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The Panda coin

Country: China
Face Value: 100 Yuan
Gold Content: 1 ounce (31.103g)
Purity: 99.99% (24 karat)
Gross Weight: 31.1036g
Coin Diameter: 32.103mm
First year of issue: 1982

The Chinese Panda coin is a series of gold bullion coins issued by the People’s Republic of China. This coin is 24 karat gold and has a face value of 100 Yuan. The mint introduced the Panda gold bullion coins in 1982. Each year of production, other than 2002, the reverse design of the panda coin has changed and has therefore enabled the Chinese to build a steady demand regardless of gold price fluctuations.

Over the last 30 years, Gold Panda Coins have become an established favourite with many collectors, who appreciate their stunning and unusual designs, as well as the coin’s highly distinctive colouring. The coin itself is backed by the Chinese Government which means it has a guaranteed purity level much like the UK Britannia coin or the South African Krugerrand.

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One area where Panda Coins differ to other bullion coins is that they don’t contain any mintmarks to show the place where they have been produced. Pandas are produced in a number of different Chinese mints including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenyang. In order to determine the mint, you need to take a careful look at variations between coins such as the colour of the metal or subtle design differences.

Panda Coin

2016 Chinese Panda coin

Currently, all Gold Panda Coins have a purity of 99.99, making them an ideal option for gold bullion investors. They are also available in a wide range of different denominations, depending on your investment requirements. Up until 2016, the gold Panda was produced in denominations ranging from 1oz to 1/20oz.

Now in metric…

This has now changed, however, and Panda Coins are currently being minted in metric system sizes instead. The reason for this change is purely down to the coins growing popularity with international investors. With many countries replacing the old troy ounce system with modern metrics, the People’s Republic of China felt they could capitalize on the coin’s widespread appeal by following suit. The new and updated coin sizes can be seen below:

Since 1983 the Panda Coin has also been available in silver. Like the Gold Panda, the Silver Panda Coin’s design changes every year making them very collectable among investors.

The growing appeal of Panda Coins

Many astute investors believe Panda premiums could rise significantly over the coming years due to growing demand linked into China’s rise as an economic powerhouse. With their modest premiums, these coins can offer a viable bullion alternative. There is also a vast natural market for Panda Coins due to the growing amount of expatriate Chinese ethnics.

The obverse features the Temple of Heaven with Chinese characters on top saying “Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo” meaning the People’s Republic of China. If the issue is a commemorative issue of the Chinese Panda coin, the theme will be marked below.


The Reverse shows different portraits of pandas that change every year, other than the one exception in 2002.

Whilst the value of gold and silver has been in continual fluctuation over the past few years, the value of Panda Coins has continually increased, and the market shows no signs of slowing down. Currently, Panda Coins are growing in value at a much higher rate than other bullion coins. This is partly due to the fact that they are comparatively relatively scarce, and also because they are only produced in fairly small mintages.

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britannia coin

Britannia coins are the one-ounce British Bullion coins issued by the Royal Mint since 1987. Both proof and bullion versions have been issued every year to date and fractional versions are commonly available.  The Britannia coin is available in either silver or gold and since 2013 has a purity value of 999.9. It is currently the largest, purest British legal tender coin available on the market.

Britannia coin

County: Great Britain
Face Value: £100 GBP
Gold Content: 1 ounce (31.104g) – Alloyed with copper or silver depending on year (pure from 2013)
Purity: 917 / 1000 (22 karat) (1987-2012) or 999.9/1000 (24 karat) (2013-)
Gross Weight: 34.0500 g (1987-2012) or 31.104g (2013-)
Coin Diameter: 32.69 mm (1987-2012) or 38.61mm (2013-)
First Year of issue: 1987

British coinage history

Britain has a long history of coinage. The first coins that were minted in Britain were Celtic ones around 80 BC. The first gold coins and silver coins in Britain were introduced by the Romans. The gold one was called ‘Aureus’ and the silver ‘Denarius’.

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Why Britannia?

The ‘Britannia’ first appeared on the coins of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD119. PHYS01_Animated_Gif_2_MPUBritannia represents the strength of the British Isles in female form and she has been depicted as a goddess since the 2nd century. Over the years she has appeared on many coins including every penny issued from 1797 up until decimalisation and all 50p coins issued before 2008. Over the years the image of Britannia has changed with more of an emphasis being placed on her maritime links (She is often referred to as the Queen of the Seas) and images of her brandishing a spear have been replaced by those portraying her with a trident.

Bullion coin market growth

After the 80s saw significant growth in the global bullion market, the Royal Mint introduced Britannia coins to their bullion portfolio. Designed by Philip Nathan, the coin featured a new interpretation of Britannia that was powerful, yet elegant and it caught the imagination of the entire nation. Introduced in 1987, the coin made a worldwide impact and became a classic. Today, 30 years later, the classic design still remains the same – with a small addition. The new design displays a radial sunburst on her back.

Britannia coin

The beautifully designed Gold Britannia

The Britannia – Europe’s premier modern coin

The Britannia coin is fast becoming Europe’s premier modern coin and is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful coins. This coin is admired by collectors, dealers and investors from around the world, and is, therefore, one of the World’s most liquid coins.

With the face value of £100 UK Britannia coin is considered legal tender in Great Britain and it is therefore not subject to Capital Gains Tax when sold for a profit by UK residents. As the law currently stands you are required to pay CGT for any personal goods you have sold or made a profit on over the tax-free allowance rate of £11,300. As gold and silver Britannia’s are CGT exempt, however, you can sell as many as you want over the tax year without having to pay CGT.

Design features

The classic design featured on the 2018 1oz Britannia coin


displays a stroking image of a standing Britannia who is portrayed as a beautiful young woman, wearing a centurion’s helmet and holding her trident aloft. The reverse side of the coin features the most recent portrait of Queen Elizabeth II which was designed by Jody Clark of the Royal Mint and first introduced in 2015. Like previous editions of the Britannia coin, it has a purity of 999.9 and is created in 24 karat gold.

Britannia gold coins originally had a fineness of 91.7% or (22 karats) gold with the alloy being copper until 1989 and silver from 1990. The Royal Mint increased purity to 24 karats from 2013 to appeal to the ever-growing Asian market.

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Collectable and with solid investment potential

These lovely 24 karat coins are an amazing investment for any numismatist or an investor. They are worth their weight in gold and have a purity of 999.9 since 2013. The 2018 edition is an excellent value for money and fitting addition to any coin collection. Investors on the other hand, who want to invest serious money in these coins as an investment in gold, would benefit from purchasing a large number of the coins. This is because it works out considerably cheaper to buy gold bullion in bulk rather than individual coins. The advantage of purchasing gold in small denominations such as a coin also gives the investor an advantage in terms of liquidity. At a later point in time, when the investor wishes to exit gold as an investment strategy, he need not dilute all his investments. He can simply sell the ones he wishes to and transfers a part of that investment to another asset class.

Britannia coins are also currently available in a range of different weights and denominations depending on the amount you wish to invest. These include 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10th troy ounce coins which have face values of £50, £25, and £10 respectively. Since 2013 two additional sizes of Britannia coin have been introduced – a 5-ounce coin and 1/20th ounce-coin. These have face values of £500 and £5.

Another reason to invest in Britannia Coins is that they present European and UK investors with the opportunity to purchase physical gold totally exempt from VAT.  All of our Britannia coins are available to purchase VAT free and CGT exempt.

The Britannia is a prestigious coin, famous all over the world and makes an excellent companion to gold sovereign coins. It would make an excellent Christmas gift item for someone in the family or a loved one. So, as we can see, investing in a Britannia isn’t just about parking money and hedging risks. The coin is a true work of art and would make a fitting family heirloom to be passed down from one generation to the other. The coins come with their own case and are suitable for display as an outstanding work of art and a great symbol of British history. Call us on 020 7060 9992 to discuss how Physical Gold Limited may help you invest in the Britannia 2017.


1983 was an important year for British coinage. It was the year in which the British pound coin was minted and put into circulation to replace the Bank of England’s one pound note. The pound note saw its last issue at the end of 1984. The note continued to be in circulation until 11th of March 1988. On that date, it was removed from circulation.

Like all other UK banknotes, the pound note remained redeemable at the bank. But, for all official purposes, the pound note had been terminated and replaced with the British pound coin. Interestingly, the Royal Bank of Scotland continued the issue of pound notes. Similarly, the Channel Islands continued to use them as well. But the pound coin gained popularity and eventually became the more widely used form of currency. In this article, we will overview the history of the British pound coin.

History of the British Pound Coin

1983 one pound coin with the Queen wearing a tiara

The purpose of issuing a pound coin

The main reason for the withdrawal of the 1 pound note was its longevity. The British one pound banknote survived in circulation for approximately 9 months only. The Royal Mint found out that after repeated usage, the pound notes would often end up being damaged, or defaced. A pound coin, on the other hand, could remain in circulation for 40 years or more. Therefore, on 31 July 1981, the government announced its intention to replace the one pound note with the one pound coin.

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The design of the pound coin

The obverse of the pound coin bears a Latin inscription engraved on it. This inscription reads ‘Elizabeth II D G REG’. The abbreviation stands for the words “Dei Gratia Regina”. The entire inscription, when translated into English means “Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, Queen and Defender of the Faith”. Since the original release of the pound coin on 21 April 1983, four portraits of the Queen, each different from the other, have been used. The year of the mintage was also engraved alongside the Latin inscription.

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The first series of coins released in 1983 used a portrait of Queen Elizabeth the second, which had been created by designer Arnold Machin. This portrait appears on the obverse of the coin and features the Queen wearing a tiara. By 1985, a new portrait of the Queen was used, and it was created by Raphael Maklouf. In this portrait, the Queen is featured wearing the George IV State Diadem. This version of the pound coin was issued till 1997.

History of the British Pound Coin

A one-pound banknote from Cyprus – 1955

The changing face of the pound coin

From 1998 to 2015, the design of the pound coin was changed yet again. This time, a new portrait created by Ian Rank-Broadley was used. Once again, the Queen’s portrait depicted her wearing a tiara. A makeover of the pound coin took place again in 2015. This time, well-known designer Jody Clark was commissioned to create the design. Her portrait of the Queen was introduced on the pound coin in 2015 and depicts the monarch wearing the George IV State Diadem.


The reverse of the pound coin had its design changed every year since 1983. This was done to ensure the complete representation of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as parts of the UK. Each year, the one pound coin would have a different emblem which represents each geographic area along with an inscription on the edge. The words, “one pound” can be found on the reverse of all these coins.

The new pound coin 2017

The new one pound coin has a 12 sided, bimetallic structure. This coin was released on 28 March 2017. A design competition was organised with participation from members of the public. This competition was unveiled in 2014 and the results, which were declared in March 2015 named a 15-year-old boy called David Pearce as the winner. The new design featured a rose, thistle, leek and a shamrock, ensconced by a crown.

History of the British Pound Coin

The 12-sided one pound coin was introduced in 2017

Counterfeit coins

Unknown to many, as the round one pound coin gained popularity, counterfeiters took to duplicating this coin. By 2013, there was an estimated 3.04% of counterfeit coins in circulation. The geographical areas that had the maximum number of counterfeit coins were Northern Ireland, the South-East of England and the City of London. Coin testing companies were commissioned by the Royal Mint to study the problem. The coin testing professionals found out that the actual number was approximately twice that estimated by the Royal Mint.

10 commandments

Many times banks did not check the coins they are receiving. As a result, many banks were also inundated with counterfeit currency. The experts detected that many counterfeit coins had poor quality, along with marked visual differences in design. Of course, there were more sophisticated counterfeiters, that would require a specialised machine to detect.

The end of the round pound

The last batch of the British round one pound coins was minted in December 2015. The 12 edge coin that has replaced it is a bi-metallic coin whose design makes it harder to duplicate. The coin also has a concealed security feature, which is a code that becomes visible under a certain wavelength of ultraviolet light. There were a few other round pound coins in circulation as well, although these were never legal tender in the UK.

These coins were minted by the British Crown dependencies and Gibraltar, amongst others. They were identical to the one pound coin circulated in the UK and carried the same portraits of the British monarch. Some of these coins have remained in circulation, as these territories have not stopped the mintage of the coins or changed it.

To find out more about collectable UK coins, call Physical Gold

Physical Gold is one of the most reputed precious metal dealers in the UK. We also deal in precious coins and if you want to get an evaluation done, or wish to purchase specific coins of value, please call us on (020) 7060 9992. You can also contact us via email and a member of our customer service team will be happy to call you back.

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american eagle coin

The American Eagle Coin

County: USA
Face Value: $50 USD
Gold Content: 1 ounce (31.104g) – Alloyed with Silver (3%) and Copper (5.33%)
Purity: 917 / 1000 (22 karat)
Gross Weight: 34.0500g
Coin Diameter: 32.7mm
First Year of issue: 1986

The American Eagle coin is a legal tender gold bullion coin of the United States and is an easy, convenient and affordable way to add to your gold portfolio. Authorised under the Gold Bullion Coin Act of 1985 the Eagle was first issued one year later with a face value of $50 USD. The American Eagle coin is the only gold coin whose quality and purity are guaranteed by the U.S. government. The US law dictates that the gold contained within the coin must come from sources in America.

Offered in 1/10 oz., 1/4 oz., 1/2 oz., and 1 oz. denominations, these coins are guaranteed by the U.S. government to contain the stated amount of actual gold weight in troy ounces. By law, the gold must come from sources in America, alloyed with silver and copper to produce a more wear-resistant coin.

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The design of these coins is exactly the same as the one-ounce coins, except for the weight and value markings on the reverse. The series issued between 1986 to 1991 of the Gold Eagle has dates written with Roman numerals. However, this practice changed from 1992 onwards, and Arabic numbers were used to date Gold Eagles.

While these coins are generally accepted as legal tender by the US government, the intrinsic values of these coins are much greater than their face values. For example, the 2012 value of a $50 face value coin was as high as $1,835. Of course, these prices are heavily influenced by both market demand for the coins as well as the spot prices of gold.

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Silver American Eagles

It is important to note that the American Eagle coin is also available in silver. The silver versions of these coins are produced by three mints – Philadelphia, San Francisco, and West Point. Featuring designs on its front and back by Adolph A. Weinman and John Mercanti respectively, the silver eagle remains a popular choice for coin buyers across the world. The first Silver Eagle was created in San Francisco in 1986 and rose to popularity ever since.

In order to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Silver Eagle, the US Mint circulated a lacquered presentation set that contained five coins, one proof coin, and one uncirculated coin from West Point, along with many other valuable Silver Eagles from different locations across the US, where they were struck.

In a recent development, the US Mint has announced that the American Eagle would now be available in palladium. This is the fourth metal that the American eagle would be available in, the earlier three being gold, silver, and platinum. It would be the first-ever palladium coin to be issued on US soil. The coin has attracted global interest and has already notched premiums, well in excess of its face value.

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Gold and silver American Eagle coins are a popular choice for investors and buyers across the world. These prestigious coins make an excellent addition to an investment portfolio. In fact, the silver American Eagle can be added to a person’s IRR account (individual retirement Account) as an investment allowed by US law.

The obverse side of the coin features a rendition of Augustus Saint-Gaudens Lady Liberty with flowing hair, holding a torch in one hand and an olive branch in the other. The reverse of the coin features a design by sculptor Miley Busiek of a male eagle carrying an olive branch to his family. The motto, “In God We Trust”, appears to the right of, and beneath, the eagle’s wing. This motto has been featured on all U.S. gold coins since 1908.


It is often said that investors tend to invest in bullion coins, so that they may maximise the value of gold for the price they pay. Likewise, collectors buy proof versions of coins. In this article, we will explore what is a proof coin and why they are highly valued amongst collectors.

What is a proof coin?

A publisher would like to study the edited, proofed, and ready to go to the print version of an author’s work before mass copies are printed. In the same way, a proof coin or a set of coins is produced initially to secure approvals from important authorities like the Ministry of finance, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Directors of the Mint. Apart from procuring these important approvals, a proof coin can be used to check the accuracy of the dies used in minting the coins.

What is a Proof Coin?

Silver proof coins

The dies are specially polished to produce the proof coin set. It is quite different from a mass-produced bullion coin. A proof coin has an extremely high-quality finish and a polished shine. The edges are sharp, and the design stands out magnificently. The manufacturing dies are often chemically treated to create a frosty finish in certain areas on the face of the coin.


When the coin is presented in its case, there is a mirror-like appearance, which is appealing to most coin lockers. Historically, they were usually archived after approvals had been procured and the coin issued to the general public. However, the Royal Mint today releases limited editions of proof coin sets that can be purchased by collectors. Commemorative issues are also interesting to the general public, who would pay a premium to procure these coins.

Why are collectors buying proof coins?

First of all, many collectors are well aware of what is a proof coin. The mintage of these sets is limited and attractive to collectors, simply because their rarity, may go up in the years to come. The aesthetic look and feel of a proof coin, with its high-quality finish and attractiveness make it desirable to collectors. Needless to say, these coins are sold with hefty premiums.

What is a Proof Coin?

A set of 1887 Queen Victoria proof coins

Proof coins as an investment

Bullion coins have always appealed to investors as a better bet. Bullion coins come with an uncirculated finish that does not have the finesse of a proof coin. However, these coins offer the investor an opportunity to acquire gold or silver at a cheaper price per gram than paying huge premiums for a proof coin.

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An important problem also crops up at the time of sale. Dealers are unprepared to repay the premiums paid on these coins. The coins are therefore valued for their gold content, and the premium originally paid for the proof version of the coin is lost. Due to these factors, a proof coin is best acquired as a collectable or given to someone as a present.

It is also important to note that many dealers will offer good discounts when you place an order for a large number of bullion coins. These deals do not apply to proof coins. The premium paid is largely due to the finishing, detail, production costs and limited mintage. So, if you are building a gold portfolio, it is far better to invest in the gold Britannia or the Sovereign, both of which are bullion coins with abundant availability, available at low premiums.

Find out more from Physical Gold

Our precious metal experts at Physical Gold have a great deal of knowledge that you can benefit from. We are one of the country’s largest and most reputed online dealers. We can leverage our expertise and assist you in getting the best deals for gold and silver coins. Please call us on (020) 7060 9992 for a chat. You can also reach out to us via our website.


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The Maple leaf gold coin

Country: Canada
Face Value: $50 CAD (when first issued)
Gold Content: 1 ounce (31.10g)
Purity: 1979–1982 = 99.9% (24 karat), 1983–Present =99.99%
Gross Weight: 31.103g
Coin Diameter: 30.00mm
First year of issue: 1979

The Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin was first issued as the official bullion coin of Canada in 1979. This coin is 24 karat gold with an original face value $50 CAD, however, it’s market value fluctuates considerably depending on the spot price of gold and current global demand for bullion coins. It is produced annually by the Royal Canadian Mint and is available in both bullion and proof versions.

The Royal Canadian Mint promote this coin as the international symbol of purity. They were the first mint to produce a 24 karat bullion coins and it is one of the purest gold coins of regular issue in the world. Since then, the Maple Leaf gold coin has become the standard of quality against which all other bullion coins are measured.

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At the time Maple leaf coins were first introduced, the only other bullion coin available was the Krugerrand. Due to the apartheid regime in South Africa at the time, however, the Krugerrand was not widely available to the majority of people as many countries boycotted South African imports. This meant that Canadian maple leaf coins became one of the first bullion coins to be available exclusively for investment purposes. To this day the Maple Leaf is still one of the most popular bullion coins, sought after by collectors and investors all over the world.

Between the years of 1979–1982 this coin was issued with 99.9% purity but from 1983–present this has risen to 99.99%, virtually no alloy at all. In fact, Canadian maple leaf coins were the first bullion coin in the world to be produced with a standard of .999 purity, just one of the reasons why they are globally recognised as a safe and reliable investment opportunity. They are produced to an extremely high standard by the renowned mint so offer a beautiful choice at reasonable prices for those with an eye for splendour.

maple leaf gold coin

Canadian 1oz Maple Leaf Coin


Features of the Maple Leaf coin

The design of the Maple leaf coin has not changed since the creation of the first gold Maple leaf in 1979. The obverse of the maple leaf gold coin displays a profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, with the value and the year of issue. Since 2005 the portrait has been updated to depict Susanna Blunt’s famous portrayal of her Majesty at the age of 79. The reverse displays the Canadian national emblem, the Maple Leaf. As this symbol is also featured on the national flag this coin is distinguished and recognisable worldwide.

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The Maple Leaf is also available in different sizes and denominations. Aside from the standard 1oz coin, these include ½ oz coins, ¼ oz coins, 1/10 oz coins, 1/20 and 1/25th oz coins. There is also now a 1-gram Maple Leaf coin available.

Due to the Canadian Maple Leaf Coin’s

growing popularity, additional security features have recently been added, making it one of the securest forms of gold investments around. In 2013, a laser engraved maple leaf with a microscopic numeral displaying the coin’s year of issue was added to the reverse of the coin. In 2015, radial lines were also added to the background on both sides of the coin.

Demand for Maple Leaf coins

Maple leaf coins are held in high regard with collectors all over the world. As one of the very first bullion coins to be widely available, the Maple leaf has an established reputation among bullion investors and many of them appreciate its guaranteed high level of purity and heightened security detail. The Royal Canadian Mint is also world-famous and highly respected amongst numismatics. The mint strikes more than 1 billion coins annually. In addition to its popular Canadian Maple Leaf series of gold, silver, and platinum bullion coins, the mint also strikes currency for as many as a dozen other countries.

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Gold Information

Live Gold Spot Price in Sterling. Gold is one of the densest of all metals. It is a good conductor of heat and electricity. It is also soft and the most malleable and ductile of the elements; an ounce (31.1 grams; gold is weighed in troy ounces) can be beaten out to 187 square feet (about 17 square metres) in extremely thin sheets called gold leaf.

Silver Information

Live Silver Spot Price in Sterling. Silver (Ag), chemical element, a white lustrous metal valued for its decorative beauty and electrical conductivity. Silver is located in Group 11 (Ib) and Period 5 of the periodic table, between copper (Period 4) and gold (Period 6), and its physical and chemical properties are intermediate between those two metals.