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Updated 01:54 09/03/21

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One hundred pounds


There was a time when one hundred pounds was a considerable sum of money. Taking inflation into account, £100 in 1980 would have equalled £482 today, and would have equalled a huge £12,000 based on the pound's value in 1900!

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Chart showing the way in which one hundred pounds has devalued due to inflation..

The value and spending power of £100 today compared to previous decades.
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One hundred pound coin

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There has been talk of introducing a one hundred pound coin for years but, so far, the Bank of England has refused to do this for common circulation currency that we use every day.

There are 'legal tender' £100 coins, but these are commemorative or bullion coins only, and are not considered circulating currency. In the UK, a one hundred pound coin will likely be made of gold, silver or platinum. They have a £100 face value but are, in reality, worth far more on account of their precious metal content. Coin collectors – or numismatists – may even pay an additional premium for specific examples. This means you would be ill-advised to try spending them in your local high street shop!

Precious metals in the form of bullion and commemorative coins offer tax advantages over bars of the same weight. A one hundred pound coin made of gold, silver or platinum will benefit from being exempt of CGT, as the face value of £100 classes them as legal tender. Gold bars and coins, unlike other precious metals, are also VAT-free. This makes £100 precious metal coins attractive to both investors and coin collectors alike.
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Silver £100 coins

Issued for the first time in 2015 (and sold at its face value) was the Big Ben silver £100 coin. It was designed by Glyn Davies and Laura Clancy. Only 50,000 were minted from .999 fine silver and all sold within just 11 days.

The Big Ben coin was quickly followed by the Buckingham Palace £100 coin, and Trafalgar Square £100 coin in 2016. These are now already changing hands for well over their face value.
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Gold £100 coins

There are many gold commemorative and bullion coins with a face value of £100. These include the gold Queen's Beasts series, Gold Lunar New Year series and Gold Royal Arms coins. The most popular, and best known £100 coin is the Gold Britannia.

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Gold Britannia

The Gold Britannia was first minted in 1987 from 22-carat or 916.7 fineness gold. After 2013, it was minted from 24-carat or 999.9 fineness. All contain one ounce of pure gold.

Depending on prices in the gold commodities market, Britannia coins can currently trade for around £1,200. Numismatic interest can push the price far higher.

Smaller, fractional Britannia coins are also released regularly, with accordingly lower face values. In 2013 a larger £500 coin, containing five ounces of gold, was added to the range.
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1987 Gold Britannia One Ounce Coin

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from £1,414

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1oz Gold Britannia Best Value 24ct

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from £1,311

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2020 Britannia One Ounce Gold Coin

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from £1,370

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Gold Queen's Beasts

The Gold Queen's Beasts series of coins also have a face value of £100. Silver Queen's Beasts are denominated at £5. The series will eventually feature 10 different beasts, all of which were present as statues outside of Westminster Abbey for the Queen's coronation in 1953. The first coin, featuring a lion, was minted in 2016.
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Gold Royal Mint Lunar Series

The Royal Mint's Lunar series of one ounce gold coins all have a £100 face value. Also known as the Shēngxiào Collection, it celebrates the Chinese Lunar Calendar. The series began in 2014, with the Year of the Horse, and has been issued annually ever since.
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Gold Royal Arms coins

The Royal Arms are a symbol of strength and represent the illustrious history of monarchy and heraldry in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mint has set a mint limit of 5,000 for these coins. The 2019 and 2020 Royal Arms 1oz Gold coin is then another attractive £100 coin option for investors and collectors.
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2019 Royal Arms 1oz Gold Coin

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from £1,323

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2020 Royal Arms 1oz Gold Coin

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from £1,325

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Platinum £100 coins

The Royal Mint also strikes Britannia and Queen’s Beasts coins in platinum. These are denominated at £100, as are their gold equivalents. Platinum is growing in popularity as an investment metal, and is taxed similarly to silver; subject to VAT, but exempt from Capital Gains Tax when in the form of a one hundred pound coin.
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