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As the UK’s No.1 online bullion dealer*, many of BullionByPost’s customers are interested in buying gold, silver, and platinum coins as shields against inflation and economic instability. However, some of the coins that we sell also attract customers of a slightly different nature...
Coin collecting, or numismatics, has been popular for as long as coins have existed. Once known as the ‘hobby of kings’, it is now far more accessible to the wider public, with millions of people worldwide devoting their time and money to expanding their collections of rare, famous, and beautiful coins.
A numismatic coin differs from a bullion coin because its value is not based purely on its metal content, but on four key factors:
- Condition (Is it worn or scratched?)
- Grade (Quality of finish)
- Scarcity (Limited mintage)
- Demand (Is this year or design particularly sought after?)
While a bullion coin will typically trade at a very low premium above its precious metal content, numismatic coins will usually sell for significantly more. Bullion coins can also possess certain numismatic characteristics and are sometimes valued according to their grade and scarcity, as well as their precious metal content. These are known as ‘semi-numismatic’ coins and are of great interest to coin collectors. As such they will usually come at a premium above their material bullion value, but at a slightly lower rate than a specific collectable.
Coin collecting by theme
In order to give some sort of direction to their hobby, collectors will often adopt a thematic approach, looking to obtain coins that all have a certain common feature. Examples of these themes include collecting proof coins, coins of a certain metal, or from a certain region.
Proof coin sets
Proof coins tend to be expensive even before their appeal to collectors is taken into account.
Greater measures are taken in the production of proof coins to enhance their appearance,
meaning they will usually cost significantly more than their precious metal value.
A great example of this is the Sovereign Five-Coin Proof Set. Each year, the Royal Mint releases
a set of coins consisting of proof versions of five different sizes of Sovereign - Quarter Sovereign,
Half Sovereign, Sovereign (£1 coin), Double Sovereign (£2 coin) and Quintuple Sovereign (£5 coin).
Regardless of the current spot price, the proof set would most likely trade for at least £1,000 more
than the premium on a similar bullion quantity.
Special edition proof coin collections will often be released by the Royal Mint in order to celebrate
specific events, anniversaries, or individuals of merit.
Some individuals might be attracted to coins made from a particular metal, or even a particular bimetal combination. At BullionByPost we don’t sell bimetal coins, however we do have a wide range of gold, silver, and platinum coins.
One of the most popular themes for numismatic collections is coins of the world. Collectors may try to obtain as many coins from one country as possible, or perhaps coins from as many different countries around the globe as they can.
Some coins, like older Gold Sovereigns, will have mint marks on them to signify which refinery produced the coins. The Royal Mint previously operated at a range of mints across the then British Empire, with sites in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Ottawa, Bombay, and Pretoria.
Series collections is typically focussed on just one coin. A popular example of this is Sovereign
collecting, where Sovereign enthusiasts aim to collect one from each year and each mint
branch in which the coin was made.
The Royal Mint offers a variety of alternative collections, including the
Queen's Beast series
the Lunar collection. Australia's Perth Mint also offers a Lunar collection, as well as producing
official Marvel comic-book themed bullion coins.
Historical importance is a strong driver of interest in collecting coins, with many collectors keen to own a small piece of history. To help out numismatists, customers can browse in our coin collection for older Hammered Coins or the slightly later Milled Coins, as well as choosing between a range of British monarchs - all listed in specific categories with a detailed history of their importance or achievements of note.
Sell rare coins online
At BullionByPost we buy back gold bullion at 96% and silver bullion at 100.1% of the market spot price. When it comes to rare coins - whether they're collectable or especially limited mintage - then we can negotiate a higher price with you based on the expertise of our in-house numismatic experts.
Plenty of investors opt for rare collectible coins believing that their premiums will always be higher than a more common version of the same coin. While this isn't impossible, the reality is these premiums are only dependent on demand from collectors.
As bullion dealers, we focus primarily on the precious metal content of our coins rather than their numismatic qualities. A gold or silver bullion coin's intrinsic value will always be based on its precious metal content. In recent years however we have had significant growth in demand from customers - both investors and collectors - looking to start or expand a coin collection.
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