Royal Mint launches bullion buying, trading platform
- Published: Sep 23, 2014, 8 AM
Bullion buyers will no longer find a barrier to buy bullion coins direct from the Royal Mint.
Royal Mint officials on Sept. 22 announced that the mint had launched a new bullion trading website, www.royalmintbullion.com, enabling customers to securely buy, store and sell bullion coins directly from the Royal Mint.
Instead of buying the Royal Mint’s gold sovereigns or Lunar and Britannia gold and silver bullion coins through distributors, collectors and investors who establish an account may work directly with the mint that made the coins.
The website will offer constantly updated live prices for gold and silver at a rate linked to the current precious metal price, according to the announcement.
The Royal Mint offers a line of bullion products that include pieces with long historic ties and pieces that were issued more recently to capitalize on the demand for gold and silver bullion.
The modern gold sovereign dates back to 1817 and has been struck from .9167 fine gold for nearly 200 years.
The Royal Mint introduced its Proof Britannia 1-ounce gold coin in 1987 and Britannia 1-ounce silver coin in 1997, to offer direct competition to other coins in the bullion market. Initially struck in .9167 fine gold or .958 fine silver, the purity of each coin was changed to .9999 fine in 2013.
Storage, ordering options
Once a transaction on the new bullion trading website is completed, customers may opt to have the coins delivered to their home through an insured postal service, or store to their gold coins in “The Vault,” the Royal Mint’s on-site precious metal storage facility, which is protected at all times by Ministry of Defence forces.
The vault storage facility was opened in December of 2012. The Royal Mint introduced the vault in response to increased demand for its bullion coins and market demand for additional vaulting capacity.
“The Royal Mint is the only Mint to enable customers anywhere in the world to arrange secure, on-site storage directly with the mint, at any time of day or night,” according to the announcement.
Royal Mint officials are imposing no maximum order size, and the only minimum order size applies to coins stored in the Royal Mint vault. Buyers must order one tube when having coins vault-stored; a tube's capacity is 10 coins for the Britannia or Lunar series coins, and 25 coins for the sovereign.
Any coins stored in the vault may be sold back to the Royal Mint at any time, as the Royal Mint has promised to provide all customers with a quotation to buy back any gold coins bought from its website and stored in the vault.
This money will then be deposited directly into the customer’s Royal Mint Bullion account, ready to withdraw or to be used for a new purchase.
Increasing market share
The bullion trading website was developed to capture some of the latent £4 billion (about $6.546 billion U.S.) demand for bullion in the United Kingdom alone, according to the Royal Mint, citing research conducted by the World Gold Council
“Consumers have been deterred from taking the plunge because of the perceived barriers to purchasing precious metals,” which include “assumptions that the services of a reputable broker are required to negotiate the fairest price, that there is limited access to local bullion coin dealers, or worries about shipping and storage,” said Shane Bissett, the Royal Mint’s director of commemorative coin and bullion
Bissett said the Royal Mint hopes the site will appeal to “the average consumer,” building on a growth in demand for Royal Mint bullion coins now that they were awarded an exemption from the Value Added Tax in the United Kingdom. The coins are also free from capital gains tax for U.K. residents.
The Royal Mint already offers a dedicated personal bullion customer service facility to all its customers when ordering bullion valued above £50,000 (about $81,825 U.S.), but the vault service helps target buyers of more modest means.