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The Premium on Gold Coins

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Some of you have been enquiring about the Premium. What is it ? What does it mean ? Here are a few answers.

sovbb3

Sovereign Price= Premium + Price of Gold

In the United Kingdom, the current premium is dependant on source, quantity, supply and demand and currently can range from 5% to over 40% depending on source and condition.  But what is this premium for gold coins?

The premium is the difference between the current gold value contained in the coin and the price paid for the coin and is usually expressed as a percentage. The price and premium depend on market factors at the time and are constantly changing.

e.g. a Sovereign may contain gold with a value of £160 but be worth £199 and for a newly minted proof coin £299 . The difference between these two figures, expressed as a percentage, is the premium thus a the proof coin is sold at approximately 46% premium

The premium for a coin is linked to several criteria:

· production: The smaller the coins and the harder they are to produce, the more chance there is that they will have a high premium, this principle that explains why the smaller half sovereign have a higher premium .  The quality of a proof coin usually demands a higher premium

· speculation: the premium changes to reflect supply and demand. In a period where more coins are being sold than are being bought, the premium is zero or slightly negative (in this situation, coins of moderate quality are often melted down). When there is high demand or excess speculation, the premium resulting from this speculation climbs sharply. The premium is therefore a very good indicator of the balance between supply and demand, the latter’s potential and also what actions should be taken. A negative, zero or slightly positive premium should stimulate purchases whilst a high premium of should lead to selling.

calc

· conservation: a quality coin that has no trace of being handled will retain all its premium. Poor conservation conditions (contact with fingers, scratches, wearing…) results in a reduction of 4 – 10% and can lead to a negative premium. When this happens the coins are melted down and sold for the price of their precious metal

· collectors: some coins are rarer due to them being minted in small numbers or because they have special characteristics related to numismatic rarity criteria. In certain years where very few coins were minted a sovereign can cost several thousand pounds depending on its rarity and its condition. This value is therefore completely unrelated to the value of the coin’s gold content.

· geographical location: gold coins are not equally popular in every country and generally speaking coins that were the currency of a country are more popular in that country e.g.: Napoleons are very popular in France but are much less well known in China or the USA and people there prefer to buy local coins the exception is the Sovereign which is the most popular in the UK but also has an international reputation.

Premium differential: This the differential between the basic (normal ) premium and the highest sale price usually in times of crisis where there is great demand.

Below is some translated correspondence that occurred with our partner in France:

LORetLARGENT.info editor and a reader about the premium:

Xavier (blog reader): Why do you consider that the ingot is “banal”? Although its premium is not high, or even zero, isn’t this the simplest means of buying investment gold at its market price? When the price goes up (very high, I hope), the deal becomes interesting. A coin currently has a high premium so is interesting if you want to sell but not necessarily if you want to buy…

LORetLARGENT.info: If you want to invest 2,000 Euros, don’t buy an ingot. Wait until the premium for Napoleons drops below 5% to develop your position.
The premium has a real lever effect. Consider the cases of buying, in a few months, an ingot or the same value of 20 FRF Napoleons with a premium of zero. If you sell when you need your capital (don’t forget that gold is an insurance against the crisis but not against life’s challenges – in this latter case, other investments are better), you will have at least 20% more for equal weights with your coins (the premium) without considering the greater ease of selling them.
In summary, starting from the principle that gold coins are an anti-crisis investment, an insurance where you get back what you pay (normally insurance is lost money), you have to take account of the concept of the premium from the start, especially the premium differential. You must buy gold coins with the greatest potential growth from their base premium (the average premium outside of crisis periods) and the highest premium recorded during a crisis. There is a differential of 5% for an ingot but 76% for a half Napoleon. Consider what this means for our investment of 2,000 Euros when we come to sell. Obviously, the coins must be in excellent condition. (Above all, avoid buying via generalist on-line auctions where about 1/3 of the coins are good for the smelter even if the photos are flattering).
Bear in mind that the only thing that should determine your gold purchase (coins or other) is its resale (when and how). Usually, you should do it quickly and at the best price. The ingot is not a winner in this type of competition…

Xavier: (…) Can the premium fall as the value of gold increases ?

LORetLARGENT.info: Trying to compare the changes in the price of gold with the premium on a Napoleon is like trying to compare the ethics of American and English bankers with those of French households. My proposition is a bit exaggerated but it is a good reflection of the fact that the criteria leading to an increase in the price of gold are not the same as those determining the premium on a Napoleon. To confirm this, look at the sharp rise in the price of gold in March 2008 and the dead calm for the premium during the same period. In March, the French only had a vague idea that a crisis was coming and continued to sell Napoleons until September 2008. You should be aware that our own bankers were using every conceivable method to try and sell gold coins to us in January 2008 whilst they had no difficulty in offering us LYXOR GOLD. In summary, we are talking about the same precious metal but certainly not the same investment instrument and the premium is an excellent indicator of the difference between the price of gold on the markets, linked mainly to changes in the price of oil and the US Dollar, and the value of gold coins sold in France, which is more linked to the moral of small investors with tangible values such as the readers of this blog.

Xavier: OK, I accept your arguments, which are logical. It’s a question of investment instruments.



Buying gold coins as a safe haven

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Gold coins struck for liberty

Gold is an asset able to provide real freedom of action. It has had an inherent value for over 6000 years and is still going strong. It provides the reassurance to your savings and wealth that allow you to sleep easy at night – real freedom. This concept of freedom should increase with the value of our assets but today it is so often used as just a lure of clever marketing that distorts the truth about your savings and investments without the reassurance.

The culprits? Banks, once again. Indeed, our bankers have long forgotten the fundamentals of their activity and prefer to sell us complex financial products or random diversifications like mobile phone contracts. Many contracts tie us to them day after day. They have forgotten that they were to be the guarantors of our freedom by means of the values and valuables that we entrusted to them and included the right for our investments to remain our property.

We became completely dependant on these same banks: obligatory bank accounts to cash our wages, money blocked on accounts which pay hardly more than inflation (and sometimes less), credit, risky investments, etc. With gold coins it is quite the reverse.

Gold coins as an investment

Gold coins as an investment

Today in France, as in many other countries, their holding, their transport, their purchase and their sale are free. But that was not always the case. During the Second World War, Germans prohibited the French from having more than 6 g of gold, not even a 20F Napoleon coin. To deprive the French of their gold, was also to deprive them of their freedom. Very happy were those who could rely on their treasure being locked up in vaults

in Switzerland, able to convert it into cash on the local market and return to France with the revenue of the resale. Those who could not travel abroad could obviously buy or sell some in France, but they were exposed to the risks, including theft, blackmail and denunciation. Feeling confident with this assessment, many sought to shelter their treasure in Switzerland but not having anticipated the war, they subsequently had to take enormous risks in order to

smuggle their coins across the border by using secret compartments in their walking sticks that would be stacked full of Napoleon gold coins.

Another example: between 1933 and 1975, the possession of gold was prohibited in the USA. That did not prevent Americans from being among the largest hoarders of gold currency. The Swiss vaults were then filled with Eagles, Double Eagles and Sovereigns which reappeared at the end of the prohibition on gold or which were directly converted into cash in Europe.

During the Cold War, the Americans were right and gave their pilots (or their spies) gold coins so that they could have the possibility to buy their freedom in certain countries. Proof that even the king dollar would be insufficient in some cases. In the eyes of the Vietcong soldiers for example, it was just a vulgar piece of green paper bearing the marks of an enemy culture.

A gold coin, even struck by the American administration, remains above all gold with universally recognized and accepted values.

Contrary to bank notes, gold does not preach politics or try to impose any lifestyle. Gold does not have a nationality, it is neutral, and does not preach a doctrinaire approach. Gold coins are thus the last obstacle against attacks on our freedom and they will always be recognized at their rightful value. This is not the case with the fiduciary currencies in the form of banknotes, coins, and today of electronic currencies, which are sometimes so difficult to get accepted from one country to another.

Geographical locations

Gold coins are not in demand in the same way in all countries. Thus, in China or in the USA, Napoleon gold coins are not so well known and investors prefer to buy local coins or Krugerrands and Sovereigns which have an international appeal. In France it would be the reverse: in a period of crisis, the Napoleon national coin will tend to see its price shoot up beyond the value of the metal content whilst coins from other countries will maintain a steady premium.

Ideally, one would want to buy coins that are less in demand in a certain country and sell them to a market with a high demand for that particular coin.

This is possible today using systems like LinGOLD.com, AuCOFFRE.com and LingORO.com which unite French, Spanish and English speaking gold investors around the world, providing opportunities for a Chinese Member to buy Pandas from a UK Member for example.

Extract from the English adaptation of the French book : L’or, Un Placement qui (R)Assure (2011) written by Jean-François Faure,President and founder of AuCoffre.com.

The gold buyer is a contrarian

Monday, January 6th, 2014
contrarian-etfs

Contrarian mind, are you ???

A contrarian is a person who buys or sells his position against the opinion of the market and which is wary of the majority opinion while intervening in the contrary direction. The most famous contrarian is none other than Warren Buffet… the richest man on the planet. One of his best pieces of advice is not to follow the herd. His secrecy lies in a sentence typical of a contrarian: “The average is what everyone else is doing; if you want your shares to perform above the average, you must do something else”.

Among the politically incorrect followers of gold, one finds visionaries like William Bonner, historian and specialist in the US economy, who warns his compatriots living on credit:

“Imagine a shopkeeper whose biggest customer was having a hard time paying his bills. The shopkeeper extends credit, hoping the man will get his finances in order. But the more credit he gives him, the worse the man’s finances are. It would be very nice if that could work out. But it rarely does. Instead, it eventually blows up. The customer has to stop buying and the shopkeeper has to stop lending. There’s going to be hell to pay, in other words.”

“What should an investor do to protect himself,” our friend asked.

“Buy gold.”

“Gold? What a strange idea. I haven’t heard anyone mention gold in many years. It seems so out-of-date. I didn’t think anyone bought gold anymore.”

“That’s why you should buy it.”

And that is the person who is currently buying gold.**Extract from the book by William Bonner Empire of Debt : The Rise of an epic financial crisis(published by John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

To put an end to the generally accepted idea according to which gold savings is the act of nostalgic older men, one only needs to go onto some specialized forums to realise that this type of saver is not only younger than the average but that he or she also has a very informed view on the global economic system. From his profile one would say above all that he or she is a careful saver with a different vision of value in the future. This new generation of gold investors is logical, practical and in search of a different type of security than that offered with traditional investment or savings instruments. They have witnessed the demise of their parents “trusted” plans and they are not keen to

repeat the mistake. They may share the perfectly normal aspiration to save for their future but they are looking for security, reliability and protection of the

purchasing power stored up in their savings.

Given the current high street offerings with returns on investment equivalent to a net loss due to the effects of inflation, it is no surprise that savers and investors are turning to something tangible and an asset they can own.


Gold, an alternative Currency of Confidence?


Where would we turn to if the known currencies of the world suddenly devalued and became worthless in real terms?

Throughout history there have been instances when all faith has been lost in the official currency usually because it has become worthless and therefore all confidence has been lost. However, people have always looked for an alternative to maintain commerce and everyday survival. This has sometimes taken the form of bartering but it is limited by the difficulty of assigning recognisable value to a wide range of goods and services. There has to be some common denominator and unit value that is commonly recognised and therefore allows the cycle of trade to turn.

During the French revolution the state coffers were completely empty and so the emerging Constitutional Assembly created a system based on “assignats” which gained their value through selling off the assets of the church. These “assignats” would be guaranteed by the state and the objective was to reconstruct a functioning economy. However, they became greatly over subscribed to the tune of 47 billion causing inflation, zero rates of interest and

ultimately ended in collapse.

Extract from the English adaptation of the French book : L’or, Un Placement qui (R)Assure (2011) written by Jean-François Faure, President and founder of AuCoffre.com.

Tax Free Savings

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

A Tax Free Savings Account in physical gold that you own

UK Taxpayers have a unique opportunity to save in pure gold, a real tangible asset, without paying VAT or Capital Gains Tax. Start from just 1 gram a month.

Gold Britannia and Sovereign investment quality coins offer a unique advantage to investors because they offer between 18% -28% additional benefits over other investments. Why? … because they are completely exempt from Capital Gains Tax. Furthermore, they are exempt from VAT.

Britannia 1 ounce_averse

Britannia 1 ounce averse

Gold Britannia 1 ounce coin

Britannia 1 ounce obverse

Britannia 1 ounce obverse

A beautifully struck gold bullion coin that has UK legal tender status and a face value of £100 – although its actual value is many times greater. The Gold Britannia coin was originally alloyed with Copper, but from 1990 the decision was made to alloy with Silver. This is why the earlier Gold Britannia’s have the deep Gold colour, as opposed to the lighter yellow gold colour of the Britannia since 1990. The latest 2013 coins have no alloy and are pure gold and 999.9°/oo fineness.

Sovereign Elizabeth II_averse

Sovereign Elizabeth II averse

British Gold Sovereign coin

Sovereign Elizabeth II obverse

Sovereign Elizabeth II obverse

The full British Sovereign is one of the most recognised gold coins in the world, with UK legal tender status and it can attract a healthy premium as it is always in demand, at home and abroad. Their legendary reputation comes from their use in a pilot’s survival kit by many air forces, being sewn into their jackets and used to negotiate their safe passage home if downed during a mission. The attraction was the integrity of their British origin which provided the utmost trust to their owners.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Coins which are legal tender in the UK are exempt from CGT. The Britannia and Sovereign investment coins fall into this category. The UK Customs authority has issued a notice to accountants and financial advisors numbered CG12602 which deals with exemptions and in particular currency in sterling. It refers to:
- TCGA92/S21 (1)(b) which states “Currency in sterling is not an asset for capital gains purposes”. >Learn more
- Further notice from HMRC is given in CG78308 which states “Sovereigns minted in 1837 and later years and Britannia Gold coins are currency but, like all sterling currency, are exempt because of TCGA92/S21 (1)(b) >Learn more Value Added Tax (VAT)
Coins which are of investment quality do not attract VAT. Investment quality is defined as coins which contain a minimum of 900 one thousandths Gold. (900.000 ‰). Rather than being a specifically British rule, it is in fact from the European Union. See notice number 2011/C 351/07. The notice refers to all coins from various countries which would fulfill the investment quality criteria. >Learn more


Confidence in physical gold

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

According to kingworldnews.com and also confirmed on jsmineset.com, the Shanghai Stock Exchange would have delivered more gold than Fort Knox in the States. Needless to say the strong impact that would have on the gold price in the forthcoming future.
Some people even expect tapering to happen again or at least at some point.

Shanghai stock exchange
Shanghai Stock Exchange

The dollar is being printed on such a large scale that it leads to a complete devaluation of the US currency. That may be a satisfaction to the American to have more bank notes printed out but on the other side this does not help other countries like China who is presently sitting with some $3.7 trillion of foreign exchange reserves – other countries are actually in a pretty similar case with lesser quantities but still the concern remains …

Kingworldnews visited the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2009 and said that they had delivered some 8655 tons of gold since 2009. The Chinese bought something like 1.700 tons of gold in the first eight months of this year. It means that gold is actually feeding the Chinese’ foreign exchange reserves. We know that the renminbi is already the second largest currency used in global trade … How long before the dollar becomes fully obsolete ?

Let’s have a closer look at the dollar :

Well, one should be scared when looking at that 14 year perspective published on jsmineset.com

a 14 year perspective for the de-dollarization

a 14 year perspective for the de-dollarization

In our article published on Nov 19th 2013 – China remains the world’s largest gold consumer in Q3’13 – we were actually talking about the lack of confidence in the global financial market and systems altogether. As Jim Sinclair was saying ‘Credibility speaks to Confidence and Confidence speaks to Gold’.

Soon we may have part of our savings confiscated. How trustworthy are the banks? 

Investing in physical gold has never been so important. Making it affordable to everybody is our main concern and feasible thanks to our LSP.

For further information with regards to the confiscation in the USA, please read our article The Great Confiscation : Gold ownership was illegal in the USA from 1933 to 1975.

The Krugerrand 1 once

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The Krugerrand is probably the original Gold bullion coin. It was introduced in 1967 as a vehicle for private ownership of Gold whilst also being circulated as currency, hence being minted in a durable alloy. From 1980, further sizes were introduced. See specification table overleaf.

Details

pict krugerrand 1 ONCE The history of the Krugerrand begins with the South African Chamber of Mines which had the inspired idea to market South African Gold by producing a one Troy ounce bullion coin to be sold at a very low premium over the intrinsic Gold value. It was intended to be circulated as currency, hence it was minted in a more durable alloy and contained 2.826g copper to resist scratching and thus giving the coin its golden hue. At the time of launch, the Krugerrand was the only accessible Gold investment opportunity for the everyday buyer and this thought came through from the inception. It was the fi rst coin to contain exactly 1 Troy ounce of Gold.
Despite the coin’s legal tender status, economic sanctions against South Africa made the
Krugerrand an illegal import in many Western countries during the 1970s and 1980s. These sanctions ended when South Africa abandoned apartheid in 1994 and the Krugerrand once again regained its status as one of the worlds’ leading bullion coins.
In 1967, only the one ounce coin was available. From 1980, the fractions were available, namely, one half ounce, one quarter ounce and one tenth ounce. The name is derived from a combination of Paul Kruger, a well-known Boer leader and later President of the Republic and the Rand, the monetary unit of South Africa. The obverse side features the Otto Schultz image of Kruger along with the name of the country “South Africa” in the two languages, English and Afrikaans. The reverse side, designed by Coert Steynberg features the image of a Springbok Antelope, one of the national symbols of South Africa.
By 1980, the
Krugerrand accounted for 90% of the Gold investment coin market. For example, it is estimated that between 1974 and 1985, some 22 million coins were imported into the United States alone. Although it is not a beautiful coin, many millions have been sold since its introduction due to the policy of selling with a very low premium. The success of the Krugerrand led to many other Gold-producing nations minting their own bullion coins, such as the Canadian Maple Leaf in 1979, the Australian Nugget in 1981, the Chinese Panda in 1982, the US Eagle in 1987 and the British Britannia in 1987.
The
Krugerrand is interesting in that the government of South Africa has classed the coin as legal tender although it has no face value. It therefore fulfills VAT-free criteria for investment coins.

Investment Advice

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

investment advice krug
Essentially, the bulk of
Krugerrands are produced in a non-proof form although the South African Mint produces limited edition Proof quality Krugerrands as collector’s items. These coins in particular attract a healthy premium and are priced well above the value of the bullion alone. However, non-Proof coins also have a premium above the value of the bullion.
The Proof and non-Proof coins can be distinguished by the reeding, that is, the number of serration on the edge of the coin. Proof coins have 220, non-Proof have 180.

key facts krugerrand

Krugerrands are made of an alloy of Gold and Copper – this effect also being known as Crown Gold as it has long been used for the British Sovereign coins. Due to the popularity of the Krugerrand, there are also many fakes in existence and the investor should be wary. Copper alloy gives a much more orange appearance than silver alloy. Likewise copper is very durable and coins should be in good condition always.
The best marker of authenticity is the weight and this should be checked carefully using the table below since the Gold weight and total weight are known. Check also the reeding.

Specs

specs krugerrand
All investment coins sold by LinGOLD.com are EF quality or above.

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


The Panda 1 ounce

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

The Chinese Gold Panda is a popular series of Gold bullion coins issued by the People’s Republic
of China in Proof-like, brilliant uncirculated quality. They are issued in a range of sizes between
1/20 Oz and 1 Oz with larger 2 and 5 Oz coins being additionally issued in some years.

Details
panda 1 onceChina issued its first Gold coins bearing the Panda design in 1982. These were limited
to sizes of 1/10 Troy ounce along with 1/4 Toz, 1/2 Toz and 1 Toz. From 1983, the 1/20 Toz size was added and additionally a 2 Toz and 5 Toz coin is sometimes issued.
These strikingly beautiful coins are always issued in Proof-like brilliant uncirculated quality and prove very popular.
A different design was issued each year until the 2000. When the 2001 edition was announced, so too was a freeze of the design and thus the 2002 Panda is identical to the 2001. Collectors spoke up on behalf of the annual change and China responded by reversing their policy so that from 2003 onwards, the designs again change each year.
However, on the reverse side, it always features the endangered Giant Panda. It also features the size, Gold fi newness and monetary value.
The main design on the obverse of the coin has hardly changed, save for minor detail changes in the image. It features Beijing’s famous Temple of Heaven (Tien Tien) in the centre with Chinese characters on the top saying “Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo” meaning People’s Republic of China and at

the bottom the year of issue. If it is a commerative issue, the theme will also be marked here.
There was an adjustment of the face values of the coins in 2000/2001 – please see
the table overleaf for details.
The Chinese mints usually do not employ mintmarks. In certain years, there have
been minor variations in items like the size of the date, the style of the temple and
so on. These allow the numismatist to identify the originating mint. In some years,
but not all, other marks and Proof marks (signifi ed by a ‘P’) have been added. The
four mints involved in the production of the Panda are Beijing, Shanghai, Shengyang
and Shenzhen.

Investment Advice

INVESTMENT ADVICE

All Panda coins are issued as pure Gold fineness, 999.9‰ and in theory have a low premium just above the value of the Gold.
However, their intrinsic beauty makes them very collectable and they attract good premiums.
As with any coin, the best quality grades will attract the best premiums. The early years in particular will be those with the highest premium. Although the coins were issued in Proof form, many were unpacked and have thus been damaged and are at lower gradings. The mintage figures should be carefully examined – the number originally minted is quoted but it has been found that production continues for various years, hence the total mintage may be quite a bit higher some years after.

SPECS

SPECS

KEY FACTS

All investment coins sold by LinGOLD.com

are EF quality or above.

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

The Maple Leaf 1 once

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

The Canadian Gold Maple Leaf is one of the oldest bullion coins alongside the Krugerrand. It is a classically beautiful coin, internationally recognised and provides investors with a secure, quality addition to a portfolio.

Details

The Royal Canadian Mint introduced the Maple Leaf in 1979. Along with the Krugerrand, it has been in continuous production ever since. It came about because of the Krugerrand – at the time, there was an economic boycott of South Africa so Krugerrands were not widely available – and thus the Maple Leaf fi lled a gap in the market. It contains virtually no base metals at all and uses Gold exclusively mined in Canada.

MAPLE LEAF 1 ONCE GOLD COIN

The earliest years between 1979 and 1981 had a Gold fineness of 999.0‰ but 1982 onwards is 999.9‰. For those same fi rst years, only a 1 Toz coin was produced. Between 1982 and 1985, the 1/4 Toz and 1/10 Toz sizes were added. Then in 1986 the 1/2 Toz was added and in 1993 a 1/20 Toz coin joined the group. It has remained thus to date except 1994 when a 1/15 Toz coin was produced for that year only. That year, a Platinum 1/15 Toz coin was also produced, possibly for jewellery, but both the Gold and Platinum 1/15 Toz coins were not a success and were dropped. The Maple Leaf is also available in Silver and Palladium.

Each coin features the image of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley on the obverse side. It also has the denomination and year of issue. On the reverse is an image of Canada’s national symbol, the maple leaf along with the word CANADA and the Gold fi neness in both English and French. Every coin is guaranteed to contain the stated amount in Troy ounces of fi ne Gold. The coins are identical in design except for the obvious items such as weight.

All Maple Leaf coins are legal tender in Canada although are categorised as “non-circulating bullion coins”. Their Gold fi neness easily puts them into the general category of being VAT-exempt.

On 3rd May 2007, the Royal Canadian Mint unveiled a 100 Kg Gold Maple Leaf with a face value of C$ 1 million although the Gold content makes it worth much more. The coin was produced as a promotional product to give the mint a higher international profi le. However, several interested buyers came forward so the mint announced it would manufacture to order. There are believed to be five confirmed orders and/or deliveries. It held the record for the largest coin until 2011 when an Australian coin superseded it.

Investment Advice

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

INVEST ADVICE

All Maple Leaf coins are issued as pure Gold finewness, 999.9‰ and in theory have a low premium just above the value of the Gold.

KEY FACTS 1

However, the reality is that a 5% premium should be achieved for a quantity of coins

with higher values for individual coins. As always, the smaller value coins will have higher premiums.
The coins were never really designed to be handled due to the softness of 24 carat Gold, the milled edge and clear fi eld around the image of the Queen. With some coins supplied in tubes, this makes them susceptible to handling marks and other damage. So careful examination of coins is highly recommended.

Specs

SPECS 2

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


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)

Capturesmaller Ad

Greeks queue to buy sovereigns

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

During World War II the British sovereign was the only tangible and reliable currency in Greece and they were hoarded and hidden in every conceivable place. A girls dowry would often include a cache of sovereigns.  They were parachuted in to fund the Greek resistance to the German occupation. War is a crisis but now the Greek population face the crisis of being unable to repay its debts and once again they turn to the sovereign as the currency of choice.

It is remarkable and a tribute to the sovereign that it remained legal currency long after the war due to the unstable drachma until eventually in 1965  the Greek government placed restrictions on trading resulting in many hoarders cashing in their stocks. Even so at the slightest hint of uncertainty, and there have been many, the Greeks turned to their favourite foreign gold coin.

GREECE CRIPPLED BY GENERAL STRIKEGreece has not really had a true period of financial stability for decades and markets are wondering whether they will default on repaying their debt given past behaviour  so the uncertainties  are understandable. The population is in panic resorting to strikes and riots and fear that Greece may leave the eurozone.

Once again  have returned to their known safe haven, the sovereign, as a hedge against financial collapse causing the the demand to increase year on year and the price to rise dramatically. For weeks citizens have been queueing at Athens central bank to buy sovereigns and have been prepared to pay the highest prices. It is estimated that in the first 4 months of the year 50,000 sovereigns were sold legally and as the demand increased so did the black market  and at least 100,000 were sold illegally with price up to €300 (£252).  The uncertainty and fear has driven people to pay a huge premium of almost 40% over the current value of the gold content to protect their wealth.

Without doubt the British sovereign has been the gold coin that has world wide recognition as mechanism for survival  whether it be a financial or physical crisis – see our article “Gold sovereigns open doors”

Maurice Hall

The British half sovereign

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Half sov aucofThe half sovereign is a British gold coin with a face value half that of a sovereign: equivalent to half a pound sterling, ten shillings, or 120 old pence. Since the end of the gold standard until 2000, with the exception of 1982, it has been issued only in limited quantities as a commemorative coin with a sale price and resale value far in excess of its face value.

The half sovereign was first introduced in 1544 under Henry VIII. After 1604, the issue of half sovereigns, along with gold sovereigns, was discontinued until 1817, following a major revision of British coinage. Production continued until 1926 and in Australia’s Perth mint until 1933 and, apart from special issues for coronation years, was not restarted until 1982 and then only as a proof issue

During Victorian times the half sovereign was more widely circulated than the full sovereign. The average life of both a sovereign and the half sovereign was around 15 years before it fell below the lowest legal weight. It is estimated that only 1% of all gold sovereigns that have ever been minted are still in collectable condition In 1891 a proclamation was made that members of the general public could hand in any gold coins that were underweight and have them replaced by full weight coins. Any gold coin struck before 1837 also ceased to be legal tender. This recycled gold was subsequently reminted into 13,680,486 half sovereigns in 1892 and 10,846,741 sovereigns in 1900.

In 1982 2.5 million coins were issued and mostly throughout history the design has followed the full sovereign with the reverse side, featuring the famous and beautiful St. George slaying a dragon designed by Benedetto Pistrucci, whose initials appear to the right of the date. There were variations on the reverse with royal shield and the simplified George and dragon. There were only proof issue until 2000 when bullion production commenced.

Sovereign mintage2000_to_2005

1989 marked the 500 year anniversary of the first gold half sovereign ever issued, for Henry VII in 1489. The entire design, including the lettering, in a style inspired by the original 1489 sovereigns. The obverse design is Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, seated enthroned, facing forwards and the reverse a crowned shield at the centre of a Tudor rose. Again this design, and the lettering, are in a style similar to that on the very first gold sovereign issues. A total of 23,471 coins were produced in individual and coin sets. This proof issue and a single date issue makes it doubly attractive to collectors  thus  it attracts a high premium.

There is good availability of the half sovereign with some rare issues and they are popular as a first entry into gold coins or to purchase as memento. Because they are quite small many half sovereigns have been mounted in jewllery either as rings or pendants. In general you would expect to extra premium on the half sovereign as is the norm with most small coins and on occasions that is true. The average over the last month was 7.5%  but here are also some huge spikes in the premium differential such as in October 2009 where the premium was over 90% so it is a coin that needs to be watched carefully. Of course as the half sovereign is a gold coin of  legal tender it is not subject to VAT or Capital Gains Tax

Specifications

Half sov spec

Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1843, while performing a conjuring trick for the amusement of his children, he accidentally swallowed a half-sovereign coin which became lodged in his windpipe. A special pair of forceps failed to remove it, as did a machine to shake it loose devised by Brunel himself. Eventually, at the suggestion of Sir Marc, IKB was strapped to a board, turned upside-down, and the coin was jerked free.

Maurice Hall

When is a good time to buy gold?

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

If you search the web for information on when and how to buy gold and in what format you will get a wealth of advice on both the indicators and how to get the best return on your investment.  You may also see warnings from fake coins, tungsten in gold bars to loss of value on resale as dealers take there cut.  More of this later as there are certainly pitfalls that are easily avoided.

You may be driven to gloom and despair when you come across many hypotheses on the dangers of Fiat currency, whereby central banks are printing money and devaluing currencies be that USD, GBP or the Euro. You will certainly not be comforted by articles on Sovereign Debt £1.4 trillion coming up in the UK, the greater and more dangerous debts of the US, Japan, and the current difficulties with Greece, Italy,  Spain and Portugal in the Euro zone. We have already seen the collapse of Iceland and some former eastern European countries and Ireland on the brink (UK citizens who hold money in our Post Office should be aware that this is directly with the Bank of Ireland who is now 1.9 billion in debt). If you delve further you will see more political manoeuvring in the East and Russia, where there is a drive to move away from the USD as the reserve currency, additionally China has a long term strategy for financial domination. You may be forgiven for feeling that the world as we know it will come to a halt as you listen to many experts predicting an inevitable systemic crisis that would make  2008 pale into insignificance and global contagion would cause capitalism itself to collapse.

I am not saying we should ignore those warnings, far from it but the optimist would have some faith that the western world could stabilise, otherwise we will not be concerned with gold and money but food and weapons, and yes you will find that advice already common amongst the growing number of survivalists in the USA.  There will no doubt be rocky roads to follow, financial difficulties, pressures on currencies, but currency is not money.  There is no doubt that many people will be looking for a safe haven, an insurance policy and the only world wide respected haven is gold.  This gold must not be in the form stocks, un allocated gold at a bank or certificates but physical gold which is tangible either held secured at your residence or in a vault where you own it.  Even the survivalists after the guns and ammo recognise that a stash of gold coins would be necessary as a medium to exchange for supplies.

I would say that the majority of investors are optimistic enough to believe that we will overcome a financial crisis to a greater or lesser extent and not be plunged back into the third world. There is no doubt that we are in an investor “safe haven” and even the most optimistic are and should be hedging by diversifying part of their portfolio into gold.  We in the UK have always believed in our currency otherwise we would be part of the Euro zone, we have not been successfully invaded for almost 1000 years hence we have no country wide safe haven investment history. Twenty two miles across the channel, our nearest neighbour France, following a century of invasion, dramatic devaluation understand the safe haven that gold provides.  Families have survived through crisis because they put their wealth into gold napoleons and today French citizens have 3000 tonnes held privately in gold coins. Should a new crisis occur then many French families will be able to ride out the storm whereas hardly any in the UK would be in a similar position. There is a lesson to be learned here.

I have researched long and hard and think I understand the drivers, the risks the patterns.  The case for owning gold is clear but investors will always be looking for Return On Investment so clearly the timing of buying and selling is essential.  We saw in December 2009 the gold spot touch $1227 per ounce and is now holding around $1100. Where will it go is the big question and what are the drivers and is their anything to be gleaned historically or seasonally.

Let’s take a look at the drivers that keep the price low:

  • The West has become complacent and does not have the level fear of financial crisis that it perceived a few months ago. The truth is that we are not out of the crisis the economy is recovering very slowly and is very volatile and we have the £1.4 trillion sovereign debt to face
  • The West although no longer fearing a crisis is still tightening is belt and there is not the money around to spend particularly on jewellery. People are taking note of the volatility, companies who have vacancies are fearful of taking on new staff and unemployment is still a huge issue
  • The USD has been relatively strong recently and as we al know a strong dollar weakens the gold price. Interestingly the GBP and Euro price has risen from the all time high dollar spot price due to weakening exchange rates.
  • India’s private demand dropped in 2009 as people did not buy as much jewelry due to the high price although India’s central bank bought 200 Tonnes off the IMF to back its international commitments
  • China is now the largest consumer and the greatest producer of gold but is playing a very political game as it is determined to increase its reserves and shed dollar assets but it does not want to do anything to increase the price of gold or weaken the dollar while it holds $2 trillion of dollar assets
  • It is believed if demand continues at the current rate it will not overstretch supply.

What will drive the price up?

  • At some point inflation will incur and the dollar will weaken as more money is printed
  • It is likely that there will be another financial crisis that will send all the gold bugs scuttling to protect their wealth
  • China, Russia and India will take up any slack in demand particularly China who want to increase their gold reserve but also have encouraged their citizens to save gold
  • Central banks do not find holding foreign currencies attractive so they can only turn to gold
  • There is a finite supply of gold all that has been produce in the world to date would fit in a 20m cube. It is more difficult and costly to mine and the ability to supply is falling off.

The new drive will come from the East as their central banks diversify from dollar assets and the new found prosperity of their consumers will lead to purchase of gold for jewellery and investment. Eastern currencies will appreciate as the dollar losses its status thus driving up the price in dollars over a period of time.

When is gold bought and sold?

  • Seasonally – Over the last 30 years the gold price has been at lowest with remarkable consistence in the northern hemisphere summer as European jewellery fabricators and customers are on vacation with the biggest drive in the fourth quarter. This coincides with harvest and wedding festivals in the East. On average throughout this period gold bought in summer turned profitable by the end of the year. Professionals tend to sell at the beginning of the year.
  • Historically – Gold has reached a high in cycles followed by quite severe corrections and periods of consolidation. In fact in the last several years gold’s peak highs have followed a super cycle of around 22 months.  Gold reached its famous high in 1980 at $850 which equates to around $2200 when adjusted for inflation so there is a very strong argument that gold still has a long way to go before it reaches its previous high and now we have in addition Russia, China and India as major players. Bearing in mind that cycles constrict and expand please look at the chart below where the next predicted super cycle high will be around 21 months from the high in December 2009 and that will be Q4 2011 and this also coincides with the seasonal trend.

supercycle

When to buy and when to sell:

All the indicators point a period of consolidation, both seasonally and historically gold should reach a 2010 low in July to August probably $1050 – $1060 and that is probably the time to buy. Do not expect  an immediate significant rise but the trends show that there will be an increase towards the end of the year and probably another period of consolidation in early 2011 so time to hold your nerve.  Late in 2011 the seasonal and the super cycle trends combine and we shall reach the next peak. Conservatively that would be in excess of $1300 but many experts are expecting the next peak to be $1500 or higher. If you are a speculator you may want to take your profit now but if you consider your gold to be your insurance policy then you will hold on to it. If you are in the later category then you will hold your gold until there is a stabilisation and that would not happen until we stop printing currency and take our contractory medicine. See the article on When should we sell gold for more details

What to buy and how?

I mentioned in the opening paragraph that there are pitfalls to avoid and it is not too difficult. Apart from fakes, which can easily be avoided by using reputable sources and not trusting to buying through private individuals through auction site, everything else is designed to take away you profit.

Buy:

  • Investment gold(1) to avoid VAT
  • Investment gold to include in your SIPP so the UK government will pay you back 20% or 40% depending on your income tax bracket
  • Legal tender gold coins(Sovereigns and Britannias) to avoid Capital Gains Tax on profit
  • From a reputable source

Avoid:

  • Dealers or companies that charge a high premium
  • Proof coins that can have a premium of almost twice the gold value
  • Any gold coins that demand a high initial premium
  • Numismatic coins as they are best left to the experts in that field
  • Large bars that are difficult to liquidate
  • Removing your gold from the professional system as it immediately depreciates by 10-15%
souverain-elizabethII-avers (1)

Sovereign Elizabeth II Obverse

Buying gold bullion is good because the premium is low but we would recommend gold investment coins and in particular semi numismatic coins can attract a premium differential over the gold price particularly in times of crisis. Coins have greater liquidity than bullion bars which can be difficult to split.There is  quite a choice  and that may be appropriate to the country in which you live. The Krugerand is one of the oldest and well known bullion coins and can be purchased with little premium over a bullion bar. In the UK, the British sovereign is in my opinion is the best investment,  ”safe haven” and emergency coin in the world and can be bought at very little premium from the right source with added attraction of owning a beautiful historic coin with aesthetic value.

There is clearly a case for a platform that enables the discerning investor to incorporate the factors that removes the risk and reduces purchase premium and commissions to the minimum. This mechanism did not exist until a unique platform was developed to enable the buying and selling of gold in real time with best prices and secure storage,  in France in 2008 AuCOFFRE.com.  The  UK website is currently under development and will be available very soon.

(1) Investment gold is

(a) gold of a purity not less than 995 thousandths that is in the form of a bar, or a  wafer, of a weight accepted by bullion markets or:

(b) a gold coin minted after 1800 that:

¨ is of a purity of not less than 900 thousandths

¨ is, or has been, legal tender in its country of origin; and

¨ is of a description of a coin that is normally sold at a price that does not exceed 180% of the open market value of the gold contained in the coin; or:

(c)  an investment coin as specified in Notice 701/21A Investment gold coins.

Maurice Hall

FRANCAIS ESPANOL ITALIANO CHINESE

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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."