Categories
Infographics

Gold Storage or Delivery?

gold storage

Gold Storage or Delivery

Is gold storage something you’re thinking about?  Are you interested in purchasing physical Gold or silver, but concerned about where you’ll store it?   Our infographic highlights the various options available; to help put your mind at rest.

The main advantage of owning physical gold is that it’s the real thing!  There’s no counterparty risk, as there’s no electronic trading or paper involved.   It’s as real and solid as can be and something that you have the pleasure of holding in your hand.

 

But how do you keep a precious metal safe and secure?

Insured delivery direct to your door

Delivered to you fully insured, our delivery is discreet, so the whole neighbourhood won’t know what you’re taking delivery of.  It’s packaged in plain, padded envelopes, safely and securely.   We also track every package that we post, which allows us to follow up on any queries and provide reassurance on when you should expect your delivery.    If your gold or silver is in stock, and you place your order before 2pm, then we should be able to get it to you by the next working day. Before 1pm to be precise.     Should your order be out of stock then we’ll aim to deliver it within 2 – 3 days – depending on the stock availability. From 2018 all gold orders benefit from free UK delivery.


Thinking of buying gold? Download the FREE 7 step cheat sheet first


Professional gold storage vaults at the Bank of England
Home safes often have a digital locking device

Gold Storage Options

Once you’ve received your package and signed for it, there are several options for you to consider regarding storage:

Home storage

Many people choose to keep their gold stored safely at home and there are many options available for home storage.  A steel safe is the most obvious choice for safety and security – preferable bolted down to the floor.   But if bolting the safe isn’t an option, then try to keep them safe somewhere out of sight, like in a cupboard, hidden by other items.

You can also use everyday household cupboard items, like tins, packets of cereal, boxes of tea bags etc. to hide and conceal your gold, but it’s important that you remember where you’ve stored it so it doesn’t accidentally get thrown away. There are many different steel safes available for home use. These include fireproof and waterproof ones. There are even models that can be unlocked by using your fingerprints. They can also be installed inside the flooring, underneath the carpet.

There are a number of ingenious secret storage items that you can purchase from PhysicalGold.com, such as clocks or wall sockets, to help you conceal & store your precious metals.

Hiding things under the mattress is also more common than you might think, but whichever home storage option you choose, you must ensure your home insurance covers the total value of the gold.  The advantage of keeping your gold at home is that you know exactly where it is, you can keep it close and touch it, as often as you wish.

10 commandments

Bank Deposit Box

Safety deposit boxes at banks are considered to be extremely safe and secure, so it’s worth visiting your bank to ask about the availability of one if this is of interest to you.   Many banks have been withdrawing these facilities over the past few years though, so there may be a waiting list or a box may be quite difficult to acquire.

Safety Deposit Facility

A third-party safety deposit facility offers boxes for you to rent to keep your small, personal household items safe.  These facilities are usually open 9 – 5pm for you to visit and generally cost between £100 – £1000 per year to rent.

Since tariffs are expensive, it could work well as a short-term arrangement. The benefits of using a safety deposit facility are that your valuable assets are stored away from your home.

Additionally, these boxes are available in various sizes and you can choose one according to your requirements. Of course, one of the disadvantages of this arrangement is that you cannot access the box at any time of your choice. You can only do so when the facility is open. Also, there could be a natural disaster like a flood that could damage your belongings stored inside the box. In many cases, the operator may refuse to re-compensate you for your damages when this happens, simply because their insurance may not cover it

Professional Vault Storage  

The most common (and safest) gold storage option is to arrange for the secure storage of your gold with your chosen dealer, as they have access to secure vaults.  These professional vaults offer 24hr safety and security, giving you reassurance and peace of mind.   The vaults are highly secure and generally don’t allow public visits, but rest assured your gold will be personally allocated and stored separately in a fully segregated account, within your own little section in the vault.

At PhysicalGold.com, pension gold, silver coins and gold coins are stored at Loomis International, UK – one of the UK’s most secure gold storage facilities.     Silver Bars are stored at Network Securities in the Channel Islands – a specialist vault facility that has dual controlled security systems and a direct connection to the local police station.

So if you choose to store your precious metals with us, we can reassure you that all of our stored gold and silver is fully insured, segregated and completely ring-fenced and you can request home delivery of your gold at any time.   However, given the high levels of security involved, it’s often not possible for the public to request to view their gold, but we can assure you that it is there – safe and secure.PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Categories
Blog

Tax Year End 2019: But Gold has no annual limit

Facebook

2019 Tax Year End

With the tax year end upon us, now’s the time that many take a hard look at their finances and make investment decisions for the following year. But if you’re one of the savvy investors already owning physical gold, then you’ll know buying gold and silver aren’t affected by the tax deadline.

Tax year-end brings a fresh start

If your money is currently in an ISA or savings account, then the tax year end might have you rethinking your investments and considering gold (or silver).

If you’re one of the thousands of investors wanting to move your money around, to reduce your tax exposure and maximise your gains, this article will provide insight into some important tax considerations, which every investor should know about.


Want to learn more about gold’s tax efficiency? Download the Insiders Guide to tax-efficient gold


ISAs are limited tax-free investments

Many investors just think of ISAs as tax-free investments, when in reality, they’re limited tax-free investments – meaning there’s an upper limit to how much you can save. The ISA limit for 2019/2020 remains at £20,000 maximum, but you can’t roll over any unused portion to the next year, so you have to use it or lose it.

Tax Year End
Keep TAX rates down with UK Gold

Regular savings accounts are taxed

If your money is in an old fashioned, regular savings account, you’ll be charged a tax on any interest it generates. This makes a savings account quite unappealing for those who’ve already maxed out their ISAs. Especially with the highest available rates being around 1.5% and the majority of interest rates currently yielding sub-1% even before tax!

Capital Gains Taxes on assets you sell

If you’re looking into selling an asset or Buy-to-Let property that you own, you’ll likely end up paying Capital Gains Tax on the profits of that sale. This is especially true for those who’ve already reached their CGT allowance for the year. Many forms of Gold, on the other hand, are actually CGT free.

The lifetime allowance could affect your pension

The lifetime allowance, which was previously reduced from £1.25 million to £1 million, PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPUis a limit on the value of payments on your pension and could affect many people who’ve already reached this new allowance total. If you’ve saved into your pension throughout your working life, you could already be at this limit and you’ll be taxed heavier than in previous years. Check the Money Advice Service dedicated page for the latest allowance rates and related information.

UK Gold Coins have no Capital Gains Tax and no VAT

Physical gold has always been a worthy investment and gold investments make a great addition to any portfolio. Due to there being no upper limit on how much you can purchase in a year and certain forms of gold falling into the bracket for CGT and VAT free investments, it is looked on favourably by many investors. Currently, all bullion coins that are classed as legal tender in the UK which includes coins such as gold Sovereigns and gold Britannias, are CGT exempt. They are also VAT free providing the coins were minted after 1800 and classified as legal tender.

Coins to buy from Physical Gold

If you want to consider an investment that will appreciate tax-free, then take a look at our tax free-gold coins (including the 2019 Gold Sovereign and the Dragon Queen’s Beast) or our CGT free Silver.  PhysicalGold.com even offers the opportunity to add gold to your Self Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) to achieve a balanced portfolio. Currently, the UK Government are willing to pay up to 45% towards the cost of your gold if you invest through a SIPP. This is applicable to all investment-grade gold bars or wafer that are professionally stored and have a purity of at least 99.5%.

Contact Physical Gold for 2019/2020 Financial Planning

Providing you’re looking for an investment that will help you diversify and protect your assets, whilst avoiding CGT and VAT (for gold), you can’t go wrong with Physical Gold. Call us without delay on 020 7060 9992 to speak to us or complete our contact form. We can provide guidance on how gold can comfortably fit into a wider investment portfolio for the financial year ahead.

 

Image Sources: Geralt

 

Facebook

Categories
Blog

Gold investment versus Property – is property losing its shine?

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Gold v Property. Which is a better investment?

The decision of where best to invest your money is an important one. Buying property has been a favoured choice for UK investors for years. Returns have been excellent and the physical nature of bricks and mortar has appealed in its simplicity.

But choosing the right property and managing it isn’t straight forward and now investing in real estate in the UK is less lucrative due to legislative and market evolutions.

Over the past decade, the very same investors who feel comfort in property’s simplicity, are starting to turn their attention increasingly towards another unfussy tangible asset – gold.

So which asset is better – gold investment or property?

In this analysis we’ll cover;

  • Gold and Property are good places to start
  • 6 crucial comparison points
  • 7 major threats to property which are catalysts for gold
  • Conclusion

Toying with the choice between physical gold and property investment? Download this FREE cheat sheet containing all the crucial considerations


Physical Gold Investment and property are good places to start

As keen investors know, there are two key rules to adhere to when investing:

  1. Only invest in things you understand
  2. You have to be lucky with timing.

Certainly, I stick with the first rule religiously, which is why I’m a big fan of both physical gold investment and property. They’re both simple, tangible assets, with an intrinsic value.

And whilst I agree with the second rule – that there’s always an element of luck involved, I also believe intelligent, strategic thinking can vastly improve your chances of great timing. Trying to predict the market and repeated switch from one asset class to another requires extraordinary luck, which soon runs out.
Insider's Guide to gold and silver

6 crucial comparison points

 

1) Recent property v gold performance

Let’s start by comparing the performance of these two asset classes, in the UK over the past 3 years.

House Prices

The UK House price index shows a 14.2% increase in average UK house prices in the period from June 2015 to June 2018. Just under 5% per annum capital growth in a low-interest-rate environment sounds pretty good. Add in rental income and it’s easy to understand why property is such a popular UK investment. However, when you drill into the figures, returns vary considerably from region to region which adds a layer of complication to the investment. Buying in the next ‘up and coming area’ can be down to as much fortune as expert insight.

How about the bigger picture?

Go back further to 2008 and average house prices have risen from £181,000 to today’s £224,000, an annual increase of 4.2%. This encompasses the period of super low-interest rates.

However, when we look at figures for the past 12 months, average UK house prices have risen a mere £3,000 or 1.3%. Even more significantly, key areas such as the usually thriving London market are now starting to see monthly falls in prices.

Speak to an estate agent and they’ll tell you that the current market seems to be softening month on month. Rather than houses selling above the asking price, vendors are being forced to offload properties at discounts due to flailing liquidity.

The below chart from www.home.co.uk demonstrates the fact that housing inventory is lingering on estate agents’ book for around 15% longer than a year ago.

physical gold investment
Properties are taking longer to sell in the key London market

Gold prices

For simplicity and better comparison, let’s just focus on the gold price in Sterling terms.

In the past 3 years, the UK gold price has risen 25.9% from around £770/oz to £970/oz. That marks an impressive 8.5% annual return. This outperforms UK property prices in the recent past.

hqdefault

How much is a gold bar worth? – Watch this video to find out!

 

Volatility plays a role

However, it’s important to note that while house prices tend to rise or fall steadily in one direction, the short term gold price is far more volatile. Returns over the past 3 years are very strong. But looking at the 6months from June 2015 to December 2015, the gold price fell around 7% in the UK. This makes the overall 25.9% increase even more incredible, but also clarifies that gold should be deemed a medium to long term buy and hold rather than short term speculation.

…and longer-term performance?

Taking a further step back and analysing gold’s returns over the past decade as even more remarkable. The spot gold price has risen from around £450/oz (June 2008) to the current £970/oz (June 2018). That’s an astonishing 115% increase or nearly 12% per annum.

If you’re a property fan, considering adding to your investment portfolio in the next year, you may instead wish to consider investing in Tax-Free Gold.

2. Market accessibility

Property entry point

Clearly, purchasing an investment property outright requires a large amount of capital. With average property prices above £224,000 in the UK, many people will find the market inaccessible.

Focussing on more modest properties such as studio flats, perhaps in less salubrious areas will certainly bring that figure down. But even small apartments in less desirable locations will require substantial investment figures.

physical gold investment
Average first-time buyers need a £33,000 deposit

Mortgages can bridge the funding gap

Most real estate investors will seek a mortgage to bridge the funding gap. However, obtaining mortgages is becoming increasingly difficult. Since the 2008 credit crunch, lending rules have tightened alarmingly with many buyers being with high credit ratings being turned down. The desire of lenders to seek new business is being crimped by their fear of defaults which has led to a far more strenuous lending process.

Even more significantly, the deposit required to obtain a buy-to-let mortgage has risen dramatically from a common area of 5% a decade ago to a more usual 25-30% nowadays, which instantly eliminates those with more modest means. Major estate agents Savills predict mortgaged property investments to fall a staggering 27% in the next 5 years.

Schemes to buy fractional ownership of property is available for those unable to afford a whole property, but this now enters a different realm, introducing a raft of other risks.

Gold starting amount

While the perception of gold investment is that it’s just for the rich and famous, gold is relevant to all of us regardless of wealth. Over the past decade, an increasing number of gold dealers have developed online platforms to purchase physical gold coins and bars with free insured delivery or convenient storage.

Increased competition, live pricing technology and transparency have made the gold investment market very accessible to everyone. While loans and leverage aren’t provided for physical gold investment, investors can pay by debit or credit card, as well as online transfer.

Low entry point

With many of the world’s major manufacturers such as The Royal Mint now producing favourite coins such as the Britannia and Sovereign in small fractional sizes, starting points for investors is around £100. With such low possible investment, gold investment is affordable to everyone.

Rewarded for quantity

A big difference between property and gold investment is that the latter offers discounts for larger quantity investments. So the price per gram when investing £100,000 is far lower than for £10,000, which in turn represents better value than buying £1,000. With that in mind, while the £100 starting point is possible, it doesn’t necessarily provide good value investment. Once investors buy a few thousand pounds worth of physical gold, decent discounts begin to kick in.

3. Type of returns

Property investment returns

One of the major appeals of investing in the housing market is the double whammy of possible capital appreciation and rental income. While capital appreciation is unpredictable, many property investors have made vast sums of profit simply from buying and selling at the right time. We all know that when the UK property market is on fire, prices can be like a steam train.

Passive income

Rental income is more predictable, especially if you PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPUcan agree to longer-term agreements with tenants. With high property prices excluding many UK residents from affording to own their own property, demand for rental property is high. The prospect of passive income is one of the main attractions of building a property portfolio, especially for those more mature in years, who still require an income.

Rental sector prospects for 2018 and beyond

Leading estate agent Knight Frank believes overall UK rental values will rise by 1.2% in 2018, but warn that London and the surrounding areas will see falls of 0.7% or more.

The risk of rental income is that tenants can default on payments, especially with wages stagnant or negative, but living costs rising. There’s also the prospect of having certain periods with the property unoccupied and receiving no rental income. This can represent a cashflow challenge as buy-to-let mortgages still need to be paid during such times.

Types of gold returns

Gold returns depend on which type of gold investment you own. Gold funds and mining shares can appreciate along with offering dividends.

However, for the sake of this comparison, we’ll just consider physical gold, as it’s tangibility makes it the most suitable alternative to property investment.

Capital appreciation

Unlike owning and renting a property, buying physical gold as an investment will not provide an income. For this reason, mature investors in need of an income, tend to focus on bonds and properties to provide this. They tend to supplement these investments with gold as a form of portfolio insurance.

Investors own gold coins and bars in the hope that both the gold price and type of physical gold appreciate. Appreciation is calculated according to the underlying gold price multiplied by the weight in gold that an investor possesses. Gold has more than kept pace with inflation over the years and has risen in value, especially during times of economic and political instability.

Additional rises in capital value possible

In a similar way that Victorian properties can be more valuable than brand new houses of similar square footage, Victorian gold coins can be worth more than brand new coins. But while premiums on period properties are generally fixed, older gold coins can continue to rise in value quicker than just the underlying market, providing a boost to profits.

victorian gold sovereign
The Young Head Victoria Sovereign trades at far higher premiums than the other two portraits

4. Liquidity

Property liquidity

The ease with which an investor can offload a property will depend on the type of property, the state of the market, and the location.

The first element is in your control. Sticking to more modestly priced properties will increase the number of possible buyers for the property, speeding up the selling time and improving the price achieved. One and two-bedroom apartments near to major transport links tend to be the sweet spot, and most resilient to market conditions.

How does location impact liquidity?

On a macro level, trying to sell a property will be impacted by the particular region the property is located. We’ve already seen how London is currently underperforming other areas of the UK at the moment with housing stock proving stickier at current levels than cheaper areas. This can come down to timing and luck as hotspots can change regularly. London is renowned to be one of the most liquid areas usually due to the high demand to live in the capital. If your property’s location has become trendy, sales can be sped up considerably.

On a micro level, buying properties near to train stations, amenities and desirable green land, can all speed up the process when it comes to selling.

Dangers of a sticky market and the dreaded chain

If the property market is in a state of decline, selling a property can be very difficult. In these circumstances, sales can take many months or even years. With mortgages becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, being let down by another party in a long chain of buyers and sellers can be frustrating at best and a nightmare at worst.

Gold liquidity

Gold’s liquidity is one of its great appeals. Regardless of whether the gold price is busy or quiet, gold investors can achieve a sale within a day or two if needed. Rates that dealers pay for your gold will vary depending on the state of the market, but differences will be a percent or two at most.

Divisibility and type of gold play a part

Similarly to buying the right property, selecting whether to buy gold coins or gold bars, for example, can impact the ease in which it is to eventually sell.

It may sound obvious, but buying a 1 kilo gold bar (which costs around £35k) means that you cannot sell £15,000 worth of gold if you need to raise funds. Obviously the same goes with property – you can’t sell half if you need. But buying £35,000 of 1oz gold coins would enable the gold investor to sell in any increment they want.

physical gold investment
Gold coins provide unparalleled liquidity

Does the type of gold coins matter?

Buying the right type of gold coin also enhances its liquidity. Coin collectors will likely need far more time to sell their unique gold coins as they have a narrower buyer base. These numismatic coins are likely worth many times their simple gold content, so more time is needed to achieve the price.

Sticking to well-known bullion coins will enable a super-quick sale to a gold dealer at a good price.

5.Tax efficiency

Tax treatment of property investment

General residential buy-to-let properties are becoming less tax efficient. Unfortunately, there are tax burdens when you buy, while holding the asset and when you sell.

Tax when you buy

Stamp duty is a tax when you purchase a property, based on the purchase price of the house or flat. Each higher bracket of stamp duty only applies to the value amount within that higher bracket. Properties below £125,000 in value are rated zero percent, with 2% charged up to £250,000, 5% up to £925,000, 10% on homes up to £1.5m and a colossal 12% above that. Once you consider the conveyancing fees as well, it costs a huge sum in tax just to get started.

Even worse, in April 2016, an additional 3% stamp duty is applied to all these brackets for buy-to-let properties. (see details below in the ‘4 Major Threats to Property’ section).

Tax when you hold

If you’re renting out a property, then income tax applies to the rental income. The ability to offset this with your mortgage costs is also disappearing (detailed in ‘4 Major Threats to Property’ below).

Tax when you sell

With the double incentive of an income and possible capital appreciation, 10 commandmentscomes the double punishment of income and Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Selling your main UK residence at a profit is thankfully not liable for CGT. So mercifully, you can ‘invest’ in your own property without the fear of fiscal punishment.

However, CGT applies to gains made on second homes. All you need to know about CGT is that each individual has an annual tax free threshold (around £11,000 each), with any gains above that being taxable. With the scale of property values, this threshold has little chance of protecting you from up to 28% CGT, especially as you can’t sell half a house before the tax year-end a half afterwards!

How about buying within a pension

While commercial properties can be more tax-efficient as they qualify for a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP), residential properties are not a permissible asset.

Gold’s tax efficiency

With buy-to-let investors to be hit hard with the fiscal stick, it could see many of them moving some money away from property and into physical gold investment – which has no such tax penalties.

Tax-free purchases

As long as you buy ‘investment grade’ gold, your investment is VAT exempt. To qualify as investment grade, the gold needs to be in the form of a bar or coin and at least 22 carats in purity. So that discounts gold jewellery or low purity coins.

As we’ve already mentioned, holding physical gold produces no income so there’s no income tax to pay.

physical gold investment
Being tax efficient can boost returns dramatically

No tax on disposal

The real bonus with gold investment is that if you buy the right type of gold, there’s also no CGT to pay on any profits. For UK residents, this means buying British coins with a face value. This face value qualifies the coin as legal tender, for which tax is not applicable. Predominantly, UK gold investors focus their purchases on Sovereign or Britannia coins, which are both classed as legal tender.

Even if you wish to invest in gold bars or non-UK coins, CGT can be avoided due to the smaller divisibility of the asset compared with property. Krugerrands, for instance, are a popular coin which in theory are taxable if you sell at a profit. But due to their modest size, some can be sold before tax year-end and others afterwards to spread out any profits, thus keeping within tax-free thresholds.

6. Ongoing costs

Property costs

With investment properties being occupied by tenants, wear and tear are inevitable. As a landlord, you’re obligated to provide upkeep and maintenance of the property for your tenants. Clearly, you have a vested interest to uphold your property’s condition too. The level of these ongoing costs will depend on how well your tenants look after the property, the age of the property and the value.

For larger property portfolios, it’s not uncommon for many properties needing work at once, leading to high running costs. Paying a management fee for a company to help this process is common. Ongoing fees to manage tenants and rent are also applied if you’re unable to manage the process yourself. Finally, landlord insurance is required by law, further saddling the property investor with continuing costs.

Physical gold coins or bars costs

The main ongoing fee for gold is insurance and storage. For modest amounts of gold, it’s possible to take delivery yourself, reducing ongoing fees to buying a home safe and adding the gold to your contents insurance. But for larger investments, the peace of mind of professional vault storage is comforting. However, insured storage can cost up to 1% per year of the value of the gold, which will rise as the value of gold increases.

7 major threats to property which are catalysts for gold

Any factor which is detrimental to the economy or specifically the housing market can act as a huge boost to gold investment. As the world’s safe haven asset, economic and political instability which can impact property investment negatively, will likely provide a magnet for investors to gold, as a way of seeking protection. We’ve seen this switch into precious metals throughout the history of gold investment.

Bad news for UK property can also put Sterling under pressure as a currency. This indirectly boosts gold prices in the UK, as pricing originates in Dollars and is then converted into Sterling. So a weak Pound increases the price of gold for UK investors.

1. China woes and Russian politics

The biggest overseas buyer of UK property in recent times has been the Chinese. They’ve not only been the catalyst for UK property price increases but almost single-handedly provided momentum to the global economy. It’s not uncommon to hear that an entire block of new flats has been sold within weeks, mainly to the Chinese market.

But cracks have started to appear in the world’s second-biggest economy, forcing the Chinese central bank to devalue its currency on some occasions this year. Stock markets have already reflected the growing concern and accepted that the Chinese bull-run is possibly coming to an end.

China’s size is significant

If, as expected, Chinese demand for UK properties wanes, then we’re likely to see the heat from the market dissipate. China’s size (it contributes more than 13% of global GDP), means a shrinking economy will also impact every other region around the world – further curbing demand for UK buy-to-lets.

Equally the wealthy Russian buyers have also held an obsession with buying UK properties over the past decade. With political tensions increasing with Russia, many are pulling out of the UK market, especially with visas harder to obtain.

With their focus on the high-end London market, it’s no surprise that this is now the region and sector which is most missing their enthusiasm and Ruples.

New Call-to-action

 

2. New legislation around greenbelt land

Supply and demand play a key role in both property and gold. With property investment, it’s reassuring that, here in the UK, we have the equation of an increasing population and very limited space to build new houses. Similarly, gold’s demand continues to increase, whilst supply is extremely limited, due to no major discoveries in the past 15 years.

However, the squeezed housing supply, currently pushing up UK prices, could be about to explode. Many affordable housing projects are already underway. But it’s the biggest shake-up of protected green belt land in 30 years that will provide the catalyst to a surge in UK housing stock.

If the proposal to build thousands of new starter homes is approved, it could play a huge role in alleviating the current supply shortage.

3. Stamp duty rise on buy-to-lets

Whilst property supply may increase, the Government is also determined to hamper demand in a desperate attempt to prevent another financial crisis. In the last few years, the budget specifically targeted UK property investors – adding a huge 3% extra stamp duty for buy-to-let investors starting in April 2016.  This applies across the valuation board and will need to be paid in addition to the current stamp duty rates. This equates to an additional £15,000 stamp duty on a purchase of a £500k property.  This additional upfront tax burden may put off those looking to enter the market or those wishing to add to their current property portfolio.

Difficult to raise money

Post the 2008 financial crisis, banks are now increasingly tight-fisted when it comes to giving out generous mortgages on buy to let properties. Not only is it difficult to get a buy to let mortgage, but recent budgets have also witnessed reduced tax breaks for buy to let investors, making the asset class less attractive for investors.

4. Reduced tax breaks

If that wasn’t enough, new legislation already passed,

New call-to-action

will impact the income received for all UK buy-to-let investors. Previously investors were able to offset much of their rental income against their mortgage, meaning little or no income tax on the investment. However, this benefit is now being phased out, so anyone owning investment properties will face significant rises to their tax bill. This will not only deter new investment into the market but may also see existing owners sell to avoid the tax hike.

5. Interest-only mortgages coming to an end

The days of easy money before 2008, witnessed an epidemic of UK house buyers taking out interest-only mortgages. The idea was that the borrower could invest money in the stock market for the duration of the mortgage term and witness growth which out-paced the amount needed to pay off the loan’s notional amount. This would leave them with a bonus nest egg to do with what they liked.

But when stock markets failed to make the expected gains, many households fell short of the amount they required. The consequence was that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has applied pressure to lenders to stop giving these mortgages out anymore. Nowadays, interest-only mortgages are only really available on buy-to-let properties rather than main homes.

Interest-only time bomb

However, with one in five mortgage customers having one of these deals, the next few years could see many homeowners facing eviction. A huge proportion of loans handed out in the 1990s are maturing over the next few years.  And a lethal cocktail has brewed which could hit the housing market and the economy hard.

After a decade of ultra-low interest rates, many homeowners have continually re-borrowed as their homes have risen in value. This extra money has helped fuel the economy to this point, but it leaves many with very high loan-to-value (LTV) on their homes. With these loans deals about to finish, these homeowners will fail to obtain new interest-only deals. Combine this with interest rates already on the rise, and monthly mortgage commitments could increase ten-fold.

Such an impact would undoubtedly witness house prices falling with further rental demand.

Physical gold investment
Brexit concerns and fears impact gold prices and confidence

6. Increased uncertainty over Brexit

The continuing uncertainty over Brexit is a cause for great concern when it comes to property market investments. As the gates close for new immigrants, property market demand is likely to be affected causing volatility in the real estate market.

It’s unclear what sort of trade deal will be achieved for the UK after its £39 billion divorce bill is paid. Either way, the uncertain journey, regardless of the quality of the final destination, is bad for property markets and supportive of a market hedge such as gold.

What’s happening in Italy?

As was suspected, Brexit isn’t an isolated incident. Not only does the UK’s withdrawal from the EU impact many other countries, but it also sets a precedent. Italy has followed suit in electing a coalition Government borne out of the desire for change.

With the far-right coalition suggesting the appointment of a eurosceptic finance minister, President Sergio Mattarella has stepped in to deny the selection. This unheard-of move has caused Italian bond yields to plunge more than at any point since the Euro’s inception in 1999.

This leaves Italy in a state of limbo with the new Government wishing to spend its way out of trouble at rates which would break EU guidelines. This demonstrates their desire to be the next to leave the single currency and return to controlling its own political destiny.

7. Equity market correction

We’re all enjoying our stocks going up in value in our pensions and ISAs. But all good things must come to an end. Analysing stock valuations over the past 150 years depicts bull runs lasting up to 6 years, immediately followed by a market correction. The Dow Jones and FTSE indices are now enjoying their 9th year of rising prices, so the law of averages tells us that the downturn is overdue.

Maybe it will keep rising indefinitely?

An analogy would be the city of San Francisco. History and science tell us that being located on the San Andreas fault guarantees future earthquakes. With many of the current residents have enjoyed years without a major quake, it’s naïve to suggest it will never happen. It will happen, we just don’t know when. What we do know is the longer it goes without a quake, the bigger the damage when it does occur. The same can be said of stocks.


Worried how exposed you are to a market downturn? Take our FREE test to find out here


What’s the outlook?

Each day we read about more major brands either shutting stores, making redundancies or even going into administration. This isn’t just small independent shops in the high street, but major mega brands such as House of Fraser, BT,  Sainsburys & Asda, Toys R Us and Maplin. On an evolutionary note, commerce is changing at the fastest pace for a century with online giants like Amazon squeezing profit from physical stores and automation replacing human jobs. This will only continue with technology.

Many market experts predict a major stock market correction with the Fed Reserve starting to raise interest rates in the US. Closer to home, wages are stagnant and credit bubbles are almost at bursting point with car leasing and zero percent credit card deals.

Physical Gold investment
Experts can see the storm coming

What would be the impact on gold and property?

When stock markets tumble, every investor feels the pinch, jobs are lost and day to day income is impacted. This takes any heat from the stock market as fewer borrowers can raise the funds to move house or pay high rent.

This is also the very time, that institutional and savvy retail investors switch their attention to gold. As a safe haven, it tends to receive a significant injection of investment demand during such market downturns.

Conclusion

Which investment should I choose?

The great thing is that you don’t need to choose between property and physical gold investment. If you’re already a keen property investor, then it may be worth taking your first steps to gold investment to hedge your portfolio. As we’ve seen, possible threats to one asset class can be a benefit to the other. That way the two investment rules are met: property & gold is simple, tangible assets and timing become less of an issue if you own both.

However, we all know that strong economic markets don’t last forever. That’s where owning some gold comes into play. Relying solely on property investment means the good years are great, but the bad years are catastrophic. Combining property and gold investment hedges the issue, so regardless of underlying conditions, you should still receive both income and portfolio growth

Do you need to be lucky with timing?

Timing and cycles can make a huge difference in your investment returns. While gold prices could rise or fall in the coming months, the odds are convincingly in favour of now being a great opportunity for physical gold investment. Rather than try to time the stock market or property sector downturn, invest in gold now while prices are relatively low. It’s better to have your portfolio insurance in place 6 months, or a year before the downturn, than one day after.

 Is gold investment for you?

If you have decided gold investment is for you then look no further than Physical Gold. Why not call our experts on 020 7060 9992 today?

Image Credit: Daniel Diaz Bardillo

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Categories
Infographics

Where In The World Is The Gold? | Infographic

Where In The World Is The Gold?

Here at Physical Gold, we have been looking at where the biggest gold mines are in the world which in turn led us to create or latest infographic ‘Where In The World Is The Gold?’.

We looked at how much gold is produced in mines across the world and ranked the 10 largest producing mines worldwide. With anything, you like to know where your product was originally sourced, therefore we thought we would do the same for physical gold investors much a like yourself.

Where in the World is the Gold?
Where in the World is the Gold?
Created by Physical Gold

Discovery of gold

The craze for gold mining has been around for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found gold artefacts in Eastern Europe dating back to somewhere around 4700 BC. This would indicate that the practice of gold mining has been around for almost 7,000 years. Infact, gold was mined across the world. Gold mining sites have been found across Europe, North Africa, and even India. In India, gold was mined as early as the 2nd century AD and gold artefacts found in the ancient Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro civilizations, now part of modern-day Pakistan, have been traced back to the minefields in Kolar, in Southern India. The size of these operations grew during the reign of the Chola kings a few centuries later.

Roman miners used two different methods to mine gold. One was called hushing, which meant that a flood of water was released to expose the gold hidden below the silt and the soil. The other was called ground sluicing, which was essentially an open pit method. In the 19th century, there were a series of gold rushes all over the world, which led to the discovery of gold mining sites across the world.

Insider's Guide to gold and silver

top 10 gold mines
At the mining stage, the gold is buried inside the rock, fused with other materials

How much gold is there anyway?

So far, the amount of gold that has been mined is approximately 171,300 tonnes. While that may seem large a large amount, it is important to know that gold is one of the rarest elements. In comparison to the entire volume of the Earth’s crust, the precious metal is only 0.003 parts per million of the entire crust. In fact, the scarcity of gold is one of the factors that makes it so precious.

Gold supply running out?

It is widely believed that global gold production PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPUpeaked in 2015 and since 2013, the output from almost all mines has slowed considerably. Some analysts have predicted that we have another 20 years or so of gold mining left. Of course, needless to say, once that happened it would dramatically spike the spot prices of gold.

However, new explorations continue to take place, as several countries continue to fund searches for new gold. China, the world’s largest consumer of gold is one such country. China recently discovered new precious metals deposits, valued at nearly $60bn near the shared border with its neighbour, India. However, China’s mining operations in the region could create border tensions between the two countries. On the other hand, mining company Polyus, from Russia claims that their 2018 output is likely to be at the topmost range.

Call our experts to know more about gold production

In this infographic, we have covered some of the significant gold mining projects across the world. China and Australia are the largest producers in the world, followed by the US, Russia, and Canada. Our team of experts can guide you on gold investing, how to generate good returns by investing in gold and when to buy and sell. For expert advice on gold investing, call 020 7060 9992 and speak to a member of our team, or drop us an email through the ‘contact’ section of our website.

 

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Categories
Blog Guides

Why Invest In Silver

Facebook

Investing in silver is new to many. Even established gold investors may not have bought silver before. But that’s now changing, as we’re seeing just as many enquiries in silver as gold. So why are more and more people investing in silver?

Gold isn’t the only precious metal – Why you should invest in silver too

Why invest in silver, when gold is the ‘go to’ precious metal?

If you currently invest in a precious metal then it’s likely to be gold and with good reason. As the most popular of the precious metals, gold is recognised as a valuable commodity and is available in a range of formats and weights, which are easily tradable. Gold has historically been a reliable way to both protect and grow your wealth.

Silver’s the new kid on the block

But gold is not the only precious metal investment. Experienced investors know that, as with all types of investment, having all your eggs in one basket isn’t a good idea. It’s unlikely that all the shares in your portfolio are in one company, so why not consider diversifying your holdings in precious metals too? In fact, it’s not only us who are excited about the potential of silver. 5 years ago, 95% of our enquiries were for gold. Roll on to todsay, and our sales are now split 50/50 between the two precious metals. Metal diversification is a sound strategy for many reasons:

Silver’s historical position

Silver, like gold, has been considered a precious metal for hundreds of years and has been utilised as money throughout history. Its value is intrinsic, meaning that like gold, there’s never a shortage of buyers. As such, silver is a great vehicle for securing your wealth against threats such as volatility and for growing your portfolio.

Much of silver’s use can be roughly split three ways; between ‘silverware and jewellery’, ‘photographic’ and other ‘industrial’ uses. These are the key drivers of the worth of silver and why it has become such an attractive investment.


Download our FREE 7 step cheat sheet to investing silver here


The use of silver, particularly in the photographic and technology fields, has been key to its rising value over time. In photographic materials, the silver can only be used once, meaning the volume of the available silver present on the planet is reducing every day. The technological uses for silver are naturally increasing, as more and more advances in technology are made every day – relying on silver for component parts.

Silver’s pivotal role in solar panels

In the manufacture of solar panels, silver plays a pivotal role. 90% of the structure of crystalline photovoltaic cells, which are widely used in the solar panels industry is made of a silver paste. When sunlight is received by the cells, a stream of electrons are generated. Silver is a metal with one of the highest conductivity ratios of both electrical and thermal energy. Therefore, silver is used to conduct the power out of the panels.

The solar industry alone uses 52.4mn ounces of silver, with each solar panel using around two-thirds of an ounce of silver, which is approximately 20gms. As the industry grows, with more and more townships across the world becoming more energy efficient and turning to green energy, the demand for silver will increase, as will its price. However, a reverse effect would also take place, as the rising price of silver is dissuading solar panel manufacturers from using too much of it in their operations.

Electronics is where silver really comes into its own

Then, of course, another silver hungry industry is the electronics industry, where silver is used in contact switches industry-wide. The electronics industry uses silver that has a fineness of 999.9, meaning silver with absolute purity. With the convergence of electronics with the automobile industry, most cars are now computer controlled and use several contact switches, gadgets like GPS, etc. Due to this, the demand for silver has increased hugely across the industry, particularly with the advent of smart cars. Silver is also widely used in brazing and soldering of metal joints, where operations are conducted at temperatures above 600 degrees centigrade. These joints are often used in applications like heating systems, air conditioning, and plumbing. As silver has strong anti-bacterial properties, it is ideal for use in these applications, especially where pipes may be used to deliver potable drinking water to homes.

why invest in silver
The solar panels industry is a major user of silver

The use of silver, and its value, has changed over time but one thing is certain – the demand is growing and the stock of available silver on the planet is steadily decreasing. An increase in demand and a slowly diminishing supply, usually means one thing for prices..!
Insider's Guide to gold and silver

Many Uses

Silver, unlike gold, isn’t merely desired but essential for industry and commerce and its necessity has put considerable strain on silver’s supply thereby increasing demand for silver investments. Historically gold and silver used to trade at a ratio of 12:1 which meant it took 12 ounces of silver to buy 1 ounce of gold. Today – the ratio has widened and it takes 60 ounces of silver to buy 1 ounce of gold. Most commentators and analysts believe that as a result, silver bullion is massively undervalued with many predicting it could reach $100 an ounce in the next five years.

Supply shortages

As silver’s use in industry increases many financial analysts, investing experts, and even geologists believe that a silver shortage is upon us. Infact the Silver Institute predicts that silver demand for industrial purposes will increase by 36% by 2016.

The demand for industrial silver went up a lot more, rising to 599mn ounces in 2017. A large portion of this increased demand came from the solar industry, as there was a 24% increase in global solar panel installations in 2017. Solar photovoltaic cells use a silver paste, thanks to the incredible electrical and thermal conductive properties of silver. Silver is also an essential ingredient for the manufacture of electronics, including electronics used in the automotive industry. The industrial demand for silver from the electronics industry alone consumed around 249.9mn ounces.

Here’s the best bit….

Silver-zinc batteries are increasingly being used by the PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPUelectric car industry, which is also growing in leaps and bounds. Experts believe that by 2030, 25% of the global automobile industry will be electric. So, on the one side, we have increased industrial demand that seems to be increasing steadily over the years, clearly outpacing the production volumes. The leading countries across the world for silver production are Mexico, China, Peru, and Russia. Sadly, production volumes have been plummeting globally. Recently, the Peruvian government released a statement that declared a significant fall in silver production from mines in the country. In fact, the fall in production volumes is as much as 12%. So, you can see where this is headed. A scarcity of a much in demand resource, with the demand curve rising steadily over the years would eventually lead to the spot prices of silver skyrocketing. Current spot prices are at $16.58 levels for a troy ounce. However, many investors believe that prices are likely to reach $20 an ounce in 2018. Still, others believe that in time, silver could be as dear as $130 an ounce. Obviously, as we move into the future, investors who believe in the rise of silver, need to get in early in order to stay invested long term and maximise their gains from the difference in buying and selling price.

Silver is undervalued

The historical ratio between gold and silver is currently out of sync. Throughout history, silver has, on average, been around 10-15 times cheaper than gold. Right now this gap has widened so that 1 ounce of gold, for example, will buy an astounding 75 ounces of silver. Many experts have identified this significant undervaluing as a huge opportunity to purchase silver.

why invest in silver
Silver bullion is a very popular and stable investment

Why invest in silver coins or bars?

In addition, silver has many other strengths, making it a very worthwhile choice to strengthen your portfolio. People that ask themselves, “Why consider investing in gold?” end up considering silver investment. Consider the following benefits of investing in silver:

  • Low entry point– because of silver’s relatively low price (when compared to gold), it’s an attractive precious metal when either first investing in metals or when adding to an existing portfolio. As silver is much cheaper than gold it only takes a small price change to effect a large percentage increase in growth. It’s fair to say that consequentially – silver is more speculative than gold but together they provide a good balance within your precious metals portfolio.
  • Good ‘hedge’ against other investments– Silver is typically not linked to falls in the stock market or interest rates, so when stock markets fall or interest rates are low for example, your silver investment still has the potential to rise.
  • Likely to yield higher returns than cash deposits– with interest rates low, your returns may well be better than cash investments such as ISAs or bank savings. Like a bank though, your investment can be securely held by us, so there’s no need to hide your silver bars under your mattress!

New Call-to-action

Contacting Physical Gold to discuss silver investments

If you’re interested in investing in silver or would like to add to an existing gold investment, then simply contact Physical Gold here. As a leading precious metals dealer, we’re able to offer competitive prices on gold and silver and organise secure holding or ship your silver directly to you. Whether you’re interested in purchasing silver bars, simply for investment, or you prefer silver bullion, our experts can guide you on how to buy silver and where to get the best silver deals in the UK.  You can also buy silver online from a reputed online silver broker. When you buy silver products from Physical Gold, be it silver bars or bullion, you can rest assured that every product comes with a certificate of authenticity, as well as a buyback guarantee.

 If you are investing in bullion coins or numismatic coins, we also have some great coin accessories that would help store your collection safely, without damage, in the event you decide to take delivery of your investment at your preferred location. In terms of delivery and storage, we have some excellent options, where you can choose not to take delivery of your purchases and opt to have them stored at our LBMA approved secure storage vaults, and simply receive the paperwork that entitles you to access them at any time you want.

 The first step in buying your silver from Physical Gold is to simply open a free account online, select your purchases and put them in the online shopping cart. From there onwards, you need to select your delivery options, complete any further steps, pay for them and sit back and relax. Call our investment team now on 020 7060 9992 and speak to a consultant.

Our consultants can also talk through your requirements, to ensure you make the best investment for your personal situation.

 

Image credits: MinkS and Lecho0047

Facebook

Categories
Infographics

The Wonderful Uses Of Silver

Many uses of silver

We here at Physical Gold have recently been focusing our efforts on informing the masses about our great silver investment opportunities. In doing so we have created a new infographic called The Wonderful Uses Of Silver which details all sorts of intriguing facts and stats. For instance, did you know that early x-ray films all had a hint of silver in them? And that silver helps to protect spacecraft against the likes of space radiation? This useful material is more important than most people know, and there is much to be learned about its uses. Why not have a read to see what you can discover…

Silver basics one should know

With an atomic number of 47, the precious metal is instantly recognisable by its atomic symbol – Ag, which was historically adapted from the word ‘Argentums’, which is its Latin name. Silver has amazing conductive properties and has a moderate melting point. Infact, believe it or not, silver has a melting point of 961.8, placing the element right between Germanium and Berkelium. The metal has an atomic weight of 107.86. The discovery of silver was an important step for mankind and it was one of the early metals to be discovered, probably around 5000 B.C. Interestingly, the metal can be found in nature in its elemental form, as nuggets or sometimes as crystals. Electrum, a natural alloy found in the world, is actually an alloy of gold and silver.


Interested in silver investment? Download our FREE Comprehensive Silver Investing guide here


Interestingly, the quantity of silver on Earth, when compared to gold is 17 times more and the precious metal is also a rare bird in the English language, as it appears that there are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with the word, silver.

uses of silver
Silver is an essential component for making printed circuit boards

Medicinal use

Silver is a very powerful anti-microbial agent and is widely used to disinfect surgical equipment all over the world. Unknown to many, silver halides were used as an integral part of the manufacture of x-ray film. Amongst other medicinal uses, silver sulfadiazine is used to treat wounds and external infections. Even breathing tubes are lined with silver to kill germs and prevent pneumonia.

Solar panels and silver

Solar panels are constructed using crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells. Silver paste contacts are used by manufacturers, which are printed on these cells. Over 100 million ounces of silver are used each year by the solar energy industry. The semi-conducting layers of these cells use the energy from the sun to produce power. The industry uses another way to produce power, by using the reflective property of silver to reflect the solar energy. Collectors capture this energy and use salts for power generation.

Use of silver in electrical components

Silver is a metal with a very high rate of conductivity,

New call-to-action

and this property is used by the industry to manufacture every kind of electrical component. From electrical switches to modern gadgets in the kitchen, almost all electronic devices are made using silver in one way or another.

Even mirrors are made of silver

The reflective properties of silver make it perfect for use in manufacturing mirrors. Many years ago, mercury was used to create a reflective backing on glass. However, due to the toxic properties of this element, it has long been replaced with silver by the industry.

The use of silver in photography

Traditional photography used silver halide crystals to create images. When these crystals were exposed to light, their patterns would register a change, which could then be used to develop a photograph. Of course, with the advent of digital cameras, this practice is now prevalent only in special situations where traditional photography is still in use.

Uses in the automotive industry

The super conductive properties of silver were put to use by automotive manufacturers in keeping our cars heated to a comfortable temperature. Silver is introduced inside the glass used for the windows in cars, which in turn ensures that heat remains inside the vehicle, keeping us warm during winters. Due to its high melting point, silver is also used to lubricate bearings inside the car engine.

Other interesting uses

The reflective property of silver is also used to shield spacecraft against harmful solar radiation. Silver is also combined with aluminium to form a very strong alloy that is used extensively by the air force.

Call our investment team to discuss buying silver

Silver is, therefore, an essential element, as well as a precious metal that has contributed immensely to human society. Equally, it is an attractive investment vehicle and a great asset class to invest in when building your investment portfolio. Call us on 020 7060 9992 or contact us online to know more about the best ways to add silver to your portfolio.

Image credit: Diego Torres Silvestre

Uses of Silver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Insider's Guide to gold and silver

Categories
Blog

Are Gold and Silver investing still good value?

Timing Gold & Silver Investing

Is the time right for gold and silver investing? It’s true that, at first glance, when looking at the historical price charts for gold and silver, they can look like a bit of a rollercoaster. This might lead you to believe that gold will never reach the dizzying heights it once did.

The price of gold reached its highest point in 2012 when it soared to a record high of £1,200 per ounce. The picture for silver investing is similar to current prices much lower than at its peak. This means the current levels of both metals offers great value. No-one should want to buy at or even close to the all-time high. Current prices for gold are around 20% better value than at its height, with silver an astonishing 60% cheaper.

You can view graphs illustrating past performance over various timescales, by clicking here. They make fascinating reading, though we would always stress that they should be considered in context and not in isolation.


To learn more about gold and silver investing, download our FREE Insiders Guide now


2016 bull run

2016 saw both the gold and silver prices record around 30% gains by year-end. And although it might not yet have reached the heights of 2012, gold enjoyed a continuous upwards trend, hitting a top point of £1,050 per ounce in July of that year. In Q1, The World Gold Council reported gold demand was up 21% to 1289.8 tonnes – the second strongest quarter on record. First-half gold demand was up 18% – the second strongest on record – with gold investment accounting for almost half of that demand.

Silver also went from strength to strength, reaching its highest price since January 2015. The US Federal Reserve’s decision not to change interest rates, together with no indication as to when they might raise them, encouraged people towards investing in gold and silver.

More subdued gains in 2017

Precious metals enthusiasts saw more modest gains the following year. Starting the year at £935/oz gold finished the year around 2.5% up at £960. During those two points, it spends 3 periods north of the £1,000 mark, peaking in September at £1,030. This coincided with a strong performance in the stock markets with the FTSE 100 rising 7.5% and the Dow Jones an incredible 24%. Generally, when stock markets perform so well, gold has the least interest and its price suffers the most. So it’s encouraging in the grand scheme of a balanced portfolio that gold still returned around the inflation rate during such a period.

What can we learn from that?

This demonstrates that while gold can act as portfolio PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPUinsurance during economic downturns (usually appreciating by double digits), it still can act as a store of wealth in other years too. With cash deposits still paying well below the inflation rate in 2018, this simple achievement for gold shouldn’t be sniffed at. Essentially owning gold should be a long term strategy, as returns (and potential losses) can vary greatly from year to year. Trying to second guess the market and predict the performance is futile and relying on extreme luck at best. It’s always tempting to sell everything and only buy the investment that is performing the best at that time, in a hope to ride the gravy train. However, this strategy leaves you vulnerable to being hopelessly exposed to market corrections and change. Owning some gold along with stocks, bonds, cash and property, enables balance and more predictability.

….and silver? Has Bitcoin taken its mantle?

Silver experienced a poor year in 2017 with losses of around 3.5%. Some feel the price is being manipulated downwards by the huge banks which are looking to load up on the metal. If so, the price will inevitably bounce back with a vengeance when the banks want their holdings to increase in value. An alternative is that with stocks performing well under the new Trump administration and cryptocurrencies making millionaires seemingly overnight, silver simply hasn’t had a look in. Many have switched their attention from bullion to bitcoin. With the silver price so low and its huge potential for quick gains, it’s certainly been viewed as the exciting and go-to investment for those seeking significant price rises. With the likes of Bitcoin achieving this on a steroid level, the short term greed has switched all the attention away from silver.

silver investing value
The likes of Ripple, Ethereum and Bitcoin have enjoyed the attention of the publicast

Will silver regain its shine instead of Cryptocurrencies?

However, as we now know in 2018, cryptocurrencies are incredibly volatile, on the downside as well as the upside. For the novice investor whose head has been turned by tales of instant wealth, there are now almost as many stories of overnight bankruptcy caused by incredible price drops for bitcoin. This period (after their initial glamorous price growth) will likely sort the wheat from the chaff. Naive investors will perhaps start to reconsider the value of cryptos, deciding either that they’ve now missed the boat, or that the risk of complete loss is too great. For the more travelled investor, they already know that investing in cryptocurrencies is similar to betting red or black in the casino. There is simply nothing tangible behind their value, and while the blockchain technology has its merits and will no doubt perform a critical role in our futures, getting rich overnight from Bitcoin could be over.


If you think it’s time to sell your gold coins, download our 10 simple steps to maximizing your selling price


Silver to differentiate itself from Bitcoin

For savvy investors seeking large gains, they’ll know that while silver and cryptos can be grouped as higher risk, higher gain asset classes, they are almost opposites. While the likes of Bitcoin may have no tangible or intrinsic value, silver is a physical precious metal. Its value can never fall to zero like Bitcoin and its value is backed by something tangible that not only can be used as currency but also has vast industrial uses especially in the technology sector. For this reason, the investors left standing after the inevitable Bitcoin massacre will no doubt seek out silver once again as the go-to sexy investment.

Current silver and gold value represent a great opportunity and potential

2018 has started in a rather dull fashion for precious metals. Prices are still around 20% below their historical peak, so it’s still a very good time to invest in both gold and silver. It just goes to underline that it’s a lucrative opportunity, with room for growth and the possibility of sharp spikes. As of March, returns for the year have been virtually flat for gold and 7% down for silver. Combined with last year’s silver price squeeze, it’s now looking like incredible value. It’s the ratio to gold, which averages 47:1 over the past century, now stands at a staggering 80:1. Surely silver investing offers vast upside potential.

Crucially, the influential factors which tend to increase the demand for precious metals, are still very much in place. Global markets continue to be unstable, rumours of another banking crisis persist and a housing market slowdown has already started. Combine this with heightened terror threats and rising demand from Central Banks for gold, and it’s easy to understand why the precious metals market still has plenty of wind in its sails.

silver investing value
History tells us that stock markets are overdue a nasty correction

The calm before the stock market storm

Stock markets have now enjoyed nearly a decade of

New Call-to-action

uninterrupted growth since the 2008 credit crisis. Recently the Dow Jones has received further boosts from the Trump administration. It’s tempting to leave as much money in stocks while they’re doing well as possible. Especially while precious metals are taking a breather. However, every market analyst will agree that a simple glance at historical performance will tell us that equity market bull runs cannot and do not continue forever. More pertinently, the most severe market crashes come after the longest a strongest bull runs, which inevitably fuel an inflating bubble. This is similar to the fact that San Francisco sits plumb on the San Andreas fault line. A glance at historical earthquakes will tell us that with the constant movement of the earth’s crust, further events are not only likely but guaranteed. It’s a case of when not if there will be another huge earthquake. Not only that, but when San Francisco is overdue a quake, just like the stock markets are now overdue a correction, then the expected magnitude of that impact is far greater.

Maybe I can simply leave all my cash in stocks and switch to gold when that happens?

The best policy is not to try and predict the future, as that’s just witchcraft! Instead, we should learn from the past and understand that just like the earth, the markets are constantly moving and predicting the moment of a big eruption is impossible. We’d suggest leaving money in stocks (even after they do fall dramatically as you won’t want to miss out on the recovery, however long that takes). However, we’d also insist on owning some physical gold and silver too. The most prudent strategy with timing when to buy precious metals is simply to buy now and wait. As long as you allocate a healthy percentage of your assets into the likes of gold, then you’ll be protected when the markets do crash. My little saying is that I’d rather own gold 6 months, or even 2 years before the market crash, than a day after. Because then it would be too late.

What else could push gold and silver up this year and next?

It’s not only the stock market which is vulnerable. There’s plenty of other elements in the mix which are either brushed under the carpet by authorities or simply under-estimated.

New call-to-action

Interest rates and housing market

After an extended period of record low-interest rates

in most of the globe’s major economies, we’re now starting to emerge into a new phase. Base rates have already risen in the UK and are predicted to continue rising in 2018 from May onwards. Rates in the US have also been rising, at a slightly faster rate. Rhetoric from central banks is that increases will be modest. However, the huge danger is the impact even small increases could have on the average man in the street. In a period of incredibly low or even negative wage growth, one of the few areas that have papered over the cracks has been property. With house prices seemingly on an unstoppable journey to the stars, the property-obsessed UK public felt comfort knowing their prize asset was at least rising in value. With interest rates near to zero, borrowing has been super cheap. So most of us have re-mortgaged, unlocking vast fortunes to fuel either extravagant lifestyles, or at least pay for the bills during lean periods. This increased leverage now leaves us vulnerable to the very interest rate rises we’re seeing now. When the starting point is as low as its been (0.25%), it only takes modest base rate increases to have a huge impact on our monthly mortgage cost, especially when cushy fixed intro rate mortgages periods come to an end. Check out our investigation into the relationship between interest rates and the price of gold and silver.

…and the housing market has softened

Not only are our monthly mortgage costs increasing, but the value of our property has stopped rising, and started to fall. This is a consequence not only of the international market struggling, with wealthy Chinese and Russians previously fuelling UK price growth, but also over the swingeing tax increases brought in by the current Government which has increased stamp duty so dramatically. We expect that firstly, more house owners will fail to pay their mortgages as interest rates rise, leading to more downward pressure on house values. For those who do manage to survive as costs increase, they will have less disposable income (with wage predictions stagnant), which will impact the high street and service sector, further crimping stock markets. Higher interest rates also mean higher new borrowing costs, which deters investment in corporate growth. All this will put even more pressure on the already unaffordable rental market. It’s common to compare gold investment versus property, but both should play crucial roles in a balanced portfolio.

silver investing value
A consumer credit bubble is already at bursting point

UK consumer credit bubble

With the pressures of interest rate and mortgage rises, the public’s other debts will also come under pressure. Two particular concerns are the car market and credit card sectors. Both industries are enjoying record high borrowing. However, as lenders feel the squeeze from higher rates and more defaults, we’re likely to see stricter borrowing requirements and higher rate deals. A record number of UK borrowers are currently on zero per cent credit card deals which are likely to begin to reduce in availability. People will then struggle to refinance their debt at anywhere near the levels they’ve been used to. In the automotive industry, a growing trend has been for leasing cars. Whether on outright monthly lease deals or borrowing with a balloon payment at the end, many drivers will struggle to continue financing their car. Certainly, the hunger for new cars every 2 to 3 years will likely diminish.

The technological age is slowing crushing the high street

Early 2018 has brought with it fresh casualties of the ever-growing high street demise. Toys R Us and Maplin have both gone into administration, while seemingly popular food chains, Prezzo and Jamie’s Diners are closing a large number of restaurants. Perhaps this doesn’t come as a surprise. You could argue that Maplin has always been incongruous and never really had mass appeal. While kids love the experience of Toys R Us, adults who buy the games are now far more likely to order from Amazon and benefit from lower prices and next day delivery. Either way, this trend of weeding out the weak, however large the company, is likely to continue as the public turn their back on the high street and embrace online shopping. The frightening consequence is the sheer loss of long term jobs. Automation is filling the role of so many which will have a long term negative impact on an already growing population. Read our blog on the future of gold in a cashless society.

Brexit, Trump and Russia

There isn’t enough time to cover every simmering possible global issue which could push gold and silver prices skywards. But certainly, a handful of other significant issues would be the ongoing threat to the UK from Brexit. Whether this has a direct impact on our economy, a slower longer-term influence or is simply negative to Sterling, this is one which will stay on the radar for a while to come.

Donald Trump hasn’t blown up the world yet, but who knows about tomorrow! None of us would be shocked if he develops his trade war with China, instigates a war with the likes of North Korea, or simply makes some terrible domestic decisions in the world’s biggest economy. Either way, in today’s ultra globalised economy, foreign issues have more impact on the UK than ever.

The recent tensions between Russia and the UK after the poisoning accusations could be a storm in a teacup. However, the Government’s strong condemnation of Russia suggests there could be a hidden agenda. With Putin now flexing his muscles, I’d rather own gold right now to provide diversification, just in case this escalates (especially as Russia have been stockpiling gold aggressively themselves over the past few years).Insider's Guide to gold and silver

Long term view for gold and silver investing

The value of gold and silver may be volatile, but owning them as part of a portfolio reduces your overall personal volatility. They tend to act as a balance to the traditional paper assets (like stocks and shares), so when those markets fall, physical gold and silver have historically risen. The motivation for many gold & silver investors aren’t necessarily to time the market perfectly; instead, it’s to take a long term view to provide balance and protection to their overall wealth. This way, exact timing isn’t important, as the long-term hold should outperform any short-term price drops and still deliver portfolio insurance.

So there’s no need to worry that gold prices might appear to plateau from time to time. You should consider investing in both gold and silver, which remain very worthwhile, solid, tangible investments.

Cost average to iron out volatility

If you’re still unsure and concerned about timing, then our ‘Monthly Saver’ enables you to purchase regularly. You can set up to automatically buy a small quantity of gold or silver every month. This means that if the price does decrease from one month to the next, it benefits you, as your next purchase would be at a lower rate.

Over time, you buy each month at the various underlying prices, therefore averaging out the cost of your precious metals. It’s a great way to get started in gold and silver investing.

The main message is that it’s necessary to take the long-term view. As with any investment, prices will go up and down, but as these graphs illustrate, the rewards can be well worth it. If you’d like to find out more about this type of investment, why not Download our free guide to investing in gold and silver. We maintain gold and silver are still very good value and worth their weight in, well… gold and silver!

Categories
Guides

VAT – All you need to know (Updated 2021)

First of all, we’ll briefly explain what VAT is and when it applies. We then quickly move onto how this applies to purchases of precious metals, and then finally reveal some powerful methods of buying gold in the UK without paying any VAT at all!

What is VAT?

Value Added Tax (VAT) is added on to most consumer goods and services in the UK. The current general rate of VAT is 20% with some items being at a reduced or zero rate. This is added at the point of sale and the consumer will bear the charge.


Understand all there is to know about tax efficient gold and silver investment. Download the pdf FREE


Exemptions to VAT

Many food and drinks are zero-rated except alcohol, confectionery and hot food. Most cultural and leisure activities are exempt as are some health, education and charity goods and services.

VAT rules on silver purchases

If you buy any form of silver in the UK, your purchase is

Insider's Guide to gold and silversubject to 20% VAT, regardless of purity and whether it’s a coin or bar. Despite this cost, physical silver investment in the UK has continued to grow in popularity, as analysts believe the silver price is severely undervalued.

Brexit caused the end of VAT-free silver in the UK

Prior to Brexit (31/12/2020), Physical Gold Limited were able to provide silver coins and bars without VAT. Sadly, the UK’s departure from the EU meant that the treaty which brought VAT-free silver ended.

Whilst we can’t provide silver VAT-free anymore we are still able to sell popular silver coins and bars at similar all-inclusive prices. We have made a number of changes to our silver business, which benefit the final price to our customers, these are:

  • Silver delivery – we now provide silver with no delivery charge. This is because silver is now delivered from the UK. Postal savings have been passed directly to customer’s
  • Reduced product range – we decided to reduce the number of silver products we sell. This means we buy fewer products, but more of them. In negotiations, we can bulk-buy these products, which means we pay less and pass this benefit on to the customer

Overall, these savings negate a lot of the increased price for VAT, so much so that the overall increase price caused by having to pay VAT is negligible. Additionally, we can say we are competitive with other UK dealers and our silver still represents great value for money.

Another benefit is that we can now accept mixed orders for gold and silver. You can now pay for your silver purchases by credit card up to £10,000 and mix gold and silver in the same order – offering you more flexibility.

Buying silver coins

We offer a range of bullion coins from 1oz Britannias and 2oz Queen’s Beasts coins to the most popular foreign silver coins. If you’re buying a large number of silver coins or looking to build a substantial holding over time, then don’t forget that any UK silver coins are also Capital Gains Tax-free to UK residents.

Buying silver bars

We are at able to deliver pure silver bars to UK addresses. You can benefit from the lower premiums of the larger silver bars, and buy silver bars delivered directly to your door.

New call-to-action

3. VAT-Free Silver Bars (For Storage)

For some, while silver investment is a great idea, they don’t want to store the metal themselves. In this case, we provide an alternative solution for those wishing to buy VAT-Free silver bars for storage. Our silver bars are stored, on your behalf, in the Channel Islands. Keeping them offshore means your purchase is exempt from VAT as they fall outside of UK tax. With large bars available, you’re able to obtain tighter margins on your silver, while still being tax efficient

VAT on gold

This depends on what type of gold you buy. Since the 1st January 2000, the VAT Act 1994 exempts Investment Grade Gold from Value Added Tax. So as long as your purchased gold qualifies as Investment Grade, then no VAT will be charged.

There are a few requirements for gold to qualify for an exemption:

Firstly, it has to be in the form of a coin or a bar. For this reason, VAT is still added to gold jewellery. PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPUYou should also avoid gold dust, gold ore and gold watches if you want to be tax efficient.

If you opt for a gold bar, the purity needs to be at least 995 thousandths. The good news is that a majority of gold bars on the market exceed this, at 999 thousandths gold, with the rest generally meeting the minimum requirement.

..and how about coins?

For gold coins, the purity target is lowered to 900 thousandths, meaning that any coin of 22 carats or higher will qualify. There are a few extra guidelines for coins – they must be minted after 1800, have been legal tender in its country of origin and not usually sell at more than 180% of the market value of its gold content. Essentially these additional rules exclude very old, obscure numismatic coins.

6 Hacks to buying the best value gold sovereign coins – Watch our video now!!!

 

If all this sounds complicated, don’t worry. We only sell gold coins and bars that meet these requirements and qualify as Investment Grade, so you’ll never pay Value Added Tax when buying gold through Physical Gold.

How can you take this a step further?

If you want your gold investment to be completely tax-efficient, then buying UK gold coins also benefits from being Capital Gains Tax-free. They already meet the VAT exempt criteria but are also tax-free upon sale due to their legal tender status. With each Sovereign, Britannia, special edition UK coins and variants of these, each coin possesses an actual face value. The Government can’t tax you on the movement of legal currency, so buying and selling UK gold coins is completely tax-free!

Categories
Blog

Our ‘Director’s Pick’ explained

Here at Physical Gold weve introduced an incredibly simple product, specifically designed to help you, by taking the stress out of choosing the right coins.
If youve ever thought about investing in physical gold or buying gold online, you might have some questions, or you might be apprehensive because you dont quite know what to buy. If so, youre not alone.

Enhanced performance UK Tax-free coins

Called The Directors Pick, we scour the market to source Royal Mint issued, pre-owned, UK tax-free coins, and carefully hand pick a mixed portfolio of these Enhanced Performance coins especially for you. With our extensive network and buying power we can secure coins from sellers, auctions and the intermediary market. So you benefit from our years of specialist experience and expertise, at absolutely no extra cost.
These pre-owned Enhanced Performance coins have an additional intrinsic value, over and above that of their gold content; reflecting their added desirability and scarcity. This added value enhances the coins market value when the gold market rises and offers added protection when the market falls – providing the best overall value and reassurance if youre just starting out or if youre looking to own a collection of tax-efficient gold coins.


Find out how to sell gold coins at the highest price. Download our FREE cheat sheet


Why is our Directors Pick so popular with physical gold investors?

This is a popular product because we specialise and focus on UK gold coins that are

New Call-to-action

VAT-exempt and Capital Gains Tax free. This is due to their legal tender status, which means theres no tax due on any gains made. We select high performing gold coins that offer diversity as well as security on your other assets.
Hand picked, guaranteed by our experts and tailored to your needs, the Directors Pick is designed to help you get started with your gold coin collection. Were also happy to explain the gold buying process, the economics behind the price of gold and even help you open a Monthly Saver account, if youre interested in regular monthly savings.
So, whether you want your gold delivered right to your door, or stored in one of our secure storage vaults, our Directors Pick gold product provides you with high quality gold coins and specialist expertise, all focused on helping you build your gold coin portfolio quickly, easily and stress free.
With prices starting as low as 2,000 for the Directors Pick, we can create a package to suit your needs and budget.
Visit us at www.physicalgold.com/shop/tax-free-gold/directors-pick to see how easy buying gold online can be!

Categories
Guides

7 Crucial Considerations before you buy gold or silver

This free cheat sheet will;

  • Reveal the best coins and bars to maximise profit potential
  • Tell you how to buy (and sell) your metals at the best possible prices
  • Help you decide between electronic and physical gold
Categories
Infographics

Does Gold Win Gold – Best investments of the past decade

What are the best investments of the past decade? We wanted to compare annual returns of the major asset classes over the past 10 years and then declare the top performing asset over the entire decade. What better way to illustrate this than the asset class decathlon! Each decathlon event represents returns over each of the previous 10 years.

Best investments

Best Investments overall

Over the 10 year period, UK gold prices rose more than any of the other major assets classes. Its total cumulative was a whopping 132.91% significantly higher than the runner up – Bonds (62.27%) and third-placed shares with a reasonable 56.14% rise. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every decade will produce the same results, and macro factors will always have an influence on results. As a safe haven investment, gold is generally bought in times of unrest. It’s no surprise then that it was the best investment during the period which witnessed the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the downgrading of the US Dollar after the Global credit crunch.


Learn all the insider’s tricks to successful gold invetsment. Download the FREE pdf


Best asset for consistency

Gold’s overall victory is also reflected in its consistency. Our infographic illustrates the fact that gold was the best performing asset class in four of the ten years, equalled by Shares. The remaining 2 years were won by Bonds’ performance. Gold only experienced a loss during one of the ten years, again the best of all the investment classes.

As expected, cash remained in the middle of the pack throughout the decade when interest rates remained very low. This also reflects that cash represents a low risk/low reward store of wealth. In other words, you may not get huge returns but you won’t suffer losses either.

How can this help us invest

The research demonstrates that over the length of a decade, the various asset classes each have their moment. By sticking to just one or two assets, you risk missing out on some potential significant gains. As any decent IFA will tell you, diversification is the key to protecting your portfolio from large losses, maximizing returns over the long term and providing a more predictable return.

Unless you have a crystal ball, Insider's Guide to gold and silveryou have to be incredibly lucky to pick each asset class at exactly the right time to buy low and sell high. This risky strategy tends to mix some good years with catastrophic losses. Not the best ingredients for a balanced portfolio.

What does it tell us about gold investment

The infographic and results supports our view of gold investment. Firstly, it plays an essential and unique role in anyone’s overall investment strategy. After all, if you’d invested in a mix of shares, bonds, property and cash, not only would you have missed out on gold’s huge gains, but some years may well have wiped you out.

Of course, analysis of other decades may show a different overall winner of investment returns, with gold performing far less favourably. But, this only goes to demonstrate the need for a balanced investment strategy. Gold plays a unique role because it tends to perform particularly well during times of political and economic turmoil. Crucially, the other asset classes all seem to do their best during stable times. But if an event causes disruption, whether it’s an economic downturn, an act of terrorism, banking crisis, currency devaluation or war, then all these assets fall in value together. Leaving the investor with a major headache. By owning some gold as part of an overall strategy, your wealth is protected from this volatility. Rather than taking risks, owning gold actually reduced the overall risk and volatility of your portfolio.

Other considerations

If you have a large appetite for risk, it’s possible

New call-to-action

you’ll be attracted to ‘get rich quick’ offers. Timing has to be perfect with these and you have to get lucky. Generally, you can lose all your money, but in the same respect, you can also double or triple your money in a very short period of time.

Gold should always be viewed as a medium to long term investment. The infographic supports this. While it performed impressively, it did fall significantly in 2013 after offering almost no return in 2012. It may not make you rich overnight, but investing in gold is a prudent investment, which can offer some balance with riskier short term opportunities.

Another important takeaway from this research is that gold beat the rate of inflation on eight of the ten years analysed. The best of any of the major asset classes. This supports the notion of gold investment as a store of wealth. It maintains your purchasing power over time and protects from the erosive qualities of inflation.

The final bonus which makes gold the best investment of the past decade is its possible tax efficiency.

Not only did it rise in value more than any other major investment, but it also did it tax efficiently. Tax free gold coins for example are VAT-exempt and Capital Gains Tax free. Outside of an ISA or Pension, the other investments struggle to be as tax efficient. And who wants to share their gains with the Treasury!?

Categories
Guides

Video: How to Choose a Gold & Silver Dealer?

Silver Dealer

Facebook

Did you know that not all gold and silver performs the same? Your choice of dealer can directly impact the returns on your investment. So, what should you look for in a gold or silver dealer? In this short video, we explain why we’re one of the UK’s leading precious metal dealers and how we’re uniquely suited to help with your requirements, whether you’re an experienced investor, or just starting out.

Gold & Silver Dealer

Choosing the right gold or silver dealer can make all the difference, both when it comes to credibility & reassurance and also when assessing vital elements that can affect your investment return, such as coin selection & tax.

Physical Gold make it easy for you to purchase gold and silver; whether you want to make a one-off investment or prefer saving a regular amount, month-by-month for the future.

As industry leading, BNTA accredited gold-investment professionals, we specialise in helping both experienced investors  – looking for gold and silver diversification, as well as those looking for the very first time, to own some gold of their own

We offer access to unique gold investment solutions, some of which are not available anywhere else, such as:

With a dedicated consultant to discuss your aims and objectives for your wealth and future, we’ll suggest the most appropriate options for you, bearing in mind the all important considerations around tax-efficiency.

Because of our industry reputation & size, we have significant buying power, which enables us to negotiate the best prices for you as an individual, before organising the purchase on your behalf.

We can then either securely store and insure the gold for you or simply send the gold, safely insured, directly to your door.

When the time comes to sell your gold, we even guarantee that we will buy it back from you, meaning you never have to worry about how liquid your investment is.

As an accredited business, with unique investment solutions, offering dedicated consultants and a buy back guarantee, investing in gold & silver has never been easier, more secure or more suited to you than with Physical Gold.

Contact us at www.physicalgold.com/contact or call 020 7060 9992.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Facebook

Categories
Blog

How Many Types of Gold Carats are There?

Gold has always been one of the most attractive asset classes pursued by investors. Throughout history, gold has been viewed as a great store of value and has delivered good returns for investors over the short and long term. Gold is today sold in a regulated market, based on a dynamically changing spot price, which is applicable across the world. Yet, when we buy gold and look at the spot price, this applies to pure gold, which is considered to be 99.9% pure or 24-carat gold. However, it is useful to understand the different types of carats that are available in the marketplace.

24 carats of gold

There is a total of 24 carats that make up pure gold. Each is of equal value and so is 1/24th pure gold by weight. Investment-grade gold is either 22 carat (most common amongst Sovereigns and other popular bullion coins) or 24 carats (now used for some 1oz bullion coins like the Britannia and most gold bars). Even 24-carat gold isn’t completely pure but instead will be somewhere in the region of 99.9% gold. Jewellery can commonly be made of lower carat gold such as 9 carats and 18 carats which are more resilient than higher purities, cheaper and more suited to clasping precious stones.

How Many Types of Gold Carats are There?
18-carat gold face mask

So, we can see that pure gold is often blended into an alloy with different base metals to make the gold harder. Pure gold is malleable and difficult to shape into jewellery. This is probably how alchemists started creating gold with varying degrees of purity over centuries.

A similar concept was used when minting coinage, as the metal needed to be resilient for public circulation. The higher the carat of gold, the greater is its purity. However, as we can see, this creates a practical problem when the metal is moulded into coins, bars or jewellery.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Why is 24-carat gold the purest?

Refiners must declare the purity number of gold, in addition to its carat value. 24-carat gold is simply considered to be the purest since it has a negligible percentage of other metals. In the UK, this is considered to be investment-grade gold with a purity of 999.9. The metal is distinctive due to its bright yellow colour and buyers will pay the highest price for this purity of gold. But, its density is also lower and due to its softness. 24-carat gold is unsuitable for manufacturing jewellery. Its use is most prevalent in manufacturing gold bars. When minting coins, a tiny amount of base metals is introduced in the mix to make the coins durable. Pure gold is in great demand for industrial uses, like the manufacture of electronics and medical devices.

How Many Types of Gold Carats are There?
An Indian Ganesha idol plated with 24-carat gold in parts

22-carat gold

Normally 22-carat gold will have a purity of 91.67%. This leaves 8.33% of other metals, which can be silver, zinc, copper, nickel, or other base metals. Jewellery manufacturers may not use it for making jewellery that holds precious stones. This is because 22-carat gold is still too soft to hold the stones in place.

18-carat gold

The percentage of gold is much lower in this form. 18-carat gold will usually have 75% pure gold mixed with 25% of base metals. It’s a lot less expensive than buying 22 or 24-carat gold. This is the preferred purity of gold used by jewellers, as it can withstand daily wear and tear. It has a warm yellow shine, which is great for manufacturing wedding bands and other ornamental jewellery.

Insider's Guide to gold and silver

14-carat gold

This is a number that represents gold which is only 58.3% pure. The balance 41.7% in this form gold, comprises other metals like nickel or zinc. This form of gold is durable and sturdy and preferred by many to make jewellery. It is also more affordable and ideal for people with skin metal allergies.

10-carat gold

It is the cheapest form of gold and has a pale tone due to the presence of base metals. Usually 10-carat gold will have at least 41.7% of gold. Since it has a gold level of 10 parts out of 24, it is called 10 carats. While it is more affordable, it also tarnishes easily.

Get in touch with our gold experts to find out more about gold investments

Physical Gold is a highly reputed gold dealer in the UK and we are always open to fielding queries from customers like you. Please call us on (020) 7060 9992 or drop us an email and we’ll be in touch.

 

Image Credits: Pxhere and SandeepHanda

Categories
Blog

How to Identify Types of Gold

Gold is an interesting metal. It is a metal as well as an element. It also comes in different forms. There are many types of gold that are distinguishable by their colour and properties. Gold is visible in different forms like gold coins, bars and jewellery. Within these, gold can be differentiated by its purity or carat value. Let us explore the different types of gold and how we can identify them.

The most common distinctions

The most common distinction between gold types is their carat or purity. This can be difficult to simply detect with the naked eye. 24-carat gold is virtually 100% pure, while 9-carat purity is as low as 37.5% purity. In its purest state, the gold will be relatively soft, while it tends to feel harder to the touch when mixed with more alloys. The colour can also vary, with pure gold displaying a distinct yellow-orange.

When mixed more with silver, the white gold effect is present, while red gold contains a higher amount of copper. Assay marks on the gold will display the purity but not all gold will be hallmarked. Other than that, it’s best to take it to a jeweller to safely perform a test and determine if it’s real in the first place!

How to Identify Types of Gold
A purple gold necklace

The concept of carat value comes from 24 parts of gold. So, if the gold is 18 parts pure gold it is considered to be 18 carats. Similarly, if it is 22 parts pure, it is known as 22-carat gold. But, this is only one way to differentiate one type of gold from another. Gold is often available in a variety of colours and this can be another way of distinguishing its types.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

The colours of gold

Different colours can be achieved by introducing other precious metals or base metals into the gold mix. Blue gold is a popular type of gold that is created by adding indium or gallium. These are rare metals that create a bluish hue to the gold when added. Another colour of gold is green. Green gold is also known as Electrum and can be manufactured through the introduction of silver and copper. Colours of gold like blue and green are often used by jewellers, due to their aesthetic appeal.

How to Identify Types of Gold
Wedding rings made of white gold

Purple and rose gold

Gold is also available in the colour purple and this is done by introducing 79% pure gold and 21% aluminium. Purple gold is also a type of 18-carat gold, also known as amethyst gold. However, purple gold is more brittle than other gold alloys and is unsuitable for the electronics industry. It can, however, be used to decorate gold jewellery.

Rose gold gets its colour from being mixed with copper. There are different types of rose gold. 18-carat red gold is created by mixing 75% gold with 25% copper. But, another type of 18 carats rose gold contains 75% gold with 22.25% copper and 2.75% silver. Also, included in the 18-carat category is pink gold. Pink gold contains 75% gold with 20% copper, while the amount of silver in the mix is increased to 5%. The last category, which is also the cheapest is 12-carat red gold, where the gold is only 50% and the rest is copper.

White and yellow gold

White gold has gained popularity over the years and the hardness of the mix is achieved by introducing Palladium, which is another precious metal. However, in some cases, silver may also be added along with Palladium and nickel. A popular formulation of white gold contains 90% gold with 10% nickel. Many jewellers also plate the white gold with a coating of rhodium, which gives its steely look and shine. The industry typically uses Palladium and nickel as bleaching agents to change the colour of gold to white.

Yellow gold is a derivative of the normal colour of gold. 18-carat yellow gold is created with 75% gold, 12.5% copper and 12.5% silver. However, it darker shade of yellow can be achieved by increasing the percentage of copper. Here, the proportions change to 75% gold, 15% copper and 10% silver.

Call our experts to know everything about the types of gold

Physical Gold is one of the U.K.’s most reputed gold dealers. Our team of experts can help you decide which type of gold to buy and advise you on the best way to make gold investments. Call us today on (020) 7060 9992, alternatively, drop us an email by visiting our website.

 

Image Credits: Farrukh and hiephoang

 

Categories
Blog

What Types of Electronics use Gold?

Gold is a much sought after metal with very interesting properties. We often think of gold as being primarily attractive to investors and collectors of gold coins. Gold jewellery is extremely popular across the world, especially in Asia. However, the largest demand for gold comes from the industry.

While a variety of industries use gold for their manufacturing operations, gold has certain properties that make it very attractive to the electronics industry in particular. Gold is one of the most conductive metals on the planet. It is also highly malleable, which means that it can be sheathed onto surfaces. Gold is also very ductile and a small amount of gold can be stretched into wires that run into metres. Therefore the electronics industry has a large appetite for gold.

Why is gold used in the electronics industry?

With a conductivity score of 70%, gold is a popular choice for use in electronics. Most commonly, gold is used as an electroplated coating on contacts and connectors. It shines as the superior choice due to its high conductivity, corrosive resistance, and resilience (especially when mixed with nickel). Copper and silver are both cheaper and more conductive than gold, so tend to be used in a far wider array of electronic applications. Encasing electronics in gold is increasing in popularity to appeal to the luxury market such as the Gold Apple watch.

What Types of Electronics use Gold?
An electroplating factory in China

A deeper look at the use of gold in the electronics industry tells us that gold is a far superior conductor of electricity when compared to copper, silver and aluminium. This simply means that gold offers minimal resistance to the electricity flowing to and fro. However, its properties like ductility and malleability create a tipping point for its use in the electronics industry. Due to these properties, gold is very user friendly and easy to work with. It is easy and convenient to introduce the yellow metal into miniature electronic circuits, which are often found in mobile phones, gaming devices and other electronic accessories. Gold is also resistant to tarnishing, a property that ensures longer life of the devices and circuit boards in which the metal is used.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Electronics processes, where gold is used

Perhaps one of the largest users of gold in the electronics industry is in plating connectors and contacts. Semiconductor packages also use gold bonding wires, while a wide array of other processes also use gold. These include hybrid circuits, printed circuit boards and their coatings and soldering, contact points for electronic components and metal layers on semiconductors, which can be frequently used as conductor tracks and contacts points.

What Types of Electronics use Gold?
Gold plated electronic connectors

Due to its corrosion resistance properties and high electrical conductivity, gold has become the metal of choice for use in connectors and contacts. It is most preferred for low voltage, low current and contact force applications. Gold is often electroplated onto nickel and if the device or circuitry needs to function in hostile environments, the thickness of the gold is often increased. This may be true for its use in the electronic car industry, where the e-vehicles need to be driven throughout the year across a range of seasons.

Wire bonding

Wire bonding is another area of use in the electronics industry, where the demand for gold had already doubled in six years from 1994 to 2000. In the last 20 years, the demand for gold for these processes has skyrocketed. Wire bonding is usually found in many electronic devices, for example – computer motherboards and their components.

Our experts are available to answer your questions about gold

Physical Gold is one of the country’s most reputed and successful precious metal dealers. Please call us on (020) 7060 9992, or get in touch with us online with all your queries about gold and its investment opportunities.

 

Image Credits: Chris and Wikimedia Commons

Categories
Blog

What are the Types of Gold Mining?

Gold has fascinated humans throughout history and the yellow metal has always been preferred by institutions, investors and governments as a great repository of value. Today, gold is bought and sold in a regulated marketplace, and the spot price of gold has been standardised and can rise or fall depending on economic and political factors.

At the practical level, gold has certain special properties like malleability, conductivity and ductility that make it invaluable for use in industry, especially the manufacture of electronics. However, at the economic level, gold delivers steady returns for investors over both the short term and the long term. Gold is also seen as a ‘safe haven’ for investors and individuals and institutions who moved their money to gold, did so during periods of economic uncertainty. Gold is a scarce metal that is mined out of the ground.

What are the Types of Gold Mining?
The historical site of the Roman gold mines in West Wales

History of gold mining

It is uncertain exactly when human beings started mining gold, but archaeological evidence tells us that it could possibly have been around 4,200 to 4,700 BC. Historians agree that the world’s oldest known gold mine has been found on an archaeological site in southern Georgia. It is now thought that gold mining was popular at the time of the Roman Empire.

The Romans frequently used methods such as hushing and ground sluicing to extract gold from mines that contained loose alluvial deposits. These hydraulic mining methods were later used across Europe. Many Roman gold mines have been unearthed today and one has even been found in the UK, in West Wales. Gold was mined in different regions, which formed parts of the Roman Empire. These were spread across the Balkans, Armenia, Egypt and Nubia.

Insider's Guide to gold and silver

At the same time, gold was also being mined in other parts of the world. The Kolar gold fields in Karnataka, India has been active since the second century A.D. Later, during the 19th century, there were many gold rushes in different parts of the world. Some of the most famous ones that we would have heard of are the California Gold Rush of 1849 and the Klondike Gold Rush. Statisticians estimate that all the gold that has been mined throughout human civilisation could be close to 6,109 million ounces.

What are the Types of Gold Mining?
Placer gold mining in Alaska

Different types of gold mining

Today, due to the advent of technology, mining, metals have become more sophisticated. Gold mining is a large commercial operation undertaken by mining companies who fund their operations through the sale of gold as well, as money raised from the stock markets. Investors often invest in gold mining companies, as a form of paper gold investment. Let us take a quick look at the four main types of gold mining methods.

There are four main types of gold mining, varying according to the country of production and their method of extraction – placer mining, hard rock mining, by-product mining and processing of gold ore. Gold which has accumulated as a placer deposit (naturally separated from rock through gravity) is extracted through placer mining which uses water as the loose material is unsuitable for tunnelling. This is the type recognised by many as typical gold prospecting, where manual panning can be used, although not commercially.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

The most recognised gold mining is hard rock retrieval which uses tunnels underground and machinery in open pits to extract gold. The larger scale enables far greater quantities to be mined.

Of course, mining for other minerals can sometimes provide the added bonus of accumulating gold in small quantities. Typically, mining for copper and gravel can end up discovering deposits of gold as a by-product. Due to the scale of the operations, some mines subsequently find large quantities of gold this way.

Gold ore describes rock and earth with fine traces of gold which are extracted through the addition of chemicals.  The use of chemicals (namely cyanide), is expensive for the small yield of gold achieved, so this method is shrinking in popularity.

Dredging

One of the old mining methods which have now been replaced is dredging. This operation is carried out through the use of suction dredges. There are small floating machines on the water operated by the miners, which consists of a sluice box attached to a suction hose that pulls out the gold.

Ask Physical Gold about all your queries related to gold

Physical Gold is one of the most reputed gold dealers in the UK and the members of our team are always available to answer your queries regarding precious metals. Please call us today on (020) 7060 9992 or get in touch with us online via our website.

 

Image Credits: Glen Bowman and Wikimedia Commons

Categories
Blog

How Do I Sell Silver Coins?

Selling silver coins can be more difficult than you think. When someone goes to the high street to sell silver, it’s difficult to get the real value that the silver may be worth. Generally, when selling silver coins, you should receive a price below the spot price of silver on that day. However, the price you get will largely depend on how you have stored your silver coins and the condition they are in. In this article, we will explore the best ways to sell your silver coins and receive the best price.

How Do I Sell Silver Coins?
It’s best to sell silver coins through a reputed dealer

Identifying an online broker

The best way to sell your silver coins is to identify a reliable broker. A list of reputed and reliable precious metal dealers can be found on the website of the British Numismatic Trade Association (BNTA). Once you have identified a broker near you, it’s important to establish a good working relationship with the company. If you regularly buy and sell silver coins, you should be able to quickly establish a good relationship that can ensure the best prices for your coins. Remember, most reliable brokers will already have a buyback guarantee, so if you buy coins from them, selling these should not be a problem.

10 commandments

They can be sold in various ways. Many silver dealers can be found online who will pay you according to the weight of silver, and potentially extra if the coins have a historical or scarcity premium. They will be able to explain the process, but generally, you will need to send the coins to them after agreeing on a price. These coins can also be sold at auctions (for highly valuable coins or large collections), at a local jeweller if convenience is a higher priority than price, or privately.

Online auctions

Online auctions posted by sites like eBay, may look like a good place to sell your silver coins, however, you may not get the best possible price. Your coins may mostly be purchased by dealers who will try to pay the least possible price to get a bargain.

How Do I Sell Silver Coins?
Well known coins like the Silver Britannia are great for investors

Taking care of your silver coins

You are likely to receive a higher price if the silver coins are in good shape. When you purchase your silver coins, ensure that they remain intact inside the sealed packaging. This proves that the coin has not been tampered with and usually, the sealed packaging also comes with a certificate of authenticity. This can ensure better prices for your silver coins. If you buy your silver coins from another collector, and they arrived without packaging, please ensure that you store your coins in a dry environment, so that they do not tarnish. When polishing your silver coins, make sure you do not use chemicals or abrasives that are likely to damage the coins.

Insider's Guide to gold and silver

Buying the right coins

When you purchase your silver coins, it’s important to ensure that you do not end up buying obscure coins that are unknown. Buying well-known silver coins like the silver Britannia ensures liquidity and these well-known coins are more likely to fetch you the best prices and sell quickly. If you do invest in rare and collectable coins, research them thoroughly before you purchase. If the coin commands a rarity premium, then you are likely to attract interest from collectors. In such cases, the value of the coin will be much more than its weight in silver and depending on the demand of the coin, you should receive a good price.

Before selling silver coins, speak to our experts

Physical Gold is one of the country’s best-known precious metal dealers. Our coin experts can advise you on the best way to sell your silver coins and the prices you could receive. Please call us on (020) 7060 9992 or get in touch with us online before you make a sale.

 

Image Credits: feiern1 and Eric Golub

Categories
Blog

Are Silver Eagle Coins a Good investment?

The American Silver Eagle is one of the most prestigious coins to be minted in the US. The coin is a relatively new one, having been released in 1986. This makes the first edition of the coin only a year older than the gold Britannia. The US Mint released the silver Eagle with one Troy ounce of silver that has a purity of 999.9. The coin was released with a face value of one dollar.

Interestingly, ever since the American silver Eagle has been released, the designs have never changed. Unlike the silver Britannia, the coin is presented in the same style, look and feel and the only difference from one coin to the other is the respective mint mark, which is found on the reverse of the proof coins. Well, the coin enjoys healthy interest from investors, and we want to find out whether the silver Eagle is worth its salt as an investable coin.

Are Silver Eagle Coins a Good investment?
The American Silver Eagle coin known across the world as a liquid coin.

Divisibility and liquidity

In terms of divisibility, the silver Eagle does not offer much choice. As discussed above, the coin has always been available in the same size, shape, and design. However, there are some variations in its design that can add to the variety of an investor’s silver portfolio. The obverse of the coin features an image of Lady Liberty, created by the designer Adolph A. Weinman. Apart from the famous image of Lady Liberty, the obverse of the coin also features the American national motto – “In God we trust”.

10 commandments

Design options

The reverse of the coin carries the image of the Heraldic Eagle. Right above the head of the bald eagle, there is a cluster of 13 stars, each of which represents one of the original colonies of America, at the time of its founding. The only design change for the American Silver Eagle was in 2021. In the new 2021 design, the bald eagle on the reverse of the coin is featured flying back with its wings spread out. So, this is perhaps the only element of variety that an investor can hope for when investing in the American Eagle. The 2021 design commemorates the 35th anniversary of the coin, and the US Mint has taken this opportunity to refurbish the design of the coin.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Liquidity

The American Silver Eagle is a famous and well-known coin across the world. This ensures the liquidity of the coin and the coin can be easily cashed in at any point in time, bringing in cash as you need it. Previous editions may command a premium due to increased numismatic interest. American Eagle coins are available in uncirculated, proof, and burnished versions, giving a certain amount of choice to investors. Being a well-known coin, the coin has a good chance of being sold for its value in a short period.

Are Silver Eagle Coins a Good investment?
The obverse of an American Silver Eagle – the year 2000

Silver Eagles can provide a good medium to long term investment and balance to other assets. The 1oz coins afford high flexibility to sell small parts of the silver holding compared to owning huge silver bars. The mass-produced coins are relatively cheap compared to collectors’ coins and their value can rise along with the underlying silver price and age of the coin. Many analysts feel the silver price is very undervalued, suggesting holding silver Eagles will benefit the investor in the long run.

Talk to the coin experts at Physical Gold

One of the country’s most reputed and well-known precious metal dealers is Physical Gold. Our advisors are always happy to discuss your silver coin purchases with you and can offer valuable advice. Get in touch with us on (020) 7060 9992 or simply drop us an email by visiting our website.

 

Image credits: Eric Golub and Wikimedia Commons

Categories
Blog

Silver Coins vs Face Value

As the demand for silver has risen over the years, primarily due to industrial requirements, the price of silver has seen some volatility. Investors want to get into the silver market because of two reasons – they believe that the price of silver will rise significantly in the future and offer them the opportunity to book lucrative profits. Silver also allows investors access to the precious metals market at a fraction of the price of gold.

The popularity of silver coins

Many investors prefer silver coins since the coins allow them to add divisibility and liquidity to their portfolios. Investing in different sizes and denominations of silver coins has its advantages. One can use a variety of coins to sell the silver at various price points in the market and book profits.

Silver Coins vs Face Value
Close up of the Silver Britannia – one of the most popular silver coins

Collectable silver coins

Silver coins are also attractive to investors for their collectable value. Silver has been in circulation as a precious metal for minting coins over several centuries. As a result, there are plenty of historical silver coins that command hefty premiums based on their rarity value. These premiums are payable due to the historical value of the coin and its demand. Therefore, such coins are worth a lot more than their silver content or their face value.

10 commandments

They are worth significantly more than their face value. A £2 silver Britannia has a melt value more than 5 times its face value. Also, they can possess a degree of numismatic value, which reflects their rarity, age and desirability. Limited issue coins may be worth more again. The face value benefits the buyer by qualifying the coin as capital gains tax-free

Silver Coins vs Face Value
Many silver coins have embossing on the sides

Limited edition silver coins and proof coins

For example, in 2013, the Royal Mint released a £20 coin minted with silver that carries a fineness of 999.9. Despite the coin having a face value of £20, it is worth much more and is viewed as a collector’s item, by numismatists. The coin is considered to be legal tender, with a face value of £20. Similarly, the 2018 five-ounce silver Britannia proof coin has a face value of £10 but is listed on the Royal Mint site for £455. The coin is minted with 99.9% pure silver and enjoys great demand as a proof coin, leading to the high value of the coin.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Silver Britannia coins and their face values

The current year silver Britannia (2021) carries a face value of £2. This is a 1-ounce coin, manufactured with fine silver (999.9). Although it is a bullion coin, its face value has nothing to do with the market price. The 2021 silver Britannia 1 ounce coin is priced at approximately £31.

Some coins achieve their rarity status by default. A good example of this would be a batch of silver Britannias struck by the Royal Mint in 2014. 17,000 of these coins were erroneously struck with the obverse used in the lunar series. So, you had a silver Britannia with the “year of the horse” image on the obverse. These coins were later called the Mule Britannia and attracted large premiums due to their rarity. These are often sold at prices close to $700, as collectors are willing to pay lucrative amounts to secure a coin for their collection.

Our coin experts at Physical Gold can help you make the right purchases

Physical Gold is one of the U.K.’s most reputed precious metals dealers and coin specialists. Get in touch with our team by dialling (020) 7060 9992 or send us an email via our website. We are always happy to speak to customers like you and offer advice on buying the right silver coins.

 

Image credits: Eric Golub and Pixabay

Categories
Blog

Are Silver Coins Pure Silver?

Silver is gaining in popularity due to its investment potential that has grown over the years. Due to the rising industrial demand for silver, many investors envision making windfall gains in the future, on the rising price of silver. However, silver has a long history of usage in British coinage and coinage across the world.

Most precious metal investors will insist on finding out the purity of the coin before investing. This may not be entirely true for collectors, who wish to acquire a coin, based on its rarity and numismatic value. However, many collectors have also moved to become investors and want to build a strong portfolio of coins that are both collectable and deliver good value for money. Therefore, in this article, we will explore the purity of silver coins across continents.

The purity of investment-grade coins

Investment coins are as near to pure as possible. Popular bullion coins such as the Britannia are struck to 99.99% purity. None are 100% pure silver. Silver currency coins such as the 50 pence piece are not made from silver at all despite their colour. Their alloy is 75% copper and 25% nickel, a mix known as cupronickel.

Are Silver Coins Pure Silver?
Sterling silver is often used to make jewellery

Similarly, in the United States, most silver coins in circulation contained 90% silver. It was only in 1986, when the American Eagle bullion silver coin was introduced, that the purity of silver was raised to 99.9%, to qualify the coin for investors.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Purity of silver coins across the world

The silver used for coinage in Britain has a minimum purity of 95.8%. Typically, this implies that the silver used for coinage will be an alloy of pure silver, copper and other base metals. The percentage of pure silver in this alloy is 95.84%. Likewise, the alloy would contain 4.16% of copper and other base metals, if any. This standard was developed in Britain as early as 1697. However, we have seen that in recent years, most silver bullion coins minted by the Royal Mint have a purity of 99.9%.

Similarly, France also follows a standard known as the ‘French first standard’. According to this, the alloy contains 95% pure silver and 5% of other base metals, including copper. Russians, on the other hand, use their own standard, known as “91 Zolotnik Russian Silver”. In this, the proportion of pure silver is 94.79%, while 5.21% represents copper and other base metals.

Are Silver Coins Pure Silver?
Queen Victoria silver coins from British India

Britain also used “Sterling Silver”, as early as the 12th century. Sterling silver was used for coinage across the British Empire, and many commonwealth countries continued this tradition after the end of colonial rule. Sterling Silver uses 92.5% of pure silver and 7.5% of copper and other non-precious metals.

10 commandments

Other nations may use different standards. For example, Scandinavian silver uses the number 830 to denote its fineness. This simply means that the silver alloy contains 83% pure silver and 17% base metals. In the same way, German silver is denoted with the number 800/835. German silver typically uses 80% to 83.5% of pure silver. However, the term “German silver”, also popularly called nickel silver or alpaca, may contain no silver at all. It is an alloy constructed out of different metals. So, it’s helpful to know and understand these details as an investor, which may help us to ascertain the value of the silver products we are buying.

Talk to our precious metal experts at Physical Gold

At Physical Gold, we have a team of precious metals experts who can advise investors, just like you on making the best investments. Call us today on (020) 7060 9992 or get in touch with us by email regarding your silver investments.

 

Image Credits: starbright and P.L.Tandon

Categories
Blog

What Silver Coins are Worth the Most?

Investors often buy silver coins expecting the prices of silver to rise in the future. The other reason that investors are often interested in buying the white metal, is that it provides them with an easy route to enter the precious metals market. This is because silver is a lot cheaper than purchasing gold and large quantities of silver can be bought at the same price that one would pay when buying a small amount of gold. However, the silver market is not limited to only those coins whose value is decided by the spot price of silver. There are plenty of rare and old silver coins that command large premiums based on their scarcity and history. Today, we will explore some of the best and rarest silver coins in the market

Rare coins with history are always worth more than coins based on weight alone. Collectors are willing to pay huge premiums for scarcity. Some Morgan Silver Dollar coins worth 1$ Face value and £8 melt value, are actually worth over £300k due to their scarcity. Based on weight alone, the popular 1kilo coins such as the Perth Mint Koalas and Kookaburra coins are worth around £500 each.

What Silver Coins are Worth the Most?
The Flowing Hair Dollar was the first dollar minted in the US

The American Flowing Hair Dollar 1794

The coin was the first dollar coin to be minted by the US Mint. In the US, the coinage act of 1792, paved the way for the establishment of a new Mint. At the time, the Spanish silver dollars were already being used in the US. The Flowing Hair Dollar contained 0.773 ounces of 90% silver. The coin is valuable due to its rarity and one of these coins fetched $10 million at an auction in 2013.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

The American Half Dollar (1797)

Popularly known as the Draped Bust Half Dollar, the coin was minted by the US Mint as a replacement for the flowing hair dollar, due to its unpopularity. The Draped Bust Half Dollars were minted in 1796 and 1797. These coins featured a new design, called the ‘Small Eagle’. Since the coins were minted in two subsequent years, most collectors prefer to complete their set by acquiring the half dollars, with the Small Eagle from both years. It must be noted that the scarcity of this coin is because very limited numbers were ever minted. 1796 witnessed only 934 of these coins being made, while a further 3,000 were minted in the next year. A 1797 Draped Bust Half Dollar fetched US$1,527,500 in an auction in 2015.

What Silver Coins are Worth the Most?
The Morgan Silver Dollar is one of the rarest and most valuable silver dollars

The 1870 Seated Liberty Dollar

This historic coin became a part of US coinage for a little more than 30 years from 1840 to 1873. It is considered historic since it was the last silver dollar minted by the US Mint prior to the coinage act of 1873. The coinage act was an important milestone for the United States, as it would put the country on the gold standard. Well, by 1870, the production of these coins had been moved to other cities like San Francisco. These are very rare and an 1870 Seated Liberty Dollar produced in San Francisco was priced at US$1,092,500 in 2003.

Insider's Guide to gold and silver

1889 Morgan Silver Dollar

Despite the nation being on a gold standard, a financial crisis prompted the US Mint to produce the Morgan silver dollars. These were minted from 1878 to 1904. It was named after the design of the coin, George T Morgan. Due to the limited numbers of production, the coin is considered to be very rare and one of these was sold for $ 881,250 in 2013.

Talk to our silver experts to buy the best silver coins

Physical Gold is a highly reputed precious metals dealer in the country. Our advisors are best placed to discuss your silver investments and identify the best silver coins for you to buy. Please call us today on (020) 7060 9992 or get in touch with us online, via our website.

 

Image credits: Northern Lights Numismatics and Public Domain Pictures

Categories
Blog

Where Can I Buy Silver Coins?

Over the years, investor interest in silver has increased manifold, with the expectation of rich dividends when silver prices skyrocket in the years to come. While gold has been consistent in delivering steady returns to investors, silver has had a more volatile ride. Although silver prices fluctuated in the short term, the high industrial demand for the white metal has ensured healthy interest from investors.

The industrial use of silver

Silver is used in industry, across many applications. As the electronics industry has grown, so has the demand for silver. Silver has certain unique properties like conductivity and ductility that makes it perfect for use in electric cars, computers, mobile phones and solar panels. Most of the components under the hood of these devices use silver extensively.

Where Can I Buy Silver Coins?
British commonwealth silver coins

Advancing technologies

Due to the advancement of technology in the world, these industries have flourished and are likely to continue growing at an unprecedented pace. Therefore, large volumes of silver will be required to fuel the growth of these industries. However, the production of silver has also dropped over the years. Silver is mined in a select few countries across the world and its production has been continuously falling. The easy inference that one can draw from this situation is that the prices of silver will eventually go up. Silver has also been attractive for precious metal investors since it offers an easy entry into the precious metals market. It is much cheaper than gold and many investors prefer to buy the white metal.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Why buy silver coins?

The two obvious routes for silver investors to take is to buy coins and bars. UK silver coins are preferred by many investors, since they qualify for Capital Gains Tax benefits, as they are considered to be legal tender in the UK. All investment-grade gold is VAT free in the UK, however, in most cases, silver purchases would be subject to VAT. Silver coins are also available in various denominations. Investors who are building a precious metals portfolio will follow their investment objectives, and decide to maximise the liquidity and divisibility of their portfolios. Investing in prestigious silver coins like the silver Britannia, or the silver Maple leaf can increase the value of the portfolio.

Where Can I Buy Silver Coins?
Bullion coins like the Silver Maple Leaf can be bought from reputed dealers

Where can you buy silver coins?

The best place to buy all precious metals is from a reputable dealer. They will likely have a wide choice and stock which can be delivered to you with insured delivery, saving you the time and security of having to pick them up in person. A good dealer will be able to offer guidance and a buyback guarantee. Some silver brokers can sell coins without charging VAT.


Download the Insiders Guide to buying silver and gold here


Reputed silver dealers can be identified by visiting the website of the British Numismatic Trade Association (BNTA). Most reputed dealers are listed on this website, and once you have identified the right ones for you, it’s down to shortlisting them by making contact. If you prefer to invest in silver coins, it is best to identify a good dealer who specialises in this area. Discussing your investment objectives with the dealer may be an excellent idea, as the dealer then becomes aware of what you want from the market and will give you a heads up when the right products become available. When identifying a reputed dealer, always ensure that they provide the certificates of purchase, and have a buyback scheme. Most reputed dealers will also have storage options for you and will deliver your silver purchases through a secure, insured parcel service.

Speak to the silver experts at Physical Gold

At Physical Gold, we pride ourselves on being one of the country’s most reputed silver dealers. We are fully registered with the BNTA and offer free advice to investors on their silver purchases. Please call us today on (020) 7060 9992, or get in touch with us online and a member of our team will contact you very shortly.

 

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons and Silver Torch 66

Categories
Blog

Silver Britannias vs American Eagle

The Silver Britannia

The Royal Mint released the silver Britannia in 1997 as the silver counterpart of its flagship coin, the gold Britannia. The initial edition of the silver Britannia contained 1 ounce of silver with a fineness of 95.8%. All the design elements of the original gold Britannia were replicated in the silver version. By 1999, the silver Britannia had a fineness of silver content upgraded to 99.9%, or 999.9. This move by the Royal Mint made the coin attractive to investors and the demand for the silver Britannia soared.

The launch of the silver Britannia was an important event for the Royal Mint and the award-winning designer, Jody Clark was brought in to design the coin. She ensured that the reverse of the coin displayed the iconic image of Britannia, a testament to the bravery and spirit of the inhabitants of the British Isles during Roman times. It is this unmistakable image, coupled with the portrait of our Queen, Elizabeth II on the obverse of the coin, that makes the silver Britannia, a highly collectable and valuable coin for investors.

Silver Britannias vs American Eagle
The silver Britannia is a highly collectable coin

The American Eagle

The American Eagle is a silver bullion coin minted by the United States Mint and is now considered to be the official silver bullion coin of the country. The coin was first minted in 1986, which is a year earlier than the release of the gold Britannia by the Royal Mint. Like the silver Britannia, the American Eagle is a 1-ounce silver coin, containing one Troy ounce of silver and a face value of a dollar.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Silver content

The content, weight and purity are certified by the United States Mint and the coin is minted with 24-carat silver, having a purity of 99.9%. Apart from the bullion version, the US Mint also produces a proof version of the coin and an uncirculated version, which is aimed at numismatists and collectors. When we speak about the United States Mint, it does not imply that there is only one manufacturing location, in reality, the American Eagle is usually struck at the Philadelphia Mint, the San Francisco Mint and the Westpoint Mint.

Silver Britannias vs American Eagle
The American Eagle silver coin is available as a bullion coin

Design

The obverse of the American Eagle features a motif called ‘The Walking Liberty’. This theme had been used in previous coins produced by the United States Mint. It also contains the phrase, “In God we trust”, which is visible in many American coins. The reverse of the coin was originally designed by John Mercanti. The reverse portrays an image of a Heraldic Eagle, behind a shield, holding an olive branch. The Great Seal of the United States is also visible above the Eagle, along with 13, five-pointed stars, which represents the colonies.

Comparison of the two coins

Both coins are world-renowned and produced to a number of finishes. The Britannia can be bought slightly cheaper in the UK and has an increased fineness of 999.9 versus the Eagle’s 999.0. Both can be easily sold anywhere in the world. The Britannia is preferred within the UK due to its Capital Gains Tax-free status, whereas the silver Eagle is more popular in the US and Canada.

Talk to Physical Gold for all your silver coin purchases

Physical Gold is one of the country’s most reputed coin dealers and gold and silver merchants. We are registered with the BNTA and our advisors can help you make the right decisions when purchasing silver coins. Call us today on (020) 7060 9992 or drop us an email by visiting the contact page on our website.

 

Image Credits: Eric Golub and Public Domain Pictures

Categories
Blog

What are Britannia Silver Coins?

The silver Britannia is an iconic British coin introduced by the Royal Mint. These are 1oz coins minted by The Royal Mint to a purity of 999.9 silver. They were first issued in 1997, 10 years after the gold 1oz Britannia, and have become a very popular choice for physical silver investors. They can be bought at relatively low prices as they’re minted to bullion standard and large numbers. They have a face value of £2 which means they’re legal tender and therefore any rise in value is free from Capital Gains Tax.

In 1987, the Royal Mint introduced the gold Britannia coin. The coin enjoyed popularity amongst investors and the silver Britannia was introduced into the market to replicate the success of its gold counterpart. Although the coin was upgraded to 24-carat silver with a fineness of 99.9% in 2013, the original issue had a fineness of 95.8%. The Royal Mint wanted to create a replica of the gold Britannia in silver.

What are Britannia Silver Coins?
The beautiful Silver Britannia, designed by Jody Clark

The design of the silver Britannia

The silver coin was expected to mirror its gold counterpart in terms of look and feel. So, the well-known coin designer, Jody Clark was commissioned to do the job. The design of the silver Britannia features the image of Britannia, holding her shield and trident. It is now thought that this image originated during Roman times and depicted the spirit and bravery of the British people. The coin portrays the warrior goddess on its reverse and features an image of Queen Elizabeth the second, the longest-reigning British monarch on the coin’s obverse. The upgrade of the fineness of the coin in 2013, increased the demand for the silver Britannia. Importantly, the coin offered investors an avenue to get into the precious metals market at a lower price point than purchasing gold coins.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Advantages of buying the silver Britannia

The bullion version of the coin carries low premiums since the coin was introduced recently. However, commemorative issues and collectable editions of the coin can attract higher premiums. Availability and affordability are the two pillars that have contributed to the popularity of the silver Britannia. In March 2020, the gold-silver ratio touched an astonishing 125:1. Since then, there have been changes to this ratio, but the price difference between the purchase of the gold Britannia and the silver Britannia has encouraged investors to buy this coin.

What are Britannia Silver Coins?
The image of Britannia has been used earlier in British coinage, like this Edward VII Florin

Tax efficiency

In addition to the advantages offered by the low price of silver, when compared to gold, the silver Britannia is a legal tender coin. In the UK, this means investors can book profits on the sale of this coin, without having to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT). This exemption can ensure tax-free profits within a single tax year for many investors. The silver Britannia is an excellent coin to purchase, due to its advantages as a tax haven.


Download the 7 Crucial Considerations before you buy Silver and Gold. Click here.


Divisibility and liquidity

The silver Britannia is an extremely popular and liquid coin across the world. This ensures that investors can book profits by selling the coins at any given point in time. The coin is also available in different weights and sizes. So, an investor can benefit from the variety and divisibility that the silver Britannia has to offer.

Contact Physical Gold for the best deals on silver Britannia coins

We are one of the best gold and silver dealers in the UK, with an impeccable reputation. Our investment advisory team are always happy to answer your questions on buying silver coins. Please call us on (020) 7060 9992. Alternatively, you can also get in touch with us online by visiting our website and sending our team an email.

 

Image Credits: Eric Golub and Smabs Sputzer

Categories
Blog

How to Buy Silver Britannia Coins?

Investors have shown a healthy interest in purchasing silver coins over the last few years. One of the factors for investors who opt to invest in silver is simply the gold-silver ratio. Silver is a lot cheaper than gold, allowing investors who are starting to enter the precious metals market and buy the white metal.

Investors can also expect capital appreciation on silver investments, due to the rising demand and falling supplies of the white metal. Of course, buying physical silver, like any other precious metal is devoid of counterparty risks, as the owner holds the asset in its physical form. Silver coins are a better investment for many investors, as their legal tender status in the country circumvents the need to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Of all the silver coins in the market, possibly the best investment option is the silver Britannia.

How to Buy Silver Britannia Coins?
A close-up of the intricate design elements of the Silver Britannia

History of the coin

The coin was introduced in 1997, ten years later than its gold counterpart – the gold Britannia. Since its release, the coin has been minted in different dimensions and has enjoyed immense popularity amongst investors. Although the silver market is fairly volatile, it is lucrative for investors to purchase this coin at current prices, and book profits in later years, once the spot price of silver rises. The low price of silver, when compared to gold is only one of the factors that have spurred investors to buy the silver Britannia. The intricate design of the coin is very attractive and features the iconic image of Britannia, with the shield and trident on the coin. The other side of the coin features the image of our reigning Queen, Elizabeth II.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

How to buy the silver Britannia?

They are best purchased through a professional precious metals broker. Reputable dealers can be found on bnta.net. Most will offer discounts for quantity purchases, so it’s best to buy in one go to achieve the best discounts, rather than little and often. Certain online portals are structured to deliver them without the need to charge VAT, saving a further 20%.

How to Buy Silver Britannia Coins?
The iconic image of Britannia depicted here in a statue

When identifying a reputed dealer, it is important to assess the company’s market reputation and the years in business. The best precious metal dealers in the country have a formidable track record of being in business for many years and will display good customer testimonials. All of this can be verified online. Most reputed dealers are registered with the British Numismatic Trade Association (BNTA). If you visit their website, you can access a full list of registered dealers in the UK. From here on, the best strategy is to build a relationship with the dealer. If you let the dealer know that you are keen to invest in silver Britannia coins, their team can advise you on the best deals available in the market. Discussing your investment objectives with the dealer can also be helpful, as they can guide you to the best deals available.

Tax considerations

The silver Britannia is considered to be legal tender in the UK. This means the coin has a face value and it qualifies for Capital Gains Tax exemption. So, the silver Britannia can be an excellent addition to your precious metals portfolio.

Get in touch with us for all your silver investments

Physical Gold is one of the U.K.’s most reputed precious metals dealers and is registered with the BNTA. We have a great team of investment advisors who can guide you, and help you acquire the best deals on silver Britannia coins. Call us today on (020) 7060 9992 or drop us a line, so we can get in touch with you and discuss your investment plans.

 

Image credits: Eric Golub and Glamhag

 

Categories
Blog

Are Silver Britannia Coins a Good investment?

The silver Britannia has won its place in British coinage history as one of the most iconic UK coins to be ever released. The coin was introduced in 1997 and had a fineness of 95.8% in its original issue. The 1-ounce silver coin reflected the design elements of the original gold Britannia, which was introduced by the Royal Mint 10 years earlier. The popularity of the gold Britannia prompted the Royal Mint to start minting a similar coin using silver. Within two years of its release, the fineness of the silver Britannia had been increased to 99.9%. Needless to say, the 24-carat silver coin enjoyed immense popularity amongst collectors and investors alike.

Are Silver Britannia Coins a Good investment?
The image of Britannia used in an earlier British coin

The iconic design

The silver Britannia, like its gold counterpart, features the classic image of Britannia on its reverse. The Britannia icon was possibly conceived as early as Roman times. It is the image of a goddess warrior, carrying a shield and a trident. This classic image is a testament to the spirit and bravery of the people of Britain. The design elements used in the silver Britannia coin was created by the famous designer, Jody Clark. The obverse of the coin features an image of our reigning Queen, Elizabeth II. Since its issue, the coin has seen some changes in design and mintage with different weights and dimensions.

Silver Britannias are the most popular silver investment coin in the UK. They represent very good value as they are mass-produced to bullion finish which keeps production costs low. They are legal tender, so any gains made are also tax-free.

Are Silver Britannia Coins a Good investment?
Investors are keen to invest in silver coins, like this USA silver dollar bullion coin

The value of a silver Britannia for an investor

The value of the coin is dependent on the spot price of silver. As a thumb rule, the coin can fetch a sale value of approximately the 1-ounce silver spot price. Generally, the sale price would be just under the spot price of silver, unless the coin commands a premium due to a collector’s edition. The bullion version of the coin is mass-produced and attracts low premiums. In addition to this, bulk orders of the bullion coin can qualify for attractive discounts, when buying from a reputed dealer. The best part is that the silver Britannia offers investors an incredible opportunity to enter the precious metals market at a lower price point. On the other hand, the gold Britannia is a prohibitively expensive coin to buy.

Insider's Guide to gold and silver

The rising price of silver

One of the reasons that the coin has enjoyed popularity amongst investors is the expectation that silver prices will eventually rise in the future. The use of silver in industrial applications has grown over the years and will continue to rise in the coming years, as electronic cars, solar power solutions and other electronic products continue to dominate the marketplace.

However, the production of silver has dipped over the years. Market experts believe that a price rise is imminent for silver, and investors who purchase silver Britannia coins today can expect to book healthy profits once the price of silver reaches its peak.

The precious metal experts at Physical Gold can advise you on buying silver coins

Physical Gold is one of the country’s most reputed gold and silver dealers, who offer free advice to precious metal investors. Call us on (020) 7060 9992 or drop us an email by visiting our website, and a member of our team will be in touch with you to discuss your silver investments.

 

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons and Snappygoat.com

Categories
Blog

How to Buy Gold Investments and Make Money

Gold investments are often seen as a lucrative investment option by investors. Gold has always been an excellent store of value and the yellow metal has posted healthy returns in short term as well as long-term investment horizons. Gold provides investors with incredible opportunities to beat inflation and hedge their risks in adverse market conditions. As one of the most popular precious metal options for investors, we need to understand how profits can be generated when investing in gold. In this article, we will explore the various options that investors can choose to book healthy profits on their gold investments.

How can you make money from your gold investments?

Two elements will help you buy gold and make money. The first is timing. Only buy gold for the medium to long term as markets can go down as well as up in the short term. Buying when the price is low provides more profit potential than when it’s risen for the past 6 months. Secondly, buy the right type of gold. Appointing a reputable gold broker will help you obtain the best prices and be guided to buy the right type of coins. Buying UK Sovereigns is great value and any money you make is tax-free.

How to Buy Gold Investments and Make Money
It is best to invest in leading brands like Metalor, for gold bars

Most investors will channelise their investments into gold bars and coins. Gold investments cannot provide you with a dividend payment like other asset classes. So, to make money it is important to set your investment goals and book profits by selling gold when your objective has been met. A reputed UK gold broker can help you to achieve these objectives by understanding your philosophy towards investment and contacting you when the right buying or selling opportunities are available.

PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU

Always invest in easily available bullion coins

If you want to obtain the best possible buying price for your gold coins, you should invest in bullion coins. These coins have low premiums and do not carry higher prices due to easy availability. Buying bullion coins like the sovereign or the gold Britannia is an excellent step towards ensuring the liquidity of your gold portfolio. Obscure coins may carry a certain level of rarity value, but they are extremely difficult to sell. Also, by investing in obscure coins, you are reducing your buyer market. So, when you are investing in gold, the best solution is to go to a reputed gold dealer and discuss your investment objectives with the company. When investing in coins, this is likely to get you a wider choice of great bullion coins that are available in the market.

How to Buy Gold Investments and Make Money
Rare and obscure gold coins like this Gold Ducat are not good for investors

Liquidity, variety and value

The three most important things that you can focus on when building your gold portfolio are liquidity, variety and value. Liquidity implies that the gold investments that you make must have a strong secondary market. Well-known coins like the Gold Sovereign or the gold Britannia can generate instant sales, allowing you to make money. Likewise, if you are investing in gold bars, well-known brands like Metalor can also ensure a quick sale.


Download the Insider’s Guide to tax free gold investment here


You can make profits by investing in a variety of coins of different dimensions and denominations. In this way, you can take advantage of different price points in the market, at the time of sale, to maximise your profits.

Capital Gains Tax

Another important consideration for you, as an investor is to focus on Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Taxes can eat into your profits and it’s best to invest in popular UK gold coins that are considered to be legal tender. In this way, you can gain the double advantage of avoiding VAT and CGT.

Get in touch with Physical Gold to discuss your gold investments

Physical Gold is a highly reputed gold dealer in the UK and our investment advisors offer free advice to all customers. Call us today on (020) 7060 9992 or get in touch with us online to discuss the right way to invest in gold.

 

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons, Snappygoat.com