I can’t give a comprehensive guide to purchasing bullion in United Kingdom, as I personally haven’t done the leg work myself, but I can point you in the right direction to companies you should check out, and using the knowledge you should have gained from the buyer’s guide, you will be able to judge what is a good deal and what isn’t, and hopefully comment on your findings.
The most popular bullion coin associated with the UK is the Gold Sovereign (aka British Sovereign), which is a 7.98 gram 22 karat coin with approximately 1/4 troy ounces (0.235 oz) of gold first minted in 1817 with a nominal value of one pound sterling (twenty shillings). The Gold Sovereign also comes in other sizes including the Half Sovereign (ten shillings), Quarter Sovereign (five shillings), Double Sovereign (two pounds), and Quintuple sovereigns (five pounds), but the Full Gold Sovereign and Half Gold Sovereign are the most popular. The popularity of the Gold Sovereign comes from its widespread usage and minting in former British colonies (Australia, India, Canada and South Africa), as well as its numismatic value to coin collectors. The United Kingdom also has its own one troy ounce bullion coin known as the ‘Britannia’, which was minted in gold since 1987 and in silver since 1997. The gold Britannia is a 22 carat (91.67%) gold coin with a face value of 100 pounds and also comes in 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 ounce sizes. The silver Britannia is a 23 carat (95.8%) silver coin with a face value of 2 pounds and also comes in similar denominations as the gold Britannia. The Gold Sovereign and British Britannia coins are minted by the United Kingdom’s national mint (Royal Mint), which has been in operation since the 13th century.
Gold is a great investment in Britain as it is not subject to value added tax (VAT), which unfortunately is 20% for silver, platinum and palladium. If you are planning to purchase a Gold Sovereign, purchase ones dated a year ago or ones that were minted after 1971, as earlier coins minted before 1971 (with portraits of Victoria, George V, Edward VII, Elizabeth II, etc. on the back) have slightly higher premiums and are more geared towards coin collectors. As the Gold Sovereign and Gold Britannia are legal tender coins, they are also exempt from capital gains tax (CGT). You will also be able to find popular international legal tender coins like the Maple Leaf, American Eagle, Kruggerand, Philharmonika, and Kangaroo. For gold bars, look for ones by popular bullion private mints like Pamp Suisse, Credit Suisse, Valcambi, Heraeus, and Umicore. When it comes to silver in England, I’d suggest going for 250 gram bars and above as there are two premiums your paying on it – 1] premium above spot and 2] 20% VAT – so the larger the bar, the smaller the overall premium per gram.
The list below was ranked according to my view of their shopping experience, product range, design, and price.
Bullion by Post [Hockley, Birmingham] – Online store for gold, silver, and platinum bars and coins
UK Buillion [Wolverhampton, West Midlands] – Wide range of gold, silver, platinum and palladium bars and coins
Bullion UK [Bristol] – Gold and silver bars and a wide selection of international gold and silver coins
The Gold Bullion [Birmingham] – Large selection of gold, silver, platinum and palladium bars and coins [silver bars were expensive]
Gold Made Simple [Mayfair, London] – Gold bars (100 gram – 12.5 kilo) and coins (8 gram, 1 ounce)
Hatton Garden Metals [Hatton Garden, London] – Scrap gold dealers that sell gold sovereigns 3% over spot
ATS Bullion [London] – Gold and silver bars and gold, silver and platinum coins [no prices]
Gold Investments [Gracechurch Street, London] – Sells gold coins (8 gram, 1 ounce) and bars (5 gram – 1 kilo)
Dinar Exchange – Offers the gold Dinar and silver Dirham and gold bars (1 gram – 1 kilo)
The United Kingdom seems to have the largest selection of online/digital precious metals services companies, including James Turks’ GoldMoney, BullionVault, GoldSavers by Baird & Company, and Pooled Gold by GoldMadeSimple.com. These services allow one to purchase gold and silver, which is stored in vaults around the world and can be redeemed for at the time of their choosing.