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LawrenceChard last won the day on April 20

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About LawrenceChard

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  1. Once upon a time, coins were simply a form of money, and that is still true today. If you go back to ancient Greece or Rome, most coins had an intrinsic value of gold or silver, and they changed hands on the basis of their metal content value. Even in those days, some coins were commemorative, but they still circulated as money. Things have changed, and most of the world now happily use "fiat" money. When you use the word "investment", it is important to distinguish whether you are referring to "Investment Gold" which is legally defined in the UK and EU, or whether you mean a coin which you might think about investing in, whether it be gold, silver, platinum, palladium, or base metal. Every coin, even a one ounce gold Krugerrand, has a potential numismatic value, as does something as common as a penny from your pocket. Some commemorative coins do actually circulate, other don't. In recent years, the acronym NCLT, for Non-circulating legal tender, has appeared. These are mainly commemorative coins. They are mainly the product of marketing departments of mints and other promoters, thinking along the lines of "what can we think up, that people will buy at silly price, and keep us all on cosy, overpaid jobs?". Some people buy these made-for-collector coins thinking they will rocket in price, or be a good investment. Mostly, once the novelty value wears off, they can be bought for close to their intrinsic metal value, which may or may not be more than their face value. I suspect you are wrong about importing Canadian silver maples at only 5% VAT, and that HMRC will have a different opinion. @BackyardBullion has practical experience of importing silver bullion coins while avoiding full VAT. Whether you import the coins "not for resale" may be your intention, but again HMRC may seek to disagree. They do have history for confiscating alcohol and tobacco from travellers claiming that it is for their own use. "Slabbing" is a whole potential topic, and minefield, of its own.
  2. The Royal Mint, like anybody else, are entitled to ask whatever price they like, although "price gouging" has started to draw criticism. When we criticised the RM some years ago for charging "rip-off" prices, they threatened to sue us for defamation, alleging, incorrectly, that the words "rip-off" imply dishonesty. It cost us money to instruct solicitors to respond to their threat. We never got to find out who at the Mint instigated the action, and this facelessness is one more reason why I am often critical of the RM and some of its people. If consumers were not so stupid as to pay inflated prices, then they might stop asking them. This might require a significant effort in education, but ultimatley there is no cure for human stupidity. It's probably easier to make money out of stupid people than it is to make money from intelligent, well-educated ones.
  3. That's just what I was thinking. I really dislike "card only" and "prepayment only", although quite often in continental Europe, they are at the cheapest filling stations, so there is a reasonable trade-off. If you are a regular customer, and the instructions are in your own language, it is probably quite good, but when it's at a new to you garage, and there is no language choice on the menu, it is frustrating. Mind you, cash only can also be a problem. A few years back we filled up somewhere in Italy, paid cash, and asked for a receipt. This was met with a dismissive gesture, and "nessuna ricevuta, questa è l'italia" (no receipt, this is Italy); and this despite consumers getting a receipt is a legal requirement in Italy.
  4. Ah, that's from our original website, still running. That page dates back to 2011.
  5. I'm not sure whether most of the above is one question, or a whole series of questions. One thing I think I can clarify, is that HMRC are saying that if a coin is classified as "Investment Gold", then it cannot be treated under the second-hand special margin scheme. Your last 3 paragraphs appear to refer to the Royal Mint, but it is not clear what you are trying to say.
  6. A quick refinement to @ChrisSilver's answer: "An investment coin", should say an "Investment Gold" coin. There is nothing to stop an "Investment Gold" coin also being collectable or numismatic, indeed I would argue that all "Investment Gold" is collectable, and for "Investment Gold" coins, also numismatic, to a greater or lesser extent. @Robjw seems to believe that "investment" and "numismatic" are mutually exclusive, which is clearly incorrect. Also, if the RM gets, say, a brand new 2020 gold sovereign independently graded and slabbed, that does not make that coin second-hand. Neither does it stop it from still being "Investment Gold", even if it now has enhanced collectability. I see that Robjw has delved into the HMRC website. Congratulations for emerging from the experience while retaining full sanity. I have spent many hours trying to decypher it, while wondering if it was created by the legendary infinite number of monkeys. I sometimes refer to HMRC as the Circumlocution Office (Charles Dickens - Little Dorrit 1855-7). The Royal Mint has a de facto monopoly on the design and production of all UK coins. While this is probably desirable from the viewpoint of supplying circulation coins, since 1970, it has extended its activities to include mint and proof coins and sets for collectors and as gift items. This too is probably desirable. I have been critical of the RM on a number of occasions, for reasons including less than perfectly ethical advertising, poor quality control, propaganda, market unawareness, aloofness, and possibly illegal anti-competitive practices. On any occasion where I criticise them, I try to give full reasons. In recent years, it has extended its activities to include marketing secondary market coins. In this it possesses one great adventage over its dealer competitors. Almost everybody will automatically think that if they are dealing with the Royal Mint, they are buying direct from the official source, getting the best deal, their money / order is safe, and the RM are the definitive experts on British coins. Whether deliberately or not, the RM is able to cash in on this gullibility on the part of the great British public. On parallel lines (Blondie 1978), I have grown somewhat skeptical about the entire global coin marketing industry, including many world mints, and a number of large coin marketing companies, many of whom have very cynical attitudes towards their ultimate customers, in my opinion. Does any of this help? Anything I missed out?
  7. Brett, one of my mottoes is "we are all different", and there are lots of people with opinions and beliefs, but most of them / us hardly ever act on these. Quite often, I have done things my own way, so I like to think I understand when other people stand out as individuals. So saying, I have long admired your escapades with some of the Royal Mint "Legal Tender" coins. You and "James" (£29,300 in 2016) helped to create some bad publicity for the RM over its sales of silver £20, £50, and £100 coins, which they now appear to have stopped producing. This was probably good, as I believe that many members if the public bought them thinking they could always get at least their money back in future, because they were "legal tender". A problem arises because legal tender does have a very narrow meaning in law, including English law. Wikipedia states: "Legal tender is a form of money that courts of law are required to recognize as satisfactory payment for any monetary debt.[1] Each jurisdiction determines what is legal tender, but essentially it is anything which when offered ("tendered") in payment of a debt extinguishes the debt. There is no obligation on the creditor to accept the tendered payment, but the act of tendering the payment in legal tender discharges the debt." It is probably worth reading the whole page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_tender. The Bank of England https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/what-is-legal-tender says " What does legal tender mean? You might have heard someone in a shop say: “But it’s legal tender!”. Most people think it means the shop has to accept the payment form. But that’s not the case. A shop owner can choose what payment they accept. If you want to pay for a pack of gum with a £50 note, it’s perfectly legal to turn you down. Likewise for all other banknotes, it’s a matter of discretion. If your local corner shop decided to only accept payments in Pokémon cards that would be within their right too. But they’d probably lose customers. Legal tender has a narrow technical meaning which has no use in everyday life. It means that if you offer to fully pay off a debt to someone in legal tender, they can’t sue you for failing to repay." I notice we mentioned you on a blog https://www.chards.co.uk/blog/legal-tender/5 created in 2016, updated 2019, in which we discussed Legal Tender in general. I also seem to recall reading about legal tender being valid payment for "public debts", but cannot find the original source. It is possible that it only applies to debts to public bodies such as H.M. Treasury, HMRC, and courts of law. It clearly would be desirable if there was a definitive information source which was easily accessible. I have a couple of suggestions: How about writing to your local M.P. asking can he provide or obtain a definitive legal opinion on the matter? Also a similar letter to the Bank of England, and perhaps the Royal Mint (just don't tell the RM it was my suggestion!). Any or all of these might provide a way to get a good result. Of course, they may not be as entertaining or newsworthy as if the police and CPS decide to prosecute you for dishonesty. This last action would be dumb, in my opinion, as what seems to be needed is a definitive clarification of the law.
  8. Great, and welcome aboard TSF. Thanks for correcting my "again" error, Of course I should have said "In the news again, and arrested", or similar. As you can tell, your video and story was received here with much interest and discussion.
  9. Thanks for linking to that page. I just re-read it, and noticed "During a visit to the Royal Mint on Thursday 9th March 2000". It's always good to have an alibi!
  10. If it went to court, I believe Tesco would "win", but would not be obliged to accept the £100 coins. Chamberlain would be able to pay the court using the coins though.
  11. Although the Coinage Act 1971 is probably still authoritative, when the silver £20, £50, and £100 coins were authorised by the Privy Council, I believe the proclamation contained an announcement that the coins were legal tender, which would over-ride or modify any previous legislation, meaning that his £100 were in fact legal tender for up to £100 at least (when I next look at the proclamations, I will try to remember to check, there may be a higher or unlimited amount specified).
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