Are New Gold Sovereign coins better value than old ones?

Gold Sovereign coins tick all the boxes

There’s no doubt that Sovereigns tick all the boxes for the gold investor, especially in the UK. They’re good value compared to many other coins, small and therefore very divisible, very well known and liquid and Capital Gains Tax free to UK residents.

However, Gold Sovereign coins fall into two main categories. Brand new mint condition Sovereigns still in their Royal Mint laminate blister pack and circulated older sovereigns. So, which should you buy?

Firstly, it’s important to point out that collectors may have different motivations for investors, and they may overlook value to complete their collections. From an investment angle though, it’s always important to be ruled by your head and not your heart. Collectors may also be happy to pay significant premiums for proof Sovereigns (perhaps 20% or more), but the investor should steer clear of proof coins and stick to bullion versions unless you can buy at the same sort of price.

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Indeed, the first place most gold investors will start is price. Usually, I’d recommend that aPHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPU
Sovereign buyer opts for older coins for the simple fact that you can pick them up for about 3% less than brand new ones. When it comes to selling them back, you’d probably receive 1% less than for a new one so you’re up 2% net. So that’s the end of the story……

Lack of supply

…except that right now there is a distinct shortage of second hand Sovereign gold coins on the market. If you are able to source some, premiums on them are higher than that of new Sovereigns, reflecting the lack of supply.

Alternatively, if you wait in the hope that the lack of old gold Sovereign coins supply will loosen, there is the real possibility that the underlying gold market price will move up from its current position. While some buyers obsess about the premium they’re paying for gold, it is the shrewd investor who realises that it’s the absolute price you pay and not the premium which will determine your level of return. It’s pointless waiting 3 months for the premium on circulated Sovereigns to fall 5% if the underlying price rises by 10% in that time!

Watch our video, “5 Reasons to buy gold sovereigns” a Physical Gold Ltd. YouTube video.

Either way, we’ve seen the underlying gold price fall significantly in December and it has only just started to rise again over the past week. With European debt issues intensifying, everyone agrees that gold should make strong gains this year. The recent price dip at the end of 2011 represents a great buying opportunity.

So for my mind, it’s best to act now before the price runs away, and as it stands Brand New Sovereigns ARE better value than old ones. They’re cheaper to buy, easier to sell (as they’re in perfect condition), and you’ll receive a higher price when you do choose to liquidate.

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The advantages of buying newer issues

Buying gold Sovereigns that are newer has a few distinct advantages. As discussed earlier, older sovereigns tend to attract larger premiums due to rarity and age. So, by buying recent editions which do not attract such premiums, you can get yourself a good deal and extract greater value by purchasing them at lower price points. Since the demand for sovereigns far outstrips their supply, you can expect a good sale price for these in the years to come and maximise your profits. However, a smart tip to remember is that one should stay away from purchasing these coins in December since premiums start to rise around this time, as buyers anticipate the following year’s issue.

So, as long as you buy current issues at any other time, you can take advantage of the huge popularity of these bullion coins. They are minted by the Royal Mint in substantial quantities and should be available with most dealers in large numbers. Indeed, availability is one of the greatest advantages of buying current issues of the UK gold Sovereign. Needless to say, you can also secure good discounts if you buy the coin in large volumes. Do not restrict your purchases to a single dealer. You will need to shop around in order to get the best deals.

new gold sovereign coins vs old gold sovereign coins
A UK gold Sovereign issued in 1838
This coin is one of those used to convey James Smithson’s bequest to the United States for the creation of the Smithsonian Institution. James Smithson was born in 1765 as the illegitimate son of Sir Hugh Smithson, later known as Sir Hugh Percy, Baronet, 1st Duke of Northumberland, K.G., and Elizabeth Hungerford Keate.
Elizabeth Keate had been married to James Macie, and so Smithson first bore the name of James Lewis Macie. His mother later married Mark Dickinson, by whom she had another son. When she died in 1800, he and his half-brother inherited a sizable estate. He changed his name at this time from “Macie” to “Smithson.”
James Smithson died June 27, 1829, in Genoa, Italy. His will left his fortune to his nephew, son of his half-brother, but stipulated that if that nephew died without children (legitimate or illegitimate), the money should go “to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.”
The nephew, Henry Hungerford Dickinson, died without heirs in 1835, and Smithson’s bequest was accepted in 1836 by the United States Congress. Smithson never visited the United States, and the reason for his generous bequest is unknown. The gift was the foundation grant for the Smithsonian Institution.
The Smithson bequest consisted of 104,960 gold sovereigns. Presumably, they all bore the head of the new Queen Victoria, who had acceded to the throne in 1837.
The United States insisted on new sovereigns rather than circulated ones for a very practical reason: the United States would get more gold that way. All but two coins were melted down, reminted as American coins, and spent. The last two originals are in the Smithsonian collection.

Always try to buy larger Sovereigns

Another great tip that I am happy to share with you is that you can gain certain advantages by opting to buy larger Sovereign coins. The logic behind this is quite simple. Smaller coins carry higher production costs. The costs involved in designing and cutting smaller coins is greater than production costs of larger gold coins. Due to this reason, larger coins are available at a lower price per gram.

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Many investors prefer this option as it enables them to acquire more gold for their money. So, this can be a great strategy, especially if you intend to purchase Sovereigns in large quantities. An ideal choice, in this case, would be the quintuple Sovereign. This coin is popularly known as the 5-pound gold coin. You need to be aware that certain dealers do charge a premium for commemorative issues. So, steer clear of these premium deals and you can grab yourself a great bargain. The size of the quintuple Sovereign enables the coin to benefit from lower production costs and is a perfect choice for any gold portfolio.

Call us to discuss how to buy gold Sovereigns

In summary, the UK gold Sovereign is a ubiquitous choice for any serious gold investor. The coin is one of the most reputed in the world and is considered to be a flagship coin for investment, very much like the gold Britannia. Physical Gold has a team of gold investment experts who can help you make the right decisions when it comes to buying a coin of the stature of a gold Sovereign.

The advice we impart to you is backed by solid research on the availability, demand and price of the gold Sovereign. Reaching out to us is relatively simple. Just call us on 020 7060 9992, or simply drop us an email. A member of our team will contact you and help you choose the right gold Sovereigns for your portfolio.


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