Gold, silver & platinum: A buyer’s guide

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

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

Why buy gold?

  • Throughout history, gold has held its worth
  • Gold isn’t subject to VAT, unlike silver and platinum.
  • Prices start from as little as £20 if you choose The Royal Mint’s DigiGold.
  • 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, gold 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.
  • All of The Royal Mint’s silver coins are legal tender, meaning they are exempt from UK capital gains tax for UK residents.

Why buy platinum?

  • Platinum is used in a variety of industries, including automotive and medical. This means the value of platinum also changes in a different way to gold, and is often linked with how well certain industries are performing.
  • Platinum tends to form a highly unique and desirable patina, so it is a popular choice when buying physical precious metals.
  • The price of platinum has almost doubled over the last 20 years.
  • Platinum is particularly rare, which is a key factor for its demand.
  • All of The Royal Mint’s platinum coins are legal tender, meaning they are exempt from UK capital gains tax for UK residents.

Should you buy coins, bars, digital precious metals or a mix?

  1. Gold, silver and platinum coins

Apart from The Sovereign, the majority of The Royal Mint’s selection of coins are available in gold, silver and platinum.

The Sovereign and Britannia 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.

  1. Gold, silver and platinum bars

There’s a wide selection of bars available at The Royal Mint, which range in design. Sizes start from 1g right up to 400oz, in order 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.

  1. DigiGold

For a cost effective option, our DigiGold service allows you to purchase physical gold (that is kept securely in The Vault™) based on monetary value instead of weight. With purchases starting from as little as £20, and a guaranteed ‘buy back’ option through The Royal Mint, you also don’t have the risks associated with storage, as you would with physical coin and bar purchases. To find out more information on our DigiGold service, click here.

How can you store your gold, silver and platinum?

  1. At your home

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

This means that 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 this is not guaranteed. To find out more information on bullion storage, click here.

  1. 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. To find out more information on The Vault™, click here. 

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, silver and platinum 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

Take advantage of The Royal Mint ‘buy back’ facility. This means that any bullion which you have 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. Alternatively, our buy back rate for DigiGold is currently 99% of our current gold bid price.

Would you like to get started right now? Register for your account today

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