and only briefly hit a ratio of 17:1 in 1980.

Put against gold, silver does look distinctly volatile and vulnerable.

Simone Wapler (Editor of MoneyWeek France) writing in La Chronique Agora explains why this ratio dropped:

“The gold/silver ratio collapsed because gold, like silver, has been demonetarized. Silver even more than gold. The central banks still have some gold in their coffers, but not silver. Gold is always popular in the jewellery market, but aside from  monetary uses, the uses of silver are in decline (traditional  photography, silverware). For many silver is just a poor man’s gold. When one cannot afford gold, one buys silver.

However this argument although valid is not strictly true because of innovations that make gold investments even more accessible and in a way that is not restricted by individual budgets.

Investors no longer need to settle for second best when they can have the real thing.

It is now possible to start investing in gold by the gram including a savings account that encourages investment in physical gold (that you own outright) with a plan to start from as little as 1g of gold per month.”

Similarly this form of investment is finding increasing favour from businesses looking to protect their contingency funds against inflation and the risk of traditional portfolio investments that are vulnerable to sovereign and national debt issues. Holding physical gold as an owned asset has an increasing appeal   as an investment with security and profits.

But when the figures speak for themselves…

Simone Wapler also adds that “when gold goes up, so does silver, but to a lesser degree. When gold drops, so does silver, but to a greater degree”.   Furthermore, gold gains twice as much as silver during a rise yet silver loses twice as much as gold during a fall. Before the bubble on silver this rule was proved, clearly meaning that something was going on. The sharp current correction reminds us that there was an unfounded rush on silver- and today the rate should be around 25 euros. Above that it is overheating.

If you are not convinced, here is a brief outline of the evolution in the rates for silver and gold, in recent days and over the last 5 years.

In short, when gold sneezes, silver catches a cold, and when silver starts to take take-off, gold reaches towards its peak!

Gold remains a safe haven

According to the French daily Le Monde, one reads that in spite of the fall in rates, “gold should remain protected by its status as a safe haven when faced with inflationary threats, and a prolonged decline in oil prices does not appear very likely. Worldwide demand remains solid and supply remains under the shadow of tensions in the Arab world, with light crude from Libya still cruelly lacking.”

In MoneyWeek France we are told that “Falls are necessary and compulsory in a large bull market we are more than ever convinced that gold has a promising future ahead. Let’s give time for the new world order to be created, for the former rich countries to become aware that they are the new poor and that they live well above their means… in short, there is still quite a while to go”.

Arguments in favour of gold

Indeed, gold has recorded a slight fall recently, but if you need additional arguments to be convinced of its role as a tangible asset;

  • gold is “reconverting into money”: it is clearly not the case for silver
  • silver has lost its status as a safe haven contrary to gold
  • silver is a rare industrial metal, very volatile just like other raw materials.   Let us take for example palladium: the market for palladium remains confidential and prices extremely volatile. The production of palladium is concentrated within Russia and in South Africa. This concentration of production confers a certain instability in the market with regards to price and reliability of supply. And uncertainties with regards to its provision have even caused the price of palladium to rise in October 2010, reaching its highest level since June at 605.13 dollars an ounce. Demand is increasing consistently, mining development is limited, a hold by the Russian State on reserves and lack of investors: such are the characteristics that have led to the palladium market finding itself in deficit.
  • silver is not a product for protection against crisis. It is rather comparable to platinum which had fallen in 2008 because the automotive industry was at its lowest point (noteably platinum is used in catalytic converters)
  • silver is increasingly rare and difficult to revalue. Silver is a non-renewable resource and experts agree that by 2021 -2023 the exhaustion of silver supplies will be final.  In any event, silver is a metal which cannot be synthesized and for which no substitute exists. And even if the exact date of a drain in the metal market still remains on hold, in 2010, with a production of 19,300 tons, and demand standing at 25,200 tons, reserves are clearly running low. Remember that principle industrial uses consume the silver
  • silver takes up space in storage, and savers prefer gold which in value and in volume is better
  • because of its scarcity, industrialists are trying to replace silver as soon as possible. This  linked article deals  with the uses of silver in particular in the manufacture of RFID Tags for stock control and identity cards. If we imagine that one day industrialists find another metal or synthetic to replace this need what leeway will remain for silver? This article is based on a completely biased study of silver. All industrialists say if one day they are able to do without silver, they will do so because it is expensive. The use of gold in industry itself remains limited compared to its use for investment purposes and jewellery.

This is exactly what one is looking for from gold, once again it becomes  a private currency, regardless of form.

Let us leave silver to those who want to get their fingers burnt with molten metal…

Half-Napoleon 10 Francs Gold Coins

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

We have long since championed the benefits of investment in Gold coins because of their dual leverage – gold price and premium. We have also explained the concept of premium differential (elevated premium during a crisis – normal premium) and the potential of certain coins to have significant investment qualities because of their elevated differential.

Well the Half- Napoleon 10 Francs is one such coin which can have a premium differential of 80%. These coins can literally be worth almost twice their price in gold content because of their high premium. This makes them attractive gold investments and they are always in demand.

Innovative Gold Investment

We have previously talked about a World exclusive innovation by our friends at LinGold.com which is called the LinGold Savings Plan. This has made physical gold investment accessible to many more people and encourages saving – in gold bullion.

We already loved this concept but now they have taken it further.

They have now added a unique product to this Plan using the Half-Napoleon 10 Francs. They have taken a batch of 100 coins which equates to a pure gold content of 290g and then made sections available in 1g portions. These can be bought for €43 and kept as part of the LinGold Saving Plan (LSP) which offers vault storage free of charge.

This means that Members can now benefit from the premium differential of Half Napoleons as part of their LSP and without needing the means to buy coins outright.

All individual grams are uniquely coded and ownership certificates are provided.

Anti-inflation and anti-devaluation

Again the benefits of being able to save in physical gold bullion or gold coins is that you are protecting your wealth in the safest refuge against a crisis and notably the precious metal that allows you to protect the value of your wealth against inflation and the devaluation of currency.

History has confirmed this time and again – when crisis hits it is those people protected by durable, valuable assets that survive the best. Paper currency eventually becomes a worthless piece of paper, good for burning, but Gold has been and always will be the real measure of value.

Why? Because you cannot print more of it to suit your politics – and its properties and finite quantity will always bestow real worth on its owners.

To start saving in gold now and for further information visit LinGold.com.

World Exclusive: The LinGold Savings Plan – The First Personal Savings Account in Physical Gold

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

You may be despairing at the lack of returns from your savings account in the bank and their lack of imagination in offering something new, something different. Well you’d be right but now there is something innovative and a new way to save regularly every month.

It’s called the LinGold Savings Plan and is available exclusively to Members of LinGold.com.

It’s an account with a difference.

There’s no set up fee.
There’s no annual fee.
There’s no charge for storing your valuable asset in a state of the art vault.
There are no hidden charges.

And what’s more it’s an asset that is tangible, which you own and that can’t be lent out to anyone else.
It’s yours to keep or to sell later, whenever you want and it’s easy to sell from your online Members account 24/7.
You don’t have to look for dealers or risk auctioning it off on eBay.
In fact it couldn’t be simpler.

All you have to do is buy a minimum of 1g of gold per month and that’s it. If you want to save more then you buy more whenever you can and whenever you want.
It’s a plan to encourage people to save for the future in the best precious metal which has a history of being the safest haven for your wealth whenever crisis looms or economies and currencies are volatile and unstable.
To make things easier you can set up a direct debit if you wish to transfer funds each month allowing you to purchase freely on the LinGold.com website. You can even credit your account instantly using PayPal, from an existing PayPal account or with debit and credit cards aplenty.
It’s not often that an innovative investment idea gives such an opportunity to benefit from a previously considered elitist commodity.
This plan makes saving in a physical gold investment accessible to everyone and any budget.
How long will it take to see the banks trying to copy this?
It’s almost the Gold Standard in reverse, the people preferring to own gold rather than the currency they earn.
This will mark yet another chapter in the gold revolution taking place because ordinary folk everywhere have had enough of being duped by the big financial institutions.
This way of saving firmly puts the customer back in control of their savings and we applaud this initiative.
Well done LinGold.com and please let us know what’s next!