The Royal Mint has begun selling gold and silver bars directly to the British public today for the first time.
The bars, which were last produced by Royal Mint 47 years ago, are available to buy in several weights ranging from 1g to 100g.
Each bar bears the historic marque of the Royal Mint Refinery “RMR”.
The price of the bars fluctuates as it is linked to the constantly changing price of gold and silver. Currently, a 100g bar made of 999.9 gold costs £2,871.39 while a 1g gold bar costs £49.65.
For years the Royal Mint has sold collectible coins commemmorating special events direct to the public. Last year it began selling “bullion” coins made for investment purposes to the public – such as Sovereigns, Britannias or Lunars.
Investors can buy them through a Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPP) or Small Self-Administered Scheme (SSAS) and benefit from their marginal rate of tax on their gold purchases.
Lisa Elward, the Royal Mint’s head of international sales, said: “The combined heritage and integrity of the two brands is an added reassurance to customers looking for a cost effective way of buying gold and silver from a trusted source.”
Owning a gold bar or gold coins isn’t the only way to invest in precious metals, however. Gold coins and bars are a popular choice for people want to enjoy and appreciate them, and they can often become collectors items.
Another popular option for people with several thousand pounds to invest are exchange traded commodities (ETCs) – funds that track the performance of a commodity price. These are electronically held, so all you see is a statement online. These can also be held inside an Isa or Sipp.
Adrian Lowcock, head of investing at AXA Wealth, said: “ETCs are also more suitable as a pure investment, as they can be bought and sold more quickly. You don’t have to worry about insurance or storage, although you will pay those costs. He recommends the iShares Physical Gold ETC, which tracks the price of real gold bars held in a vault in a secret location.