Frequently Asked Questions
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About Physical Gold Ltd (PGL)
Can PGL offer me financial advice
No, we cannot provide you with actual financial advice. However, we can make you aware of the most tax efficient ways of buying physical gold and silver in the UK and share our market expertise – to guide you towards the best value purchase and most balanced portfolio. We recommend an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA) if you’d prefer to seek separate advice.
Are PGL regulated?
Commodities only become regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) once they are securitised. Therefore buying physical gold or silver falls outside of the FCA. The tax rules affecting gold, including the VAT exemption, Capital Gains Tax, and qualification for UK pensions are governed by HMRC. PGL is a proud member of the British Numismatic Trade Association (BNTA), so are also obliged to operate within their strict rule of ethics.
Can I trust PGL?
Absolutely! We are a member of the BNTA, the leading trade association for gold coin dealers, the National Association for Pension Funds (NAPF), The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI)and the Institute for Financial Planners (IFP).
We are partners with around 15 leading UK pension providers and work with a whole network of IFAs, who have all carried out strict due diligence on us.
See credentials page for more info
Where are your offices?
We are based in the city of London, in the old Nat West tower.
Our full address is;
Tower 42, 5th floor
25 Old Broad Street
London EC2N 1HN
Can I come in to buy gold?
These are our administrative offices so all our metals are handled out of East London. Picking up metals in person can pose security and insurance risks. Therefore, any orders are posted by insured delivery.
Learn more about a commonly asked FAQ in our YouTube video – “How to sell gold for the most cash”
Do I need to provide you with identification?
We have joined the Government’s anti-money laundering scheme, which means we need to adhere to its ID requirements. If you purchase £5,000 or more in one transaction or make several purchases totalling over £10,000 in one year, then we will need two forms of ID. One needs to be a picture (passport/driving license), the other a recent proof of address (3mth or less utility/bank bill). We need either originals or certified copies. Photocopies can be certified by the following people; GP, Accountant, Civil Servant, Teacher, Solicitor, Notary, Employer or at a minimal charge – a post office worker. We also reserve the right to request ID for investments smaller than these amounts.
How can I pay?
See here for more info (including 3d secure payment)
Is there VAT to pay on my purchase?
There is currently no VAT to pay when purchasing investment gold in the UK. The official HMRC exemption applies to all gold or purity 22 karats or higher in the form of a coin or bar. With the VAT rate set to rise to 20%, this represents a great saving over silver and platinum which are taxable. VAT is normally applicable to silver purchases in the UK, but both our silver options are UK VAT free.
See this guide on VAT
Do you charge any commission on the transaction?
We do not charge any commission or management fees. We make our money by buying gold and silver at wholesale prices and selling on to retail. There is, of course, a margin between where we buy and sell. To reflect this simple process, we pass on discounts to you according to how much you buy.
How do I sell my gold or silver?
You will need to complete a metals sales form if you wish to sell coins or bars which we are storing for you. This is because when we store gold and silver on your behalf, you remain the legal owner, so your signature is required for us to move your allocation.
See our sell metals page for more info and indicative prices
What paperwork will I receive?
You’ll receive an invoice and Certificate of Authenticity with every purchase. You’ll also be sent a Storage Agreement providing legal ownership if you opt for one of our storage options.
Form of Investment
How do I know if to buy gold within a pension or with liquid cash?
There are advantages to both methods. The main advantage of investing outside of a pension is your ability to sell the gold and realise your profits whenever you need. With a pension, you can sell the gold at any point, but the proceeds will generally need to remain within the pension until retirement age.The huge benefit of pension gold is the discount of up to 45% you can receive through tax relief. Your decision will be based on personal circumstances and you may decide to seek guidance from an IFA. Many customers decide that variety is the best way to invest and put some gold into their pension and keep some liquid.
How can I save regularly with gold or silver?
If you like the idea of protecting yourself with precious metals but have little upfront cash to invest, then our Monthly Saver may be a good option. This is a simple way to save regularly from as little as £150/month, and you will gradually accumulate a holding of physical gold or silver coins. The other advantage is that you can benefit from averaging the cost of the gold or silver over time, and you don’t have to worry about making individual payments every month.
Is there a minimum investment?
We are happy to help you invest in just one coin or from £150/month with our Silver Monthly Saver or £250/month in our Gold Monthly Saver. Investments into a Self Invested Personal Pension (Sipp) will be subject to suitability issues. As a guide, a minimum of £10,000 is recommended to offset any costs associated with setting up a Sipp. A minimum starting investment of £5,000 applies to silver bar purchases.
Can I put gold into any type of pension?
No. Only a Self Invested Personal Pension (Sipp) can house gold bullion. Company pensions, stakeholder and personal pensions can generally only include traditional paper assets. Sipps are designed to offer the flexibility of containing both standard assets, along with the qualifying alternatives such as gold and property.
Can I put gold coins or bars into my Sipp?
Only gold bars of minimum purity 995 parts gold per thousand qualifies for your pension. Gold coins to not qualify.
Can I put physical silver into my Sipp?
Silver does not qualify for your Sipp.
How do I open a Sipp if I haven’t got one already?
We have partnered up with a selection of Sipp providers who all specialise in enabling alternative assets into their pensions. They will answer any questions you have and facilitate the necessary paperwork.
Do I have to transfer my pension to include pension gold?
The choice is yours. You can leave your current pension where it is, and open a Sipp alongside this to house gold (and other assets). Alternatively, if you like the idea of all your pension assets under one roof, we can help you transfer your existing pension into a Sipp.
Types of gold and silver
How do I know the precious metals you sell me are genuine?
Always buy from a reputable dealer, and avoid auction sites! All our coins and bars are checked by our numismatic experts and include a Certificate of Authenticity. As members of the British Numismatic Trade Association (BNTA), we have to adhere to a strict code of standards which includes sharing information relating to stolen or forged goods.
How is gold and silver priced?
Is it better to buy bars or coins?
Each buyer’s circumstances are different and therefore the best type of gold or silver to buy will vary from person to person. Our consultants are experienced at helping select the optimum combination to maximise returns and suit your requirements. We will consider factors such as possible bulk discounts, flexibility when selling, tax issues, liquidity, current premiums and reason for purchase (collection, investment, meltdown for jewellery).
Is it better to buy brand new coins or older coins?
Again, our consultants will help determine the best type of coin to suit your needs. Premiums and demand can fluctuate from coin to coin. Our market expertise will help you select the coins with the best value and potential. Generally speaking, brand new coins are cheaper as they don’t currently contain any rarity value. Older coins are worth their gold content and rarity so have the chance of increasing in value quicker and falling in value much less when the market moves.
Which coins are totally tax free to buy and sell?
All investment grade gold, including bullion coins, are VAT exempt to buy. UK coins of the realm are also free of Capital Gains tax (tax on your profits when you sell an asset) as they are legal tender. Qualifying coins amongst others are Britannias, Sovereigns, Angels and the gold £5 and £2 coins, along with their fractional versions. Silver Britannias also benefit from being CGT free.
When will I receive the metals?
Your metals are shipped to you within 1 week of funds clearing, but most often within 1-2 business days. We will always be upfront if a certain bar or coin will take longer to source.
Is it possible to pick up the gold or silver from your offices?
Due to security and insurance reasons, we are not permitted to allow the public access to our offices and therefore do not have retail premises. By far the safest and most secure method of receiving your metals is through our delivery service which is fully insured and recorded.
What are your shipping costs?
|Gold Monthly Saver||£FREE|
|For purchases between £1 – £10,000||£FREE|
|Transactions between £10,001 – £50,000||£FREE|
|Transactions between £50,001 – £100,000||£FREE|
|Transactions between £100,001 – £200,000||£FREE|
|Transactions between £200,001+||£FREE|
Delivery of VAT free silver coins and bars will be calculated within your shopping cart.
See Storage/delivery page for further details
Can you ship gold and silver outside of the UK?
Yes, we can deliver gold and silver around the world.
Can you deliver to a business address?
Yes, we can deliver gold to any address, provided there is someone to sign and receive it. Once the delivery has been signed for, it is no longer under PGL’s insurance or responsibility.
Where can you store my gold or silver?
We are able to offer storage for gold with Loomis International in the UK. They are one of the world’s leading precious metals storage facilities with warehouses around the globe. They are a member of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), and the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). http://www.loomis-international.com/. Silver coins are also stored here.
Silver bars are stored within the vaults of Network Securities Ltd in The Channel Islands who is registered with the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (“GFSC”) and supervised for compliance in line with the Handbook for Financial Services Business on Countering Financial Crime and Terrorist Financing issued by the GFSC.
See Storage/delivery page for further details
Is the stored gold and silver insured?
Absolutely. Your holding is fully covered through Lloyds of London.
What are your storage charges?
Charges are 1% per annum + VAT, paid upfront 6 months at a time for gold, and 1.5% for silver, based on mid-market values.
Is there a minimum storage value?
The lowest value we are able to store is £2.5k of gold or silver.
Is there a minimum storage charge?
The minimum semi-annual charge for gold is £25+VAT and £37.50+VAT for silver.
What happens to my stored metals if PGL ceases operating for any reason?
The gold and silver are legally owned by yourself and you can choose to collect the metals if desired. You will be provided with a legal Storage Agreement stating the amount and type of coins/bars stored, and the location it is kept. We operate on a fully allocated and segregated manner, meaning you have actual coins or bars in your name which don’t sit on Physical Gold Ltd’s balance sheet or that of the storage facilities. So your gold and silver are fully protected and counterparty risk-FREE.
Is physical gold a risky asset?
All investments involve a degree of risk, and gold is no exception. Just like stocks and shares, the value of gold can go down as well as up. We would never suggest borrowing money to invest in physical gold or putting all your money into gold. The key with any portfolio is having a mix of assets. The great news with physical gold is that it provides a unique portfolio balance as it is not correlated with other assets. This benefit has become very apparent recently when the value of shares, bonds, cash and property have all fallen at the same time, while gold prices have continued to rise.
While gold still has a degree of market risk, buying physical gold cancels out any counterparty risk. This means that unlike paper assets, the value of gold can never fall to zero if a Government, company or person goes bankrupt. As a globally recognised and traded commodity, the liquidity risk of gold coins and bars (or difficulty in selling) is minimal.
Is it a good time to buy gold?
Clearly, in an ideal world, you buy an asset at its lowest price point and sell at its highest. Gold has returned an average of over 12% per year in the UK over the past decade. However, we feel the very factors which have pushed gold to its current level are stronger than ever. We have the backdrop of record Government debt around the world and warnings of a possible repeat banking crisis. As a finite, precious metal with little significant supply due over the next 7-10 years, market factors still very much favour its continued rise over the medium term. Gold investment should always be viewed as a medium to long-term asset to maximise possible returns.
Are ETFs a better way to invest in gold than buying coins or bars?
Electronic Traded Funds will track the spot price of gold and can be useful for speculation. However, you are never actually purchasing the bullion, and your shares can never be redeemed for physical gold. There are other risks involved with ETFs that include lack of transparency and accountability. Several recent press articles have highlighted that for the number of shares issued through gold ETFs, there is not enough bullion to back them up – leaving a huge liquidity issue if many investors wished to cash in at the same time. This reason, combined with their complicated risk disclosures, means your assets are at risk when you need them most and this would undermine the very reason for owning gold as a crisis hedge in the first place. Owning physical gold bars or coins, even if stored by ourselves on your behalf, presents no counterparty risk whatsoever. This is because all the gold we store for you is fully allocated and segregated. Owning physical gold itself is undeniably the ultimate way of owning a safe haven asset.
Should I buy gold mining stocks or physical gold?
Both methods of gold exposure represent entirely different asset classes and risk/reward attributes, especially in times of economic turmoil. Whilst mining stocks can generate substantial returns, they do not outperform physical gold in times of financial crisis. Not only that, but the investor can be exposed to just a single mining company and their fortunes. If that company goes bankrupt, the entire value of the shares can be wiped out. Physical bullion can never fall to zero. In times of sharp market decline, mining stocks tend to become correlated to the broad equity markets and suffer accordingly.