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Value and History: Silver Coins from The Royal Mint

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Royal Mint has been making silver coins since the time of the Anglo-Saxons, and maintains its prestigious reputation to this day.

Its exact origins are unclear but it can be traced back at least to the time of Alfred the Great in 866 and has unsurprisingly seen substantial changes since its conception. After spending most of its life based in the Tower of London, the Mint moved to a new base in Llantrisant, South Wales in the late 60s, ahead of the vast amount of work required for decimalisation.

Silver coins at The Royal Mint

In the 8th Century, silver coins were the most common type of currency. Back then, if you had 240 silver coins, or sterlings as they eventually came to be known, you would be holding roughly a pound in weight. A pound of silver, or £1 as we call it today, was considered a very substantial sum of money. Eventually, the terms 'pound' and 'sterling' came together to refer to our own currency that's in use today.

These early silver coins were made from the purest silver available to minters at the time, but in the 12th Century, it gradually reduced to a purity of 92.5 per cent, and was standardised at that percentage in 1300. That purity of silver came to be referred to as sterling silver, a term we still use to this day.

The Royal Mint continued to produce sterling silver coins in circulation until the middle of the 20th Century.

The current Royal Mint collection

Today The Royal Mint produces various commemorative silver bullion coins, which are popular with investors and coin collectors alike.

The most well-known of these is the Britannia series, which The Royal Mint has been producing silver coins for since 1997. Each variant of the popular Britannia series features the Britannia figure, a woman inspired by Boudicca who is considered 'the personification of Britain'.

The Britannia series of coins have a purity higher than that of traditional sterling silver, at 99.9 per cent.

Take a look at the new 2017 Britannia here, or browse our whole range of Royal Mint silver bullion coins.

A Very British History of Gold Coins from The Royal Mint

Thursday, September 7, 2017

For over a millennium the Royal Mint has underpinned and maintained the British currency. Though its main operations involve managing the coins we use on a daily basis, it also produces a variety of gold bullion coins, for commemorative and investment purposes.

But it's often difficult to tell what sets these different coins apart from each other and by association - which Royal Mint gold coins you should buy.

The Royal Mint

The Royal Mint is generally thought to have been established by Alfred the Great in 886. After uniting the English kingdoms, it was the first time that a unified authority was created to control the national currency. This established a relationship between nation, monarch and currency which has been maintained ever since.

The Mint it was based in the Tower of London for much of its life, before the demands of decimalisation forced it to move to South Wales in the 1960s.

The best Royal Mint gold coins to buy

So if you’re considering investing in these tokens of British heritage, take a look at some of The Royal Mint's long-running sets of gold coins:

  • Sovereign

The Sovereign gold coin has been minted continuously since 1817 from 22 carat gold. It is created to the exact specifications of the Coinage Act the year before its first mint. For many years, gold Sovereigns were used in everyday circulation, as a 1 pound coin, but they are now only produced as a commemorative item. Have a look at the 2017 gold Sovereign here.

  • Britannia

The popular Britannia gold coins have been produced by the Royal Mint for 30 years, and are made from 1 troy ounce of 24 carat gold. Though they have a face value of £100, they've never been used in circulation, and have always been a collector's item.

  • The Queen's Beast

Based on a set of 10 statues at the Queen's coronation, this more recent range is designed to celebrate the Queen and her ancestry.

Have a look

Coins from all of Royal Mint's popular ranges of gold coins are available to buy online from the Gold Bullion Company.

Have a look at our fantastic range of British Gold coins from The Royal Mint here.

Gold Bullion Market Update August 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017

The gold price spiked to a near 10-month high on the morning of Tuesday 29th after North Korea launched a ballistic missile that flew over Japan.

The missile landed at around 6am on Tuesday in the waters off the east coast of Hokkaido, Japan’s second largest island, after the Japanese government issued an alert on the island urging residents to find shelter.

The price of gold jumped to £1,018.92 per troy ounce following the launch, as the tensions caused investors to seek a safe-haven for their assets.

Demand for the precious metal, which has a long history of stability even in times of economic uncertainty, is often high following geopolitical risks and uncertainty when traders seek safety from other more volatile markets.

Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen thinks investors are justified to be putting their faith in gold.

He told Reuters: “Stocks are coming off hard, the dollar has weakened and now also the yen, which has been the missing link, while bond yields are also taking a beating.”

The gold price high on the 29th wasn’t the first of the month, with rates rising to £1,005.93 on Friday 18th too as the dollar weakened in the wake of political uncertainty in the US and an Islamist attack in Spain.

Sixteen people were killed in a series of attacks in and around the Spanish city of Barcelona on Thursday, August 17th and in the early hours of the following morning.

Markets were also unnerved by US President Donald Trump’s remarks on violence in Virginia, which prompted the disbandment of two prominent business advisory councils.

Speaking to Reuters, INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said he suspects the discord coming out of Washington could pressure the dollar further and prove supportive for the gold price.

Danske Bank analyst Jens Pedersen agreed, telling the publication: “There is clearly more for financial markets to be concerned about.”

Referring to the attack in Spain and the US political uncertainty, Pedersen added: “That has led to a risk-off environment, and that’s supportive for gold.”