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Gold Britannia Proofs, worth it or not?


Geovest

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I have generally been very sceptical about most proofs because of the high premium over bullion. Over the last few years I have been buying Britannia's concentrating mostly on lowest premium over spot. I came across a few pre-2013 coins with the variation designs which I found interesting but hard to get. That let me back to proofs and noticed that RM have been bringing out a different proof design every year since 2013. These are mostly beautiful designs, but the prices tend to be very high. Some of it I assume is related to the RM marketing department starting to use highly polished wooden "display" boxes which adds a lot to the cost. (I tend to subscribe to the view "buy the coin not the box").

The plus side is that the mintages are quite low. I do like the coins, but I have a real concern if it makes a good investment. If you try and sell it in a few years time, how easy is it to sell and will you get much over the bullion price?

What advice can those members who have "been there and done that" give me as well as those in the trade. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

 

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On 21/06/2021 at 14:51, Geovest said:

I have generally been very sceptical about most proofs because of the high premium over bullion. Over the last few years I have been buying Britannia's concentrating mostly on lowest premium over spot. I came across a few pre-2013 coins with the variation designs which I found interesting but hard to get. That let me back to proofs and noticed that RM have been bringing out a different proof design every year since 2013. These are mostly beautiful designs, but the prices tend to be very high. Some of it I assume is related to the RM marketing department starting to use highly polished wooden "display" boxes which adds a lot to the cost. (I tend to subscribe to the view "buy the coin not the box").

The plus side is that the mintages are quite low. I do like the coins, but I have a real concern if it makes a good investment. If you try and sell it in a few years time, how easy is it to sell and will you get much over the bullion price?

What advice can those members who have "been there and done that" give me as well as those in the trade. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

 

I agree with you the the proofs are expensive at their high premiums.

As I say here, https://www.chards.co.uk/blog/precious-metals-information-and-advice-for-newbies/1008, and have been saying for about 50 years, for bullion investment "My General Advice
Buy at the lowest premium within reason. If you have read most of the above, you will understand what I mean, and why."

If you like the designs, and will enjoy ownng them, then consider buying proofs, but even the recent lower mintage ones may fall in price later, after the current hysteria has faded.

Earlier proof Britannias can be found at not much above bullion premiums, for example: https://www.chards.co.uk/1987-gold-britannia-one-ounce-proof-coin-no-box-or-cert/1886,

also, the Britannia proof sets, for example: https://www.chards.co.uk/1987-gold-britannia-one-ounce-proof-coin-no-box-or-cert/1886

 

 

Edited by LawrenceChard
typo

Chards

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Proof coins are for collectors, who are attracted to low mintages, high quality finishes, beautiful pieces of miniature art and hold it long term.

I'd say that, making a return on a proof coin is lower down the list of priorities for collectors, than it is for investors or flippers.

That's not to say that a collector who holds a proof coin long term and then sells it, wouldn't make a profit and profit wouldn't be on their mind.

There are different variables that would indicate the success of a proof coin...

Design, originality and desirability, the meaning behind the coin, rarity and where it was minted are some of those variables.

I don't have the 2014 gold proof Britannia, but I would want it in my collection.

I started buying bullion and then saw how lovely proof coins were and started collecting proofs.

Would I exchange one of my beautiful, rare 1oz gold proof coins for 4+ oz's of gold bullion?

No, because the Numismatic value is worth more to me, than the gold value.

Hope that makes sense.

Good luck with your quest to find out what you're truly after. 👍😊

Edited by GoldenGriffin
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On 21/06/2021 at 14:51, Geovest said:

What advice can those members who have "been there and done that" give me as well as those in the trade. Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

My experience with beautiful proof Britannia gold coins, boxed sets and very low mintages is that I paid a premium say 20% over spot when I purchased and ended up selling at 97% of spot. I didn't loose money because spot had risen by the premium and a bit more but I was very disappointed that the premium was completely lost. I tried to sell to coin dealers that were advertising the same coins at very high premiums and was being offered proofs at 5% to buy over spot at the time. I couldn't find buyers here either at spot price so in frustration I handed over to HGM just to get rid of them. I kept the empty boxes though as it didn't make any difference to the price but at least the dealers didn't have the box and certificate to double their asking price when reselling. Moral - don't pay too much extra for a proof if you think it will retain its value.

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This is the 2017 gold proof Britannia 3 coin set.

Absolutely love this design.

I was tempted to buy the 5oz, but then the Queen's Beasts distracted me! 😅

Click the image to see a clearer picture.

Screenshot_20210623-164506_Gallery.jpg

Edited by GoldenGriffin
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. 

Golden Griffin, I share your sentiment. I love the designs and artwork associated with some of the proofs. I have a decent amount in plain bullion which is the main investment. The proofs are more of a hobby that gives me enjoyment and is not something I would easily sell, but it is there for my enjoyment. My son can decide what he wants to do with them when I'm pushing daisies. I would love to have the 2014 as well, but haven't been able to get one. Some day ....

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3 hours ago, Pete said:

My experience with beautiful proof Britannia gold coins, boxed sets and very low mintages is that I paid a premium say 20% over spot when I purchased and ended up selling at 97% of spot. I didn't loose money because spot had risen by the premium and a bit more but I was very disappointed that the premium was completely lost. I tried to sell to coin dealers that were advertising the same coins at very high premiums and was being offered proofs at 5% to buy over spot at the time. I couldn't find buyers here either at spot price so in frustration I handed over to HGM just to get rid of them. I kept the empty boxes though as it didn't make any difference to the price but at least the dealers didn't have the box and certificate to double their asking price when reselling. Moral - don't pay too much extra for a proof if you think it will retain its value.

I was going to post about this.  It was painful, without spare cash watching all those nice coins go like that.  Lesson learnt there isn't a liquid market for general proofs.  

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Echo the above comments really.

I don't purchase proof coins, or those with numismatic value.  I just try and buy as close to spot as possible.

Some of the proof coins do look lovely and may do very well down the line, but it's a game I know very little about, so I steer clear.  

 

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I like Britannia proofs and I think they are a fantastic buy.

The designs are wonderful and the mintages are incredibly low.

Technically, alcohol is a solution..

'It [socialism] poses a growing threat, however unintentional, to the freedom of this country, for there is no freedom where the State totally controls the economy. Personal freedom and economic freedom are indivisible. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t lose one without losing the other.'

"There is no such thing as public money, there is only taxpayers' money"

Let not England forget her precedence of teaching nations how to live.

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On 23/06/2021 at 16:50, Pete said:

My experience with beautiful proof Britannia gold coins, boxed sets and very low mintages is that I paid a premium say 20% over spot when I purchased and ended up selling at 97% of spot. I didn't loose money because spot had risen by the premium and a bit more but I was very disappointed that the premium was completely lost. I tried to sell to coin dealers that were advertising the same coins at very high premiums and was being offered proofs at 5% to buy over spot at the time. I couldn't find buyers here either at spot price so in frustration I handed over to HGM just to get rid of them. I kept the empty boxes though as it didn't make any difference to the price but at least the dealers didn't have the box and certificate to double their asking price when reselling. Moral - don't pay too much extra for a proof if you think it will retain its value.

@ChardsCoinandBullionDealer would have snatched your hand off at 100+% all day every day, especially with the boxes and certs. It's never good to sell proof or collectable coins to a scrap metal dealer. 🙂

Chards

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On 21/06/2021 at 19:22, LawrenceChard said:

I agree with you the the proofs are expensive at their high premiums.

As I say here, https://www.chards.co.uk/blog/precious-metals-information-and-advice-for-newbies/1008, and have been saying for about 50 years, for bullion investment "My General Advice
Buy at the lowest premium within reason. If you have read most of the above, you will understand what I mean, and why."

If you like the designs, and will enjoy ownng them, then consider buying proofs, but even the recent lower mintage ones may fall in price later, after the current hysteria has faded.

Earlier proof Britannias can be found at not much above bullion premiums, for example: https://www.chards.co.uk/1987-gold-britannia-one-ounce-proof-coin-no-box-or-cert/1886,

also, the Britannia proof sets, for example: https://www.chards.co.uk/1987-gold-britannia-one-ounce-proof-coin-no-box-or-cert/1886

 

 

Thanks @LawrenceChard, as a newbie this is very useful to know.

So would I be correct to assume that any special bullion coins will also end up at little to nothing more that what an ordinary bullion coin is worth several years down the line?  So a bullion Queens Beast Completer coin will be worse as a pure investment and not make back more than an ordinary bullion Britannia in a few years once sold? 

If so, then the lesson is only pay the extra premium for the QB completer if you think the fancier design is worth it for the pleasure it gives you when you own it. (Or buy it in a few years when the premium has disappeared - if you can wait that long!  😄)

I do understand though why people buy the proofs and other non-proof designs they are very beautiful. :)

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3 minutes ago, Tortoise said:

Thanks @LawrenceChard, as a newbie this is very useful to know.

So would I be correct to assume that any special bullion coins will also end up at little to nothing more that what an ordinary bullion coin is worth several years down the line?  So a bullion Queens Beast Completer coin will be worse as a pure investment and not make back more than an ordinary bullion Britannia in a few years once sold? 

If so, then the lesson is only pay the extra premium for the QB completer if you think the fancier design is worth it for the pleasure it gives you when you own it. (Or buy it in a few years when the premium has disappeared - if you can wait that long!  😄)

I do understand though why people buy the proofs and other non-proof designs they are very beautiful. :)

 So would I be correct to assume that any special bullion coins will also end up at little to nothing more that what an ordinary bullion coin is worth several years down the line?  So a bullion Queens Beast Completer coin will be worse as a pure investment and not make back more than an ordinary bullion Britannia in a few years once sold? 

Probably, but there can be exceptions. Completers may be one of them. It is difficult to guarantee a correct forecast.

If so, then the lesson is only pay the extra premium for the QB completer if you think the fancier design is worth it for the pleasure it gives you when you own it.

Yes.

(Or buy it in a few years when the premium has disappeared - if you can wait that long!  😄)

Also yes.

I do understand though why people buy the proofs and other non-proof designs they are very beautiful. :)

It's a matter of balance.

Proofs do also have potential for value appreciation.

1989 proof sovereigns and sovereign sets are an example. The Royal Mint failed to sell out its issue limit, but now the sovereigns sell for over £1000.

1989 Sovereign Mintage and Issue Limits

Item Issue Limit Mintage
Individual Sovereign 12,500  10,535 
Sovereigns in 3 Coin Sets 10,000  7,936 
Sovereigns in 4 Coin Sets 5,000  5,000 
Total 27,500 

23,471 

from https://www.chards.co.uk/1989-gold-sovereign-elizabeth-ii-proof-london/281

At the time, some people didn't want them because they did not have St. George and the Dragon on them!

Chards

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9 minutes ago, LawrenceChard said:

 So would I be correct to assume that any special bullion coins will also end up at little to nothing more that what an ordinary bullion coin is worth several years down the line?  So a bullion Queens Beast Completer coin will be worse as a pure investment and not make back more than an ordinary bullion Britannia in a few years once sold? 

Probably, but there can be exceptions. Completers may be one of them. It is difficult to guarantee a correct forecast.

If so, then the lesson is only pay the extra premium for the QB completer if you think the fancier design is worth it for the pleasure it gives you when you own it.

Yes.

(Or buy it in a few years when the premium has disappeared - if you can wait that long!  😄)

Also yes.

I do understand though why people buy the proofs and other non-proof designs they are very beautiful. :)

It's a matter of balance.

Proofs do also have potential for value appreciation.

1989 proof sovereigns and sovereign sets are an example. The Royal Mint failed to sell out its issue limit, but now the sovereigns sell for over £1000.

1989 Sovereign Mintage and Issue Limits

Item Issue Limit Mintage
Individual Sovereign 12,500  10,535 
Sovereigns in 3 Coin Sets 10,000  7,936 
Sovereigns in 4 Coin Sets 5,000  5,000 
Total 27,500 

23,471 

from https://www.chards.co.uk/1989-gold-sovereign-elizabeth-ii-proof-london/281

At the time, some people didn't want them because they did not have St. George and the Dragon on them!

Thanks so much for your reply and sharing your expertise.  I still have a lot to learn.☺️

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27 minutes ago, Tortoise said:

So would I be correct to assume that any special bullion coins will also end up at little to nothing more that what an ordinary bullion coin is worth several years down the line?  So a bullion Queens Beast Completer coin will be worse as a pure investment and not make back more than an ordinary bullion Britannia in a few years once sold?

Sorry I haven't read the thread so just jumping in here on this point.

They are perhaps extremely 'unusual' for a major bullion series (and may never be repeated, even), but look at the returns now on the earlier Queen's Beasts in bullion (both 1/4 oz gold and 2oz silver).

Canny investors spotted these - I know because I have the early ones graded (well), so certain folks had spotted that opportunity very quickly, even if the Mint and dealers hadn't quite realised yet.

I'm not particularly interested in coins atm beyond their intrinsic (proven and recognisable) PM content, and they may not do huge things compared to the earlier releases, but at the slight extra premium the Completers were going for a week or two ago over the Britannia it is absolutely no question for me that that is the most sensible buy if that premium is still small. £10 or 20 quid difference is nothing on an ounce of (same CGT-free) gold imvho.

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On 24/06/2021 at 23:51, kimchi said:

Sorry I haven't read the thread so just jumping in here on this point.

They are perhaps extremely 'unusual' for a major bullion series (and may never be repeated, even), but look at the returns now on the earlier Queen's Beasts in bullion (both 1/4 oz gold and 2oz silver).

Canny investors spotted these - I know because I have the early ones graded (well), so certain folks had spotted that opportunity very quickly, even if the Mint and dealers hadn't quite realised yet.

I'm not particularly interested in coins atm beyond their intrinsic (proven and recognisable) PM content, and they may not do huge things compared to the earlier releases, but at the slight extra premium the Completers were going for a week or two ago over the Britannia it is absolutely no question for me that that is the most sensible buy if that premium is still small. £10 or 20 quid difference is nothing on an ounce of (same CGT-free) gold imvho.

Thanks @kimchi

Having slept in it and thought about it a lot, when I do pull the trigger on the the 1oz Britannia at the end of the month, I think I will go for the QB Completer providing the premium is still small.  Like you, I regard myself as an investor, but the small extra premium may be the price worth paying for owning the prettier coin, with some more upside potential, for the time I own it.  (Not that I have any plans to sell it!)

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