The website could spark a gold rush by broadening the appeal of the bullion coin market and making it easier for people to buy from a trusted source at prices which the Mint says are “relatively affordable”.
It allows consumers to buy bullion coins struck in gold or silver directly from the Mint as well as being able to sell coins back. Consumers may have been put off gold in the past due to worries about the complexities of investing, the Mint said.
The royalmintbullion.com website constantly updates prices for gold and silver at a rate linked to the current precious metal price, helping budding investors as well as those who are more experienced to pick the best moment to buy.
Customers can have the coins delivered to their home through an insured postal service.
Alternatively, if they have bought gold coins, they can opt to store them in “the vault” – the Royal Mint’s on-site precious metal storage facility which is protected around the clock by the Ministry of Defence.
Storage fees are charged at 1 per cent of the market value of the gold plus VAT per year.
The Royal Mint will also give customers a quote to buy back gold coins which have been bought from its website and stored in the vault. The money will then be deposited back into a Royal Mint bullion account that the customer has set up.
There are no set-up fees to open an account and beginners who are looking to dip a toe in the water may want to consider a Britannia silver bullion coin, which is priced at around £20, or a Sovereign gold bullion coin, which costs around £200.
The Mint pointed to research by the World Gold Council which suggests that there is potentially £4 billion of untapped demand for gold investment within the UK alone.
Up until now, it said, consumers have been deterred by perceived barriers to buying.
The Royal Mint said: “Historically, these have included 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.
“The Royal Mint hopes to address these concerns and introduce the bullion coin market to a wider audience.”
The Mint said sales of its gold bullion coins have recently increased, after they were awarded VAT-free status in the UK. Its Britannia, Sovereign and Lunar bullion coins are also capital gains tax-free for UK residents as they are considered to be legal tender. Shane Bissett, the Royal Mint’s director of commemorative coin and bullion, said the Mint was responsible for manufacturing all UK coinage, as well as the currencies of more than 60 other countries.
He added: “The quality of our bullion coins is of an extremely high standard which cannot be rivalled.
“We have been a highly respected and trusted source of coins for kings, queens and governments for over 1,000 years, and this proud heritage means that we are globally recognised as a reliable source for bullion coins.”