Bullion coins are some of the most sought-after coins in the world, often selling out and causing stock shortages at major national mints. So what do you get for your money? And why should you buy one?
Well the key reason most people purchase a bullion coin is the precious metal content. For example, the UK £2 Britannia coin contains an ounce of pure 999/1000 silver. Soon enough one coin turns into many and you can find yourself owning a sizeable amount of silver.
But these coins are not just lumps of metal. The silver Britannia is also a real piece of craftsmanship, with a beautifully evocative design struck with all the expertise of the Royal Mint.
Combine this craftsmanship with the silver content and you start to see just why this coin is so collectable.
But why is this any different from a silver bar, or a silver round?
UK bullion coins carry the authority and security of being a government issued coin. There is never any debate about their purity or integrity. In fact they are checked every year at a 734 year old ceremony called the Trial of the Pyx. You can buy one safely in the knowledge that you are getting what you pay for.
This also explains why bullion coins sometimes appear to have a ‘misleading’ face value. The Britannia is a £2 coin, but the silver content is worth much more than that. The truth is the face value is really there to legitimise the coin and prove that it is an official state-authorised issue.
And legal tender British bullion coins have a final bonus – they will never incur any Capital Gains Tax. This makes them the perfect way to pass down silver through the generations.
But you will have to pay VAT. And as with any struck coin, you will have to pay a small premium over the raw metal value to cover production costs. At the time of writing, raw silver is trading at around £10.50 an ounce, but you’d be hard pressed to find a way of buying a single ounce at that price.
Bullion coins facilitate an easy entry into the world of owning silver and coins. They are not about face value or edition limit, but you can still have the satisfaction of securing a collection of genuine, bona fide UK coins – at as close to the raw silver price as you are likely to get.
Top Tips for buying silver bullion coins:
- Pick a country with a strong tradition of issuing bullion coins
- Expect to pay a small premium over the intrinsic silver value
- Remember the face value of your chosen coin is not related to its value
- Buy British silver bullion coins and there’s no Capital Gains Tax to pay
With the festive season underway, Christmas-themed coins and medals are proving popular with collectors again this year.
I’ve taken a look at the stories behind 5 of the most collectible Christmas coins and medals available today…
The star- shaped Christmas coin:
This Australian festive star-shaped Christmas coin features a beautiful full-colour image of a snow-covered Christmas tree. But what makes it even more special is the hole in the capsule, which allows a ribbon to be tied transforming the coin into a Christmas tree ornament.
Struck from .999 silver in an innovative star-shaped design, this coin would be the highlight of any tree!
The only ‘official’ Christmas coin:
This coin, featuring a gold-plated Rudolph, can lay claim to being the world’s only ‘official’ Christmas coin. Why? Because it is issued on behalf of ‘Christmas Island’ – a tiny Pacific atoll that is part of Kiribati.
Each year, Christmas Island releases a new edition of this silver crown coin, and they have become some of the most sought after festive coins issued worldwide. After all, you can’t get more authentic than a Christmas coin from Christmas Island!
The fastest-selling and most collectible coins in the world:
The Royal Canadian Mint Silver $20 Coins have become a collecting phenomenon. First issued in 2011 they became some of the fastest-selling, most collectible coins of all time.
The very first mintage of 200,000 coins sold out within 29 days – that’s 7,000 coins a day.
Both of these coins have sold out in Canada and it’s unlikely to be long until they sell out in the UK too.
A moving Christmas tribute:
The French Mint, La Monnaie de Paris, have issued a medal to pay tribute to the soldiers of the First World War.
The artistic masterpiece features a design that represents the Christmas Truce – showing a scene of rare peace and goodwill between enemy soldiers in the trenches.
The Christmas Truce was a series of widespread but unofficial ceasefires along the Western Front around Christmas 1914. In the week leading up to the holiday, German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk.
Roughly 100,000 British and German troops were involved in the unofficial cessations of hostility along the Western Front.
The Snowman and the Snowdog:
Everyone is familiar with the magical Christmas story of The Snowman and The Snowdog. Last year, the Isle of Man issued a crown-sized coin featuring the loveable characters from the 2012 sequel film to Raymond Briggs classic story.
The Snowman and The Snowdog is a 2012 animated short film. It is the sequel to The Snowman, and was created to mark the 30th anniversary of the original short film. The Snowman and The Snowdog is dedicated to John Coates, the film’s producer, who died in September 2012.
If you fancy adding a Christmas coin to your collection, or perhaps as a gift, we have just 24 star-shaped Christmas Coins available.
At this year’s American Numismatic Association World Money Fair in Chicago there is one coin everyone is talking about – the world’s first maple leaf-shaped coin.
Struck by The Royal Canadian Mint for Modern Numismatics International, this impressive Fine Silver $20 Coin is shaped like Canada’s iconic maple leaf and has such intricate engraving you can even see the veins in the leaf itself.
The Canadian Mint are known for their innovation and this is new release is no exception.
But it doesn’t stop there. They have even created a bespoke red maple leaf-shaped box complete with viewing window to add to the coins appeal.
Perhaps unsurprisingly this coin is set to be one of the fastest selling issues of 2015, with the Mint selling out of their allocation in 2 days.
The show ends on Saturday but this is certainly a coin that will be sought-after by collectors for many months to come.
The Westminster Collection has secured a limited stock of these stunning coins and you can add one to your collection today.
But you’ll have to be quick, it’s unlikely this opportunity will come up again.