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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

Gold coins for investment – the importance of coin condition

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
Electronic scales help identify used and worn coins. The photo demonstrates a French 20Franc Napoleon Marianne Coq which is perfect according to its weight.

Electronic scales help identify used and worn coins. The photo demonstrates a French 20Franc Napoleon Marianne Coq which is perfect according to its weight.

When it comes to gold for investment too many buyers pay little attention to the quality of coins at the time of purchase and all too often they realise the importance of this to their investment when it is too late, at the time of resale. In effect, at the moment you wish to sell your gold investment coins they briefly revert back to a numismatic object that will be evaluated and priced as such.

In other words “it’s a gold coin, a twenty franc Napoleon which I should be able to sell with a 20% premium during a period of crisis” quickly loses meaning if you haven’t taken the time before you bought it to verify the quality.

You see when trying to sell on gold coins to professional dealers they will be intractable about the coin quality. In fact they will know so much more than you that every little imperfection they can describe downgrades the value of your coin to them. They will use this to negotiate the price down by reducing or eliminating the premium you were expecting. Additionally they may only offer to buy your coin by its weight and relative gold content weight, minus their commission and a little extra because you have devalued the coin by “handling” it. Finally you will arrive at a price considerably less than you were expecting and certainly less than you’d worked out using the spot gold price or professional quotes for coins.

You may act surprised but then why would you be knowing that any investment in physical assets of such value requires or even demands that you do your homework on what you are buying and how it is assessed or valued. You would certainly need to consider the eventuality of resale and how that should be best done for the best price and at the profit for you – wouldn’t you?

Well gold is no different and you should familiarise yourself with the important factors to consider when procuring gold coins.

Obviously there are some coins that are so rare they demand an ever increasing price but this is solely based on its numismatic (collectible) value. That is to say an extremely rare coin is not as sensitive to a period of crisis or the ups and downs of the gold price but moreso its value is determined and measured by the availability (or lack of it) of other coins like it. An example we can use is the French 100 Franc Bazor which is highly sought after but very rare. Its price is very high (given its gold content alone) because there are very few left in the world. The price will rise in time for its “collectible” value but it is unlikely to double within 3 weeks which a 20 Franc Napoleon of good quality can because of its premium. Rare coins are also being looked at slightly differently in terms of taxation and whereas investment gold coins are exempt from VAT (Value Added Tax) throughout Europe, these rare coins are no longer automatically exempt.

What is the minimum quality of condition for coins still considered to have a premium?

Generally speaking a quality of “very fine (VF)” upwards, “extremely fine (EF)” and “mint state (MS)”  are considered as coin conditions that still enjoy the benefit of a premium. These are the types of coins you should consider for gold investment. Apart from some rarities, the qualities of condition “fine (F) and “very good (VG)” will be bought and sold for their gold content weight and often finish up in the smelting pot for recycling.

Coins declared as “uncirculated (UNC)” are basically new coins that have never been in circulation or were never meant to be circulated. These will have an elevated basic premium due to them being issued direct from the Mint or in some cases may be very rare. In both cases the elevated premium makes them less attractive as an investment because their premium differential is weak. The premium differential is the % difference between the premium associated with the coin during normal economic conditions and the premium it may rise to during a period of crisis. A high starting premium as with UNC coins means there is less room for growth. Many of these UNC coins will be of interest to pure numismatists ie. Collectible.

A Good Magnifying glass really helps to identify the features and any faults

Things to avoid

Even once you have seen the table below you may not feel sure of what to look out for or feel capable to accurately judge a coins condition. It is exactly for this reason that we advise you to avoid buying coins from small ads, individuals or maybe through bid sites like eBay. It is hard enough to know which coins are in which condition but the photos you see are not necessarily going to help and who knows what a seller really knows about their product if you know even less! The trick is to buy from professional sources where you will find fully certificated, verified and referenced coins that are what they say they are. Coins which are professionally inspected and sealed in their packaging maintain their quality so they will still be as valuable when you come to selling them. If you were to keep your coins in a box , unpackaged, taking them out occasionally to admire them you are effectively damaging your own investment by downgrading their quality through handling. Of course that is the difference with gold coin investment and gold coin collecting. An investment produces maximum yield when its integrity is protected and the physical asset is in no way altered to undermine its value.

Please also note that it is the most worn side that determines the condition quality so be sure to look at both sides of any coin.

Be aware of over-shiny coins: these will have been cleaned using polish, chemicals or abrasion to buff up the look and hide imperfections. It is recommended to use a magnifying instrument to inspect any coin as the naked eye cannot always detect the craftsmanship of the precision engraving. These are a great indicator of condition as wear & tear erodes precious detail of the design. Naturally one should always check for the obvious dents and scratches caused by rough handling or shocks. Do not be swayed – these will affect the value of your coin because they affect its condition quality.

It’s also worth noting that some damage inflicted like scratches and dents may have removed gold from your coin. A simple test for this is to weigh your coin accurately on an electronic balance. A French 20 Franc Napoleon should weigh between 6.44 and 6.46g to be considered as valuable. Anything from 6.43g down should be left alone.

You will find some useful information in our glossary as well as some photos that may help you choose wisely.

Similarly we would suggest you browse through the Gold Coin buying guide from our friends at LinGold.com who have kindly let us provide this for you.

Below is a summary of the basic qualities associated with the gradings of  coin condition and some useful translations for those looking internationally.

Gold Coin Gradings

Brilliant Uncirculated (UNC) or “Fleur de Coin”(FDC) – A perfect coin ( no traces of use, handling, shocks, scratches) which has 100% of its design remaining and still has a full mint sheen. These coins as the name indicates have never been in circulation and are exactly as the moment they were struck. They are indeed rare because even uncirculated coins may have been transported together from the mint to a vault and therefore have tiny abrasions or scratches from the journey. A coin in this condition must be flawless. Their rarity means they are of more interest to Numismatists and their elevated basic premium means they are not considered as a logical investment.

In other countries this is referred to as

  • USA: MS65
  • France: Fleur de Coin (FDC)
  • Germany : Stempelglanz (STG)
  • Italy : Fior di Conio (FDC)
  • Spain: Flor de Cuño (FDC)

Uncirculated (UNC) or Mint state (MS) – as implied these coins have never been in circulation and therefore have no visible traces of use, design erosion or scratching. However , they do not have the full mint sheen all over the coin which is usually due to transportation.  Some countries still consider these coins as FDC.

In other countries this is referred to as

  • USA: MS63
  • France: Splendide (SPL)
  • Germany: Fast Stempelglanz
  • Italy –
  • Spain – SC

Extremely Fine (EF) – This is a condition of a coin that is almost perfect but which has had a little circulation and therefore will possess some small faults although often difficult to detect with the naked eye. Using a magnifying glass one can see some light scratches and some erosion of certain raised details such as hair, beards, moustaches, feathers that form the design. The mint sheen is missing and there may also be evidence of some little dents from transportation of coins.

In other countries this is referred to as

  • USA: AU 65
  • France: SUPERBE (SUP)
  • Germany: Vorzüglich (VZ)
  • Italy: Splendido (SPL)
  • Spain: Extraordinariamente bien conservada (EBC)

Very Fine (VF) – A coin in this condition shows obvious signs that it has been in circulation but it still has a good appearance. The coin rim can be slightly worn but still apparent and the relief features of the design can appear “tired” but not worn away. The signs of use are visible but the coin srtill has an agreeable appearance. This type of condition is considered as an average “plus” state of conservation which still allows the coin to attract a premium to its value.

In other countries this is referred to asCaptureGoldCoinGuide

  • USA: XF 40
  • France: Très Très Beau (TTB)
  • Germany : Sehr Schön (SS)
  • Italy Bellissimo (BB)
  • Spain : Muy bien conservada (MBC)

Fine (F) – This condition indicates a coin that has been well circulated. Some of the engraving detail has started to flatten (ribbons, hair, inscriptions etc). The metal surface is dull or in some cases much too shiny because of polishing. Deep scratches are clearly visible as well as dents from impacts with some deformation of the engraving being apparent. This condition of coin can still be of interest to a numismatist but it no longer supports a premium and is therefore not recommended for investment which is better served by coins in the conditions above.

In other countries this is referred to as

  • USA: F 15
  • France: Très Beau (TB)
  • Germany : Schön (S)
  • Italy Molto bello (MB)
  • Spain : Bien conservada+ (BC+)

Very Good (VG) – Even though these coins are considered “very good” they are nevertheless traded purely by weight. They are very worn coins which have a mediocre appearance and have been circulated a lot. We can still just about distinguish their designation but some details are completely worn away or missing. The rim detail, engraved relief features are all but indistinguishable and any images are no longer sharp. These coins inevitably find their way to the foundry for melting unless they happen to have numismatic significance. However, in the light of being investment coins they are to be avoided. One doesn’t know how much gold has been eroded, the weights can vary greatly and there is absolutely no premium attached to these coins.

In other countries this is referred to as

  • USA: G6
  • France: Beau (B)
  • Germany : Sehr Gut Erhalten (SGE)
  • Italy Bello (B)
  • Spain : Bien conservada (BC)

This covers the principal gradings of coin conditions applicable to gold although one may also hear certain other terms used for « intermediate » grades such as ;

About Uncirculated (XF/UNC) which falls between Uncirculated and Extra Fine. It does not have an equivalence in every country and is therefore less used.

One may find various numbers attached to certain conditions particularly in France which allows grading within any given condition eg; SUP 55-62 which grades the “Superbe” from 55 to 66. However this should not be a concern for coin investors as the grading is a purely numismatic tool for specialists. The gold investment quality of all “Superbe” is the same as is their premium.

Finally there are even lower conditions such as “Good” and “Poor” but these are frankly of little interest to us because their condition is well below those required for investment and they are only good for the smelting pot!

Remember:

Gold Coins are an investment that you own!

They are not linked to Sovereign Debt like other investments.

You can buy them when you like.

You can sell them when you like.

Gold Coins have a better potential than Bullion because they have a dual leverage – Gold price and Premium.

Gold coins are transportable, great for liquidity and easy to resell.

Related articles include:

Half-Napoleon 10 Francs Gold Coins

The Premium on Gold Coins

Should I Buy 32 Krugerrands or a 1 Kg Gold Bar?

Krugerrand – The original Bullion Coin

Investment Gold Coins

Latest Gold Coin Prices

Paper money or Gold?

Gold Money, a currency of the past…. and the future?

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!

World Exclusive: Physical Gold Investment, Accessible to Everyone – LinGold.com launched

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

You heard it here first folks, the innovative new website for buying and selling gold in real time, 24/7 has arrivedLinGold.com.

The site offers free Membership and you join a worldwide community of fellow gold investors buying and selling gold to each other. There is “Good Delivery” gold bullion and a large variety of professionally sourced Gold Coins – Bullion Coins like the South African Krugerrand, The Australian Nugget, The American Eagle, The Canadian Maple Leaf, The Chinese Panda and The British Britannia. There are also many semi-numismatic coins like the British Sovereign and the French Napoleon.

There is also the exclusive LinGold Savings Plan (LSP) which is the First Personal Savings Account in Physical Gold in the World. An innovative idea to save regularly and monthly in pure gold (watch out for our article on the LSP).

Here at GoldCoin we appreciate new opportunities to invest in real, physical gold that are extended to a wide audience of investors as the benefits have too long been the reserve of an elite few.

This new venture, LinGold.com, has something for every budget and is very user friendly.

They have plenty of pertinent and interesting information (free to download) on why, how and what to invest such as their LinGold Brochure and of course our favourite the LinGold Gold Coin Guide which helps the novice and expert alike.

LinGold.com, we applaud your arrival and wish you every success for the future.
Ps. We’ve already signed up as Members (which is free and took less than 1 minute)

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Thoughts
"For a mountaineer, the important things are the effort, the posture and the muscles. The rope that holds him serves no purpose when everything works but it gives him a sense of security. In the same way, all gold does is ensure confidence; it's a safe haven."