As a commodity, gold is one of the rarest elements on earth and, as such, commands a value for the metal itself. However, gold and rare coins exceed the price of the metal itself due to their scarcity. But exactly what does “rare” mean? When it comes to gold coins collecting, rarity is about supply and demand and relies very heavily on whether there is a market for something, and rarity does not always make something more valuable. However, the rare gold coins UK market is a sizeable one making limited edition and scarce coins highly collectable with a great deal of competition.
Value is often determined by how rare a piece is with something like the Queen Anne ‘Vigo’ five guinea gold coin (one of just 20 known examples known to be in existence) recently being sold at auction for £225,000. Scarce coins in the UK can command even higher prices with a 1937 Edward VIII Gold Proof Sovereign being the most expensive British coin ever when it sold at auction for £516,000. In the same auction, a 1953 Elizabeth II Gold Proof Sovereign was sold for £384,000. So, wise investments can fetch enormous sums of money far exceeding their metal value. This is a key feature of why investors purchase limited-edition coins as there is a possibility that these coins, produced in restricted numbers, could become scarce over time and therefore appreciate in value.
When it comes to collectable gold coins, the values may not be nearly as impressive as those pieces that are known to be scarce. However, collector’s still place a good deal of value on some coins. Some become collectable as a result of being minted in limited numbers, produced to commemorate some special occasion or have some unusual feature such as a casting error. Of course, some collectors may simply be looking for a piece to complete a set or for sentimental reasons making a less collectable gold coin of greater value to that individual.
Produced in restricted numbers, limited edition coins such as the 1oz gold coins like the Lunar series and the Queen’s Beast series have an instant appeal. Uncirculated coins, these two sets alone have appreciated far beyond both their face value and their intrinsic gold value. Collectors, keen to complete a set, prize these coins with additional value making them a strong investment property. With the lunar series depicting the Chinese zodiac, there is an interest from Asian collectors which also helps to maintain, and increase their value.
Issued to mark an occasion such as an anniversary, jubilee or special event such as the Commonwealth Games or Olympics, commemorative gold coins are sometimes produced in limited numbers but are certainly restricted to a single production year. The value of these coins often depends on the quantities they were produced in, whether they were in general circulation and the amount of gold contained.
Some rare coins become so as a result of an accident as opposed to being produced specifically for the collector’s markets. Errors can be made during the casting process which makes a coin unusual and because the error is usually caught quite quickly and most rounds re-melted, they can also be very rare. One such example is when the wrong obverse is struck on a coin producing a hybrid. Known as ‘mule’ coins, the last high-profile example of this was in the Royal Mint in 2014 when 17,000 £2 silver Britannia coins were struck with the obverse of the Lunar Horse. 38,000 £2 Lunar Horse series coins were also fated to be flawed with the Britannia’s obverse. Though simply minting errors, these coins now have a rarity value of their own.
At Physical Gold, we employ skilled and highly-trained numismatists who carefully check all of our new and pre-owned coins for quality. Any coins that do not meet the high standards upon which we insist for our clients are rejected. This means that we can guarantee that none of the coins we supply are substandard.
Rare coins offer a greater degree of security against any fluctuations in the price of precious metals, buying collectable coins provides greater balance in your investment portfolio. By diversifying your assets, you can protect your financial future and achieve a more flexible way to liquify your assets when the time is right. Rare and collectable coins retain a buyer’s premium but can hold more than just their intrinsic gold value.