Gold & Silver: A Buyer’s Guide

Struggling to decide between gold or silver? Don’t know whether you’re best off buying coins, bars or Signature Gold? Find all your answers in this simple buying guide

When people are questioned on the ways in which they may invest in gold and silver, it would be easy to think jewellery, like rings and necklaces, would be one of the the only ways to start. However, there is a wide range of gold and silver bullion options available, should you wish to invest in gold, with some starting from just £20.

Why buy gold?

  • Throughout history, gold has held its worth
  • Gold isn’t subject to VAT, unlike silver
  • Prices start from as little as £20 if you choose The Royal Mint’s Signature Gold
  • People have been investing in gold for hundreds of years
  • Gold can easily be sold back into the market and has ‘universal value’ meaning it is an internationally recognised across the world.
  • It can be used as part of a diverse investment portfolio and can help insulate you against risks in other areas
  • Gold has been nicknamed the ‘crisis commodity’ because of its rise in popularity when confidence in governments is low. It’s traditionally seen as a store of value and a protection policy against catastrophe
  • Because of their legal tender status, Sovereign, Britannia, Queen’s Beasts and Lunar Bullion coins are also exempt from UK capital gains tax for UK residents

Why buy silver?

  • Silver is less expensive than gold and it is also more abundant
  • Silver is used in a variety of industries, including electronics, automotive and high-performance batteries. This means the value of silver changes in a different way to gold and is often linked with how well other industries are performing.
  • Some silver coins are also legal tender, for example the Silver Britannia, Queen’s Beasts and Lunar Bullion coins meaning they are exempt from UK capital gains tax for UK residents

Should you choose coins, bars, Signature Gold or a mix?

Gold and silver coins:

Apart from The Sovereign coin, The Royal Mint’s selection of coins are available in both gold and silver.

The Sovereign and Britannia Royal Mint Bullion coins are legal tender in the UK and while they are worth much more than their face value, they still have a link with the currency we use today. The Sovereign coin in particular also tends to offer better value for investors who choose to buy smaller quantities.

Royal Mint Refinery (RMR) Gold Bars:

There’s a wide selection of sizes of RMR gold bars – ranging from 1g to 1kg – to suit every budget. Usually, the larger the bar purchased, the lower the premium on the gold contained in it. So if you’re looking for a low premium, many choose 1oz and above.

Signature Gold:

Physical gold that is kept securely in The Vault™ is a great cost effective option to purchase gold based on monetary value instead of weight. It offers an opportunity for all budgets as Signature Gold can be purchased for as little as £20 and has guaranteed ‘buy back’ from The Royal Mint. You also don’t have the risks associated with storage, as you do with coins and bars.

Read more about bars, coins or Signature Gold

How can you store your gold and silver?

At your home

With the exception of Signature Gold, The Royal Mint delivers all silver and gold bullion free of charge within the UK.

This means if you prefer to be in control of your investment, you can have the items delivered to your registered address. However, it is really important to consider the security of your purchase. We recommend keeping it in an enclosed safe with the appropriate climate and environment. It is also necessary to check your insurance covers your bullion portfolio as not all do. You can find out more information on Bullion storage here.

At The Vault™

The Royal Mint’s storage facility, The Vault™, is guarded by trained security staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – so you can rest easy in the knowledge that your purchases are in the safest possible hands. Climate controlled and efficiently stored, your physical bullion can also be liquidated at your request at any time easily from within your account area.


So how can I start?

Step 1: Register

Create your online account in less than 10 minutes. It’s completely secure and you’ll be allocated a unique customer number. Now everything can be managed easily online.

Step 2: Add credit to your account

You can do this using either bank transfer and your unique customer number or any UK Debit card. Once funds are added you are ready to purchase.

Step 3: Place your trade

The Royal Mint trades using real-time gold and silver prices. You also have the option to have your purchase delivered in the UK for free or put in our high security storage facility – The Vault™. There is a fee associated with storage however your holding within The Vault may be extracted and delivered at any time.

Step 4: Sell your bullion

If you’ve chosen to store your bullion in The Vault™, you can also take advantage of The Royal Mint ‘buy back’ facility. This means that any bullion which you have stored with us can be sold at any time. When you are ready to sell, you may request that we buy back your coins or bars from you. We will quote to buy your coins and bars at 98% of our current gold bid price. Our buy back rate for Signature Gold is currently 99% of our current gold bid price.

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