One of the most common questions I hear is from keen investors wanting to know the best gold coins to buy as an investment.
The most important thing people seem to overlook is the ease in which you’ll be able to sell the coins. It sounds obvious, but so many buyers focus purely on trying to get as much gold for their money when they invest that they forget to consider the liquidity of the gold.
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Remember that your profit is only realised on physical gold when you actually sell the coins at a profit. So when buying coins your primary focus must be on choosing well-known coins in desirable condition. So please don’t be tempted by an obscure coin just because its £10 cheaper than its globally renowned alternative. With this in mind, any of the well-known bullion coins are a safe bet. These could be Sovereigns, Britannias, Krugerrands, Eagles, etc. You can find a comprehensive list with thorough descriptions at Bullion coins.
A novice should never try to be too smart by delving into the world of numismatic or historical coins. These generally present high potential profit, but also large losses for those without market experience. Proof coins should generally be avoided by the gold investor as you won’t necessarily get the full premium back that they command.
For very modest investors it can be fun to select a variety of bullion coins for your portfolio, perhaps choosing some Sovereign coins with an interesting background or coins with beautiful designs.
For those seeking a chance to turbo charge their returns and willing to take a modest increase in risk, the Royal Mint’s Queen’s Beasts series of coins can be a clever option.
This is a series of 11 one ounce 24 carat gold coins (also produced in silver and fractional versions), which are limited in issuance. In contrast to the Britannia or Sovereign bullion coins which are unlimited and mass produced, the Queen’s Beasts coins have been released coin by coin, every 6 months. Once a particular version is all sold, they’re not produced any more.
This relative scarcity, combined with a degree of collectability, has pushed up premiums on these coins far quicker than standard bullion coins.
While the first 8 coins in the series already command high prices, the most recent 2-3 coins are still being produced, albeit not for long. Therefore, premiums on the most recent releases are still only slightly higher than the standard Britannia. While there’s no guarantee that their prices will mirror the earlier coins in the series, there’s a good chance.
However, for those UK investors considering a more sizeable investment you must consider factors such as tax. Capital Gains tax was recently increased for higher rate tax payers in the UK to 28%. That means that if you sell your gold coins at a profit exceeding your annual limit (currently around £12k) then you’ll pay away almost a third of that excess to the taxman. Any other assets you sell in that year will use up that £12k limit too. So if you sell shares or an investment property and make a profit, you’ll no doubt be paying CGT on all your gold profit!
The great news is that with some careful planning and help from a reputable gold dealer, you can source tax free gold coins. Britannia, Sovereign and Queen’s Beasts coins are all free from Capital gains Tax for UK residents due to their status as legal tender. Quite simply the taxman cannot tax the movement of legal currency. For this reason, together with the fact that these two coins are amongst the world’s best known, most UK investors are best off investing into these tax free gold coins.
The most important rule with gold coin investing is that everyone’s situation, needs and motivations for buying differ, and so the best gold coins to buy may also vary. This is where the real value of a knowledgeable gold dealer pays dividends!
Daniel Fisher formed physical Gold in 2008, after working in the financial industry for 20 years. He spent much of that time working within the new issue fixed income business at a top tier US bank. In this role, he traded a large book of fixed income securities, raised capital for some of the largest government, financial, and corporate institutions in the world and advised the leading global institutional investors. Daniel is CeFA registered and is a member of the Institute of Financial Planning.