Royal Mint and Royal Canadian Mint

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There are a number of gold and silver coins available at these websites as gifts or investments. The price is much higher than that of the metal itself (for obvious reasons); so if someone is looking to make some investments in gold or silver, should they consider these websites or simple coins from the market (at the lower prices) would be a better idea?

I've also noticed that mints charge exorbitant amounts for coins. Bullion sites like jmbullion or sdbullion represent a good balance of reasonable premiums and assured authenticity for buying gold and silver coins or bars. Some bullion coins nonetheless hold very high premiums, particularly the proofs and slabbed MS70 graded ones. The future will tell if this type of “investment" will give a good return or not. 


As one LCS owner told me, “you can either invest in metal, or rich people.” His reasoning was that the wealthy fare better during economic downturns, and may keep a demand for slabbed coins, or ones with high numismatic value. The caveat relating to your original question though, is that the coins sold by mints today will likely not have much numismatic value until perhaps a century from now. They're basically collector bait. I'd be wary of paying a 100% premium on a bullion coin just because it's protected by a plastic slab or comes with a fancy piece of paper. 


On the other hand, in general, gold/silver is not an investment but a store of value. The value of gold has remained more or less steady for the past thousand years. So perhaps the only real investment is something that has a chance of becoming rare or sought after, such as slabbed proof coin. So maybe those extra premiums are worth it, if you want your grand kids to have a chance of getting a nice chunk of change from their inherited coin collection. 

There are a lot of considerations to make before investing in bullion.


As you've already noted, coins are more expensive than bars largely because of the additional artistic work that goes into them. However, there are other considerations, including tax status, between the precious metal & the coin/bar options which I mention at the bottom.



DISCLAIMER: I do NOT use these services and can not make any judgement on them. I can only tell you that they exist - this is an informational post ONLY. I can only speak about the UK's Royal Mint - other mints may offer different services or have more competitive prices, I don't know. I've just seen these options whilst on the RM site.


=====Physical Bullion=====

The Royal Mint does issue bullion bars in gold, silver, and platinum. You can see those here:


The gold bars do work out cheaper, obviously how much cheaper depends on the volume bought. Looking at the most expensive options on Royal Mint, which is 400oz, you would save ~£19,523 if you bought the one x 400oz bar rather than 400 x 1oz gold coins even accounting for the bulk discount. However, even the bar has some premium on it because the Mint wants some profit even from that (and likely has refinement costs to consider etc).

400oz is the “standard” gold bar you're thinking of, if you were say, visiting Fort Knox - that's why it's that weight, it's not a random arbitrary number.




The Royal Mint also has a service called digi-gold which is exactly what it sounds like. It's sort of like an online bank account, but using gold instead of normal currency. You do buy actual gold, but you never receive it and the mint holds it for you in a "big safe” somewhere.

You can buy/sell as you like. I would read more into this before using the service. I'm not sure if you can only sell to them, or whether they just guarantee they will buy it if you specifically ask them. Obviously, if the latter, they charge a fee on that. They also charge an annual service fee for holding the gold for you in their “big safe”.

They may offer this service for other precious metals, I don't know.



=====Outside Sources=====

As you noted, you can of course buy bullion bars or bullion coins from a lot of other marketplaces. Whilst you might get a better price, you can run the risk of getting fakes or clipped (I.e. less weight than they ought to be). Usually, the more trustworthy the site, the higher the average price is as the risk is lower so more people use it. I can't speculate whether there's any sites which are as trustworthy as the Royal Mint but with lower prices as it's not something I dabble in.



=====Other Considerations=====

If UK based: Capital Gains Tax - Bars & Digital products ARE subject to Capital Gains Tax. Bullion COINS are NOT.

If UK based: VAT - Silver & Platinum products WILL have VAT charged if buying from the Royal Mint (or legitimate business), currently at 20% - You can NOT charge VAT back if you sell, unless you're a business too. Gold is VAT exempt.

Digital Products: These will charge service fees for holding your bullion.

Physical Products: Keep them in a secure location in case of theft. Consider insurance and/or any storage fees.

Physical Coins: Many high-street bullion dealers will only offer you the intrinsic metal value and will ignore any artistic value.


Royal Mint cover a range of other bullion FAQs here:



If you are considering investing considerable sums of money into bullion, speak to a specialist adviser to navigate the different tax statuses of things before making any purchases. Don't believe just anyone especially on the internet!

Just an observation. One issue with these government issue bullion coins not intended for circulation is that there will always be plenty of nice specimens around to choose from because there will be very little attrition such as when coins are intended for circulation. I collect some U.S.  government issue bullion coins because i simply love the beauty of their design  and not for the potential to make a profit from them. I do agree however that the markup for some of these coins is rather steep and far beyond their bullion value. That is a price I am willing to pay only for certain issues directly from the mint. I am a date collector of American Silver Eagles since the first issues in 1986 among others.

Thank you everyone (specially A Collector) for your inputs, I think the mints' prices are high merely because of the fancy designs on the bars/ coins which will probably hold no extra value. I think I would go for a rather little known local brand with much lower prices, they buy the item back the present gold rate minus their service charge.



I don't know the websites, which you mentioned and therefore i cannot rate specific offers there.

But british and canadian mint are producing much too much commemorative bullion coins. If you can wait a few years and don't need to get a certain type, you will find opportunities, to get them for bullion value or almost b.v.

Same about french commemorating coins.


Speculation, high prices in the field of modern coins i saw from Japan, from gold coins of Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

My favourite for now is Sweden, it has stopped producing commemorative coins and their prices are moderate in relation to similar coins.

Bottom line is that either you are a coin collector or a bullion collector. If all you are interested in is bullion, you are better off with bullion rounds or bars from private mints which tend to have less of a markup. Government mints must make a profit on the non circulating coins to help finance the circulating coins that cost more to produce than they are worth. The U.S. 1 cent  and the U.S. Nickel for instance.

Bullion coins are typically about twice the spot value of the metal. They are not useful as a short-term investments, however the price of gold keeps going up and given 5-10 years you can probably turn a profit. Some, very few, are collectable. If you sign up as a dealer and have 5-6 figures capital, you can probably learn to turn a short-term profit on the fluctuating spot value, but I wouldn't attempt it on gold, I'd do it in silver. Gold from the market is below spot value any day, but you need to have a reliable point of sale people can come to to sell their gold. For example a shop front.

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