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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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”.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.


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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.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.


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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

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.


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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.

 

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