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First Gold purchase - 1/4 Britannia or Full Sovereign?


tallyhojim

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The Britannia is pure gold bullion, whilst the sovereign is more numismatic (although there's a bullion version too of course, plus Brit proofs...). Whilst I really like the yellow colour of the 24 carat gold Brit, the sovereign seems to be more liquid and sought after, and the sovereign proofs retaining much better collectors' premiums than Britannias. The sovereign has a 500 year history, whereas the gold Britannia exists since 1987.

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Just to be a contrarian as a novice I would go for the 1/4 brit. It clearly states the gold content and weight so for those unfamilier with sovereigns a definate plus. Of course it depends on the price I wouldn't want to pay more than say 5% over spot and of course there are less of them around so you would most likely have to buy online rather than walk into a local coin dealer/antique shop/gold shop.

Stick to the basics ie easily identifiable bullion first, then do your research on sovereigns.

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55 minutes ago, tallyhojim said:

why choose one over the other?

because a Sovereign is recognised WORLDWIDE!  therefore "liquidity" - but todays 2019 could well be an 1898 ---   depends whether you want to be a "flipper" or a preserver of wealth!

 

39 minutes ago, Fastnick said:

Sovereign all day long and every time :)

exactly! @Fastnick

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Both are about as bullion as it gets and capital gains tax exempt.  You will find that the sovereign will have the lower premium unless you purchase a 1 oz brit.

Like people have said the sovereign seems to be more collectable.

Personally I prefer the britannia image.  The image looks elegant and power at the same time.  Probably not a popular opinion but the people on the sovereign look a little weird to me.

Since I purchase for the long term I like to buy something I like the look of so the small difference in price is not really a concern.

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I own both a 1/4oz Britannia and three so-called “Special Reverse” bullion sovereigns. However, the very first gold purchase I ever made was a bullion sovereign featuring the Queen’s portrait on the obverse and the classic reverse design of Benedetto Pistrucci’s St George and the dragon. I can’t recall the year date because I sold the coin to a pawnbroker when I didn’t know any better.

My advice to you, therefore, is to buy the fractional flagship gold coin of your country which in your case is the sovereign. For an American, it would be a 1/4oz American Gold Eagle; for a Canadian, a 1/4oz Canadian Gold Maple Leaf; for an Australian, a 1/4oz Australian Gold Kangaroo, etc. I own all of these fractional gold world coins but can understand why you can afford only one at the moment because of the meteoric rise of the gold price.

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When I started buying gold in 2014 I bought any 1/4 oz coin that came my way, moving onto Britannias soon after. When the price of a 1/4 oz gold coin started creeping up I moved onto the cheaper sovereigns. 

Glad I started off that way seeing the prices they all go for now. Prefer sovereigns now though, especially older ones.

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3 hours ago, Martlet said:

What about 1/4oz Queens Beast?  *runsaway*

Yes, it is the only bullion coin with a very good chance of acquiring a premium. Look what 1/4 oz lions and griffins are selling for now

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7 hours ago, augur said:

 Look what 1/4 oz lions and griffins are selling for now

Really? Here in Germany, bullion griffins can be had for 15% above spot, the lions for even less premium. I check several times a week. They all went up with the price of gold, of course, but the premiums didn't.

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I don’t think you can go wrong with either of them. When I first started I bought 1/10 ounce coins - but they were to small to really enjoy. Then I moved to sovs and ended up collecting 1/4 oz world coins. Since you live in the UK - your safest bet would be sovs and then - 1/4 ounce gold.

 

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16 hours ago, xthomasx said:

Really? Here in Germany, bullion griffins can be had for 15% above spot, the lions for even less premium. I check several times a week. They all went up with the price of gold, of course, but the premiums didn't.

I will bear that in mind if I want to get a few early Queens Beasts. Here in the UK they command 25%+ premium in the secondary market 

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That was the question I asked myself 3 years ago. My first ever gold purchase ended up being 5 x 1/10oz Brits. Since then all of my gold purchases have been sovereigns. 

I agree with the points above from many wiser and longer stackers than myself. Having bought both Sovs and Brits, I would only now buy Sovs. 

Maybe the odd 1/4 QB thrown in. 

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