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The Legacy of Gold Inheritance

The Royal Mint

Category: Invest


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Inheritance can be seen as a dual process, involving the passing down of assets or cherished possessions from one generation to the next, whilst also serving as a meaningful bridge between the past and the future. Amongst the many forms an inheritance can take, gold holds a unique and enduring position from both a cultural and, perhaps, financial perspective. This article explores the tradition and significance of inheriting gold, touching on its cultural and historical roots and it briefly touches on some of the tax implications and considerations when it comes to receiving gold as an inheritance.


Tradition and Significance of Inheriting Gold

Throughout history and across cultural and economic divides, gold has long symbolised wealth, prestige and longevity. Inheriting gold is often accompanied by deep cultural and emotional significance, partly due to the act of inheritance itself, but also because of what gold can represent.

In many cultures, passing down gold from generation to generation is a tradition that has stood the test of time. Inheritance represents more than just the passing on of material wealth; it also encompasses the preservation of family heritage and values. Gold, for instance, extends beyond coins or bars, often taking the form of jewellery and other accessories, which can establish a sentimental connection with the recipient.

Of course, this is not a new trend as gold has played a pivotal role in human history, from being used as currency to adorning the tombs of pharaohs, and more recently, serving as a symbol of wealth and a hedge against economic instability in modern financial markets. In addition to this, inherited gold is important as it can carry a sense of connection to history, linking the present to the achievements and struggles of ancestors.

From a practical standpoint, obtaining gold in any form, including through inheritance, can provide an element of wealth preservation and also portfolio stability. Gold’s ability to retain value over time can offer beneficiaries a financial safety net and a store of value in uncertain times, such as through market and economic uncertainty.

Fortunately, the tradition of inheriting gold continues to thrive in the modern era and whether received as bullion coins, collector coins or other forms, gold inheritance remains a cherished practice for many families.


Tax Implications of Inherited Gold in the UK

When receiving gold as an inheritance, specifically in the United Kingdom but also internationally, it is essential to understand the tax implications associated with this precious legacy.

In the UK, gold is generally not subject to specific exemptions from inheritance tax. However, this type of tax is typically not imposed on gold or other assets received through inheritance, unless the total value of the deceased’s estate surpasses the current inheritance tax threshold. However, it is crucial to keep records and report the inheritance accurately to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Generally, like most assets, if you inherit gold, and later decide to sell it, you may be liable for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any profit you make from the sale. The amount of CGT you owe depends on the increase in value from the date of inheritance to the date of sale. Although this is the case, each individual in the UK has an annual tax-free allowance for CGT, which can help mitigate tax liabilities.

However, an important point to note is that UK residents can benefit from tax exemption on specific gold coins, such as gold Britannias or gold Sovereigns. This is because, due to their status as legal tender, these coins do not qualify for CGT or Value Added Tax (VAT).

Incorporating gold into your overall financial plan can help you make informed decisions about when and how to sell or manage inherited gold assets. However, please note that this article is a guide and does not form financial advice. It is important that you seek professional, independent advice that is tailored to your own personal needs and circumstances.



Gold’s Long-Term Performance as an Inheritance

Gold is, of course, an attractive asset to inherit for several reasons, one of which is its long history of serving as a store of value and a means of preserving wealth. Understanding its performance as an inheritance over the long term is vital for beneficiaries as gold’s ability to retain its value over extended periods has been demonstrated throughout history. It has weathered economic crises, market volatility and geopolitical uncertainties, and is often said to serve as a reliable hedge against inflation.

Although gold is known for its stability, it can also appreciate in value over time. Changes in global economic conditions, supply and demand dynamics, and currency fluctuations can influence the price of gold, especially when measured over the long term. As a result, inheriting gold can provide beneficiaries with an asset that has the potential for capital growth, perhaps setting them up for the years ahead.

In addition, incorporating gold into an investment portfolio inherited as part of an estate can contribute to the diversification of your overall asset and investment portfolio. A diversified portfolio, spanning various asset classes, can help manage risk and enhance long-term returns because it does not rely on the performance of a single asset class.

Lastly, gold as an inheritance represents more than just material wealth; it also helps to symbolise a legacy of financial responsibility. Beneficiaries who receive gold from the previous generation often feel a sense of stewardship, further motivating them to preserve and grow their inheritance, even planning to pass it on to their own family as time goes on.


The Role of Collector Coins

Inheriting gold doesn’t always come in the form of bullion; it can also involve collector or commemorative coins, such as those produced by The Royal Mint, as these often hold both intrinsic and collectable value. Whilst they may have a face value, their worth can surpass this nominal amount due to their rarity, historical significance or unique designs. For beneficiaries, these collector coins can represent an exciting aspect of their inheritance, blending tangible financial assets with a touch of artistry and history. Evaluating the worth of collector coins may require specialised knowledge or the assistance of numismatic experts to ensure that their value is fully understood and appreciated.


Considerations for Beneficiaries and Conclusion

Beneficiaries of inherited gold, whether in the form of bullion or collector coins, should consider several factors when managing this precious legacy. Firstly, it’s crucial to assess your own financial goals and risk tolerance to determine whether holding, selling or investing in the inherited gold aligns with your objectives. Secondly, storage and security should be a top priority to safeguard your inheritance. High-quality, secure storage options are essential, especially for valuable collector coins. Finally, seeking advice from financial professionals, including tax experts and investment advisors, can provide valuable guidance to help you make informed decisions about your inherited gold assets. By carefully considering these factors, you can ensure that your inherited gold not only preserves wealth but also serves as a meaningful and enduring legacy.

As you navigate the path of gold inheritance, remember that whether you choose to hold, sell or invest, inherited gold can offer a lasting legacy, offering both financial security and a connection to the past for generations to come.


The contents of this article, accurate at the time of publishing, are for general information purposes only, and do not constitute investment, pensions, legal, tax or any other advice. Before making any investment or financial decision, you may wish to seek advice from your financial, pensions, legal, tax and/or accounting advisors. 


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